By Daniel Watts
Music Reviewer and Segment Producer
Break out the flannel because we’re going back to 1998 when Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell released his debut solo album Boggy Depot.
Boggy Depot was issued through Columbia Records and produced by Toby Wright and Jerry Cantrell.
The album’s lineup consisted of Jerry Cantrell on guitar, vocals, backing vocals, organ, piano, drums (steel) and clarinet. Mike Inez on bass and Sean Kinney on drums with guest appearances by Rex Brown, John Norwood Fisher and Les Claypool, all on bass.
Cantrell: “It's something I never really wanted to do, but the way things have played out, it's like, why not? To be honest, I'd just be happy being the lead guitarist and singer for Alice In Chains. It's always been my first love, and always will be, but with the situation being what it is…we've been together for a long time, and right now it's kinda played out. It's time to let it be. Now I've got to step up to the plate and take a few swings.”
When listening to Boggy Depot it’s easy to figure out that Cantrell’s mind was set on making new AIC music. So much so, that I consider Boggy Depot to be the Chains album that never was. Its got the dark tuned-down riffs, haunting and powerful vocals, not to mention it contains 3/4 of the AIC lineup. Despite the album being an almost AIC clone, I do think Boggy Depot sounds more Pop/Rock and Alternative overall than the AIC Hard Rock and Grunge mainstay. I think the production sounds great, the playing and vocal work are excellent too and the album’s level of consistency is fair.
I appreciate and enjoy each track but out of the album’s twelve, my favorites are “Dickeye”, “Cut You In” and “My Song”. Each of those tracks are rockin’ and very crankable. “Cut You In” actually peaked at number five on the Mainstream Rock chart back in 1998.