Bands today just can't commit. Kiss released over a dozen platters before its members deployed the ol' we've-stopped-painting-our-faces gimmick, whereas Mudvayne is using essentially the same stunt on CD number three. And while Kiss had Gene Simmons's tongue to fall back on (the group's first Maybelline-free recording was titled Lick It Up), its heirs in hype are left without a shtick. Maybe Mudvayne named this disc Lost and Found because its cosmetics supply is sitting in some forgotten airport storeroom alongside piles of misdirected luggage and hundreds of fingernail clippers.

Not that the boys didn't clean up nice. Hell, Chad Gray, Greg Tribbett, Matt McDonough and Ryan Martinie (their real names! Whoo-hoo!) could appear tomorrow at The OC's Bait Shop if they'd come up with anything trendy enough to earn a booking. Unfortunately for them, the formulaic aggression of songs such as "Fall Into Sleep" and "Happy?" feels very five years ago. They've got angst in their pants, but they can't manage to dance.

Betcha for the next album (if there is a next album), the makeup and costumes will be back. You read it here first.




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