Duff McKagan has been fronting Loaded since 1999 -- long after Guns N' Roses stopped as an active concern and long before Velvet Revolver came to be. It's what Duff did when he didn't have anything else to do, as he didn't after Weiland ditched VR for a reunited Stone Temple Pilots and Slash worked on a solo album. And so, Duff turned to Loaded again, releasing their third album, Sick, in the spring of 2009. Not quite a busman's holiday, Loaded is the sound of a working band working and an old rocker staying sober, kicking out some lead-heavy grooves and sculptured pieces of sleaze. This doesn't necessarily rock with abandon -- it's a bit too precise, a bit too clean for that -- but it does have a kick and spirit, enough energy to power through the somewhat pedestrian songwriting. But songs, or even sounds, aren't the point of Sick -- simply playing some good clean hard rock is, and if you get on the same wavelength as Loaded, it can be enjoyable enough.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine