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Duff McKagan's Loaded: The Taking

What do you say about the new solo/side project record from a guy that has sold over 100 Million records (YES, 100 MILLION)? When a guy is a founding member of one of the biggest Hard Rock bands EVER and then goes on to be another founding member of one of the early 2000's largest bands, ya gotta give him a chance, right?! With a resume that reads Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver you have to figure that the guy can write a decent Hard Rock song, right? And right you would be, as Duff once again delivers a Hard Rock solid effort with the new record, The Taking.

Duff McKagan originally formed the band Loaded back in 1999 and with this sophomore release, The Taking the now dubbed, Duff McKagan's Loaded have one hell of a Rock n Roll record on their hands. The Taking (Armoury Records) features the great Terry Date (Pantera, Prong, Deftones, Slipknot, to mention just a few) minding the dials as producer, so right off the bat you KNOW that this CD is going to sound amazing, powerful as well as hard and heavy. Described as a the closet thing to a concept record that Duff has ever been involved with, The Taking conjures up the feels of pain, loss, triumph and redemption, so much so that there is to be a full length film to come in the summer of '11, in the vein of The Beatles' classic, A Hard Day's Night.

But what about the tunes? Well, right off the hop, CD opener, "Lords of Abaddon" sets the pace with a killer, GnR type grinding riff that blasts open with those patented, Terry Date produced thumping drums. THIS is the way to start off a Hard Rock record, go for the throat! Guitars are in the forefront and Duff's vocals sound really good. Yes, Duff IS the singer AND guitar player in Loaded, handing the bass duties over to Jeff Rouse with Mike Squires handling the lead guitar work and newest member, Isaac Carpenter on board as drummer. The band sounds tight as hell with songs ranging from flat out, balls to the wall rockers like the Motorhead sounding, "Executioner's Song", to the moody, "Easier Lying", Duff coaxes the most out of his quirky, almost frail sounding vocals to come up with a pretty unique sounding style. Mixed with a couple of mid paced radio friendly songs and even the almost Power Pop flavor of "Indian Summer" and The Taking has a little bit of everything. Throw in the muscular GnR themed riffing on tracks like "Your Name" and "Dead Skin" and you can really get a great idea of what a 2011 version of GnR would sound like. This is some really cool stuff they've got going on here.

The Taking is a sort of cleansing effort, with song titles of "Cocaine", "Follow Me To Hell" and "Wreaking Ball" that shows the self destructive, almost confessional side of things, to "Dead Skin", "We Win" and "King of the World" that shows the rebirth, McKagan seems to have painted a very personal portrait, all without coming across as preachy. All of the conceptual ideas aside, The Taking simply put…ROCKS Hard. Almost every song will leave some sort of catchy vocal line in your head or have you playing air guitar. McKagan's vocals are just different enough to grab your attention and his melodies keep you around. Fans of GnR who wish they were still together will love this record as it does, in a lot of ways, sound like a modern version and Velvet Revolver fans get a more meaty record with great hooks.

It is no accident that Duff McKagan has been able to carve out such a legendary career and this latest effort shows no signs of him slowing down. This is great Hard Rock disc for 2011 and we need more like 'em.

Track Listing

  1. Lords of Abaddon
  2. Executioner's Song
  3. Dead Skin
  4. We Win
  5. Easier Lying
  6. She's Anchor
  7. Indian Summer
  8. Wreaking Ball
  9. King Of The World
  10. Cocaine
  11. Your Name
  12. Follow Me To Hell

Added: April 21st 2011
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2071
Language: english

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