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Gilby Clarke Swag

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Thursday, January 10, 2002 @ 4:23 PM


(Spitfire)

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Gilby Clarke has always been a rock n’ roller. From his early days in Hollywood bands like Candy and Kills For Thrills to his tenure in Guns N’ Roses all the way through his solo career and recent band Col. Parker, Gilby has always kept his guitar slung low, a cigarette dangling precariously from his lips, and his bottle of Whiskey close by his side. Little known fact, Gilby played session guitar on Kim Fowley’s second attempt at the Runaways in the early ‘80s. It was miserable but it’s still pretty cool to be a guy and say you were in the Runaways. Anyways, Swag is Gilby’s latest solo stab and another in the long line of meat and potatoes hard rock that he seems to revel in. You can tell Gilby must scratch his head when he hears the detuned rumblings of the post-Korn generation when he was clearly weaned on Keith Richards, the Faces, Tom Petty and the Clash. And that’s pretty much the territory he straddles here too.

“Alien” and “Under The Gun” are straight ahead riff rockers that could be off any Wildhearts or Michael Monroe effort from the ‘90s. Numbers like “Broken Down Car,” “Crocodile Tears,” and “I’m Nobody” tread the coveted Cheap Trick power pop territory, while “Judgement Day” could be right off a later day Enuff Z’Nuff album (and that’s a good thing). “Beware of the Dog” is probably the closest thing to GN’R, with it’s tough, grooving wah wah riff and knockout chorus. “Heart of Chrome” finds Gilby doing what he does best, pounding away on some slammin’ guitar parts and a memorable tuneful hook, sorta like Dramarama with bigger guitars or Paul Westerberg with more balls. “Warm Country Sun” and “Margarita” take that patented Bo Diddley tom tom rhythm and wrap some hefty power chords around it to make it snarl a bit more. Finally Gilby closes the set with a blistering spot on version of David Bowie’s epic “Diamond Dogs” just to seal the deal and letcha know exactly where he’s coming from.

Gilby produced this himself out of his own Redrum studio in Los Angeles and the production is solid. Put it this way, it sounds more like a mid-‘70s Aerosmith record than a late-‘90s CD. No drum loops, no rapping, no synths. This is just good ol' fashioned rock n' roll, man. Know what I mean? Rock on, Gilby…rock on…

***1/2

Due out January 22nd, 2002


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