Sound — 7
If there's one thing that Puddle Of Mudd will never skimp on in their music, it's attitude. On the band's 2002 record Come Clean, the single She Hates Me was an infectious listen thanks to vocalist Wes Scantlin's cynical, hardened delivery. Sure, there were other traditional rock elements that made for a catchy song, but it was Scantlin's gritty vocals that made the song truly stick out. With the Kansas City band's latest offering Famous, you'll be getting a good dose of that same vibe, with songs that are catchy, radio friendly (with the multiple expletives edited out, of course), and lyrically fantastic venting sessions. Puddle Of Mudd has never been overly inventive, but there's something likeable about the fairly standard riffs and Scantlin's pissed-off delivery. Some might think the band is just one in a long line of familiar rock bands on the scene, but there is something to be said about a straightforward song like their old single She Hates Me. The band apparently decided to try and resurrect that same magic, and that's very evident on songs like Psycho and I'm So Sure. The tracks stick in your head immediately and Scantlin's emotions ooze through every line. It's obvious that the band still has a touch of grunge rock inside of them, too, in I'm So Sure, which almost has a Nirvana vibe during the chorus. For all of the anger that comes through the faster tempo tracks on Famous, the band is not afraid to show a softer side with a few laid-back tracks. It Was Faith delivers the usual love song formula and could be interchangeable with numerous rock bands' ballads (including Nickelback, which is probably not what this band is going for). As much as record labels love to put out love songs as singles, Puddle Of Mudd thankfully doesn't let the album get oversaturated by unnecessary ballads. Livin' On Borrowed Time is a song that has a lot of potential, until you realize that it sounds strikingly similar to The Vines' Get Free. The 2 bands are very different and it probably wasn't intentional, but it's hard to get past the fact that you find yourself singing Get Free during the chorus. But if you can overlook the familiar sound to it all, it's a likeable track.
Lyrics — 8
The cynical lyrics continue to come through with the latest material, but that's probably one of the most endearing qualities about Puddle Of Mudd. The single Famous delivers all the bite that you'd hope from Scantlin and is a suitable opener to the record. He sings, 'Cause I just wanna be famous; Be so f--king jaded; Cause all the Playboy bunnies take my money from me. There's just a rebellious, caustic attitude permeating this track and pretty much every song, but that's something that will connect with audiences more than anything.
Overall Impression — 8
Famous won't blow anyone's mind in terms of the music, but technical guitar solos/riff or complex compositions weren't probably the draw for Puddle Of Mudd's fan base in the first place. There does seem to be an honest, earthy feel to every song on Famous, and that's important in itself. For anyone who thought that the band was overrated and fairly generic to begin with, the latest album will not bring any new revelations. But if you're looking for an album full of songs that are great for venting frustration, Puddle Of Mudd is your band.