TED NUGENT - Craveman
Release date September 24, 2002 (Spitfire)
Review originally posted in Rip'N'Tear Magazine, Issue #16
After crisscrossing North America several times over the past year on the tour circuit, the Motor City Madman smartly kept his crack team (Marco Mendoza on bass and Tommy Clufetos on drums) together and went straight into the studio to record this new album while they were still hot and bothered from the road. And man, does the tightness show.
Kicking off with a couple of droning guitar feedback announcements, the band launch full tilt into the pounding "KLUSTRPHKY" (an instrumental version of this was found his recent Full Bluntal Nugity live disc) made harder by the Nuge in full vocal roar. What follows proves that our favourite guitarist/hunter/gatherer/political activist is on the prowl for big game this time.
Highlights come at you hard and fast with classic speed picking Nuge ("Rawdogs and Warhogs"), early riffmeister Ted ("Change My Sex") and a road weary instrumental that hearkens back to Cat Scratch Fever's "Homebound" ("Earthtones"). However, what makes this album this album special is the consistently punchy rhythm laid down thick and nasty, giving the NRA Director some great background with which to let rip over top with his Gibson Byrdland.
In 2001 the Nuge proved he was still one of the premier live entertainers around. In 2002 he has renewed his reputation as the hot-shit guitarist of them all. Sure, he isn't the most talented or fastest (perhaps) of six-string slingers, but nobody delivers with the passion, flair or intensity that this savvy veteran does. He's simply the best.
Update: While the 90's were not kind to our favourite caveman-cum-craveman, the 2000s on the other hand has seen a resurgence in the quality of his recording output (if not in sales - shame). Craveman represents his best album of the last twenty years, sitting nicely in the top five records of his repertoire ... an amazing feat given the man is now in his 70s. Long may The Nuge reign! (9)