Jerry has said, "It is hard at times to explain what's happening with the band. So I've basically tried to stop talking about it. There's really no point in saying the same thing over again, especially when it's basically no different than what people knew a year ago. I'm sorry about that. What'll happen with Alice In Chains is what will happen - I realized a long time ago that I can't really control the matter."

Alice in Chains is still on hiatus... but luckily for fans, Jerry Cantrell is still indulging in album creation. Along with his partner-in-crime, AiC drummer Sean Kinney, and many a bassist, Jerry has put out a new album that, while surprisingly mellow at times, could pass for the next stage in the evolution of Alice in Chains.

AiC purists repeat time and again, "But it's missing Layne." To be sure, Boggy Depot doesn't need Layne. This album more than stands on its own, a nice little effort with all of that Jerry spark. Sure, there are no "Would?"s or "Again"s on this album, but does there need to be? Look at AiC's SAP release, and you'll find Jerry has a softer side than you'd expect.

Not to say that there's no grunge-riffin' grooves on this album - stuff like "Devil By His Side," "Keep the Light On," and "My Song" all pack a bit of punch, while "Jesus Hands" displays a cryptic Facelift/"Frogs" feel.

But onto something else... in a controversial move, Sean Kinney recently stated that they will be playing some AiC songs while on tour (they're going to attempt to get Mike Inez to tour with them). Most seem to be opposed to this idea, though more than a few support it. I guess we'll find out if they're actually going to do it when they start touring.

Jerry has been oblique about the future of Alice in Chains, as has Sean, prefering to focus on the forthcoming tour. He has especially been oblique about Layne, dancing around the inevitable questions poised at him in interviews. He has stated that Layne helped support him during the recording of Boggy Depot, but has hesitated to elaborate on anything else.

So how does this all affect Alice in Chains, do you ask? Who knows. Mad Season did little to help or hurt the situation of AiC, and I figure that Jerry's new album will run along that vein as well. Go out and buy the new effort (if you haven't already) and form your own opinions on it. Enjoy.

-Ryan Martin