Guns N’ Roses have developed a reputation for moving at a glacial pace in the studio over the past 20 years. But on Thursday (August 5), the veteran hard rockers proved that they can still be quick on their feet by releasing their first new song in 13 years shortly after debuting it at their Fenway Park gig just 24 hours earlier.
As reported earlier, the Zeppelin-esque, rampaging song, “Absurd” (which is officially spelled with a backwards R) is actually a revamp of an unreleased song from their 2008 Chinese Democracy era titled “Silkworms.” After performing it live for the first time on Tuesday — and then again on Wednesday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey — the 3:23 track was released to streaming services.
The writing credit for the song lists the entire band, with singer Axl Rose listed as the co-producer alongside Chinese Democracy co-producer Caram Costanzo on the first new song from the band since the return of original members Slash and Duff McKagan in 2016 for the group’s long-running Not in This Lifetime tour.
“Listen motherf—ers to this song that should be heard/ Dragged down in the gutters/More than you deserve/ Screaming f—ing banshee, you know that’s what you are/ P—y full of maggots, it’s that absurd,” Rose snarls over galloping drums intersected by Slash’s signature muscular, screaming wall of guitar. The song, then referred to as “Silkworms,” was first performed live in 2001, most recently at a New Year’s Eve concert at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas according to setlist.FM.
GNR are reportedly working on the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’s Democracy.
Listen to the studio version of “Absurd” below.