Duff McKagan’s Loaded – The Taking


Album

The Taking

Label

Eagle Rock Entertainment

Year

2011

Genre

For Fans Of

Guns N' Roses - Velvet Revolver

Summary

Radio-friendly rock with an old school edge

Rating

60 / 100

Former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver bass legend Duff McKagan is back with his side project Duff McKagan’s Loaded. The follow-up to 2009 release Sick, new album The Taking is bluesy, radio-friendly hard rock. It’s raw yet polished, with a little bit of edge, and whilst nothing incredible, it’s decidedly infectious. It’s still a little lacking in the energy and fury of Duff’s other bands, but there are a few killer tracks amongst this solid set of hard rock songs.

Opener Lords of Abaddon shows massive potential- a sexy, raw rock track with punk undertones. The album does go a little downhill as it progresses from here, but there are a couple of awesome tracks in between. King of the World is very Queens of the Stone Age, with an irresistible pounding drumbeat and heavy bass under its catchy chorus. Indian Summer is an album treasure – it’s like hard rock mixed with a little Ataris, with soaring sing-along choruses and emotive lyrics. She’s An Anchor is dark and captivating, with lyrical anger and a great raw emotion in McKagan’s vocals as he shouts “you only need me when you’re drunk and dirty/you only use me when you feel alone.” Follow Me to Hell is a mesh of old-school punk rage, with heavy riffs and yelling vocals. The whole album is a perfect mix of typical radio-friendly rock with enough edge and darkness to keep you interested.

I’m a big fan of the acoustic closer, and The Taking ends with an acoustic version of the tenth track Cocaine. It’s cruisy, bluesy, with some excellent guitar work and McKagan’s vocals at their peak. It’s smooth but gritty, and one of the best tracks of the album.

The Taking is largely hit and miss, but is a decent album with some really solid tracks. It’s radio-friendly and not quite the dangerous rock you might expect, but it does what it does to perfection. If old school rock is your thing, this is definitely worth a spin.

Conclusion

The Taking does fall a little short of the rock glory it could embody, but there’s still enough sleaze and swagger to keep old school rock’n’roll fans interested. The Taking doesn’t seem to take itself to seriously, and if you don’t either, this is a solid set of thirteen infectious, smooth rock tracks from one of rock’n’roll’s veterans. The album is cross-generational, cohesive and has enough of a dirty edge to satisfy your rock desires.

Tracklisting

1. Lords of Abaddon
2. Executioner’s Song
3. Dead Skin
4. We Win
5. Easier Lying
6. She’s an Anchor
7. Wrecking Ball
8. King of the World
9. Cocaine
10. Your Name
11. Follow Me to Hell

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