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Staind: Staind

Happy days aren’t here again.

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.