Stone Sour’s highly anticipated sixth album Hydrograd is set for release this week (30th June). Being the band’s first album since the departure of guitarist, Jim Root, it was difficult to know what to expect.
Opening track ‘YSIF’ instantly becomes comical with opening line “Hello you bastards”, before going into a heavy, instrumental opening to the album. The track is quite typically Stone Sour sounding and gives hope for the rest of the album, which quickly disappears. Previously released songs ‘Fabuless’ and ‘Song #3’ also gave the album promise but they seem to be the strongest songs on the album, which might be why they were the first singles.
‘St Marie’ is a stand out song on the album, for all the wrong reasons. Stone Sour are known for placing lighter songs amongst their previous albums, with ‘Through Glass’ and ‘Bother’ coming to mind. This song, however, is just a bit strange. It sounds more like a country ballad in most respects and it doesn’t fit in well on the album. This song, like others on Hyrdrograd shows what sounds like a Guns N Roses influence and being two totally different bands, it doesn’t work.
Closing track ‘When The Fever Broke’ is much like the rest of the album, it doesn’t add much to it. It seems unnecessarily long, it doesn’t need to be a nearly 7-minute long song. It feels like they’re trying to make an epic finish to the album which falls flat and leaves you wanting to listen to more. For having a 15 song track list, it should be much more fulfilling and it’s not.
Honestly, Hydrograd is a disappointment. Not to say that it’s bad, it just doesn’t live up to what Stone Sour can, and have previously, offered. Corey Taylor said they wanted to make “a kick-ass rock and roll album” but I’m not sure that this is. The band seemed so focused on that, that they have ended up putting so many different sounds into the album that it doesn’t sound polished. Maybe this is because of Jim Root’s departure? Or maybe they wanted to break away from their sound so much, that they tried too hard and it didn’t work? Either way, this album could have been much stronger. The band have fallen short on this album and it’s a shame.