The Other Side


A lot has already been said about Godsmack’s acoustic turn. Some have called it groundbreaking, suggesting that the band took quite a chance releasing something like this. I’m just not buying it. Godsmack is at the top of the heap commercially. At this point, they could have released an album full of TV theme songs or advertising jingles and had a platinum seller. As for groundbreaking, I suppose none of these critics remember Five Man Acoustical Jam, G ‘N R Lies, or that little show called MTV Unplugged.

No, there’s nothing groundbreaking or risky about The Other Side. However, taken on its own, it is an enjoyable album. I would like to hear more than seven songs — and a cover song or two as a tip of the hat to musical influences would also have been a treat — but even with these quibbles, the band manages to impress with the amps turned off. Sully Erna’s vocals, previously focused on screaming, come through as surprisingly layered when he gives us a peek at his range. The rest of the band are competent enough on the acoustic versions, but there is nothing really inventive or surprising here.

The three new tracks range from a depressingly down and repetitive opener (“Running Blind”) to an inoffensive placeholder (“Voices”). The keeper here is “Touch•.” With members of Dropbox sitting in, this solid song in its own right has radio hit potential. The band drifts away from their grungy-metal roots here, and into a little psychedelic neo-Doors groove. The other four tracks are re-treads from their previous electric albums, with the original hit “Keep Away” faring the best. While it’s still the same riffs being run through, something about the acoustic milieu adds to the angst and intensity. For example, “Asleep” (the re-titled “Awake”) adds some piano to play off Erna’s vocals.

If you’ve never heard Godsmack (or haven’t liked what you have heard from them), but liked the flurry of unplugged albums in the ’90s, you might want to pick up this one. Conversely, if all you like about Godsmack is how heavy they play, then this one probably isn’t a keeper for you.

Godsmack: www.godsmack.com/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

  • Demons/Demons 2
    Demons/Demons 2

    Synapse Films reissues Lamberto Bava’s epic ’80s gore-filled movies Demons and Demons 2 in beautiful new editions.

  • Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson
    Sylvie Courvoisier and Mary Halvorson

    Searching for the Disappearing Hour (Pyroclastic Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Payal Kapadia
    Payal Kapadia

    Earlier this year, director Payal Kapadia was awarded the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature, A Night of Knowing Nothing. Lily and Generoso interviewed Kapadia about her poignant film, which employs a hybrid-fiction technique to provide a personal view of the student protests that engulfed Indian colleges and universities during the previous decade.

From the Archives