Staind: Live From Mohegan Sun
Is it really 16 years ago that someone handed me the debut Staind album Tormented, stating bluntly that they thought it was awful, but I might like it? Well, I suppose it must be.... The fact that it is also that length of time since I last listened to these Massachusetts gloomsters, will also tell you that I completely agreed with the assessment of the person all too keen to offload his unrated purchase.
Time changes many things, but in the case of Staind, nothing seems to have moved on. Not the depressing nature of their songs, the singular pace of their music, or the struggles of lead singer Aaron Lewis to hold a note in the key it was intended. The latter of these issues being the one I've wrestled with more than any other since ploughing my way numerous times through this lengthy 2011 live set. Even though the songs that Staind churn out aren't exactly arresting, with a vocalist with a more colourful voice, there may have just been the merest of chances for this album to grab the interest as it relentlessly drones by. Something that as it is, only happens when the gritty riff of "Crawl", or the bass swirl of "Mudshovel" offers hope.
That said, for fans of Staind, something that much though it has been a long time between my visits to the band, I'll never be, this release certainly offers up value for money, with 16 tracks on show (17 if you upgrade to the DVD/BluRay) and around 70 minutes of (ahem...) entertainment. The recording, while intentionally raw, is of a cracking standard and the songs do cut through with clarity, while the crowd noise is audible, without being distracting.
However any release, live or studio, established act, or debutants, stands or falls by the quality of the music. If you are a follower of this band, you'll love it. If you not, you'll be bored rigid.
1) Eyes Wide Open
3) Right Here
4) Throw It All Away
8) So Far Away
10) For You
11) Paper Wings
13) Not Again
14) It s Been Awhile
16) Something To Remind You
Added: August 18th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
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