While fellow Slipknot noise maker Joey Jordison is busy reviving Hollywood sleaze with Murderdolls, vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root have resurrected their pre-Slipknot outfit Stone Sour. Two members of Slipknot, and their stage manager (bassist Shawn Economaki) . . . just how different is this going to sound?
Get Inside is the song you may have already heard, and is the closest to Slipknot that Stone Sour get. The chugging rhythm, manic kick-drums and shout-along vocals bring to mind the melodic 'Knot of Left Behind. An obvious choice for a single - no need to alienate your potential audience after all . . .
After Orchids, and the rather good Cold Reader, things get a little more sedate. Shouting is exchanged for singing, and Taylor handles the change of styles admirably. The resulting music is more tuneful, but does have a tendency to slide into that all-consuming post-grunge sound. As a result, some perfectly acceptable tracks slide by without making much of an impact.
One of Stone Sour's highlights is the gentle acoustic Bother. This was also one a stand-out on the recent Spider-Man soundtrack. Totally at odds with the rest of the material here, it's devoid of overdriven guitar and slamming drums, relying on acoustic guitars, understated strings and Taylor's unaffected vocals to make its point.
The closing Omega is a disconcerting spoken word piece; half poem, half bitter diatribe: "Government is another way to say: Better than you. It's like ice but no pick, a murder charge that won't stick, it's like a whole other world where you can smell the food . . . but you can't touch the silverware. What luck: Fascism you can vote for."
Stone Sour has it's moments, but not enough of them to make me go back and listen to this CD repeatedly. However, I thought the same of Slipknot's Iowa, so if you think that's a killer disc then maybe you should just ignore me and start saving those pennies.
:: Rowan Shaeffer