It really doesn’t seem like that many years pass between Stone Sour releases, but it happens. Only 2 original members remain from the debut self-titled album in 2002, Corey Taylor and guitarist Josh Rand. It still sounds like Stone Sour.
Every album has had it’s own flavor and growth. Little subtle things. Overall though, their core sound has retained, despite the lineup changes. I’d say it’s a good thing, if you’re a fan of the band.
Leading up to the release of “Hydrograd”, Corey had said that this album is a little more “rock n roll” than previous material. That’s a true statement. Stone Sour was always more of a Hard Rock band with Alternative and Metal elements. This go round, there’s just a slightly more classic feel to the songs. An 80’s and 90’s blend.
“Song #3” a prime example of that. Being a hybrid of Survivor and Foo Fighters, it’s hard to deny that vibe. Then you’ve got a song like “Fabuless” which is a bit more of a punk and metal mish-mash. “Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song is Dumb and so am I)” is one of the most unique tunes they’ve done to date. It’s also one of the best on this album. That solo is AWESOME. Tell me that “St. Marie” isn’t some straight up Bob Seger. “Whiplash Pants” could almost be a modern Slipknot song. “Somebody Stole My Eyes” sounds like heavy John Bush era Anthrax.
I wouldn’t say it’s their best release so far, but I will say it’s their most diverse, and is as good as anything else they’ve done to date. By now it should be clear that Stone Sour aren’t just a side band. Their 6th album in 15 years; They’ve proven to be a legitimate force in the Rock world. We need more like them.
Standout tracks? Knievel Has Landed, Hydograd, Song #3, Fabuless, The Witness Trees, Rose Red Violent Blue, Thank God It’s Over, St. Marie, Whiplash Pants, Friday Knights, Somebody Stole My Eyes, When the Fever Broke
Reviewed by Marcus Miller