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Album Spotlight: Duff McKagan's Loaded - Dark Days

Lately, there has been quite a bit of attention given to Guns N' Roses. The video game Rock Band 2, which was released for the XBox 360 last month, features "Shackler's Revenge" as a playable track; this was the first time in nearly a decade that new Guns N' Roses music was officially released. The movie Body of Lies, which was just released last week, features another new song called "If the World" during its closing credits. And perhaps the biggest GNR-related news of all was the announcement last week that Chinese Democracy, the band's first album since 1993's cover album "The Spaghetti Incident?", will be released on November 23, 2008 - incidentally, this will be exactly fifteen years since "The Spaghetti Incident?" was released.

A lot has happened in those fifteen years. For one thing, the only remaining original member in Guns N' Roses is Axl Rose. The other members have long since gone their own ways and have been keeping themselves pretty busy. Take bassist Duff McKagan, for example: since leaving Guns N' Roses, McKagan has continued to find success as the bassist for Velvet Revolver. That is far from the only band he has been involved in, however. A few weeks ago, one of my favourite blogs, Free Metal Albums, posted a link to an album called Dark Days by Duff McKagan's Loaded. As a longtime GNR fan, I naturally was very curious about this album, so I decided to check it out.

I was very pleasantly surprised with what I heard. Dark Days has a sound that is strongly reminiscent of old Guns N' Roses, which is mainly rock and roll with a good dose of punk rock. Unlike his role in bands like GNR and Velvet Revolver, Duff actually takes center stage in Loaded, singing and playing bass, rhythm guitar, and piano; think of some of the songs that Duff sang lead vocals for on "The Spaghetti Incident?", like "New Rose" and "Raw Power", for an idea of what to expect. But Dark Days is far from being a rehash of old GNR ideas - songs like "Criminal" and "Misery" feature added instrumentation in the form of strings and piano, respectively, which really add a lot of depth to the sound. "Want To" has an amazing outro, and "Shallow" sounds at times like a dark version of The Rolling Stones' "Time Is On My Side". Album closer "Your Way" has a dark, keyboard-driven sound that is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter".  The entire album has a surprising  amount of depth, and I find myself hearing new things everytime I listen to it.

Whether you're a long time Guns N' Roses fan, a newcomer to the band, or just someone who likes to hear a good, hard rocking record every once in a while, I can't recommend Dark Days highly enough. It makes for some great music to listen to while we count down the remaining few weeks to one of the most highly anticipated albums of all time. If you are at all intrigued by any of this, please head over to the Loaded page at Idol Management to download a free copy of Dark Days.

Happy listening!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! Thank you for mentioning Free Metal Albums!

Greets from Lisbon/Portugal