Volume 91, Issue 93

Wednesday, March 25, 1998



Cantrell is quick to unchain his melody

Jerry Cantrell
Boggy Depot
Columbia Records

Acoustic tempering combined with distorted flecks flavour Boggy Depot. Grunge days gone by now giving way to the wake of solo efforts from STP's Scott Weiland, Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and a chainless Jerry Cantrell (or the U.S. answer to our own Moist-man David Usher).

Jerry Cantrell displays on Boggy Depot where the Alice and Chains sound comes from. There isn't much deviation from his solo effort to an Alice and Chains release, which is good, providing you're an Alice and Chains fan.

From the opening track "Dickeye," Cantrell delivers fat, chunky riff-rock and moves into a varied sound in "Hurt A Long Time," a tasty slow acoustic number with slide guitar that cuts into distorted parts like a good rock anthem should.

"Cold Piece" is interesting experimental number that uses clarinet to inflect the sound and uses dissonance for flavour – Cantrell lets loose vocally on this track.

Primus' Les Claypool makes a guest appearance on the album and he's an asset to any musical endeavour.

The quirky first cut off this album "Cut You In" is a solid track featuring some interesting off-time shots. Tasty horn work augments the song while chunky guitars maintain the brooding rock sound Alice and Chains voiced through the heart of the grunge era.

"Settling Down" begins slowly and comfortably with piano and a Peter Gabrielesque wandering bass-line. If you're going to emulate someone, it may as well be Gabriel.

What separates Cantrell from most rock vocalists is his unique harmonies. The underwater vocal effect ( la Portishead) used in "Breaks My Back," either takes some getting used to or is simply unnecessary. Cantrell's strength is his vocal stylings – muting his voice or altering it is interesting, but he would have done better to come clean and utilize his most potent musical attribute.

–Carey Weinberg

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998