I've been a Mushroomhead fan for a very long time. This latest offering from the guys in Filthy Hands does not disappoint. Overall, the sound is very reminiscent of the first three albums. New members Church and Dr. F bring a slightly new flavor, but their learning of the back catalog is apparent in the styling on guitar and bass. Like many 'shroomheads, my favorite album is XIII, but there's a little of everything on this album. Tracks "Graveyard Du Jour" and "Out Of My Mind" are very similar to XIII. "All Apologies" is a great opener, though not as strong as Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children's "Come On." On the flipside, while BSfUC has a couple of standout tracks with a chunk of studio filler, this whole album is pretty solid. As a collection of tracks, this is probably only second to XIII, but I don't see any individual tracks here that top some of the previous offerings, like "12 Hundred," "Come On," or my personal Favorite, "43."
The Adele cover Rumor Has It was an odd choice, but they managed to make it fit. Like covers of Pink Floyd's Empty Spaces and Seal's Crazy, Mushroomhead gave it a different twist, while remaining true to the original. Sticth's fingerprints are all over this tack, with lots of scratches, sirens, and whistles in the background. Vocals? If you like Jeffery Nothing, Waylon, or J.Mann, you'll be happy. All three feature prominently on this album. Skinny's drums are solid, as always. The only weak point for me was the additional percussion. I hoped for more from Roberto Diablo. Live performance highlights are always the water drums. There just wasn't anything that I felt had the same power as "43," 12 Hundred," or "Come On." I just don't see anything on this album that I expect to blow my mind or eardrums in that way.
Gems in my opinion, include "Qwerty," "Our Apologies," "We are the Truth," "Son of 7," and "Childlike." Anyone who loves the smoother keyboards that Shmotz does, will like "Childlike."
Still, if you're a Mushroomhead fan, you cannot miss this album. If not top 2, it's unquestionably in the top 3 of the 7 studio albums.
Edit: After listening through a few more times, this is definitely their 2nd best album, and I'm bordering on heresy here: maybe even better than XIII. Many reviews are down on other albums, but that's because most fans have XX as their first exposure, and that was a compilation of the best tracks from Mushroomhead, Superbuick, and M3. Taken individually, none of those albums can compare to XIII, either. I like this more with each listening.
Also, read the fine print on the CD.