When members of Slipknot first announced their various side projects to the world, most of us sniggered in expectancy of some shoddy metal B sides being given exposure due to the celebrity status of their front men. Doubtless they’d fade into the annals of rock history alongside other such classics as Tommy Lee’s forgettable Methods of Mayhem.
While the first of these unmasked troupes, Joey Jordison’s Murderdolls, are a (novelty) headlining act, Stone Sour are still on an uphill battle to establish themselves as something more than ‘what Corey Taylor (and fellow ‘knot guitarist) James Root do in their down time’. However, with the advent of Come What(Ever) May, Corey and Co. appear to have taken up the promising mantle laid down by their eponymous debut and run with it faster than Tiger Woods can drive a 42mm white ball up the fairway.
Opener 30/30-150 sets the tone for an album of blistering metal that blasts as brutally as the shotgun shell it takes its name from. Treading much more of a nu-metal line than trying to contort itself into current NWOAHM trends, Corey’s vocals are clean and soaring within the first minute, letting us all know why Slipknot made such an impression when they first hit our stereos in the late ’90s. He has the voice of a rock god.
Title track Come What(Ever) May is a slightly less than subtle attack on a certain leader of the free world, and sees Corey taking the chance to run with lyrical content that just wouldn’t fit in with Slipknot. After all, politics and prosthetic masks have just never really worked – unless you remember Spitting Image. Reborn unleashes the type of metal that will date quickly but none the less cause a considerable ruckus when it is dropped at gigs.
While the first half of the album is firmly a heavier affair, the quartet also open the latter numbers up in the vein of previous hit Bother. While Top of the Pops might not be around to facilitate another acoustic performance from Corey for the brilliant closing ballad Zzyzx Rd (running out of song titles Mr Taylor?). Through Glass contains the best written number, and it will be no surprise if this crept up into the top ten of the national charts when it gets its inevitable single release.
Socio is a lighter rock moment, driven by pounding drums and staccato clean guitar picking. When the huge chorus hits it is clear that the masks may be silly in his ‘other’ band, but Stone Sour is certainly capable of producing authentic, dare I say credible rock tunes.
The bottom line is that there is a little more experimentation and flirtation with melody on this sophomore release, and if you like the sound of Slipknot getting all middle aged and jamming with the likes of 12 Stones or Seether you won’t go far wrong in picking up Come What(Ever) May.