Wednesday, January 9, 2008
"Los Angeles, you're a f***in' whore!"
I finally got a hold of Duff McKagan's second album, Beautiful Disease. In case you don't know, this is the album that fell through the cracks when Geffen merged with Interscope. I'll have to take back what I said here about Believe in Me being the best side/solo project from any of the Guns N' Roses alumni. That honor goes to ... Beautiful Disease!
This album is like the missing link between Grunge and Metal.
The album kicks in with some chunky string scratching and an understated grunt from Duff.
Halfway through the intro the song changes tempo and begins to sound sort of like a Stone Temple Pilots song (foreshadowing?). Lyrically we're covering alot the same ground as "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Move to the City."
When I was a young, I had a dream
movin' to the city sight unseen
19 years of age I'm packing my bags
Hollywood was all the rage
Los Angeles, you're a fuckin whore
Hollywood, you're an open sore
Los Angeles, you've lost you're grip
Drugs and lies and whores suckin dick
"This got its name from my Marshall head that was up in Seattle. I got this sound at the beginning, it's the scratching of the strings. Noel Golden asked me where I got that sound, and I said, "It's my Seattle head." So the name just stuck. Lyrically, the song's about the love/hate relationship I have with L.A." - Duff
"Who's to Blame"
Another cool grunge-rocker. This song has that Pixies/Nirvana Loud-Quiet-Loud construction and some cool crowd overdubs in the middle.
"It's about the breakup of guns." - Duff
Another great song. Once again, I am reminded of early Pixies. I could easily imagine this song being on Come on Pilgrim or Surfer Rosa. Duff even emulates Black Francis' vocal style here, and the guitars are all quiet and screechy.
"Song for Beverly"
This one sounds just like an STP song. Think "Interstate Love Song" meets Syd Barrett. Its full of hooks, but not over done. Theres some really really understated orchestration that gives the song some nice ambience. It even has a violin solo. The chorus/hook:
You are so beautiful
You are - its true
gets lengthened and shortened throughout the song, and just when you think Duff is about to overdo it, he sings it straight. You can hear the work that was put into the song, and it reminds you what a Fucking Genius Duff is.
"Put You Back"
This song is with Izzy on guitar and vocals. It kind of starts out a bit throwaway, but the bridge kicks in and ... BAM! theres the hooks again. Its a country rocker with a STP bridge.
"Izzy and I wrote this one. He rides his motorcycle everywhere;
he just goes out into the desert with extra gas and water and supplies.
He finds these trails that go to Mexico from Arizona, and he's gone for days.
So he found a guy out there, a Mexican who was trying to go to L.A.
The guy was lost; he was going north-east. Izzy put him on his bike,
gave him a sandwich and water, and took him up to the highway.
He gave him some money and said, "You wanna go that way --
you wanna go west, dude." I hope he made it." - Duff
Once again, the Punk Bassist delivers some pre-Velvet Revolver rock. The bassline just drives you through the song. Its got a really dissonant guitar solo in the middle.
Quiet-Loud-Quiet. This song is so perfect. So much what Rock is all about.
"I don't even want to try to count how many of my
best friends I've lost to heroin. This song was me finally
being pissed off. The chorus says, "I won't be missing you."
There's only so much you can do." -Duff
More Syd Barrett hooks.
The more I listen to this album the more I realize how much sense it made to pair Duff up with Scott Weiland. Duff really makes some great Indie-Rock (or whatever you wanna call it). This song could be on side 2 of Nevermind. Cheers to drummer Taz Bentley who propels this song to new heights.
"Then and Now"
More STP, think: "Vaseline."
If you saw me yesterday, you wouldn't recognize my face
If you saw me yesterday, yeah you might've ran away
"This is the song about getting sober. My friend Paul Soldier helped me write it.
We were in this old band called the Fartz, a punk rock band." - Duff
"It's about finding somebody to take care of, and I've found that with my daughter." - Duff
Actually the weakest song on the album in my opinion.
Opinions are like assholes,
and you smell like and open sewer
I promise you'll love this song!
Friends, lets just forget all about waiting for Chinese Democracy, this is as good as it gets.
In fact, I'm thinking of changing the name of this blog to Beautiful Disease. What do you think? I mean, this record never came out either, but at least someone let us hear it.
If you want a copy, send me an email.
posted 1:14 PM