September 13, 2019 Puddle of Mudd – Welcome to Galvania (Album Review)
Nearly forgotten, Puddle of Mudd has rise from the ashes to release their long overdue sixth studio album, Welcome to Galvania. Out on Friday the 13th of September through Pavement Entertainment, it marks the band’s first collection of songs since their 2011 covers LP Re:(disc)overed and their first album of new music since they released Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love & Hate a decade ago back in 2009. So, does the Post-Grunge Rock band stand or fall with their return?
A fair question, you really need to look back a little before jolting forward to present day. In fact, Puddle of Mudd has a pretty lengthy history, one that dates back to 1991 when Wes Scantlin first launched the project. Spending many years as a working class independent Rock band, they had their big break ten years later when they were signed to Fred Durst’s label Flawless Records. Going on to release their major label debut, Come Clean, in 2001, the album launched them into the spotlight in a big way thanks to cuts like “Control,” “Blurry” and “She Hates Me.” Sustaining success for the next few years thereafter, Puddle of Mudd found themselves on big tours with the likes of Nickleback and Linkin Park, but have been relatively quiet in more recent times. Partly due to the struggle of Scantlin, fast forward to present day, he is ready to take a step forward with Welcome to Galvania.
Now back on track, Welcome to Galvania picks up where Puddle of Mudd left off. Complete with ten songs, Scantlin and his bandmates Matt Fuller (guitar), Dave Moreno (drums), as well as Michael John Adams (bass) first introduced new material with the single “Uh Oh.” A good re-introduction to the band, the song is filled with cliches and almost sounds like Scantlin is channeling his inner teenager. More introspective, “Time of our Lives” is looking back on those early days, while “Just Tell Me” focuses on trying to get everything right again.
From here the album leads you through ups and downs of life, all with mostly a mellow approach. Scantlin sings the songs as if he has seen the worst of days and nothing can shock him or impress him anymore. A tone that remains steady through its entirety, this is one of the main reasons why Welcome to Galvania is so hypnotizing with its steady rhythms and almost monotone vocals. Scantlin remains very transparent in his feelings and while the songs are about his own life struggles, there is a hint of hope through all of them, and that is something everyone can easily relate with.
Puddle of Mudd still have that Post-Grunge sound that they were known for. In the end these songs are easy to remember with choruses that get stuck in your head. A little nostalgia and often mellow, much of it fades in with the background. That said, to be fair, Puddle of Mudd was never known for reinventing themselves and, in a way, it is quite comforting to bring back old habits and some well-known consistency in times where everything is changing so quickly. That is why Cryptic Rock welcome them back and give Welcome to Galvania 3 out of 5 stars.