By The Label, For The Cash
Andrew Estes | Maine | 12/05/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"To occupy the time it will take HELLYEAH -- the supergroup featuring Mudvayne's Chad Grey & Greg Tribbett -- to run it's course and to further stall a new studio album that has been in the works for almost a year, the members of Mudvayne have decided to release something every fan wants: demos, live songs, demos, acoustic numbers, demos, b-sides & demos all wrapped up in a nice little package dubbed "By The People, For The People." Appropriately titled, as the tracklisting was handpicked by fans, during a poll held on the band's official website. The name works almost as a disclaimer, as if to say "If you don't like this CD, tough. You chose the songs. Deal with it."
Listening to the whole thing, one can't help but feel like they were duped out of some hard earned cash. Sure, b-side albums can be good -- just look to Static-X's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink "Beneath, Between & Beyond" for example -- but despite being chosen by the fans, this one falls extremely short. For starters, way too many demos. With the exception of one or two ("Silenced" comes to mind) they don't differ all that much from their counterparts and serve virtually no purpose. The live tracks -- including a sloppy version of "Dig" -- are leftovers from 2003's Summer Sanitarium Tour, which has already been documented in the form of a DVD and a live EP. It's a bit boring to revisit a tour from over four years ago so many times, especially when the band has logged many more since. Two b-sides from "The End Of All Things To Come" rear their ugly heads, and while "Goodbye" has a somewhat fresh sound to it, "On The Move" isn't even worthy of b-side status. On a brighter note, two new studio tracks are thrown in to help ease the pain. "Dull Boy," the album's token single and first taste of new music from the band in over two years, is a fun, catchy little song that you will find yourself singing along to quickly. "King Of Pain," a song ripped from The Police, shows that Mudvayne are more than capable of changing things up stylistically and begs the question of why they haven't in so many years.
If you're a hardcore fan, this could be considered a worthy purchase. Even if most of the material is throwaway at best, frontman Chad Grey pops in between songs to give some rough background details, and it's a nice touch. It's a bit troubling though that there aren't some rarer tunes to be found here. I mean, c'mon? Demos? You've made three studio albums (four counting their indie debut), surely there's more you're not showing us. "By The People, For The People" would have been a better deal if it had revealed more gems, not recycled fluff that's been released elsewhere."