The excitement I had for MUDVAYNE’s third album, “Lost And Found”, was something even I didn’t see coming. Perhaps my favorite Nu Metal band was flying high and their album prior was anything but some of the best from the band and the genre. Not to mention that one of the pre-release tracks, “Determined”, was one of their heaviest and most interesting tracks to date. I was excited and the morning of its release I skipped two college classes to drive over and pick up the album.
What is contained on “Lost And Found” wasn’t the follow-up to “The End Of All Things To Come” as I was hoping. It definitely has its better moments but overall this third release is a mixed bag of awesome and meh. Perhaps it’s the furthering of the band into the Hard Rock territory and losing a lot of their Nu Metal edge that made me cringe at times, but this release just has too many songs that sound convoluted from the MUDVAYNE I have come to know.
I thought that their second album had a lot of ‘user accessible’ songs on it but compared to some the hook heavy tracks on “Lost And Found” it might as well be a Grindcore album instead. The radio smash hit “Happy?” might have its interesting melodies and some great sing-a-long choruses but its lack of the MUDVAYNE polyrhythms just made me a little sad inside. Same goes for more songs than not on this record. “Fall Into Sleep”, “Forget To Remember”, and “TV Radio” all feel as though the integrity of what MUDVAYNE is was sacrificed for the single quality and its disappointing. They are catchy songs and for the most part better than 95% of what songs are on the radio today but compared to the rest its sub par.
But as I said earlier, this is a mixed bag of tracks and despite some of the more hook-oriented standard single fodder; there is some very different songs on this album too. The Prog sounding “Imn”, the aggressive “Determined” and “Just”, and the choppy (could have come from the album prior) “Pushing Through” all quenched my MUDVAYNE expectations nicely.
The band members all pull their weight with particularly great performances from the foundational work of Matt McDonough on drums and Ryan Martinie on bass as they tear up the better songs with their amazing rhythm work. Chad Grey only seems to be gaining range with his voice (whether it’s the high parts of “TV Radio” or the screams found on “Just”) and Greg Tribbett gives up his standard riffs with a few acoustic parts thrown in this time just for those radio ready tracks. They do well on this album, but the writing seems to not allow them the chance to strut their stuff like before.
After listening to this album for years now and always coming out feeling cheated a little, MUDVAYNE seem to be heading in a direction I don’t fully agree with. They seem to have lost a bigger part of their edge from the last album to this one and although we see glimpses of some of their more impressive work, this album still is too mixed to be a great listen all the way through. If you are a MUDVAYNE fan expect to keep a finger on the skip button for this one but it might be worth the purchase for some of those better tracks.
Songs to check out: “Determined”, “Just”, “Forget To Remember”.
(Online February 16, 2009)