House of Gold & Bones, Part 1
Label: Roadrunner Records
Ironic that Stone Sour open their fourth album with Corey Taylor muttering, "No one's laughing now"; hard rock hasn't been in a laughing mood since Eddie Vedder committed pantomime suicide in the "Jeremy" video. Anyway, the band's rocking moments are fierce on this, the first of two volumes comprising the House of Gold & Bones series. But while "RU486" and "Last of the Real" are stand-out bruisers, there's also non-rocking stuff: "The Travelers" Pts. 1 and 2 find the group experimenting with orchestration and lofty lyrical themes -- the kind of stuff one hears on a Muse record.