We have frequently compared compilation albums to history textbooks. Both keep the dated information they harbor relevant from one generation to the next. Cover albums also serve a similar role, but we find their impact on society to be much more influential than that of “greatest hits” albums. These cover tunes prove that music is constantly on the move, but the sounds defined by past artists are never left behind. The lyrics and basic melodies of these songs remind us of the original bands that wrote them, but listeners can also hear beats and vocals that resemble music of the current decade. A single physical object can radiate magic from the past and present. Now, try and tell us that isn’t significant?
Falling into this powerful category is the newest album from Puddle of Mudd. Their rock and roll compilation album, “Re:(disc)overed”, dropped this Tuesday, August 30th via Arms Division and features tunes of legendary bands, like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Bad Company. “Re:(disc)overed” marks the band’s second compilation album, but the group also has four studio albums and two EPs under their belts. The Kansas City band, which consists of vocalist and rhythmic guitarist, Wes Scantlin, bassist and backing vocalist, Doug Ardito, lead guitarist, Paul Phillips, guitarist, Dizzi Devereux and drummer, Shannon Boone, have sold over seven million albums and have had a handful of number one mainstream rock singles in the United States. Puddle of Mudd are a well-seasoned rock band. So, they have earned our blessings to cover the most iconic rock songs.
“Re:(disc)overed” opens up with Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”. Right off the bat with this track, we could tell Puddle of Mudd were not trying to take apart and completely rework these songs to the point where they are unrecognizable. The rock n’ rollers are paying tribute to these artists with a slightly contemporary twist that we think is both intentional and unintentional due to the advances in sound quality that bands cannot avoid. Puddle of Mudd ups the energy and the beat of “Gimme Shelter” but adds similar female vocals and guitar rifts heard in the original tune. This “Gimme Shelter” cover is undeniably a Rolling Stones tune, but is also sprinkled with the grungy Puddle of Mudd sound.
As a cover compilation album moves on from track one, it is difficult to make the album appear cohesive. There are songs from a variety of bands with different sounds. This task of establishing collectiveness can separate a successful cover compilation album from a lackluster one. Puddle of Mudd unites these tracks in “Re:(disc)overed” by keeping their sound consistent and staying true to who they are as a band. For example, take the album’s second track, Neil Young’s “Old Man”, which has quite the opposite rhythm from that of “Gimme Shelter”, but Puddle of Mudd’s grungy and at times, southern country rock sound, ties the two songs firmly together. This stark difference in tempos can also be heard with the transition from the cover of Billy Squier’s “Everybody Wants You” to that of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”. The songs melodies evoke dissimilar emotions, but Puddle of Mudd stick to their sound and never negatively startle the listener’s ear.
Rupturing our eardrums for all the right reasons is the cover track, “All Right Now”. Once we clicked play on the Puddle of Mudd cover, our smiles went from ear to ear. Our childhood memories were immediately triggered due to the recognizable beat. We first heard this Free tune in the classic film, “Now and Then”. We can picture the shenanigans of Thora Birch, Christina Ricci, Gaby Hoffmann and Ashleigh Aston Moore in the movie and immediately feel our naive need to emulate their spontaneous adventures. Puddle of Mudd lets us relive our past experiences by keeping the original melody alive, but excites us all the more by putting a refreshing spin on the track. Our desire to be teenage rebels resurfaces, but a new feeling of maturity is now coming over us. Since our “Now and Then” days, we have grown psychically and emotionally and Puddle of Mudd reminds us of that with their cover of “All Right Now”.
If you couldn’t already tell, we give claps all around to Puddle of Mudd’s “Re:(disc)overed” and we guarantee you that you Shockya readers will give similar applause. Puddle of Mudd offer you the room to rejoice to the tunes of artists, like Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks, James Gang and the Steve Miller Band, but also let you take note of who Puddle of Mudd are as a band. Despite not singing the songs that the Kansas City band are the founding fathers of, you will walk away from listening to”Re:(disc)overed”, remembering that Puddle of Mudd are post grunge Kings.
by Lonnie Nemiroff