Out June 30

(Roadrunner)

 

Can this really be a SIXTH Stone Sour album? Apparently so. Far from remaining an occasionally revisited side project for Slipknot hero Corey Taylor, this brilliant band has become the ultimate go to vehicle for a performer who refuses to be confined by narrow creative boundaries.

Stone Sour might have been absent for four years, following the two-part House Of Gold And Bones releases, but Hydrograd feels like they’ve never been away. The band’s trademark swagger, class and consistency remains but this time it’s complemented by a genuine desire to go even further.

From the bullish opening line ‘hello you bastards’ thru the deeply cynical ‘it’s only rock and roll’ refrain at the heart of the fabulous Fabuless to the Corey does country of St Marie, this is a sensational album. Anything goes – all of the time. It’s a rollercoaster ride through rock and metal in all of its various guises and gives a flagging scene an almighty kick up the arse.

Taylor’s vocals are a revelation: whether he’s snarling, crooning, shouting or warbling, absolutely nothing fazes a singer who often seems relieved to have tossed away the mask and put everything on the line. Far more exposed than he’ll ever be fronting arena behemoths Slipknot, it’s as if Stone Sour are his therapy and Hydrograd is his confession.

There will be fans of his day job recoiling in disgust that Taylor could even consider putting his name to something as commercially cute and 2017 savvy as this one-size-fits-all rock record. The rest of us will be lapping it up for weeks and months to come.