From the start, it is obvious that S.T.U.N. takes their messages very seriously, which is a good thing. However, every now and then, the messages screw up the music, which is a bad thing. When you're too busy making a point to realize that you forgot to right a melody for the vocals, that's a bad thing. It doesn't happen often, but compared to the results when S.T.U.N. do craft a solid song, it can be something of a letdown.
The album features 3 songs mixed by Andy Wallace, who has worked with everyone, and these 3 songs are without a doubt the strongest on the album. It's not clear whether he was given the best songs to mix, or if he just made magic with what he was handed, but Annihilation of the Generations, Love and Chaos, and "Boys and Girls" are the catchiest, the most driving, and the most memorable songs from the album. Whereas the rest of the album suffers from too many stop-time sections, where everything but the voice drops out, destroying all groove and continuity, on these three songs, something else, be it the kick, the bass or whatever, is always cranking through those sections, gluing it together, not letting the energy drop.
According to the press on the band, the live shows are supposed to be sick, and i think it would be a good idea to hold off on judging the band until checking them out live. Perhaps some of the songs on the album suffered from studio-itis, where the quest for the perfect take often competes with the quest for that energy that is so hard to capture in the studio anyway. All in all, a very solid effort, and it is great to see a band with something to say other than how nice the summer was. I look forward to checking S.T.U.N. out live, and so should you.
Dustin Kreidler is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.