Flip – 2001 – 56 minutes

The rule with nu metal bands? Never feed them after midnight. Staind however, have had their amps turned on for a little longer than most. Having released their debut album in 1996, they then won the support of scene honcho Fred Durst after supporting Limp Bizkit at a gig in Connecticut. He produced the band's major label demo, brought them out on the Family Values tour and guested on their chart squatting 'Outside' single.

Now 'Break The Cycle' seems set to elevate the Boston band's status to that of their baseball capped guardian. It's dysfunctional relationships and downtuned guitars to the hilt as the quartet corner the teen market in metal miserabalism with tales of suicide ('Waste'), the loss of self worth ('It's Been A While') and urban decay ('Open Your Eyes').

To his credit frontman Aaron Lewis can actually sing, sounding like a cross between Alice In Chains' vocalist Layne Stayley and Tool's Maynard James Keenan, but sometimes the bludgeon gets in the way of his intense delivery. Still, the ballads 'Epiphany' and 'Outside' suggest that their sound will grow and outlive the majority of their peers and should give Lewis something to smile about. No classic, but guaranteed to send a generation scuttling to their rooms for a good sulk.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Open Your Eyes – Pressure – Fade – It's Been Awhile – Change – Can't Believe– Epiphany – Suffer – Warm Safe Place – For You – Outside – Waste – Take It – Outside (Live Version)