PUDDLE OF MUDD – Volume 4 – Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate

PUDDLE OF MUDD - Volume 4 - Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate
  • 6/10
    PUDDLE OF MUDD - Volume 4 - Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate - 6/10


Release date: February 12, 2010

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Well, one has to acknowledge that they have indeed been around when the phenomenon mostly known as the death of Heavy Metal, or simply Grunge, started. It really was a phenomenon, only Metal did not die, but Grunge was there to stay. Only most of the pioneer bands that cut the path through the musical thicket have been duped into the industry’s home for the elderly bands or had their front teeth going through their head.

But not Puddle Of Mudd, who always had to live with the stigma of coming from Kansas City, Missouri, instead of Seattle, Washington, where the movement had its epicenter. But the four guys just kept on going, ignoring the calls that declared Grunge dead several times over the last two decades. If that is because they have fun doing it, or simply had no shotgun in reach, is unclear. What is clear is that they made it and release their fourth album still via a major label, and so do not stray from the path of polished Grunge with a splash of Alternative mixed in.

Okay, let’s be honest: Who does not know Nevermind and In Utero? Everybody who said yes will find something new and interesting on Volume 4 – Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate. Everybody else gets a remake of something he knows for years, well done, but lacking to things that always were a major part of Nirvana’s hard and melodic hymn’s thrill: meaningful lyrics and Cobain’s mumbling. Puddle Of Mudd fronter Wes Scantlin is the exact opposite. He is very understandable, but has nothing to say. One could state that Grunge that doesn’t hurt is not real Grunge. In this regard Puddle Of Mudd is only Alternative.

So there is the topics of drugs, love and sex, but it seems Scantlin could have done without words in many songs, because the content still remains the equivalent of “la-la-la”. That is “ungrunge” yet legitimate if one wants not to be known as an intellectual, but hear one’s songs on the radio. In this the band shows their biggest strengths, as there are several potential radio hits on the album. The mixture between Nirvana and Nickelback hits the Zeitgeist right between the eyes, and is surely what the label hoped to get from the band. So one can raise their brows or sigh, but what the guys do they do well. Unoriginal, but crafty. Certainly there are kids out there who do not know anything from the high phase of Grunge except an occasional “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Black Hole Sun” on the radio. And maybe those kids may hear Nirvana’s greatest hit and say “listen, sounds like Puddle Of Mudd!” Because Scantlin does indeed sound like Cobain occasionally, never more than on “Pitchin’ A Fit” which would not be standing out on Nevermind.

Now, is that an album one must have? Hardly. But it is good radio Grunge. Maybe Kurt returns to bite their heads off.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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