By Bob Nalbandian

Crave Man

It's about time the Motor City Madman got his shit together! It took him over 20 years, but he's finally managed to "harness" all his old-school angst and intensity and compound it into his latest recording, appropriately titled Crave Man. Believe it or not, according to the bio, this is Nugent's 31st recording (including Damn Yankees and Amboy Dukes) and easily his best since...well, probably since "Cat Scratch Fever" was released back in 1977!

The Nuge fuses his classic savage metal roots with a contemporary sound and style. And the result is brilliant. The music is still undeniably Nugent, still containing the overindulgent, blistering guitar leads, barbarous screams and arrogant yet satirical lyrics, but it is the awesome production (courtesy of Ted with Drew and Chris Peters) delivering layered guitar riffs and a truly bombastic drum mix that makes Crave Man sound so damn fresh and intoxicating. Bassist Marco Mendoza (Blue Murder/Thin Lizzy) and drummer Tommy Clufetos shine as well, providing the perfect metallic backbone for Uncle Ted.

Tunes like the opener, "KLSTRPHNKY" and "Crave" can very well rival the best of the nu-metal crop when it comes to true heaviness and power. "Crave" is one of the best songs Nuge has recording in years! With its rip-roaring (brilliant!) guitar riff and primal screams, this song alone proves the Nuge can still deliver the goods! Other killer cuts include; "Rawdogs And Warthogs" (with its classic Motor City Madhouse-style riff and blazing leads), "Damned If Ya Do" (classic AC/DC-style metal groove and chorus), and the early ZZ-Top influenced "Goin' Down Hard." Even the typical sex-driven, machismo tunes you'd expect from Ted, like "Pussywhipped" "Wang Dang Doodle" (a sluggish, semi-rendition of "Wang Dang Sweet PoonTang"), and "My Baby Likes My Butter On Her Grits" work into the mix and don't come off near as cheesy as some of his previous crap. The latter track has a great guitar break that will surely bring back memories of "Stranglehold."

This album will definitely satisfy even the most prudent old-school Nuge fan, while still gain respect from today's metal crowd. It's about time classic rock artists adhere to this procedure. Not many classic artists these days can remain true to their roots and style while still sounding up-to-date. I hand it to the Nuge this time around for FINALLY getting it right! BN

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