“I can’t find the answers”, the opening line from the first song on this re-issue, is a good answer to questions I had when I learned about this recording. The substance of those questions can be summed up as, ‘Why would you guys bother to re-release this?’ Never a fan of this band and it’s middle of the road nu-metal mediocrity, this re-issue from 2004 has further confirmed how utterly disinteresting I find this group and it’s complete lack of originality.
To their credit, it appears that they were trying to break into new territory when they first released this 8 or so years ago. New for them, that is. As the songs unwind in relentlessly monotonous fashion, something suspicious begins to writhe in the back of your brain, and then the realization hits: this must be an Alice in Chains tribute cd of some sort!! That’s the only way to explain how this sounds like the outtakes from Alice in Chains ‘Sap’ EP, which was released long before 2004; it was 1992 to be exact. The main difference, in my opinion, lies in the fact that Alice in Chains were a great rock band and Godsmack is not.
If there’s anything positive to draw from this experience, it would be that Sully can actually sing in tune, and the band plays well together, like a band. Unfortunately, that’s not really saying much of anything. The tempos are all uniformly mid-paced, the emotions seem contrived, and the uniform aesthetic vitiates any sense of compositional variety. This would be a great soundtrack to a bondage pant and hairspray sale at Spencer gifts or Hot Topic, but as a pure listening experience, it is about as boring as a musical production can possibly be.
Coming back to the beginning, why did they choose to re-release this? Yes, I thoroughly dislike them as a musical unit; the fact that they are wealthy rock stars while I am some guy giving his opinion is proof that a good chunk of the listening public completely disagrees with me. So, why not make a new record? At least try and create something new. Then I would have one more thing to add to the ‘pros’ side of the list and wouldn’t find myself grasping at straws to find something positive.