Lifehouse

Stanley Climbfall

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    5
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Lifehouse's follow-up album stresses impact over subtlety, staying power, or originality. In lieu of 2002's skate-metal and earnest AOR grunge, Lifehouse are more at ease than most with Scott Weiland's swampmonster vocals and power-crunched guitar riffs. The band also knows how to dig a big chorus out of its thick dynamics when called for, a useful tactic reminiscent of Silverchair's first album and the big-gestured rock of Creed and John Cougar Mellencamp. Despite this, spread over a dozen tracks and competing with so many other bands with a similar sound, Stanley Climbfall's angsty FM grunge is exhausting. Ron Aniello and Brendan O'Brien return behind the boards, and their recognizable hair metal production transforms possible sincerity into self-importance and drains the band of any real individuality.

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