Wesley Reid Scantlin – Vocals & Guitar,
Matt Fuller – Guitar & Vocals,
Michael John Adams – Bass & Vocals,
Dave Moreno – Drums & Vocals.
1. You Don’t Know
2. Uh Oh
3. Go To Hell
4. Diseased Almost
5. My Kind Of Crazy
6. Time Of Our Lives
8. Just Tell Me
9. Kiss It All Goodbye
10. Slide Away
11. Uh Oh (Come Clean Version)
If you have ever looked into the workings of the brain where music is concerned, you’ll be amazed at the various areas that “light up”. Naturally, the area that deals with audio processing is the primary candidate, but it’s the other areas that demonstrate greater blood flow that can be quite so surprising. Care to explain how the brain’s motor centre fires up? It’s genuinely impressive to see, but why all this bluster to begin with (as per)?
As with numerous other areas, the brain’s centre for memory will be active when listening to music. The immediately obvious answer is that listening to familiar music can spark a trip down memory lane. But the same can happen for something unfamiliar – the sounds can be similar to something once heard, and illicit a similar recall. With this being said, it’s exactly the sort of feeling one can get from listening to PUDDLE OF MUDD’s latest, ‘Welcome To Galvania’.
Back in the band’s early days, the teen sex comedy was all the rage, and no soundtrack was complete without a couple of alternative rock songs that would provide the raucous prom scene with its setup for the schmaltzy concluding couples dance. It was a simpler time; a better time. Songs like the rebellious and bratty “Uh Oh” would have been perfect – staccato power chords before a big pop-punk-esque chorus providing the stage for lyrics of messing up. It’s not quite full-on introspection, but more like a simple “Oops, I done goofed” – very much the sort of reaction a teenager might have.
If the album could be summed-up in a single, if a-little-too-broad a word, it would be “nostalgic”. The song that perhaps best encapsulates that is “Time Of Our Lives”: a simple, summer-y rocker that threads memories of happier times throughout its run. It errs slightly more towards the wistful side of things, unlike the rest of ‘Welcome To Galvania’, where cuts like “Go To Hell” and “Kiss It All Goodbye” feel brighter and like they have a bit more bite about them – Wes Scantlin’s trademark grit gives an added snark to proceedings. The man himself said of the album:
“This album has been a long time coming. I’m just so happy to finally get it out there for my fans. I hope the new music inspires my fans to live their lives. I’m just trying to crawl under people’s skin and help them through their life musically.”
It does show – the album is not challenging who the band are, but rather enjoying it and hoping that it can take people along for the ride, too.
Ignoring the notion of nostalgia, ‘Welcome To Galvania’ is a very familiar album, and not just from PUDDLE OF MUDD. It ticks all the usual boxes for an alternative rock album: a couple of acoustic-led ballads, the angry rockers and the upbeat ones, a few solos and a certain sense of fun throughout. It is nothing new and could feasibly have been released back in the early 2000s, but it is quintessential PUDDLE OF MUDD. ‘Welcome To Galvania’ may not have the same impact as its predecessors had, but it’s the mark of a band that really is comfortable with itself and what they are doing.
Thanks for the memories, lads – keep doing what you’re doing.
REVIEW BY LEE CARTER