Album Reviews

Duff Mckagan’s Loaded – The Taking

Released by: Armoury Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Rock


Line Up:

Duff McKagan – vocals and guitar

Mike Squires – lead guitar

Jeff Rouse – bass

Isaac Carpenter – drums


01. Lords Of Abaddon

02. Executioner’s Song

03. Dead Skin

04. We Win

05. Easier Lying

06. She’s An Anchor

07. Wrecking Ball

08. King Of The World

09. Cocaine

10. Your Name

11. Follow Me To Hell

I can’t really call the experiment that was and still is Velvet Revolver was something I cared too much about. For those who don’t know even though the super group composed of ex Guns n Roses members guitarist Slash and Bass player Duff McKagan, also including Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. While it may have sounded good on paper at the time, the actual music was merely mediocre. Ever since GNR disbanded people like Slash and Duff have been hitting up their own projects to salivate a career that many still cherish to the hay days of Rock in the 80’s. But to be honest none of the past former members including Axel’s Chinese Democracy have been able to say they come back and took the world by storm again with their music. Of course here in American those bands all got some big time radio play regardless, didn’t mean the music was any better but hey money talks.

The reason I bring this up is merely to point out that these guys are still around and kicking and slithering around in the music industry creating their own stuff, and I don’t have a problem with that. Duff McKagan for instance with his band Loaded was able to deliver a pretty solid rock record in “Sick” and it turned out to be something more then just a solo project as some originally thought. Duff here takes control of guitars and lead vocals and brings his own flavored rock to the mainstream. Now the group has returned with their sophomore release in “The Taking”.

The typical grungy and dirty rock rhythm of the groups last effort returns on this release and perhaps is most clearly evident on the opening mad hatter track “Lords of Abbadon”. The band’s first single here is the punkish alternative rock song “Dead Skin” and is does serve a crunchy picking guitar lead to make the track itself stand out. Okay fine you read some good, now some bad or just odd, for some reason the opening of “Easier Lying” sounds like Duff pulling his best Trent Reznor impersonation, the weird industrial riff just sounds weird and distorted just didn’t work for me. What a shame on the track “Cocaine” you have to wait till bottom half of the song to enjoy a glaring chorus and nice guitar lead.

I’m not trying to be contemptuous or anything but I honestly expected more of this one. Maybe is because I’m oblivious to the modern rock sound but I just don’t see how all the songs here just overpass the average mark, some feel out of place and just don’t emit any hook whatsoever. McKagan actually does a solid job on vocals if you consider the type of music being played, but in terms of a rocking sound or creating something catchy and accessible it clearly underwhelms. You’ll find some blueprints for some recently Foo Fighters sound inspired and even the darker tracks that happen to provide a more cynical vibe can’t help the record leap over the starting line.  Listen before you buy….

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   5/10

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