Duff McKagen’s Loaded – Sick
Label: Century Media
Released: March 20, 2009
Thank goodness Axl pissed away more than a decade making us wait on Chinese Democracy, or Sick might have turned into a dismal disappointment. The new full length CD by Duff McKagan’s Loaded offers a taste of retro Guns ‘n’ Roses with a smoky undercurrent of blues, and an agitated element of post-grunge punk. While McKagan and his metal band of gentlemen throw down a good party mix of fun background rock, ultimately Sick comes up a few inches short of the high-caliber expectations most listeners expect from Duff. Being a member of two highly acclaimed rock bands will do that to a fellow.
All of the songs on the Sick are good, but none are particularly memorable. The hooks never quite set, and the melodies do not linger. Having listened to the CD a full three times, I’m hard pressed to find myself air-guitaring any of the tracks, nor have I caught any of them bouncing around in my head all day like a great song will do. On a high note, Sick surpasses G n’R’s massively disappointing Chinese Democracy, and perhaps even the velour triteness of Velvet Revolver’s Libertad, so it’s not all bad news. Diehard fans will likely be appeased. While Duff is no Axl Rose or Scott Weiland, his vocals hold their own, but DML might seek to find a more inspirational guitarist than Mike Squires to bring their music to life. If this were a movie, I’d say wait for it on DVD because it’s simply not big-screen material.