Mudvayne - Lost And Found
Tim Miller 28/03/2005
It comes as some surprise, being largely indifferent to Mudvayne's career, to discover that LD50 was their debut album and this, Lost and Found, is actually their fourth. LD50, which I own, was a rather decent achievement for a debut - furiously tight riffs, head-screwing time signatures (a 17/8 would you believe) and anger, lots of anger. LD50 certainly set a precedent for the brutal-metal genre at the time, and did it well, but sadly since then Mudvayne themselves have failed to match it, and fall short on this occasion too.
They claim, in their PR notes, to have 'found their voice' with this album, yet the record seems anything but clear on where it stands. The unforgiving fierceness of 'Dig' on LD50 is practically reincarnated as Lost and Found's opener "Determined," and is arguably what Mudvayne do best. Metal: hard and heavy, rough and raw.
Whilst they stuck successfully to that formula on their debut, Lost and Found now sees Mudvayne reaching out to a new set of fans - those who would probably put Nickelback's How You Remind Me in the Top 3 greatest rock songs of all-time. On track 3, Happy, it dawns: yes, Mudvayne have descended into the outer regions of 'emotive rock' (and that description isn't fooling anyone).
The record lacks the ingenuity of LD50 in terms of musical creativity, at times sounds worryingly like Puddle of Mudd, and fails to commit to either being heavy, brutal metal, or out and out emo. This puts the two styles precariously together, a mix which ultimately doesn't. To cap it off, incredibly, there is this part in track 7, Choices, where a voice effect like a possessed child sings 'Eeny Meeny Miny Mo'. It's cringe-making.
What is lacking here is anything to make the album grab you, either in places or as a whole. Essentially, it IS Mudvayne, but without the spark that made debut LD50 so exciting and fresh, it could equally be anyone else. The songs seem to blur together; certainly, there is nothing outstanding about any of the tracks, nothing particularly memorable (bar the excruciating Child of the Corn on track 7) and the album, astonishingly for a band for whom expectations are so high, simply passes you by.