HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Loaded - Dark Days

Duff McKagan now finds himself rich, seven years sober, back in Seattle, wife and two kids, and loving the accounting and finance classes which comprise what will ultimately be a biz undergrad and then if all goes well, an MBA. Duff also holed up with some buddies and made a record last spring, which came out in Japan last summer, causing two Japanese mini-tours already. Obviously, this is an interesting, talented guy, which is ably demonstrated by this ironically squalid 'Gimme Danger' record. The first two tracks of Dark Days are riotous flamethrowing Guns N' Roses punk rock, but things change quickly, Duff exercising not so much his punk and hardcore roots, but a penchant for the luded-out side of The Stooges, Johnny Thunders, Hanoi Rocks and maybe the early big grungsters. Ergo, most of the back two-thirds is dark, contemplative and mellow, with occasional burst into big chords from... well it's a bit of a mystery the way the credits are set, but Duff told me much of the guitar is done by him as is the lion's share of the writing, although in anti-Guns style, he's credited the writing to everybody. McKagan's voice is perfectly suited to this sort of hangover rock as well, Duff sounding like a worse for wear pre-punk rocker with tales to spare, a character sketch which is dead on if you take out the pre.
Rating 7.5