Staind: Staind

Happy days aren’t here again.

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Staind were once iconic enough to have touched both ends of the cultural spectrum, making the cover of Rolling Stone and being parodied by Bowling For Soup.

It was their own fault; 2001’s Break The Cycle was a multi- platinum, zeitgeist-shaping record, introspective and pitch-black in tone, while singer Aaron Lewis used interviews to bemoan his lot. They were earnest and honest and an antidote to the knuckleheaded sentiments of bands like Poison. Pain was in.

Times have changed, but Staind are still tilling the same plot of land. Producer Johnny K (Machine Head) has brought out the best in them, they’re still refusing to go gently into the night, but they’ve never sounded better doing it.

Staind is punchy, sometimes enigmatic, Lewis’s sonorous baritone railing against the world in songs such as Not Again, Throw It All Away and Failing, the melodies dense, the pain evident for all to see. But it’s not like you haven’t seen it all before.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.