Duff McKagan’s Loaded: Sick [CD/DVD]

Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan’s Loaded
Sick [CD/DVD]
(Armoury)

Earlier this year legendary bassist/guitarist Duff McKagan released the phenomenal album The Taking with his band Duff McKagan’s Loaded. With McKagan’s name everywhere in the media from his bands, past and present (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and his writing gigs as a columnist for Playboy Magazine, ESPN, and The Stranger, Armoury Records has jumped at the chance to rerelease Duff McKagan’s Loaded last album Sick.

The powerful Seattle-based foursome blends gritty street rock with punk ethos while keeping a pulse on the mainstream on their debut. The title track opens the record and sets the tone with its driving guitars. “Flatline,” “IOU,” and “Blind Date Girl” are really good songs which, at some moments show the band really looking for their sound. The steady flashes of brilliance here on Sick are carried over to The Taking, which make that a great album.

Sick is not nearly as good as The Taking, but that’s not to say it is a bad album. As strong as some of these songs are, the lyrics are what hold this album together. It’s no secret McKagan struggled to the point of near death with his drug and alcohol abuse – hence the title. But it is those times which are spelled out for the listener on Sick. These songs read like McKagan’s diary of excess to rock bottom and picking himself up. With the help of a strong woman, kids, friends and family, McKagan made it through those dark times and as cliché as it sounds lived to tell about it.

McKagan comes off as humble as can be, like he knows how he almost fucked up and lost it all, but he didn’t. In fact this is one of those cases where the person has come out stronger on the other side of the darkness and turned a negative into a positive…one of those positives being great rock ‘n’ roll music.