Album of the year, my friends (not by Billboards standards. Mine). If you are enjoying the recent explosion of heavy alternative rock, like Staind, Creed, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Nickelback, Incubus, Default, this is going to be the last CD you’ll need to add to your immaculate collection for the next while.
If pounding guitars, drumming that we haven’t seen the early days of Van Halen, grit-stained voices and raw, emotional lyrics are what shakes you to your very core, these guys are just the tonic for what ails you. From the first thrust on “Control” to the plinking guitar on “Blurry”, this album is a hard rock lover’s dream.
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit has recently been having problems with the band (his protégés). It is being whispered, no, shouted throughout the industry that Fred is responsible for the band pulling out of the upcoming US tour with Creed, currently the # 1 band on the Billboard charts. Nothing is better than a little controversy to propel the band into the spotlight.
With a bridge like this, “I love the way you look at me/ I love the way you smack my ass/ I love the dirty thing you do/ I have control of you,” the world of hard rock is back, baby!
They are so skilled at the slower rock song (think Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”), something that doesn’t get enough attention from the fans or the industry. “Drift & Die” is one of the most melodic songs to come across the airwaves since U2’s “With or Without You”. A sweet whisper of drums, strumming guitars and a superb arrangement leaves the listener wanting a whole album of this kind of song. This should not be played down. It is a huge feat to accomplish both the heavy rock song and a good slow rock song. It takes not only gifted musicians, but a good ear, a good feel for what you have and how to best put it out there.
They have one of the best “getting discovered” stories. It goes a little something like this:
Wes Scantlin (lead vocals and guitar) gets a fake backstage pass and gives his tape to a security guard after a Limp Bizkit concert, which happens to be his hometown, Kansas City, MO. Two weeks later, Wes is on the receiving end of recording deal, told to him by the man, Durst, himself. A year later, Wes’ band, Puddle of Mudd is the first release on Durst’s label, Flawless Entertainment. Wow.
An album that boasts a number of hits and truthfully, it rocks from song 1 through 11. It is one of the few CDs that have numerous songs that are being faithfully played on radio stations. It is the combination of Wes’ raw vocals with a band that plays just enough and gritty lyrics that draw an eclectic crowd. One that is flocking to stores to get the CD.
They are one of the few bands that actually care and put a lot into each song that they write. In an interview with www.washburn.com, Wes explains: “Scantlin spent years learning to craft songs that are airtight, not just a catchy chorus with some lines in between. ‘You want the verse to be just as good as the chorus, and the bridge just as good as the verse and the chorus’”.
One of the reasons for the surge in heavy rock right now is that every reaction must have an equal and opposite reaction. Pop has become so electronic and over produced. As it has evolved into bare stomachs and bad voices, it was only a matter of time before hard rock came back to kick some serious Britney & wannabe ass.
Puddle of Mudd are just the boys to do it. They are heavier than R.E.M. and Three Doors Down but not as heavy (or scary) as Slipknot and D12. They are just right.
Eleven songs dissected:
Every song is distinct and different.
“Control”—Heavy drums, sexy lyrics and a luscious beat lead off the album.
“Drift & Die”—Lots of guitar strumming and a pained voice talking of life’s hardships. Swoon here.
“Out of My Head”—A little punkier, a little heavier. Sounds of early Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots here.
“Nobody Told Me”—Have you seen Rockstar? This should have been on the soundtrack. Instrumental for the first 56 seconds. Then Wes folds into the gravel that is his voice and sings low, “Nobody told me where to go/ Nobody told me where to run”.
“Blurry”—The alternative radio station plays this at least a couple of times a day. It has the making of a great hit. It goes from quiet to a loud guitar/drums driven chorus. “There’s oceans between us, but that’s not very far”. Watch for this on a soundtrack in the very near future.
“She Hates Me”—Funny song. Not enough of these around.
“Bring Me Down”—Wes sounds like he’s really enjoying singing this one. A little strident, a lot hard rock. And he sings “jonesing”, which not enough people use.
“Never Change”—Beautiful guitars.
“Basement”—Hard, hard rock. This is verging on heavy metal. But the melodic qualities are still there. And this is what will attract those who aren’t so heavy minded.
“Said”—The guitars on this are raw and sexy. So is Wes. Yeah. Scream, “Just walk away”.
“Pi** It All Away”—starts off with the sexiest sounds I’ve heard in music in a long time. The East Asian sounds are hypnotic, much like The Tea Party’s sound. While the song ‘s lyrics aren’t sexy (drugs and confrontation abound), it is undoubtedly one that will be on “replay” on your CD player. Even the way “Piss it all away” is sung, it’s hot and rich.
Go out and get it. Go. Now.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/puddleofmudd-come/