Goomba Music (label)
03 October 2011 (released)
30 September 2011
Fred Durst has a lot to answer for. The Limp Bizkit frontman, not content with helping to establish Staind as a multi-million selling act, did the same thing with Puddle of Mudd, the ‘grunge-lite’ collective from Kansas City, Missouri. Fronted by Wes Scantlin, the band had some considerable success with their first album, ‘Come Clean’, and singles ‘Blurry’ and ‘She Hates Me’ among others. Following that release, the band has released three further studio albums to some success.
This new album, ‘Re:(Disc)overed’ is, as the name may suggest, a covers album. How often do bands who hit a creative nadir enter the studio to record covers albums as a means of generating interest, or simply making sure they remain in some sense in the public consciousness. Cover albums normally take two modes – either a band attempting to re-imagine the original, and put their spin on it, such as A Perfect Circle did with ‘eMotive’, a covers album of anti-war songs all given a unique re-imagining, or anything by Richard Hell giving a lounge-jazz feel to rock and metal classics, or they attempt to recreate the original in some form or other, much like the entire ‘Glee’ back catalogue.
Puddle of Mudd has clearly taken the second route. This album was born out the band’s frustration whilst recording an album of PoM originals, and so they used the time to record some of their favourites and rock classics. A brave task indeed, considering which bands they have chosen to cover – Led Zeppelin on ‘D’yer M’ker’ (not a classic by any means), ‘TNT’ by AC/DC, ‘Gimme Shelter’ by The Rolling Stones and Free’s ‘Alright Now’.
The issue here is that there is no attempt whatsoever to impart any originality into the recordings. They sound like the originals. They sound like a band starting out playing covers. There’s no problem with a band throwing a cover track onto an album of new material, or even, at a stretch, on a best-of album. This collection would work well for a pub-covers band, not a multi-million selling arena rock band.
The real question with any new release is whether or not there is enough on there to make it worth buying. Ultimately, the answer is no. Fans of the band will almost certainly have heard at least 70% of the originals here, and there is not enough deviation in any way to make it worth a listen. Perhaps if there were more obscure covers, it would be fine, but a grunge band covering ‘With A Little Help From Your Friends’ by The Beatles does not sound like a massive incentive.