DUFF McKAGAN’s LOADED – The Taking (2011)

DUFF McKAGAN's LOADED - The Taking (2011)

Former Guns N’ Roses / Velvet Revolver bass legend Duff McKagan is back with his own project Duff McKagan’s Loaded.
The follow-up to 2009 release ‘Sick’, new album “The Taking” continue the band’s trademark of personal, somehow nasty hard rock with a bit of sleaze. It’s raw yet polished, with a little bit of edge.

The very first track “Lords Of Abbadon” immediately grabs your attention. This song is super riff-driven and powerful as hell, especially when cranked up.
The blistering punch of “Executioner’s Song” call to mind the sludge-ridden tone of several ’90s bands. McKagan displays a surprising yet welcome combative and confrontational mood here, telling us that ‘democracy is such a whore’ and that listeners should ‘know your history’.
“Dead Skin” has straight guitars and a melodic-dark style that reminds me The Cult. One of the best tracks of the album.
The ill-advised “We Win” has a sleazy-punky vibe much in the vein of the latter Shotgun Messiah with ambiguous lyrics.
I don’t like “Easier Lying”, specially the vocals. It’s a moody, drifting track, with an abandon style.

“She’s An Anchor” is dark and somehow captivating, with lyrical anger and raw emotion in McKagan’s vocals as he shouts ‘you only need me when you’re drunk and dirty / you only use me when you feel alone’.
“Indian Summer” is an easy listening hard rocker, very radiable, with a nice chorus. Cool track.
The ponderous “Wrecking Ball” swings freely but then hits a destructive climax on the chorus, while the furious follower “King Of The World” harks back to his own roots in punk rock, but the sound is overall clean.
“Cocaine” is a bit boring and predictable, “Your Name” has a good riff but again I am not completely convinced by Duff’s vocals.
Last track “Follow Me To Hell” is rage-sleaze, yelling punky with dirty lyrics and a live feel.

This is a curious album. Many tracks are really solid in their style, almost radio-friendly, but some songs have a darker, abandoned feel.
“The Taking” is the sound of a man with no corporate or musical responsibility, simply doing what sounds and feels right. And that’s isn’t exactly my cup of tea.
In my opinion, a hit and miss recording, but this may change depending on your mood when you listen to it.

01 – Lords Of Abbadon
02 – Executioner’s Song
03 – Dead Skin
04 – We Win
05 – Easier Lying
06 – She’s An Anchor
07 – Indian Summer
08 – Wrecking Ball
09 – King Of The World
10 – Cocaine
11 – Your Name
12 – Follow Me To Hell

Duff McKagan – Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Mike Squires – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jeff Rouse – Bass, Backing Vocals
Isaac Carpenter – Drums


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