(13 April 1999 Flip, Elektra)
One of the coolest things about writing this blog for the past several years has been going back to albums I loved as a teenager and hearing whether or not they’ve stood the test of time. I think I made mostly good decisions back then, but there have been a few that made me wonder what the hell I was thinking.
Staind’s Dysfunction is one that I don’t even want to go back and listen to. Don’t get me wrong, I remember really liking it. It was different. “Just Go” was the first song of theirs I heard. It came on the radio at some point and was weird and powerful enough to leave an impression. I don’t remember first hearing “Mudshovel” or “Home,” but both were the type of songs I would hear later and think ‘I know that song… I’ve heard that before.’
I always liked Mike Mushok’s guitar work. He didn’t play like any of the nu-metallers and really had his own, unique style. Aaron Lewis also seemed a little out of place because he could actually sing and didn’t just rely on growls or spitting rhymes.
But… well… “It’s Been A While.”
For fuck’s sake, you could not avoid that song when it came out. If you turned on the radio for 20 minutes in 2001 you would hear that song. And every fucking song they came out with after that was the exact same bullshit. I remember hearing a tune from them in college that I enjoyed – I assume it came from 2011’s self-titled album – but when I listened to the album on Spotify it didn’t impress me much.
And don’t even get me started on Aaron Lewis. That guy has one helluva screw loose. Every time I seem him in the news it’s on MetalSucks.com because he did something extremely birdbrained like comparing Fred Durst to the Dalai Lama or storming off stage after telling the crowd he doesn’t speak Spanish because he’s an American. * It’s like he hired Donald Trump’s Public Relation’s Guy.
Honestly, Dysfunction may still be a joy to listen to. And it may be possible for a washed-up metal singer to go country without turning into a MAGA hat wearing numbskull, but I’m not going to answer any of those questions here.
*I also occasionally use the “I don’t _____, because I’m American” thing occasionally, but I’m always joking. There are lots of things people from other countries enjoy that I just don’t get like drinking hot tea, playing futbol and not having to take out second mortgages to pay for costly medical procedures but I hope you know that I respect you all.