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Jerry Cantrell | Degradation Trip | review | rock | metal | Lollipop

Jerry Cantrell

Degradation Trip (Roadrunner)
by Martin Popoff

The charming, often modest, often magically anthemic tracks of Jerry Cantrell's Boggy Depot debut have given way to a dense, sprawling, dead-serious collection of harrowing trips that sound like Alice In Chains without the unpredictability or, as time marched, increasingly roughshod production and playing. Backing up Cantrell is the rhythm section who played on Ozzy's seminal Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman albums (that's sort of a joke), Mike Inez and Robert Trujilo adding to the safe, clinical feel of the album, really the record's only shortcoming. What I mean is that for all the degradation, Cantrell's own dances with the devil, and the record's haunted gestation through isolation (Jolly Jerry holed up at home in the dark to ride this storm), everything is tight, clean, and hi-fidelity. But man, can the guy write the epitome of cool slack GRUNGE rock, Cantrell sounding intimidating track to track, whether those be Sabbatherian axe-smeared or 'luded and quiet and introspective. He is also secretive, veiling much, and the record comes off as reclusive as the process, a 72-minute in-joke that's funny like, well, that guy that died. But yeah, there's so much here, and it's so Seattle (that's a good thing. It was always a good thing), and it really does sound like it was made away from all distraction save for the misfired workings of a strange, complex and miserably morbid mind.

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