Album review

Staind : Break The Cycle

Staind : Break The CycleNo doubt about it - Break The Cycle is one of the year's great rock releases. This second release from Staind may find some wondering just what they've gotten themselves into: If you bought the album on the strength of the two hugely accessible singles Outside and It's Been A While, then you could find yourself in deep waters when it comes to getting a grip with the rest of it.
    But those old/smart enough to know better will know what to expect, and Staind pound it out with a passion. Although there's no escaping the fact that those two aforementioned tracks are the albums highlights; Waste, Warm Safe Place and For You will easily stand the test of time. Legend will have it that fan Fred Durst was the man who changed their career path when he pushed Aaron Lewis to sing rather than shout, but the strains of this album were more than evident already in the debut - but even the most optimistic critic wouldn't have guessed they would move in this direction.
    And where does the road take them? Well certainly not into the field currently occupied by Bizkit, Linkin Park and Papa Roach. Cutting themselves some slack, Staind seem to have carved themselves a cooler than cool niche that lies somewhere between Pearl Jam and Counting Crows, albeit with a little more attitude than the latter, but you get the picture. A glance at the surface of Staind might give the impression that it's just the same old same old in American angst for the West, but not so. There's a subtle mind at work here that gives the album some serious depth and will keep it in the chart - or at least in the deck - for a long time after the shouting is over.
    Other album highlights come in the form of Suffer and Take It, and of course the now obligatory live version of Outside. Stunning. Life will never be the same for Staind from this moment on.

:: Sion Smith

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