Saturday, 29 July 2017

Album Review: STONE SOUR - Hydrograd

Stone Sour - Hydrograd

01. YSIF
02. Taipei Person / Allah Tea
03. Knievel Has Landed
04. Hydrograd
05. Song #3
06. Fabuless
07. The Witness Trees
08. Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)
09. Thank God It's Over
10. St. Marie
11. Mercy
12. Whiplash Pants
13. Friday Knights
14. Somebody Stole My Eyes
15. When the Fever Broke

If you've been living under a rock for the last decade and a half and aren't already familiar with the band, Stone Sour rose to fame back in 2002, blatently because it featured Corey Taylor and Jim Root from the phenomenonly successful Slipknot. It's been nearly four years since Stone Sour parted ways with key songwriter Jim Root after 'musical differences', or whatever they call it now. Since then, the band have released some EPs of cover versions and have done plenty of touring, but this new album, Hydrograd, features the first post-Root material and marks a new chapter in their musical career.

Stone Sour have always been consistently good. I don't think they've ever made a truly great album if I'm brutally honest, but every single one has been in the 'very good' category, and each has a handful of really strong songs. Hydrograd follows this pattern.

I remember reading Corey Taylor stating that Stone Sour always wanted to release a Hard Rock album, and Hydrograd would be it. He may have been carried away after recording really impressive covers of Rock classics such as Kiss' Love Gun, and Judas Priest's Heading Out To The Highway on their recent EPs. There is definitely a Hard Rock vibe on a handful of the tracks on the new album such as Fabuless and Thank God It's Over, and a willingness to further explore more melodic territories, such as on the awesome single Song #3, but for the most part, Hydrograd is musically very much in the same ballpark that Stone Sour have always been in.

They still have that 'Alter Bridge meets Slipknot' thing going on with their style, and after a run of very successful albums, it's no surprise that they haven't altered the formula anything like as much as Corey would have you believe. If you liked Stone Sour before, I'm sure you'll enjoy the new album. It has all the elements you'd expect from them, as well as enough twists and small surprises to make Hydrograd a worthy addition to a fan's record collection.


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