Album review: Mudvayne's 'The New Game'
The plot of Mudvayne's new album of growly aggro metal reads like a truck-stop Raymond Chandler novel. Someone killed your best friend, and because the small-town cops are useless, it's up to you to find out who did it. The shifty-eyed weed dealer with the simmering vendetta? The tweaking Vietnam vet overly fond of high-school chicks?
One thing Philip Marlowe would not do after a hard day of busting heads and breaking hearts is listen to Mudvayne. Although "The New Game" tries to instill a bit of dread with a goofily sordid narrative, it trawls some pimply musical terrain to get there. The album's gooey, mid-tempo grind at best evokes System of a Down stripped of ambition and eccentricity, and might elicit sympathy with whatever culprit is running around that no-stoplight town.
Mudvayne's oeuvre has long tried to reconcile vocalist Chad Gray's radio-ready inclinations with more menacing instrumental fare. The band should pick one card and play it, as almost tuneful single-bait like "Have It Your Way" and "Scarlet Letters" undermines the gnashing of "Dull Boy," which sounds like having a lukewarm bottle of Bud Lime broken over your skull.
Why this stuff still sells in an otherwise great time for metal is the real mystery here.
"The New Game"