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Stone Sour: 'Hydrograd'
Out Now (Roadrunner Records)

9th August 2017

sara harding
Words: Sara Harding

stone sour

When an album from a band you adore lands in your Dropbox, it's like being a kid at Christmas hoping to get that rocking present you've always wanted and the latest offering from Stone Sour doesn't disappoint.

'Hydrograd' is the band's sixth album and it's just as fresh as when SS started. Frontman Corey says of it:

"Our only real idea was to make a kick-ass rock album. Let's lean back and make the best rock'n'roll playlist mix tape that's ever been made. That was the only thing we had to do and everything after that was so fucking easy."

It's a fifteen-song belter of an album and there's not one dud or filler on it. There is something for everyone on this and that's what makes it so easy to listen too, although it's hardly easy listening – it's a full-on rock onslaught.

stone sour

The whole shebang is diverse, with nods to Metal, blues, country and power rock. We all know that Corey Taylor can sing the phone book and be on point and his pipes are at their finest on this killer selection of songs and the production is second to none.

'Hydrogad' kicks off with Corey saying: "Hello you bastards," and 'YSIF' is off and running with giant guitar licks and high production. This first track is the perfect starter for the rest of what is too come. A slick slice of rock with Taylor's always honest, raging lyrics.

Forward to track two, 'Taipei Person/Allah Tea' and again it's a seriously catchy singalong – my whole office looked over as I forgot I had my headphones on and was happily screaming along.

This song is a definite call to arms that Stone Sour is here to stay. Onwards to one of my favourite tracks, 'Knieval Has Landed', which is as fast as Evel's motorbike stunts. This song is seriously powerful with a hugely anthemic chorus and a solo that soars higher than Knievel jumping over twenty double decker buses.

Track four is the title track, 'Hydrograd', and it is a stonker. A nod to power rock with harmonies, guitars and the backline all in perfect synergy – no wonder the Sours picked this to launch the album with. Guitarists Rand and Martucci expand the band into new territory, with the most badass backline in the biz courtesy of Roy Mayorga and Johnny Chow giving the band a totally re-energised sound.

Track five is entitled 'Song #3' and provides a little light relief as Taylor slows it down. I once heard Corey singing Bon Jovi karaoke and this dude literally can adapt his voice to fit any song he writes.

Up next is the best titled track on the album, 'Fabuless', a de-tuned guitar frenzy with a shouty, hugely infectious chorus. 'The Witness Trees' is another punchy catchy song that drives us nicely through this great selection of fifteen tracks.

Corey's lyrics are at the forefront in the next song as 'Rose Red, Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)' plays out. It's just a good old-fashioned fucked up cautionary tale told by Taylor. But what makes this tune stand out is again another solo that soars into the stratosphere.

'Thank God It's Over' is another Stone Sour ballad with balls and another one I can't stop annoying my workmates with by singing it loud and proud. 'St. Marie' is up next and is definitely SS with a hint of country with a nice bit of slide; this badass ballad is a grower.

'Mercy' is yet another classic slice of Stone Sour – wordsmith Taylor on fire with another lyrical legacy for us to listen to. Then there's the fast and furious 'Whiplash Pants' and 'Friday Knights'. Not only do the band play the best melodies but the BVs are spot on too.

Track fourteen, 'Somebody Stole My Eyes', is the one where the drums from Senor Mayorga get you going from the get go. Plenty of ranty F-bombs and what a penultimate track to keep you buzzing. And then it all ends with another Stone Sour epic track, 'When The Fever Broke'.

And as soon as it was over, I played it all again - that's how damn good 'Hydrograd' is. Corey and co are back in Blighty in Autumn and I can't wait to see and hear these songs in action.

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Here's the Stone Sour UK tour dates:

Wednesday 29th November: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena
Thursday 30th November: Leeds First Direct Arena
Friday 1st December: Brighton Centre
Monday 4th December: London O2 Brixton Academy
Tuesday 5th December: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Wednesday 6th December: London O2 Brixton Academy
Friday 8th December: Glasgow SSE Hydro

Support comes from The Pretty Reckless and tickets are available right here.

stone sour

Stone Sour are:
Corey Taylor (vocals)
Josh Rand (guitar)
Roy Mayorga (drums)
Johny Chow (bass)
Christian Martucci (guitar)


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