Meanwhile In Burbank... review by Stone Sour

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  • Released: Apr 18, 2015
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 4.6 (17 votes)
Stone Sour: Meanwhile In Burbank...

Sound — 6
"Meanwhile in Burbank..." is the first release of the "Burbank Trilogy"-EPs consisting solely of covers. It's also the first record to feature Christian Martucci on guitar and Johnny Chow on bass.

The idea to record a three-piece set of cover-EP's came to Stone Sour on tour when Corey Taylor approached Josh Rand to do a cover of Metal Church's "The Dark" which sparked the idea to record that song plus the covers they did on tour.

The EP starts of with "We Die Young," originally released as the first song on the first Alice In Chains album. Though sounding very similar to the original, the cover lacks egdyness. It's too clean, to modernized to transport it's grungy feeling. Corey's singing also doesn't really transport the dark lyrics. It's still an alright cover. The second song "Heading Out to the Highway" written by Judas Priest fails even harder in transporting it's original feeling. It seems like the first two songs really loose a great spark of their glance due to the modern production and the overall lack of dynamic of this record. It also misses the initial rawness of early heavy metal, resulting in a polished version of a classic. "Love Gun" by KISS is the first song that tries to do something different than the original, be it "only" the drums. The whole song is played a tad heavier and it suits him quite well. You can actually hear the fun they must have had recording this one. It's the only song on the EP they didn't take too seriously. Distinctively darker it continues with Metallica's "Creeping Death." Now the band is completely in their element. This production actually sounds better than the original and Corey's voice fits right in. However it doesn't deliver much change from the original either. The last song of the EP is Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave" - and it just works. It has a great feeling to it, as the original has, too, and is my personal favorite of the record. Still there's nothing really new or different in comparison to the original.

Lyrics — 8
Now, it's difficult to judge the lyrics of the songs when no one of the band actually wrote them. Especially when those lyrics differ so much in their moods and themes. "We Die Young," "Creeping Death" and "Children of the Grave" share a darker mood and they seem to be best suited for Corey's voice. "Heading Out to the Highway" features hopeful, positive lyrics, while "Love Gun" seems to be the only song they didn't really take too seriously, which saves them their authenticity. It's hard to rate such an incoherent set of lyrics, but the overall quality of them is great.

Overall Impression — 6
Reviewing a cover-album (or EP) you have to adapt different categories than you normally have to. First of all you have to ask yourself for whom this was recorded. Since Stone Sour tried to imitate the original artists more than they tried to cover the songs in their own style it is evident that this album wasn't actually recorded for a broad audience. It was recorded for the sake of playing good music that the band enjoys and giving tribute to those who wrote that music initially. On some songs you can really hear the fun they must have had recording those, while other songs only seemed to be favorites of one band member. This doesn't mean that it's a bad EP, it's mostly well-produced (apart from being a little flat in dynamic) and a nice little rendition of more or less classic songs. But it's also a record, you'll easily forget.

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm sure this was worth losing Jim Root over.
    ^ this Taylor and Rand may own Stonesour but to me it was jim's songwriting and playing what made that band.
    Couldn't agree more. Jim brought so much to the table. He and Corey are a great duo, no matter the style they perform. It's sad to see him part ways with SS, but if this is what they're doing (and supposedly expecting him to sacrifice his focus on Slipknot for it), no wonder. I wish these guys the best, maybe some day their paths will cross again.
    Yeah, I'm not gonna root for this album. It wasn't tailored to my liking, it left me sour instead.
    Mr Root is shaking his head, he seemed like he would have made those covers better and at the least the solos
    How do you make Creeping Death sound that boring? Technicality is there and all but....some speed, some feel, some balls...? Oh well
    Was going to say the same thing. This version just trudges along.
    Corey should have let his voice "rip" a little more. Too clean half the time on Young and Creeping.
    We die Young - The energy isn't there in the voice. Corey sang it too clean
    I'm all for covering songs but do it in an original way. As it stands now, their We Die Young cover is just a inferior copy of the original. I'm of the opinion that why would I listen to Stone Sour's cover while the original AIC exists and is just better in all ways?
    Creeping Death - The guitars sound a bit hollow. And yeah no edge in the vocals. What's up with Corey ....
    This band played a huge part while I was growing up and getting into music etc.. Loved all the albums from the heavy stuff to the more obscure songs like Threadbare.. But honestly I've lost interest since Jim had to leave. At least we got a full whack of his song writing on The Gray Chapter