Review Summary: I'm pretty sure even ugly children deserve something better to listen to.4 of 6 thought this review was well writtenMushroomhead
is one of those bands that despite whatever is going on in music today manages to stand out, and it's not just them wearing masks either. They do have a very original flow and creative energy that separates them from your average metal band with electronic sounds. I remember listening to XX
back in my nu-metal craze and it instantly stood out with it's duel vocals, use of sampling, and creepy atmosphere XXI
also did not disappoint me in the slightest and managed to keep the ball going for them. After vocalist J-Mann
left, they found hope in Waylon
who much to his credit sounded very much like J-Mann
and even has a wider range then his former, but the creative energy stumbled. A lot of the songs sounded very dull and most of the things that separated itself from the pack felt forced. Many saw Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children
a redeemer of sorts, but it simply shows the band plummeting further into obscurity.
What makes this album a further disappointment is the fact that the band has become what seemed to be something beneath them, they became predictable in the worst way possible. Most of the songs on the album seem to ramble on with pretty basic and simple riffs, while Nothing
trade off vocals, occasionally they happen to throw in some bleeps and bloops of electronic sounds for good effect, but it just seems to ramble on. There are softer moments to be found on the album as well, but again they seem to have no imagination to them and only incite that sleepy feeling you get when you're reading a textbook. However there is occasionally a song or two that manages to work with the new style of the band.
From the first song in I'm already worried “Come On” seems to be the band trying it's hand at simple bar thrash metal with a little electronic doodle thrown in occasionally, it's sure to please your average metalhead, but I was left unsatisfied. However like aforementioned there are some songs that manage to work with this new simpler style, “Slaughterhouse Road”, “The Harm You Do”, and “Holes in the Void” the latter of which is admittedly the best balled-esque song they've performed to date. However the rest seem to carry on in too much a boring drone of thrash-riffs, and predictable samples and vocal patterns.
Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children is an ironic choice for an album title for them as they have less “beauty” in this record and more straight up ugly. This isn't a record for people who aren't raving mask-wearing, face-paint inducing fans of the sensation of Cleveland (and yes they actually have those). This is a record to please their fans which is sure to do effortlessly (the album opens up to form an upside-down cross if that's any indication of this). While for everyone else, you'll just skip over this as intended.