Since Velvet Revolver went on hiatus last yearyou know, the band all the best G n R alums formed after they got sick of Axl Roses megalomania one-time G n R bassist Duff McKagan (who writes a column for us here at SW) found himself with more time to concentrate on fronting his own band, Duff McKagans Loaded. Though McKagans best-known for manning the bass, hes also a capable guitarist. If Loaded remains somewhat obscure, though, its probably because the band hasnt put out a full-length record since 2001, what with Velvet Revolver sucking up most of Duffs time and all. Upcoming Loaded album Sick will finally break that cycle. A rock and roll record with a metal edge, Sick is worth checking out, but if youre expecting G n R II, Sick will inevitably prove disappointing by default. While McKagan is just as skilled with six strings as he is with four, Loaded comes off less like arena rock and more like an enthusiastic garage band thats still honing its sound. But thats a hell of a lot better than sounding like an old, jaded musician who only continues making music in order to rake in the last few fallen leaves from that once-lush rock and roll money tree. Duff McKagan still loves what he does. And that, not name recognition, will make the difference between success and failure for Loaded.