Like Alice Cooper, another legendary rocker who signed with metal indie Spitfire Records and returned with a new earth-shaking sound, Ted Nugent comes back after many years of semi-retirement and brings a rawer, heavier, new sound. With Cravemen, The Nuge strips his band down to a power trio and handles all guitars and vocals himself. This seems to give the album a more live, raw feel. But what has left my jaw hanging open about this album is just how heavy it is. Overall, it has a thick, modern sound that many times sounds very aggro. The only thing that is slick and polished about this disk is the album cover art. When I first started listening to this, I wondered if this wasn’t Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, also on Spitfire Records, for a second. Nugent’s voice, however, is easily recognizable. The opener, “KLSTRPHNKY” (pronounced cluster-funky) fires up the disk with jackhammer guitar riffs and Ted wildly screeching out the lyrics. Next is the anthem “Crave,” and I love the feedback driven instrumental coda at the end of the song. “Rawdogs and Warthogs” sounds like vintage Nugent with its main pedal point guitar riff (He’s known for these type of riffs!). The album just keeps going from there: just lots of loud in-your-face hard rock n roll, with no filler and plenty of tongue-in-cheek lyrics to go with the more serious lyrics about patriotism and being in the wild. The album closes with “Earthtones,” an excellent instrumental. In conclusion, I must salute Ted Nugent for not only returning to his hard rocking roots, but for turning up the heat with an album that sounds both fresh and classic. This mutha was worth the wait, and my speakers have been cursing the day that this CD was unleashed!