It's hard to decide which is more difficult to endure: dreary Alice In Chains wannabes like Creed and Days Of The New, or dreary Alice In Chains offshoots like Mad Season and Jerry Cantrell. At least Cantrell's solo debut, Boggy Depot, isn't as wrist-slashingly angst-ridden as the most recent Alice In Chains or Mad Season records: It's wisely peppered with up-tempo, albeit pedestrian, rock songs like "Dickeye" and "Devil By His Side." But that doesn't stop the guitarist/ songwriter from continuing in Alice In Chains' ever-more-tiresome lyrical obsession with drugs, darkness, and death, and it doesn't mean Boggy Depot isn't saddled with brooding, overwrought slogfests like the seven-minute "Breaks My Back." Cantrell occasionally works up a decent hook—"My Song" and "Between" are the best of this lot—but too much of the album sounds like Alice In Chains minus a recognizable vocalist; in other words, a little bit like Creed and Days Of The New. And, oddly enough, Boggy Depot joins Scott Weiland's 12 Bar Blues in an exclusive club of bad post-grunge solo albums featuring repetition of the lyrics, "Thrill me, kill me." Figures.

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