Duff McKagan's Loaded

Sick

Written by: TL on 13/04/2009 21:17:37

Imagining the heaps of money each member of Guns N' Roses must have managed to pile up due to the gargantuan success the band enjoyed in its golden years, it's hardly surprising to see its past members engage in seemingly relaxed side projects, given that they don't really have to care as much about making it commercially anymore. We saw Slash do it with his "Snakepit" and former GnR bassist Duff McKagan also had a band going which he humbly named "Duff McKagan's Loaded", at least until he joined Velvet Revolver. Duff, who from here on will be referred to as Duffman, for no other reason than because I think it's funny, originally starred alongside ex-members of prominent outfits like Reverend Horton Heat and Black Flag, but when he recently reformed his "Loaded" after the split of Velvet Revolver, it was with an all new and less star struck lineup save for himself of course.

All of this you could of course also have learned from wikipedia, just as I did, having no former knowledge of Duffman's spare time endeavors. The sound of the new album "Sick" still doesn't come as a surprise to me, as it is very much the product of the same influences that were always the driving force of Guns N' Roses. Thus you can hear some of punk rock infatuation in tracks like "The Slide", some QOTSA-style stoned and straightforward rock'n'roll in "Sleaze Factory", and some bluesy 'Skynyrd rock in "Translucent" and "Mother's Day". When the punk'n'roll is in focus I am reminded of a band like Denmark's very own Rock Hard Power Spray, but when the blues-rock is most dominant, Duffman's crew prove that they are audibly somewhat older and more mature than the energetic youngsters of RHPS.

And the bluesy moments are actually the ones that are by far the best in my opinion, as they have more melody and feel-good mood to them. The problem is that these are also the moments that demands the most of Duffman's vocal abilities, and I think it's fair to say that he is a poor man's version of Axl Rose even at the best of moments. It's not flat out annoying to listen to him sing, but it's not really very enjoyable either. In general I think you can say the same for the record overall, as Duffman and friends wield enough experience to easily avoid utter travesty, but when that's been said they're also a long shot away from offering anything that's impressive in any way. The record is simply more of a mellow tribute to the sounds that shaped these dudes as musicians, than it is a power-package shot out to win the affections of scores of contemporary music fans. If you can accept that, then there's no reason you can't enjoy "Sick", but really, with "Chinese Democracy" being as solid as it is in spite of everything, the question is if you really need to listen to this, which can in many ways be considered it's subtle little brother.

Download: Sleaze Factory, Translucent, Mother's Day, I See Through You
For The Fans Of: Guns N' Roses, Queens Of The Stone Age, Rock Hard Power Spray
Listen: myspace.com/loaded

Release Date: 30.03.2009
Century Media

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