Puddle of Mudd has brought back their brand of rock in their latest offering, Songs In The Key Of Love and Hate. This disc starts up right where Famous left off. It’s more of the heavy rock that we’ve come to know and love from Puddle of Mudd, which is not a bad thing at all. Original guitarist Paul Phillips has returned to the band for the recording of this album, and while Christian Stone did an incredible job on Famous, it’s nice to have Phillips back in the mix.
Wes Scantlin’s signature scowl and trademark sneer are present and accounted for on this record. Centering around familiar themes of revenge, anger, hatred, chicks that suck, and hating life in general, Puddle of Mudd haven’t changed an iota of their core. While some might argue that Puddle of Mudd isn’t growing musically, they are just regurgitating the same tired formula for every album, I counter that with an argument of my own. When Puddle of Mudd releases a new record, the listener knows what they are going to get. Volume 4 is very similar to Famous and the albums that came before them, and that’s fantastic. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Filled with rockers and a couple of ballads, Songs In The Key Of Love And Hate is another solid album from a group that keeps on producing great work. Music for the young, confused, and anger filled has always been what Puddle of Mudd is about, and the ride keeps on rolling on their fourth release. Sex filled innuendos are seen throughout, most notably on Spaceship where Wes asks the muse of the song to just cut through the crap and get naked with him already. Life’s too short to waste on set ups, just get to the heart of the matter.
Keep It Together and The Only Reason are the two ballads of the disc. Both are beautiful slower melodies that capture the intensity of the group and bear resemblance to the bands monster hit Blurry. The songs are both about needing someone to help through the difficult times and being there for that person as well. Keep It Together doesn’t want the relationship to end and Scantlin sings of redemption and making everything better. The Only Reason discusses how the muse of the song is the only thing keeping Scantlin alive. I’m curious to know if the same female was the inspiration for each song.
Spaceship, the album’s first single, is one of the most playful songs Puddle of Mudd has released in a while. A silly, sexual innuendo riddled, festival of taking off clothes, getting naked, and going for a ride on his spaceship, this song is a young male’s dream. Since that’s the market that Puddle of Mudd are biggest in, then it’s a formula that works. You need to appeal to your masses every so often, and Spaceship does just that.
Once again Puddle of Mudd has delivered a solid disc of enjoyable tunes, two or three potential hits, and forty plus minutes of entertainment. If you’re a fan of their previous albums, then you are going to love Songs In the Key of Love and Hate. If you’re new to the band, this is a good introduction that will set you up to enjoy their back catalog. If you like a good, hard hitting, modern rock album powered with anthems and a touch of ballads, then Volume 4 is an album you should own.
Ryo’s Rating: 8 (out of 10)
Keep It Together
Out Of My Way
Blood On The Table
The Only Reason
Pitchin’ A Fit