Album: The Righteous and the Butterfly
If there’s been a Shock Rock group that has managed to keep their footing with the best of them, it’s Mushroomhead. Known primarily for their masks (which sparked a controversial feud with Slipknot), there is no denying that, for the most part, when these guys get together in any setting, magic is bound to happen. While I was fairly unimpressed with their last offering, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, their newest (featuring the return of J Mann) brings a much-needed breath of fresh air back to their sound. On their latest album, The Righteous & The Butterfly, the band decided to return to their roots and bring back the heavy side of their music. This album has turned out to be everything that, I feel, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, should have been but somehow takes it up a notch.
While the lead single from the album, “QWERTY”, is probably one of the oddest tracks on the album (and honestly, a really poor choice for a first single) you have to take it for what it is. Suffice it to say that, driving down the road in the middle of the night in my pitch black little hometown, this track in particular gives a completely different vibe. One that will send chills down your spine with ease. This track is about how society is waging war on itself and the chaos that has enveloped our nation, and our world, in general. It’s also about taking a stand against your fears and fighting back, even if you know you won’t make it out alive. “Once said, whatever the cost, we will never surrender, leave abandoned or lost” is one of the lyrics that pops out at you on this particular track. Overall, I would have chosen this for a 2nd or 3rd single, but it’s not a HORRIBLE track, as some media has made it out to be.
One of the heavier tracks on the album, lyrically, is “Portraits of the Poor”. This track is a piano-driven account of what it’s like to grow up and be one of the “less fortunate”. Listening to these lyrics is enough to bring you to tears, but coupled with the instrumentals… it gives an overall melancholy feel that you just can’t ignore. I don’t care how many times I have listened to this album, this one brings tears to my eyes every time.
I can’t talk about this album without talking about one of the most eerie, yet beautiful, interludes I’ve ever heard from this band. I’m speaking, of course, about “Childlike”. This track couples R&B-like clean vocals with a semi-sad instrumental part and the laughs/cries of a baby. You have to hear it to really be able to understand why it has such an impact on me.
While this album still tends to focus on the softer side of the band, at times, it’s the happy medium they find between the two extremes that really capture the listener, such as “Graveyard du Jour” and “Son of 7”. These tracks really showcase the talent that, not only the 3 vocalists in the band, but the entire outfit possesses.
The album ends on a lighter, sillier note as the band decided to cover British Popstar, Adele’s, “Rumour Has It”. I never thought that I could imagine this song having a heavier side to it, but Mushroomhead pull it off beautifully in all facets of their deliverance. Not only did they manage to do the original a great justice, they managed to find a comical way to do this cover.
If you missed the heavier side of Mushroomhead, you will definitely want to check out The Righteous and The Butterfly. The album adds new, old and experimental elements in a way that only these guys could pull off. So what are you waiting for? Go pick up your copy of The Righteous and The Butterfly on MegaForce Records now!