Release Date: Apr 19, 2011
Record label: Eagle Rock
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock
When names like Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver populate your résumé, you have a lot to live up to on your solo releases. Slash did an admirable job last year with his star-laden self-titled record, and now bassist Duff McKagan has released this, his third studio album, The Taking, with the group Loaded, in which he plays guitar and sings. .
Review Summary: Give and takeDuff McKagan, as he himself may tell you, is one of rock’s great survivors. The man whose excess led him to suffer an exploded pancreas was also the last original member of Guns N’ Roses to let Axl do his own thing upon his leaving in 1998. His time in the well-intentioned but sub-standard Velvet Revolver saw him having to deal with Scott Weiland, a man who treats rehabilitation centres as if he had a loyalty card.
As if to preemptively counteract the argument that his Playboy financial advice column has made him soft, Duff McKagan turns in his hardest record in recent memory with The Taking. Taking full advantage of Pantera/Slipknot producer Terry Date, The Taking rumbles with a bone-rattling low end, its guitars and bass hitting with an underhanded force. It’s visceral enough to excuse the under-formed songs and the vague feeling that this is the work of dyed-in-the-wool rockers railing against the dying of the light.
Poor Duff McKagan. All the dude wants to do is rock, but he’s been saddled with two of the more mercurial frontmen of the past 25 years, Axl Rose and Scott Weiland (in Guns ‘n’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, respectively), to say nothing of the fact that “middle-aged hard rock star” conjures up a VH1 reality show at worst and a summer amphitheatre parking lot before a Chickenfoot concert at best. All of this is to say that, lead singers or critical respect be damned, Duff has to honor his muse, so he’s turned to his own band, Duff’s McKagan’s Loaded.