Duff McKagan's Loaded
The Taking


3.5
great

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
April 12th, 2011 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Give and take

Duff 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. The briefest of stints with the crumbling Jane’s Addiction in 2010 put him in direct contact with Perry and Navarro, Toxic Twins Mk. II, and more potential hazards.

Despite these pitfalls, realised or otherwise, McKagan has emerged at the other side surprisingly unscathed and The Taking is the sound of a man who still has something to say and the energy with which to say it. The LP opens with the blistering one-two punch of “Lords Of Abbadon” and “Executioner’s Song” that call to mind the sludge-ridden tone of groups like Down. McKagan displays a surprising yet welcome combative and confrontational mood in the latter, telling us that ‘democracy is such a whore’ and that listeners should ‘know your history’. There is an altogether darker mood prevalent throughout this LP. Song titles such as “Dead Skin”, “Follow Me To Hell” and “Easier Lying” give an instant insight into what’s to be expected here. The ill-advised “We Win” breaks up this prevailing mood, its terribly ambiguous lyrics and chorus that is reminiscent of 30 Seconds To Mars’ “Kings and Queens” is ruinous and nearly derails the album completely by the fourth track.

McKagan is too canny a veteran to allow a duff track to let the side down though and the album continues in a great fashion, taking in a number of different styles. Consider the Alice In Chains (another group McKagan has been of assistance to) style grind of “She’s An Anchor”, the ponderous “Wrecking Ball” whose music swings freely but then hits a destructive climax on the chorus and the furious “King Of The World” which harks back to his own roots in punk rock.

The Taking is the sound of a man with no corporate or musical responsibility simply doing what sounds and feels right. For a man who has spent a lot of his career under pressure, babysitting drug addicts and fending off the megalomania of one Mr. Axl Rose he can only be respected for putting himself into such a comfortable position.



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
cvlts
April 12th 2011


8985 Comments


this guy's more like an entertainment piece than an actual musician here in seattle.

Hep Kat
April 12th 2011


15399 Comments


first paragraph owns hard

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Nagrarok
April 12th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice concise review, I could bother with this.

BigHans
April 12th 2011


26454 Comments


Duff ruled hard in GnR

cvlts
April 12th 2011


8985 Comments


anyways, sweet review bro. totally agree with the last paragraph man.

Thor
April 12th 2011


10202 Comments


There's no way this is good.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2011


6344 Comments


i listened to his previous album and it was good-to-great.

i suppose this is more of the same.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

Kris.
April 13th 2011


12511 Comments


DUFF MAAAAN

Transient
April 14th 2011


1461 Comments


the phrase 'exploded pancreas' is misleading

JViney
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well? Don't leave us hanging...

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


6344 Comments


The man whose excess led him to suffer an exploded pancreas was



Perhaps it should be written like this:

The man, whose excess in consuming illegal chemical substances, led him to suffer from a severe pancreas disorder, was [...]


I'm just guessing, though.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Who am I? Dr. Kildare? It exploded and that's that.

Edwin
April 14th 2011


1399 Comments


I thought this album was going to be a bit sad and lifeless. Might have to check it out after reading this.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That would be misleading.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2011


31629 Comments


Who am I? Dr. Kildare? It exploded and that's that.


Awesome

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2011


6344 Comments


Who am I? Dr. Kildare? It exploded and that's that.

ok man, take it easy :-)

DrGunther
April 16th 2011


186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well-written review, especially the middle paragraph.

This is pretty fucking good so far after a couple of listens. Much better than the last album (and the earlier EP) anyway.

Digging: Elder (USA-MA) - Dead Roots Stirring

Butkuiss
April 17th 2011


4253 Comments


A Duff track?

How punny.

Transient
April 17th 2011


1461 Comments


he got pancreatitis and then some trauma caused it to leak digestive enzymes, it hardly 'exploded'

DrGunther
April 17th 2011


186 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spot the deliberate mistake with the album artwork.

Unless it's two identical twins tied together facing opposite ways, possibly.



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