March 23, 1998 12:00 PM

Izzy Stradlin

In the pregrunge days of the mid-1980s, Guns N’ Roses was, to its fans, the last word in rock bands. But when rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin quit the group at the height of its success in 1991, Guns didn’t seem to matter quite so much anymore. Apparently sick of the loud, ego-driven histrionics of his fellow Hoosier and band cofounder, lead singer Axl Rose, in 1992 Stradlin released a rocking good album on his own, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, that was ignored by CD buyers. Now, after a six-year hiatus, Stradlin, with help from Guns bassist Duff McKagan and former Georgia Satellites guitarist Rick Richards, is back with another brew of twangy country punk and rootsy rhythm and blues. With his raspy voice and chunky guitar style, he is definitely from the Keith Richards school of unapologetic rock and rollers (he even does a cover version of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis”). Old-time rock, of course, is dead. It’s just nice to know that guys like Stradlin are around, offering hope for a resurrection. (Geffen)

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