Though not as daring as the aforementioned bands, Mudvayne, which plays 1st Mariner Arena Saturday, is sharp. Last April, the group's latest album, Lost and Found, entered Billboard's pop album chart at No. 2. On the CD, the quartet's fourth, Mudvayne peels away the layers. Literally. The alien makeup and strange aliases are gone. The music is decidedly leaner, more melodic. "I think it's more of a personal record, representing the human spirit, the trials we go through," says Chad Gray, Mudvanye's lead vocalist and chief lyricist. He's calling from a tour stop in Long Beach, Calif. "We write very open-ended songs, so it's not specific. I was trying to be just Chad Gray, writing about the essence of the human spirit."
Despite Gray's deep philosophical intentions, the expletive- laden lyrics aren't exactly profound. Sample "IMN": "No one/No one could ever understand/This life's exhausted." But musically, the band (with Greg Tribbett on guitar, Matt McDonough on drums and Ryan Martinie on bass) seems invigorated. The leadoff track on Lost and Found, the explosive "Determined," is a standout, probably one of the best cuts Mudvayne has done.