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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Duff McKagan’s Loaded

The Taking

Review by Gary Hill

Duff McKagan is best known as a founding member of both Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver. In some ways, this album resembles both bands, but in some ways it’s different than both. While it’s far from monolithic, much of the music has a raw punk sort of vibe. If there’s a problem, it’s that the first three songs are the best on show. From there it just seems to go downhill. It would have been better to save one of the opening tracks for the closing position, thus leaving the listener poised to play it again. It should be mentioned, for those with children, that this does earn a parental advisory warning.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lords of Abbadon

This comes in with a brutal guitar line that’s almost hardcore punk, but more metallic than that. The chorus on this is very catchy and the guitar solo is extremely hot.

Executioner's Song
While the opener was scorching, this one blows it away. It’s tasty and fiery and the guitar sound is just plain mean. It’s like Guns N Roses on steroids. There’s actually one riff mid-track that makes me think of a riff from Judas Priest’s “Island of Domination.”
Dead Skin
Heavy and punky, this one again feels a lot like G N R. The hook is extremely catchy and this has a definite hard rock feeling.
We Win
Here’s a punky alternative rocker. There are some hints of The Ramones built into this. It’s got a real Foo Fighters kind of sound, too.
Easier Lying
This one is even punkier with a real Lords of the New Church sound. It’s got a sneering vocal line and some smoking hot guitar sounds.
She's an Anchor
Here’s another that’s rather punk-oriented. A lot of the arrangement is quite stripped down. It’s a good song, but not one of my favorites.
Indian Summer
More of an alternative rock sound is displayed here. It’s not the most GNR-like tune on show, by a long shot, but it’s got a bit of that sound. In many ways this is most “pop-oriented” track on show.
Wrecking Ball
Kind of a cross between punk rock, alternative rock and modern rock, this is a good tune, but not one of the standouts.
King of the World

Lords of the New Church meet Guns N Roses, but the whole thing is twisted into something a bit meaner than either of those bands.

Cocaine
Bass brings this one in with a definite 1980s sound. Then the guitar powers it out in a more rocking direction. There’s definitely a punk rawness here. It’s a great tune, but not one of the hardest rocking pieces. There’s a bit of the blues on the number. The lyrics earn a parental warning for it.
Your Name
This one’s very heavy and very mean. It’s gritty and powerful.
Follow Me to Hell
In a lot of ways this calls to mind hardcore punk. It’s got a raw feeling a bit like early Guns N Roses. It’s another that gets a parental warning for the disc.
 
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