Duff McKagan’s Loaded – The Taking (Armoury Records)

The great thing about the latest record Duff McKagan is the lack of drama. Here you have McKagan, the former bass player for one of the world’s biggest bands, Guns N Roses, making music for the right reasons. Given his notorious battles with drugs, you sense McKagan recognizes it’s a miracle he’s alive. Though the bulk of the tracks don’t stray far from his history with both GnR and Velvet Revolver, he churns out worthy anthems. The Taking might not live up to what classic GnR fans expect, but this is a great hard-rock record in its own merit.