It ain't easy being Weiland. The oft-stoned, famously glittering Temple Pilot never got very much respect from the larger rock community. But lost among the cackling and grunge whispers was his talent as a vocal stylist, and what counts these days as veteran status. In 2004 it's Velvet Revolver, and — surprise — Weiland's still getting grief. He's hired on with Slash, Duff, and Matt Sorum, fellow vets on the prod for rock glory in the shifting sands of post-zenith opportunity. On Contraband, they and additional guitarist Dave Kushner kick up quite a racket. But battling the naysayers can be a full-time job, especially when so many can't see the potential in fronting G N' R's hard rock swagger with Weiland's glammy and elastic vocals. It's the politics of Contraband — too much chatter about legacies, court dates, and addictions, not enough attention to getting a fix of tough love. "Went too fast I'm out of luck and I don't even give a f*ck," Weiland spits on "Do It for the Kids,"