Folks out there remain so hungry for rock that they'll gobble up almost anything -- even Staind's Chapter V, which entered the Billboard sales charts at number one despite being as generic as white-label aspirin.

Not that listening to the disc is apt to cause a migraine. Sure, lead singer Aaron Lewis, another Fred Durst discovery, is an inveterate angst-peddler, as indicated by lines such as these from "Schizophrenic Conversations": "So crawl inside my head with me/I'll show how it feels to be/Fucked up like me." But he stuffs his stress into compositions that are solid and steady, if way too familiar. Every note, every melody, every harmony is both Staley (as in Layne) and stale -- exercises in predictability that are effective only when they prompt the listener to think of other, better music.

"Please" kicks off with a loaded question: "Can't you see that I'm sick of this?" I feel your pain, dude.


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