Stone Sour – Audio Secrecy

Stone Sour

Stone Sour

Stone Shower

I am old enough to remember Slipknot’s early days. The buzz, hype and the mystique that surrounded them before they released their self-titled album – which I duly purchased – painted them as a bunch of total mental cases that wore the masks so they could do what the fuck they wanted and could anonymously replace each member if one of them quit or died. Their masks were a rejection of the mainstream and marked them out as something darker and less predictable than everything else Nu that was being shat out of 1999. So what happens when you remove those masks and renege on your initial statements of intent? Well on one level you retain the street cred of latter day Glen Benton, and on another you become Kiss circa 1983. Enter Stone Sour.

Stone Sour will forever be inextricably linked to Slipknot, like a massively effeminate Siamese twin conjoined to a slightly aggressive retard brother. I suppose, after the release of Iowa, resurrecting a more traditional hard rock act might have seemed like a good idea for Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Jim Root (it wasn’t, their first two albums were fucking dog shit), but when Slipknot itself changes and becomes as lame and unthreatening as a dead puppy, what is the point in continuing with the side project that now sits in exactly the same space as the day job? I suppose you can drive that side project further into the middle of the road, pulling in behind such luminaries as 30 Seconds To Mars, Hoobastank and Kajagoogoo and settle nicely in that comfortable, beige lane of the musical motorway that any self respecting music fan would like to drive a tank down in the opposite direction.

Audio Secrecy, the third effort from Stone Sour, begins with an eponymous introduction track before they unveil their Mission Statement, which, rather than being the devastatingly original and jaw-dropping tour-de-force you might expect from a song so titled, actually appears to be that they have no idea what they are playing at, instead club footing their way around a mish mash of semi-competent metal riffing, out-of-place crooned clean vocals and ‘not evil enough to get us taken off any precious radio playlist’ screams… The solo is about passable. However, Digital (Did You Tell) is wholesale stolen from 36 Crazyfists 2002 Bitterness the Star album (yes, that cutting edge and relevant), and really only succeeds in making you wish you were listening to the awesome underwater vocal stylings of the original. Dying, which follows, is just a huge, steaming, fetid, swarming pile of reheated Nickelback.

Let’s Be Honest and Unfinished are a pair of unremarkable mid-tempo generic ‘upbeat and defiant’ rockers, either of which could conceivably be used as an entrance theme for a feisty female wrestler, which is actually a compliment given that most of the songs on here are too embarrassingly cheesy even to be used in an Eddie Guerrero tribute montage. One of the worst offenders here is Hesitate, which sounds exactly like When You Were Young by The Killers, only the chorus makes The Killers sound as urgent, vital and emotionally charged as a Napalm Death, Shining and NWA split EP.

My spirits were raised when I saw Miracles as the next track, hoping it would be a faithful cover of the brilliant Insane Clown Posse smash hit of the same name, however it was in fact another mournful, heartfelt ballad with lyrics ambiguous enough to be about nothing and everything… Or to be used as a nice piece of solemn background muzak in some godawful smash-hit US TV series, coming soon to Living TV. Obviously sensing that the listener may be tiring of ballads, the boys decide to crank it up a gear with The Bitter End, and what better way to get your average metal fan rocking again than with a riff fished from the deepest, darkest Nu Metal waters, where only Spineshank before them had dared to dredge?

But hang on guys, that’s us now gone 3 minutes and 34 seconds without a piss poor ballad. Better throw everything at this one, get the acoustic guitars out and really go for it. Make sure that you wring all the cod emotion you possibly can out of those softly arpeggiated chords, try and squeeze yet more blood from that dry, desolate ballad stone… But all that comes out is Imperfect.

But then again, squeezing something from nothing is all they have tried to do on the whole album. It is a cynical attempt to obtain money and Grammy nominations by projecting sentimental balladry and vague aggression onto a backdrop of paper-thin musical compositions, ostensibly to cater for the stereotypical ‘disenfranchised teenage’ lowest common denominator. This is heavy music for people that enjoy a little bit of Coldplay and perhaps listen to the new U2 or Red Hot Chili Peppers album when they’re really letting their hair down after a hard day at the estate agents office and a really spiffing game of squash with Quentin from HR.

It’s fucking bollocks.

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About The Author

Strachs
Probably the worst man on the internet, he enjoys Thrash, Death, Prog and Halford. Not necessarily in that order. Outside of music his hobbies include sitting about, moaning about things and Manowar. See how much Michael Bolton he listens to on Last.fm.

  • Mike

    “It’s fucking bollocks.”

    Perfect.

  • Whnetw

    Learn to review an album properly. I give you 2 out of 10 for effort.

  • strachs

    How does one review an album ‘properly’?

    I do appreciate the fact that you rate my effort higher than I rated the album, however.

  • Scyth

    Fucking terrible review, you don’t know real music if it kicked you in the balls

  • Potcrastinator

    Strachs, first I’d like to say, I think your a great writer. Love the style man. HOWEVER, though I haven’t heard the album yet, I remember when Come What(ever) May came out… The lyrics might be meat headed, but they’re well sung. The music might be generic, (and judging from their new single, still on the decline) but it was fun! This isn’t a Tom Waits, NIN or Celtic Frost caliber band on any side of the picture. They never have been. So when their latest video ambushes you after some commercial for True Blood or some fucking Snookie snippet, remember: IT’S JUST ENTERTAINMENT. Just be glad the masses have another wittle opponent to Bieber. Unfortunately ‘This’ is the good fight, and every little bit helps.

  • http://www.leavethehall.co.uk/ Ewen Cameron

    A cogent & sensible comment on Leave the Hall! This is a first!

  • Pingback: coldplay lyrics???? | ?????????

  • Empeypp10

    I hope your dad beat you as a child, anyone who can be that negative has some serious problems. STONESOUR IS NOT SLIPKNOT. And as much as you would like to hear old 1999 slipknot, you’re not going to..this is a completely different band with completely different members aside from Corey Taylor obviously. This is surely not the best album of the year, but it is good. What do you honestly expect from Stonesour? Would you like them to sound something like “Iowa” (a truely horrible album released purely the backup Slipknot’s original release) Iowa was filled with random “noise”, retarded lyrics, and constant processed Corey Taylor screams…that isn’t his real voice. You don’t have to be a Stonesour fan, and frankly I don’t want you to be..but if your profession is reviewing music, try to be a little more professional and write something useful. This review was easily the worst bit of writing I’ve seen in years. Go listen to Iron Maiden……yeah….they aren’t gay….

  • strachs

    Where to begin… Don’t know what the most retarded piece of your comment is so i’ll do it in order.

    1) No, my dad didn’t beat me, I just enjoyed sucking his hot penis.
    2) I never said Stone Sour was Slipknot.
    3) I didn’t say I wanted to hear 1999 Slipknot.
    4) That random ‘noise’ is guitar distortion, you probably haven’t heard this before.
    5) Processed screams? Not his real voice? Actually this is the most retarded bit of your post.
    6) This isn’t my profession.
    7) This was useful, it tells people how pathetically, hopelessly, irrevocably turd this album is.
    8) Read your own post back again, you will see it is clearly a far worse bit of writing than the review.
    9) I might just do that.
    10) You’re correct, they aren’t gay. They’re all happily married men with families.

  • Bossmong

    A diffirence in opinion is a good thing, is it not!?

    I love how people resort to cheap ‘you must have been beaten or fiddled with as a child’ taunts when they hear something they disagree with. At the end of the day Corey Taylor is not going to come knocking at your door to shake your hand for defending his honor, nor is he going to catch the next flight to the UK to kick Strachs’ head in. No, he’s selling records by the bucket load and laughing from a very far away and safe height. He dosent care, so why should you!?

    Its a review, nothing more – nothing less. Dont take it so fucking serious. (pow!)

  • Paul Gay

    “And as much as you would like to hear old 1999 slipknot, you’re not going to”

    To be honest… I wouldn’t want to hear that either. Nevermind this Stone Sour malarkey.

  • Jonathanburr89

    Well said! Was wondering weather to buy the new album or not!

  • Alex_P

    Killer review, broseph. I stumbled across it from a Tumblr site that dissed you, and I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I saw that you had negged it. I love how many people are here hating your opinion. I haven’t heard it (and I don’t want to), but have you ever noticed how objectively shittier bands have dumber fans? Compare the comments on a negative Ufomammut review from fans, for example. Furthermore, I endorse at least 80% of your last.fm. Even Dream Theater. Especially Dream Theater. Cheers from Canada.

  • Xdheyitsmexd

    I agree with 99% of this review, the only bit I disagree with is your opinion of the song ‘Hesitate’.
    Along with many MANOWAR and various Stratovarius tracks, Hesitate is actually one of my top 10 favourite songs ever (there is probably some deep-seated, latently homosexual reasoning behind the formation of my entire list, we’ll find out when im older).
    Still, Well Done fellas! Have some lovely biscuits.

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