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Duff McKagan’s Loaded
The Taking
June 2011
Released: 2011, Armoury Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Celtic Bob

Velvet Revolver bassist and ex-GnR member releases a 2nd solo album via Armoury Records. What makes this different from Velvet Revolver or GnR? For the Loaded project Duff handles the vocal duties along with bass. Musically it is not close to those early Guns albums and is slightly different from VR but not too far removed as to totally alienate the fans.

THE TAKING is a dozen Hard Rock songs with a slight Punk influence in places. There are a few songs that do stand out such as “Lords Of Abbadon”, “Dead Skin” and “Cocaine”. Other than that the majority of the album is basic run of the mill Rock n Roll with a hard edge. The songs are good, it’s that they don’t stand out like the trio of songs mentioned. After a few spins you can’t recall them.

Musically the entire disc is spot on. The musicianship and performance is first rate. Duff handles the vocals like a natural, it’s as if he was meant to sing. His voice is not as powerful as you’d expect from most lead vocalists but he suits the music. A really powerful singer wouldn’t sound right. The rawness and grittiness of Duff’s voice help give THE TAKING it’s harder edge.

A solid follow-up to SICK, if not stronger. THE TAKING is more suited to VR fans than Guns fans. It has that edge and attitude that was lacking on the GnR albums (minus APPETITE which was all attitude and basically a flawless disc). With the Loaded project Duff takes us to another level, one that he seems more suited to and comfortable in.

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» The Taking
by Celtic Bob

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