Guns N’ Roses give a schooling on hard rock with their latest single, “Hard Skool.”
Arriving late Thursday just as the GN’R show hit the road, “Hard Skool” is both a return to the school of hard knocks, and old-school Gunners. And just for fun, the intro features the sound of a school bell.
Originally bearing the working title “Jackie Chan,” “Hard Skool” is a studio recording of a previously unreleased effort from the 2008 Chinese Democracy era.
It’s a flat-out, no-mucking-around rock number, peppered with smoking guitar licks. On it, Axl Rose sings: “But you had to play it cool, had to do it your way/Had to be a fool, had to throw it all away/Too hard school and you thought you were here to stay/ If that were true, it wouldn’t matter anyway.”
For a band with a reputation of keeping their fans waiting, GN’R is in a groove. “Hard Skool” is their second release in as many months, following the release of “Absurd,” also a revamp of an unreleased song from the Chinese Democracy era.
On the latest record, Rose is listed as co-producer alongside Chinese Democracy co-producer Caram Costanzo. Seven co-writers worked on the release, just the second since the return of original members Slash and Duff McKagan in 2016 for the group’s long-running Not in This Lifetime trek.
The new track coincides with the start of the band’s North America tour Thursday (Sept. 23) at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH.