Monday, 31 December 2001

Staind/Slipkniot/Alien Ant Farm Album Reviews

In this entertainment installment of TSR, written as I await my new computer monitor, I decided to actually review something, which in this case will be three music CDs. These have already been reviewed in the "proper" media, but what the hell! Onto business.

STAIND - Break The Cycle
I hadn't really paid this group much attention, even though they always seemed to be on one of the music channels I get whenever I'm channel-surfin. But one day, I stopped on Kerrang TV for more than a few seconds while the live version of Outside was playing, and I became impressed.

The album is very good, and the songs, most notably the aforementioned Outside and It's Been A While are some of the best tracks I've heard in the past few months. I can see why they are one of the most requested acts on Kerrang TVs playlist. This album is highly recommended, and I hope to see a lot more from this group.

One word really describes this album for me - disappointing. Normally, when I buy a new album, there are at least three songs that really stand out. Sadly, on this album, there is only one, and it says a lot about this album that the one outstanding track is a cover version - Smooth Criminal, the Michael Jackson classic.

The tracks on this album aren't really anything special. They don't really grab your attention. It seems kind of formulaic, like it's been done a million times before.

Those of you who have only brought this album after seeing the excellent video for Smooth Criminal may be in for a disappointment.

I have never really paid much attention to this group before. Watching a group of men dressed in rubber masks and overalls with barcodes on their backs never really appealed to me. But constant playing of Wait & Bleed on Kerrang TV, Arron Hogg's previous review of this album, and the excellent video and song of Left Behind are finally starting to win me over.

The image may be nothing more than a clever marketing ploy. But look past the not too appealing stage attire and just take the music into account, and Iowa is a top notch outing of hard-core metal at it's best, with Left Behind standing out as one of the best songs of 2001, which will sadly go unrecognised in the music jungle occupied by manufactured boy bands and painted bimbos with psychological problems.

So as far as my recent CD purchases go, two out of three ain't bad. By all means buy Slipknot and Staind, but borrow Alien Ant Farm before making your final decision.

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