You have to admire the bravura of a band that names itself after a crustacean’s poop chute. Mudvayne has experimented with various Metal concepts since its 1996 inception in Peoria, Ill., beginning as a Rap Metal outfit before switching to a more traditional Metal direction for the 1998 debut demo, Kill, I Oughtta. The quartet’s fortunes rose with buzz over the band’s appearances at the Original Hard Rock Music Showcase and subsequent Shredfest, which attracted acclaimed manager Chuck Toler, who signed Mudvayne and scored the band its Epic label contract.
The band’s debut album, 2000’s L.D. 50, spawned the single “Dig,” which earned them the inaugural MTV2 award in 2001. At this point, Mudvayne was working a GWAR angle, utilizing wildly inventive costuming, make-up and bizarre pseudonyms, which morphed into an alien motif with 2002’s The End of All Things to Come.
By the following year, they’d jettisoned costumes and facepaint for their opening slot with Metallica. On 2005’s Lost and Found, their third album, they used their real names. Mudvayne’s profile continued to rise with that year’s Ozzfest appearance and song placements in movies (Ghost Ship, Saw II) and on TV (WWE Vengeance, Masters of Horror, The Sopranos), leading up to last year’s release of By the People, For the People, a collection of demos/live songs chosen by fan vote.
Mudvayne’s new album was set to be released last summer but was postponed due to the schedule of frontman Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett’s side project, Hellyeah. The New Game was finally released in October, with an old-school Rock vibe underpinning its hooky, melodic Metal. It’s been reported that the band already has another album nearly completed and slated for release next summer.
So the question remains: Will it be jeans and T-shirts or the mohawked monkey for Mudvayne on this tour? Only one way to find out.
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