Staind, 'Staind' (Atlantic)

4
Staind
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Label: Atlantic

by Mikael Wood

Staind frontman Aaron Lewis spent the three years since these nü-metal bellowers' last album successfully pursuing a solo country career à la Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish. You don't really hear that stylistic growth, though, on this slab of down-tuned chug-and-glug, which finds the band returning to the grim recriminations of early tunes like "Mudshovel" and "Suffocate." The exception? Closing track "Something to Remind You," a disarmingly gorgeous doom-folk ballad that awaits its Jamey Johnson cover.

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