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Stereomud | Perfect Self | review | rock | Lollipop


Perfect Self (Columbia)
by Vinnie Apicella

Stereomud offer "blank" track between songs so you're wondering how you jumped from 16 to 23 so quickly, and there're only 13 songs on the album! After the opening lull, "Leave (Back Up)" rattles your foundations with an absolutely ferocious riff, bleeding into the standard whisper-to-scream vocal approach that'll easily reach rock radio programmers. With the advent of nü metal some years ago, there's been little innovation in the glut, most satisfied to run rampant in a world of its own rage rather than channel that aggression into song structure and development. So while a band like Machine Head's idea of "progression" might be toning down their once-mighty riff to become the next Korn, Stereomud takes a broader approach from the beginning, firmly entrenched in the battle-tested heaviness while submerging themselves in enough rhythmic catchiness and melody with no immediate suffering of the holy groove.

Considering members of the band migrated from popular acts like Stuck Mojo and Life of Agony, there's little surprise the prevailing musical elements here are of an advanced stage. You can break down the entire album and probably come up with four or five radio-friendly singles, with many of the same characteristics elsewhere. Heavy yet controlled production (recorded in L.A., Seattle, and NY, by Don Gilmore, Rick Parashar, and Howie Beno, and mixed by Jay Baumgardner who - individually - are responsible for Lit, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Blind Melon, Ministry, Red Hot Chili Pepers, Papa Roach, and Orgy), a migratory flight out of the bowels of over-bloated mainstream.


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