Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children review by Mushroomhead

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  • Released: Sep 28, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.5 (51 votes)
Mushroomhead: Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children

Sound — 8
Apart from a brief outro solo on "Almost Gone" from XIII, Mushroomhead never really bothered with guitar solos, instead letting its keyboards, samples, and haunting vocals define the band's sound. Here on "Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children", guitarist Gravy explores new playing styles. "The Harm You Do" has a very bluesy tone throughout (almost reminiscent of Load-era Metallica), "Your Demise" features shredding to its full degree, and "Come On" boasts an aggressive riff only backed by the gang vocals. Outside of the guitar, the band's keyboard, provided by Schmotz, has not changed. Whether it provides haunting passages or soothing melody, the keyboard has always been the primary instrument of Mushroomhead, and nothing much has changed on "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children". Standout tracks on keyboard include "I'll Be Here" and the album closer "Do I Know You?", which provides that moment of clarity we all could use. One of my favorite songs on here is "Inspiration", which boasts a Mortal Kombat-esque intro and a great rhythm to boot.

Lyrics — 7
The trend of lyrics that stare the world right in its face and rip it apart continue on "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children". It isn't so much the lyrics itself that wow me, it's how they're delivered. Waylon switches from his J Mann screaming on "Inspiration" ("A storm is coming to hell with redemption, save yourself and hear the word of the fallen") and "Burn The Bridge" ("Burn the brides and try to tie the lies together in verses of worship and pain, all that remains") to soulful crooning on "The Harm You Do" and the epic closer "Do I Know You?" My complaint about "Do I Know You?" is that it ends before it's properly built up, and is centered around only four lines. Waylon's vocal delivery makes up for it though. As for Jeffrey Nothing, he belts it out stronger than he ever has. The highlight for Jeffrey has to be "Come On", where you can tell he's prepared to go to war with his enemy - be it his haters, politicians, or anyone looking for a scrap.

Overall Impression — 8
When I listen to this album, I definitely hear the side projects creeping into Mushroomhead's core sound. Songs have me reminded of Jeffrey Nothing's solo album ("The Feel"), Tenafly Viper ("Come On"), and Ventana ("Darker Days"). They have found a way to mix in their newest outings with their older material, and though it doesn't break ground, it definitely sounds fresh. I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and look forward to seeing where Mushroomhead's evolution takes them next.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I gave this album a couple of good listens and at first I couldn't really get into it, but if you hear it a few times it gets more stronger. Stand outs, in my opinion, are: Slaughterhouse Road Burn the Bridge (you'd almost be tricked into thinking J-Mann is back) Harvest the Garden Your Demise Darker Days A much better album than Savior Sorrow, which sucked really. A welcome addition to my collection
    theflyingapple wrote: I'm new to mushroomhead and i can't be bothered to listen to the whole album. what songs are good off this one?
    My Personal Favorites. Come On Slaughterhouse Road I'll Be Here Burn The Bridge Harvest The Garden
    Malicious Count
    I really enjoy this album. If offers a lot of variety in instrumental techniques. The vocals to me is real out there which gives it the beauty. Very nice to the free-minded gears around world. The tectonic melody with the grind of dirt. ~ Harvest The garden is an amazing song and trippy wave pattern with a demented lyrical backing. ~ Come On brings that up-beat thrash melody that just makes you wanna fight. ~ The Feel. To me sets that boundary for almost a classic feel but still that smoldering MushroomHead twist of darkness. Thats just to name a couple but it really hits that dark spot we all adore at times and I really enjoyed it. I'd have to agree with the main review for them being on the top of their game.