Boggy Depot

CD Cover Jerry Cantrell

Review by Darren Kerr

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Kung-Fu Proctologist will not be seen at its regularly scheduled time. Instead, we bring you I Kill Me, with your host Holdfield Cauldon, already in progress.

...and I've filled the bathtub with warm, soothing water. I've got my glass of expensive premium brandy. None of that cheap shit on such an auspicious occasion as this. I've got my overly melodramatic suicide note full of self-loathing, and I've underlined the pertinent passages in my copy of Moby Dick. Jerry Cantrell's Boggy Depot is just starting to ooze out of my speakers. My conscience is clear, and I have made peace with what I perceive to be God. Nothing left to do except... what... what the hell... WHERE'S MY FUCKING RAZOR!!!

Oh great. This is just fucking ducky. Now if I want to kill myself I have to dry off, get dressed, walk six blocks to the only place that sells razorblades at four o'fucking clock in the morning, walk back, refill the bath, get undressed, and... OH SHIT!! I knocked Moby Dick into the tub. Fuck it. I'm too stressed to kill myself. I'm just going to lay back and listen to this new Jerry Cantrell album.

You know, it's funny that just a few years ago I tried to kill myself to Alice in Chains' "Angry Chair." It's clear that AiC guitarist Jerry Cantrell is a survivor, though. He has been through the addiction wringer. Throughout the entire AiC rollercoaster ride he has been hanging out of the front car with his knees banging against the safety bar, but he's held on to his sanity by purging his personal demons through emotional songwriting

Boggy Depot has a lot of what AiC is known for: meat-filled riffs ("Jesus Hands," "Keep the Light On"), exquisite melodies ("Cut You In," "Cold Piece") and killer harmonies ("Dickeye," "Satisfy"). The standout track is most certainly the gentle, eerie "Breaks My Back," where Cantrell's vocals sound like he's not just under pressure, he's also under water.

For this project Cantrell enlisted the help of a few luminaries, such as Fishbone's Norwood Fisher, Pantera's Rex Brown, and a shockingly restrained Les Claypool from Primus -- bass players all. Fishbone nutcase Angelo Moore gives good horn on a couple of tracks, and fellow Alice-mates Sean Kinney and Mike Inez lend their chemical balances to the record (Kinney plays drums throughout, while Inez plays bass on three tracks).

What would a Jerry Cantrell solo album be without that trademark misery and anguish? Unfinished. The four food groups -- loss, mistrust, angst and betrayal -- are well represented here as responses to such Hallmark moments as suicide, domestic abuse, vicious withdrawal symptoms, etc.

Be thankful that Mr. Sunshine has a creative outlet for all his afflictions. If he didn't it would probably be Jerry in chains, not Alice. Damn, the water's gone cold.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode of I Kill Me, when host Holdfield Cauldon attempts to slit his throat with rollerblades.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 25, 1998

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