The year is 2019 and we are typing up a review of a brand new record from Puddle of Mudd unironically. What a time to be alive! This has already been a banner year for comebacks with heavyweights like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tool returning from lengthy slumbers as well as old school metallers like Sacred Reich and Alt-Grunge luminaries Cold who could easily be considered contemporaries to Puddle of Mudd who return with Welcome to Galvania, their sixth overall and first in almost a decade.
But I digress.
Listening through Welcome to Galvania is cause for celebration and cause to revisit debut Come Clean because the similarities are not all that dissimilar between the two. Both are statements of intent and both are heavy ass riff rawkers built on strong songwriting, memorable hooks, and an overall sense of familiarity.
“You Don’t Know” is raucous and riff forward, hellbent on delivering pure Puddle of Mudd from the start with Scantlin ragin’ on lines like “You don’t know what it’s like to live in my world/You can’t feel what it’s like to be in my head”. And the intensity doesn’t let up after that!
“Uh Oh” is a little more Puddle of Mudd by numbers building on a catchy riff and an even catchier sing-a-long chorus but still just as fierce (And later on, two worlds collide with the “Come Clean” version of this track to close the album). “Go To Hell” is another one that relies on the power of the riff with Puddle Of Mudd doing what they do best: building Pop songs from heavy ass riff rawkers… and yes, we are aware of using the term “heavy ass” more than once. We can’t help it but calls ’em like we see ’em! “Diseased Almost” delivers those riffs as well with Scantlin and Matt Fuller’s shreds combining to form a track that is simply New School Puddle of Mudd fit for the year 2019.
There was a point in here where I was going to compare Welcome to Galvania to Stone Temple Pilot’s Tiny Music… because that was an album that wasn’t supposed to happen but was filled with these huge ear fillers despite the troubles the band was going through at the time. That said, Puddle Of Mudd seem to have overcome their demons but “My Kind Of Crazy” is definitely a great throwback song that’d fit either on that album or anywhere within The Crow soundtrack (Medicine’s “Time Baby III” instantly comes to mind as a comparison). Then “Time Of Our Lives” is an immediate new Puddle of Mudd staple as this acoustic-driven anthem swells to a huge chorus spurred by Scantlin’s hypnotic delivery.
Getting back to straight up rawk, “Sunshine” is a downtrodden banger catapulted to new heights thanks to Dave Moreno’s relentless bashing and Michael John Adams digging in with the swaggy bass groove as Scantlin and Fuller’s guitar work crush all. “Just Tell Me” scales back slightly but only a little as it gives way to a killer solo from Fuller at the song’s apex.
“Kiss It All Goodbye” is just Puddle of Mudd unfiltered and the kind of new school Grunge that modern bands like My Ticket Home make their money on these days while closer “Slide Away” shimmies and strums in with another Puddle of Mudd banger before the aforementioned “Come Clean” version of “Uh Oh” ends Welcome to Galvania with a fitting and welcome reprise. Much like Puddle of Mudd’s renaissance.
Welcome to Galvania enters your earholes in full on September 13th thanks to Pavement Music. Pre-orders are up now in a variety of formats which you can check out by clicking here. For more on Puddle of Mudd, including where you can see them next live, head on over to the social pages here and here.