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"Perfect Self" (Columbia)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs

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Stereomud's debut album, "Perfect Self," is everything that a good rock album should be. The guitars are prominent, the vocals are strong, the lyrics are filled with rock angst (but not too much) of the trials and tribulations of a life lived thus far. But separate from many other debut albums is that "Perfect Self" is so damn perfect and polished. The reasoning behind this no doubt lies in the musical history of the band members if not the band. 

"Perfect Self" also has a serious list of talent behind it. Don Gilmore (Lit, Linkin Park), Rick Parasher (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains), and Howey Beno (Ministry, Red Hot Chili Peppers) all had a hand in the production of the album. The powerful force of Jay Bumgardner (Orgy, Drowning Pool, Godsmack) handled mixing. The members themselves all hailed from now defunct bands that made an establishment in the rock community during their time - bassist Corey Lowery was formerly with Stuck Mojo (his brother Clint plays guitar in Sevendust) while guitarist Joey Z and drummer Dan Richardson stem from Life of Agony. 

Each track screams the pissed-off frustrations verbalized fluently by vocalist Rogers. "Don't Be Afraid" was laid down from his son's inspiration while "Lost of Faith" represents the conflictions that anyone feels in a time of searching.

The debut single "Pain" has seen tons of radio love and its soon to be follow up "Steppin Away" should as it exemplifies that same full-on rock that plays off of the take that mentality expected.   

Further on tracks represent the aggravations with people in general. "Leave (back up)" is signature for anyone that has just had another one piss them off as is "Closer Now." Listening, I can think of at least three people that I could dedicate each song to.

The final track, "Perfect Self," represents a smooth memoir of internal contemplations. I really did not expect such a flowing and melodic piece from them but I must concede being pleasantly surprised. 

"Perfect Self" holds up for the most part because of its ability to draw so heavily on the things that we all have experienced, the agitations that we have all felt with other people. Each song hits on the thoughts that we have all had at some time and it all feels familiar. You have been here before but he just said it better than you might have. The songs feel like family. With an unforgiving sound "Perfect Self" reeks of rock album endurance. 

Stereomud is: John Fattoruso (Guitar), Dan Richardson (Drums), Erik Rogers (Vocals), Corey Lowery (bass and vocals), and Joey Z (guitar).  

Official Web Site:

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Dec 2019 12:47:26 -0500.