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.