Stone Sour – Come What(ever) May Review
Posted by Michael Melchor on 08.03.2006
The new sound of rock radio? I damned sure hope so.
Lest fans think they were all about the screaming and posturing, Corey Taylor and Jim Root of Slipknot put their original outfit back together in 2002. The idea came when, under just Taylor’s name, Stone Sour recorded the acoustic lament “Bother” for the first Spider Man soundtrack. Shortly after, a self-titled album from the original Iowa band had emerged.
With that release, Stone Sour showed that they had it all over their contemporaries as far as being a modern rock band. Too light to be flat-out metal and too heavy to be alternative, Stone Sour was, quite simply, a beyond-capable hard rock band the new millennium could be proud of.
After using some of that diversity for Slipknot’s last album, Taylor and Root continue to soften the tone with Stone Sour’s new album, Come What(ever) May. The boys, while not abandoning metal altogether, continue to identify themselves as much more. The effects are mostly hit (with some share of miss), but the songs themselves are of enough quality to separate themselves from the pack no matter how heavy (or not) they choose to be.
Come What(ever) May starts very similar to their debut effort – a violent opener (“30/30-150” which, for personal reasons, has become probably my favorite track from them ever) followed by another number that calms the tone down – but only a little (the title track, “Come What(ever) May”, which rocks without trying to maim someone). Whereas on the last album this set an overall tone, here it almost seems to mislead.
Although it takes four tracks to get there (as “Hell & Consequences” is another ball-blaster complete with vocals harkening to Taylor’s other band), Come What(ever) May is much more liberal with the balladry and acoustic sounds than its predecessor. “Sillyworld” starts off with that before breaking out the sweeping, heavier chorus. It sounds like what Nickelback could be if Chad Kroger could write a good melody instead of relying on the run-of-the-mill progressions. After a couple more energetic rockers, “Through Glass” continues the trend, only with Saliva and Josey Scott in place of Nickelback and Chad Kroger. Being the first single, “Through Glass” sounds more “radio-friendly” – and, as a result, more generic than Stone Sour is normally known for.
“Through Glass” is a rare misstep, though, as the one thing Stone Sour shows here – whether doing it nice or rough – is songcraft. Taylor, Root, Mayorga, Rand, Economaki, and Ekman are all a cut above your average musicians, knowing how to pull what string (either guitar or heart) and hit what rhythm as needed. Beyond that, the songs themselves are, for the most part, more than your mauldlin modern rock radio hits. There is more passion and more attention paid to melody and lyrics than your average rock song. The results are affecting as well as exhilarating, as in the closer, “Zzyzx Rd”. An all-acoustic number, “Zzyzx Rd” is full of power while never raising its voice above an acoustic guitar.
The 411: Come What(ever) May is a refreshing play for anyone who’s had it up to here with modern rock radio (and I would be one of them). Trouble is, at their worst, that’s exactly what Stone Sour sounds like now. Their worst, however, is very few and far between as the band is much better at the craft of songwriting than many of their peers. If you’re looking to have your ass kicked by a sonic beast, you may want to wait for the next Slipknot album. This is a softer band that’s more about making you think and feel rather than jump in and get injured, and they’re one of the best ones in the mainstream today.