• Puddle Of Mudd - Life On Display (2003) (10/10)

    Genre: Alternative Metal
    Label: Geffen
    Playing time: 67:12
    Band homepage: Puddle Of Mudd


    1. Away From Me

    2. Heel Over Head

    3. Nothing Left To Lose

    4. Change My Mind

    5. Spin You Around

    6. Already Gone

    7. Think

    8. Cloud 9

    9. Bottom

    10. Freak Of The World

    11. Sydney

    12. Time Flies

    13. Life Ain't Fair (Bonus Track)

    14. Daddy (Bonus Track)

    15. Bleed (Bonus Track)

    Puddle Of Mudd - Life On Display        


    After the unexpected breakthrough success of "Come Clean" two years before, pressure really grew on PUDDLE OF MUDD to be able to repeat that success. These factors led to a much darker, more desperate and emotional and quite agressive record called "Life On Display." The album may have resulted in sales below expectations and soon after this release, drummer Greg Upchurch and lead guitar player Paul Phillips left the band that took almost four years to arise from its ashes with a new line-up.

    Despite many negative critics, this record is by far my favourite PUDDLE OF MUDD record and will probably always be. When I bought this album for 10 bucks back in the day, I didn't know that these were probaly my best invested 10 bucks ever. I may listened to this record 20, 30 or even more times in my life and I still feel like listening to this lost masterpiece from time to time.

    This record is highly emotional and not commercially flavoured at all and that's what makes it so authentic. The opener and first single "Away From Me" already took my heart by storm. The dark and seperate riffs, the powerhouse drumming and the completely unchained vocals still send shivers down my spine. This is probably my favourite PUDDLE OF MUDD song of all times and I could hardly imagine a better opener. The lyrics are once again about a difficult relationship but in comparison to the modern "Control" or the party anthem "She Hates Me," this song is truly profound and tells the story of a desperate maniac who is always afraid that his girlfriend is cheating on him. This song sounds like a pitiless Metal version of a lost NIRVANA track with the difference that Wesley Reid Scantlin even easily beats Kurt Cobain. Scantlin's vocals are simply top notch on here.

    The album contains more darker and desperate tracks. The dirty and hard to digest "Nothing Left to Lose," the faster "Cloud 9" and the dark Grunge anthem "Already Gone" are good examples even though they need several spins to grow on you and aren't as catchy as many songs from the previous record. The songs may be more complex and need more attention and time to really work but this album has a clear guiding line and is a dark ride to the negative emotions of the human soul through one hour of running time. I must also point out the desperate "Sydney" which seems to be another story of a desperate guy who is left by a girl. The way Scantlin performs towards the incredible end of this track makes me think if the girl only left him or if she eventually died and 'left' in another way. This song instantly sent shivers down my spine and is my personal number four of my favourite PUDDLE OF MUDD songs.

    One of the best dark tracks on here is the incredible Grunge banger "Bottom." The record starts with psychedelic riffs as if the band went back to their "Abrasive" roots , adds a vivid and unique drum play to it, a very dark bass play and once again incredible vocals by Wesley Reid Scantlin. Especially the final moments of the songs when the vocals break free and yell all their pain away are simply stunning. This may be the most emotional PUDDLE OF MUDD song ever written.

    The greatness doesn't stop there. The record also includes a few dark ballads that fit the concept but give you some time to relax. The melancholic "Change My Mind," the catchy single "Spin You Around" and especially the laid back and almost completely acoustic masterpiece "Think" are all instant classics. The highlight is though the official album closer "Time Flies" that starts in a very soft and laid back pace to become more twisted and psychedelic but also agressive at the same time to end with a beautiful and calm two minutes long acoustgic outro where the track clocks in at seven minutes. When I was young, I often used to fall asleep to this song. After a truly emotional record, this song really managed to calm me down and ends the album as great as it started. Along with "Away From Me" and "Bottom," the diverisfied "Time Flies" completes my favourite three PUDDLE OF MUDD songs.

    In the end, this record has been widely underestimated by critics and fans alike in my opinion. This profound release is full of desperate and negative emotions that take you on a ride to the drak sides of the human being before it lets you go on an almost concealing and harmonic note. If you are able to get your Hands on the limited Editions including the potential hit single "Life Ain't Fair", the catchy Grunge hit "Daddy" and the dark and agressive "Bleed" that was used for the "Punisher" Soundtrack that I still try to get somewhere, don't hesitate to invest your Money on it. Ten years after its initial release, this album is still among my all time favourite records. No matter if you like Alternative Rock, Grunge or Heavy Metal. this authentic and profound album may please to all of you and should finally get the credit it deserves in my opinion. I hope my review inspires you to try this release out and revise your judgement if you have discovered this album and this band some years ago.

    (Online July 20, 2013)

    « Fußball-Fieber 2013/2014Puddle Of Mudd - Striking That Familiar Chord (2005) (7/10) »
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