Puddle of Mudd became pretty popular and successful in the early 2000’s, with a post grunge sound, bolstered by a hard rock edge, and a quality vocalist in Wes Scantlin.
Unfortunately, the singer fell from grace, battling alcohol and substance addiction, as well as a couple of arrests for various reasons. It didn’t look good for Wes or Puddle of Mudd, but fast forward to 2019 – with the frontman clean and sober the band has returned to form with their latest offering, Welcome to Galvania.
Opening with “You Don’t Know”, we are treated to a nicely distorted guitar riff and some big meaty drum beats. It’s heavy, but accessible, and it has to be said that Wes Scantlins voice is still in great shape.
“Uh Oh”is up next, and here we have a catchy number – lyrically a little tongue in cheek, as Wes Scantlin sings about getting in all kinds of trouble. The chorus of “uh oh, I fucked it up again” seems to paint a picture of the last decade or so of the singers life.
On “Go to Hell” the band deliver a country styled track, but when the guitars kick in, the riff is immense. “Diseased Almost” features what can only be described as an ‘alarm clock riff’ (yes, I listen to Jamey Jasta’s podcast), and some great vocals that add a bit of aggression to the mix. There’s an urgency to this track that makes it stand out for me.
Continuing on through “My Kind of Crazy”, the band scale it back, and offer up a very radio friendly ballad. Lyrically it’s good, musically it’s weak. “Time of Our Lives” carries over the more laid back nature – although this one is far more upbeat thanks to the drum beats from Dave Moreno, and it’s infinitely better.
“Sunshine” is driven by a chugging riff, and a muscular vocal from Scantlin. There’s also a dark and dirty vibe to this track, occasionally bringing Alice in Chains to mind. In the mid section there’s a bit of a dreamy and airy moment that doesn’t quite fit well, but overall, Sunshine proves to be another highlight.
“Just Tell Me” is quite poppy in nature, while “Kiss it All Goodbye” is a bouncy and catchy track that’s given a real boosts from the bass line, played to perfection by Michael John Adams.
“Slide Away” is another highlight. It would have been right at home on the bands break through album, Come Clean, and is every bit as good as some of the singles that came off of that record; Drift and Die, Control and Blurry.
Closing out the album is the ‘Come Clean’ version of “Uh Oh” – no, not a reworking of a track from the album of the same name, just a radio edit of the earlier “Uh Oh”, in other words – all of the naughty words have been removed.
Welcome to Galvania has been a pleasant surprise. Not every song is killer, but there is enough good material present to say that this is a good solid record.
Worth a listen.