Jerry Cantrell Degradation Trip

Degradation Trip is the first of two discs (the second will surface early next year) that were created when this former Alice In Chains member locked himself in his home studio for several months. The isolation allowed the vocalist/guitarist to reach the dark depths he is known and admired for describing, and Cantrell uses the lyrical poetics that place him above and beyond several of his peers from the lost Seattle scene throughout the disc. The lead single, "Anger Rising," is a particular biting commentary on the root of uncontrollable rage, and really spotlights his talent as a songwriter, while "Angel Eyes" is a surprisingly personal song that speaks to the pain of getting over love. With Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies) on bass and Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums, Cantrell is free to weave his recognisable guitar work throughout the CD. However, although Degradation Trip is a positive departure from his first solo effort, Boggy Depot, it isn't the best work he has released, and it is possible that Cantrell needs a creative partner, as he had with recently departed Layne Staley, to polish the execution of his writing. As well, he needs the extra vocal dimension that Staley provided. (Universal)