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You can listen to the new Guns N' Roses single, but it depends where you are

Guns N' Roses
(Image credit: Katerina Benzova)

As expected, Guns N' Roses have released their new single, Hard Skool. But there's a catch: It's available via streaming platforms from midnight on September 24, so the release is time zone dependent.

In other words, Guns N' Roses fans in New Zealand and Australia have already been listening to Hard Skool for several hours, while listeners in Europe and the US - where's it's still September 23 - will have to wait until midnight. 

Hard Skool was originally recorded during the sessions for Guns N’ Roses’ 2008 album Chinese Democracy, under the title Jackie Chan. Sections of the song has been leaked over the years, and a full version of the song was leaked in 2019. The band have yet to perform Hard Skool in public, although earlier this week Slash released a video of the band soundchecking the song before their show at Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Now it's officially out, location permitting. It starts with clanking bass from Duff McKagan before a typically greasy riff arrives from Slash. The song doesn't mess around, with a chorus arriving at the 40-second mark, and the only real surprise comes two minutes in, where, after a Slash solo, the volume and pace drops as a mournful instrumental section unfolds. There's a crescendo, another chorus, and the song shudders to a halt. It's lean. 

Hard Skool follows the previously-released single Absurd, officially titled ABSUЯD. The track – which was released last month – marked Guns 'N Roses' long-awaited return and was debuted at their show in Boston a couple days prior to release.          

You can hear Hard Skool below. Or not, as the case may currently be. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor of Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 35 years in music industry, online for 22. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović. Likes cats.