Review Summary: Mudvayne's self-titled attempts to please their old fans, but is undone by inconsistency.
Mudvayne has been on a bit of a skid lately, wouldn’t you agree? For a band that came out with one of the defining albums of the early 00’s, LD 50
, Mudvayne has done nothing in the past seven years that has been worthy of the same kind of praise. Not only that, but Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett left the two better members of Mudvayne to create the worst super group in the history of super groups (including Damn Yankees!) Eventually they return, after their fill of PBR and weed, promising a better and more focused Mudvayne. The members have also been claiming a return to the LD 50
days, which was proven to be horse*** with The New Game
and, although the style shown on their debut appears in spurts, does not live up to or deserve the hype here.
The obvious positive here is the fact that Ryan Martinie is still in the band. If not for him, Mudvayne would be forever lost in the water. No matter the song, Ryan Martinie creates something interesting with his bass that keeps your attention in the most mundane of songs (see “I Can’t Wait”.) Also, Matt McDonough’s drumming is as good as ever. Another positive here is the feeling that they don’t care if this goes on the radio, (yet you soon after get the feeling that they have done most of this before, and better.) “Beyond the Pale” and “Heard It All Before” are the standouts of this album, with interesting melodies and guitar work from Tribbett that we haven’t heard in ages.
Now to the negatives. First of all, Chad Gray has lost all ability to write interesting lyrics. He hasn’t written an interesting lyrical line since “Happy?” Sometimes his lyrics reach passable, sometimes they are God-awful. Meanwhile, the other member of Hellyeah is putting the most out of place guitar solos in songs, and if you don’t believe it, listen to the solo in “Heard It All Before.” What kills this album, however, is the inconsistency. You will have one great song, and then it is followed with a terrible song like “All Talk.” You get a sense of them trying to get back to their roots, but they just can not leave behind their newfound accessibility, and they will never be able to get rid of it.
Inconsistency is the name of the game with Mudvayne’s latest. Some great ideas followed by themes they have beaten to death a hundred times. The flow of the album is basically nonexistent. There are enough good songs on this album to keep it from being totally lost, but in the end, you will realize that there is little to keep this from feeling like it all has been done before. Ultimately, Mudvayne
sees a band at a crossroads. Will they completely go back to their LD 50
days, or will they try to go back to ruling the radio? Judging by the sales of The New Game
, it will come a couple albums too late.