Life On Display review by Puddle of Mudd

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  • Released: Nov 25, 2003
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.2 (13 votes)
Puddle of Mudd: Life On Display
2

Sound — 10
I am thoroughly sick of reading the junior-league, limited-frame-of-reference, shallow, "I've never written a song in my life but I can be a critic on the web" reviews that I keep seeing on these forums regarding this CD. They're not hanging on to anything or riding on the coat tails of anything. These guys have a sound, and they play that sound with unmistakable identity, and undeniable conviction. They just grab their instruments and rock the **** out of you wussy little whiners, and you want to get all theoretical and tactical on it... Vocally, there are perhaps a handful of people on the planet that can match or outdo Scantlins raw power (Maynard Keenan, Dave Grohl... or maybe you only would recognize ummmm Josh Groban). Just try staying with the guy's phrasing on some of those songs. The acoustic guitars are just used so tastefully... they make you want to hear more, but then you can't decide if you want them to do that, or just get to the part where they kick your *** when they bring it with the rest of the band. Have you actually sat down and tried to play some of what they play. They are talented, and this CD is well-engineered. It sounds awesome at low levels, and even better when the windows in your car are rattling. People are complaining about song structure (Time Flies comments) and voicings, and that they're copying harmonic intervals from Chains, or worrying about trying to categorize the genre and forecasting their demise because they're unwisely fixated on .... whatever....shut up. Think about this guy's life... all of them... who they are. This might come as a surprise, but they didn't write this CD thinking "Boy I hope everyone thinks our music is perfectly distinct and appeals to them structurally....I hope we don't offend anyone's sensibilities or musical judgments." They wrote it because it made them feel better (and to make some money). And they worked on it until it was right. And now they're touring on it. So buy some tickets to their concert and walk up to Scantlin and tell him how you feel about how he's selling out. And after that, go listen to Tool's song "Hooker with a p*nis" from AENEMA. POM rocks.

Lyrics — 10
He's got stuff to scream about. Stuff from a zone that's too dark for a lot of people. But you have to have the proper perspective when you're listening. Don't try to... don't sit there and whine about how he doesn't say things the way you would, or "geez he's really a depressed psycho". He's telling you some things, and you don't have to listen. But if you do, you take it all the way... you put yourself in his shoes and hear what he's saying. And then you listen to the way he expresses it, and the ****ing POWER that he can apply when he just has to vent. The freaky melodic choices he makes, and the way those melodies give you the creeps when he WANTS you to have the creeps, and they release you when he WANTS to let you rest. Put the headphones on and deal with it, over and over, until you can vicariously feel what he's saying. The guy is a powerhouse, and his lyrics are honest and dark... about pain and struggling and violent outbursts and wanting to be a better human. And he weaves them into the music like a master. He is the "Freak of the World".

Overall Impression — 10
What would I do if it were "stolen/losted"? "Losted" huh? Ok. That is funny. Well, YEAH I'd buy it again if it were "losted." I don't compare it to their other CD. I just think that's pointless... with any artist. It's not supposed to be like the other CD...and it's not supposed to differ from the other CD in a specific way. It's its own thing. Clearly there are days when you just don't want to hear one of the songs... where you'll prefer one over the other. But there are so many different things going on on this CD. Raw, a$$-kickings like "Freak of the World"... tasty little acoustic licks like at the beginning of "Time Flies"... upbeat jams like "Spin you Around", and great straight-4 rock like "Heel Over Head"... all of which, like I said, are honest... revelations of life from the perspective of Mr. Scantlin and the boys. Life on Display. Take it for what it is, and you will find yourself admitting that they rock harder than you could ever hope to.

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