September 14, 2006

CD Review: Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May

Stone Sour's sophomore release is a wonderfully executed hard rock album, the likes that you don't hear all that often. Their debut album from 2002 demonstrated their collective ability, this continues to put their impressive songwriting on display.

The band began as a side project of Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root, and following their breakup, Stone Sour has become the main act. I am reminded of Phil Anselmo's forays with Down and the Super Joint Ritual during the last days of the mighty Pantera.

Stone Sour's debut in 2002 was impressive collection of rock cuts, led by the hit single "Bother." I was particularly impressed by it, as it showed off the great rock voice that Taylor possesses that was not as evidenced by the Slipknot releases. Not that Slipknot was bad, they were a band that improved with each release, but were clearly a different style than Stone Sour. Although, it does seem that Taylor widened his scope on the final (?) Slipknot album, Vol. 3 (Subliminal Verses).

Come What(ever) May is a complete album running the gamut from pedal to the metal, all out rockers like "30/30-150" and "Reborn," to the "Bother"-esque single "Through Glass," to infectious mid-tempo cuts like "Socio," to the brilliantly depressing "Zzyzx Rd." I cannot actually point to a bad song in the bunch. This is a mature collection that has a strong focus on collaborative songwriting, each member has their moment to shine, yet there is no upstaging. They come together to create this solid rock sound.

One thing that is immediately noticeable is that variety of tempos and styles. Stone Sour is a band that is making a serious play for the top of the rock heap with their skillful use of sheer, gut busting heaviness and emotion laced melody. They never cross the line into nu-metal or metalcore, which is blessed relief. The guitat work from James Root and Josh Rand is impressive, their work is complimentary and very melodic. They lead the charge in creating the catchy rhythms, with a couple of nice solos mixed in. They are backed by the solid rhythm section of Shawn Economaki on bass and Roy Mayorga on drums. Corey Taylor is the shining spot of this album, his singing is, frankly, amazing.

When I listen to music the lyrics are generally the last thing that I consider. Of course, if they are blatantly bad they stick out like a sore thumb like Limp Bizkit's The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1. I know bad comparison, but those lyrics were just bad. This album has a few standout songs, lyrically speaking. First is "Sillyworld," a song that has a wonderful sense of how everything is a commodity, how words and signs can be appropriated by the masses to the point of losing meaning. Another is "Zzyzx Rd.," a wonderfully depressing song that just hits all the right notes in its beauty.

Bottomline. Stone Sour is a band to keep a close eye on. This is a very strong album that deserves a place on your CD rack. Above all else, this album is immensely satisfying on all counts, music performance, lyric writing, variety, it hits all the right marks. Come What(ever) May is one of the better rock albums to come out this year. What are you waiting for?

Highly Recommended.
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Anonymous said...

stone sour didn't begin as a side projest of corey, he was in stone sour before slipknot

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