The former members of Guns N’ Roses are a relentless bunch of musicians. While I love the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses, when I hear an album like Duff McKagan’s Loaded’s The Taking, I begin to think that the fans are winning by the break up of G N’ R. If Guns N’ Roses was still around, we may not get so many cool tunes from Duff McKagan’s Loaded.
The Taking starts off with a heavy rocker “Lords of Abaddon”. This song is so good, it demands multiple replays. McKagan play a heavy bass line throughout this song, and delivers a pretty cool vocal to boot. “Lords of Abaddon” is definitely the right way to start off an album!
“Executioner’s Song” is a powerful and heavy number that invokes the spirit of Black Sabbath. This is a tune needs to be played a maximum volume to be fully appreciated.
“Dead Skin” is one of the more radio friendly tracks, that U.S. Radio has simply ignored. It is a crying shame, as this is one of Loaded’s better tunes. (Check it out in the video below.)
I don’t know what it is about “We Win” that reminds me of early U2, but it does. I mean that in the utmost respect to Duff McKagan and company. It is a pretty extraordinary tune that I wouldn’t expect to hear from Duff McKagan’s Loaded.
“Easier Lying” is the first song that I have mixed feelings about. This mid-tempo number isn’t terrible, but it needed something to take it up a notch. I kind of feel the same way about the song “She An Anchor” too. “She’s An Anchor” is an angry sounding rocker that could have been improved upon a bit.
Loaded could actually have a mild hit on their hands with “Indian Summer”. It is one of the catchier songs on The Taken, and one of my favorites on the CD.
“King of the World” is one of the harder rocking moments on The Taking. It commands attention with its hard-driving beat, but might require a few plays before you truly appreciate it.
Everytime I listen to “Cocaine” I begin to wonder how this song would have sounded with Axl Rose on the vocals. This song could have easily been recorded as a Guns N’ Roses tune.
While I have enjoyed The Taking, it does not surpass the Duff McKagan’s Loaded’s previous release Sick. This CD is however a better release than the band’s debut Dark Days. The Taking could have used a couple of stronger tunes to get it through its weaker spots. It is still is a solid album, and one that all of Duff McKagan’s fans need to check out!!
For more information on Duff McKagan’s Loaded, please visit the band’s website at http://duff-loaded.com/.
Rating: Out of 10
1.) Lords of Abaddon
2.) Executioner’s Song
3.) Dead Skin
4.) We Win
5.) Easier Lying
6.) She’s An Anchor
7.) Indian Summer
8.) Wrecking Ball
9.) King Of The World
11.) Your Name
12.) Follow Me To Hell
Duff McKagan’s Loaded is:
Duff McKagan - vocals and guitar
Mike Squires - lead guitar
Jeff Rouse - bass
Isaac Carpenter - drums
When does a re-release get better? When it is packed with bonus tracks, and a Live concert DVD “Live at the Garage” from the Glasgow, UK show on September 22nd, 2008. The DVD also includes the promo video for “No More” and all of the band’s previously released Webisodes.
Sick is easily my favorite work from Duff McKagan since he left Guns N’ Roses, and that includes the Velvet Revolver records. I loved the original version of Sick, and this version is even better with the bonus track “Roll Away”, and the acoustic version of “Wasted Heart”. Every time I listen to this CD, I hear elements of Guns N’ Roses & the Rolling Stones in the song writing. The music has a slight punk rock edge, and even the slower track “Mother’s Day” is extremely cool.
If you haven’t picked up Sick, this is the best way to experience the CD. The DVD adds a ton of a value to a cool CD that should already be in your collection. The live show is shot at the Garage, a small 500 seat (est.) club in Glasgow. The footage is great, and Loaded sounds amazing. I wish I could have experienced a Loaded show in a small venue like this. It was a packed house for the show, and I bet it is almost as much fun to watch the show on DVD.
I haven’t seen Duff McKagan’s Loaded Live, and unless they schedule some East coast shows (rare) I may never get the chance. Until then, I will enjoy watching this live concert footage on the DVD. The CD & DVD offers over 2 1/2 hours of entertainment, and is a great value to all McKagan & Guns N’ Roses fans alike!
You can pick up the special edition CD/DVD Set of Sick for the price of a regular CD in the HRH music store at this link. Check it out, you will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
CD Track Listing:
- Sleaze Factory
- The Slide
- Mother’s Day
- I See Through You
- Forgive Me
- No Shame
- Blind Date Girl
- Wasted Heart
- No More
- Roll Away
- Wasted Heart [Acoustic Version]
Duff McKagan’s Loaded is:
Duff McKagan – Vocals & Guitars
Geoff Reading – Drums & Vocals
Jeff Rouse – Bass, Vocals on Translucent
Mike Squires – Guitars & Vocals