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Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children

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Album Review

Every decade seems to bring approaches within the realm of heavy metal that serve as the blueprint for countless other bands to follow. And in the early 21st century, it was certainly angry/hollered vocals, pissed-off lyrics, and chug-chug-chug...chug-chug-chug guitar riffing — as well as bands that opted to hide their identities behind scary masks. And all of these aforementioned ingredients have been well represented in the work of Mushroomhead, who continue to specialize in these approaches on their 2010 release, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children. You can certainly make a valid claim that Mushroomhead are too derivative of bands such as GWAR and Slipknot (although with the latter, there has been some debate regarding who "borrowed" from whom...Slipknot or Mushroomhead), but Mushroomhead have carved a niche for themselves within the "masked metal" genre. And on Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, you get just what you'd expect — songs that serve as a checklist of the aforementioned musical descriptions (the album-opening "Come On" plus "Slaughterhouse Road," "Harvest the Garden," "Darker Days," etc.). Elsewhere, you'll find the melodic "I'll Be Here," which is an obvious attempt at radio acceptance (à la Godsmack and Disturbed), as well as two tracks that turn out to be more tranquil/slow-building, "Holes in the Void" and the album-closing "Do I Know You?" If musicians wearing masks and freely expressing their anger gets your head banging, then Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children should provide a suitable soundtrack. But for something a little more original and not as same-sounding as Mushroomhead's competition, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.

Customer Reviews

Quit Being Afraid of Progression

Dear Mushroomhead fans (I have been one since I first heard M3.), just because the band has changed their sound (again) does not mean that the album is worthless, boring, etc. This album is definitely not as hard as some of their earlier work, but I would hope that a group of musicians in their late thirties and older would have a softer view on life than they did in 1993. People forget that the first album came out almost 18 years ago!!! This album has some amazing work with both waylon and Jeff bringing a lot to the table. To all the purists who want to keep screaming BRING J MANN back, I miss his rap verses as well, but waylon definitely meshes his verses better with Jeff than J MANN ever did. I consider myself to be included in the most hardcore mushroomhead fan category. I have two tattoos related to them, have every album since their 1993 debut, have seen them in concert twice, and continue to support them currently. So stop expecting them to release another album that mimicks their underground work and just enjoy it for what it is. If you miss the "old" mushroomhead, go see them on tour. They haven't missed a beat, and the live performances will still rip your ears off and feed them to you!


Another great album by Mushroomhead, coming in at around 49 minutes it's worth every penny. It has a different, darker, tighter, and more refined sound than Savior Sorrow, not quite as good as XIII though. If you are a Mushroomhead fan, then you will most likely enjoy the album. I know some people will find the difference in sound a bad thing, but I think it just adds to their versatility and really shows what they can do. And this version is definitely the one to buy because it comes with the LP that includes photos and the music videos for Twelve Hundred and Simple Survival for no extra cost!

MRH Really steps up this time

Easily their best record yet. Like any mrh cd, its got a little bit of everything. Gravy really stepped it up,and everyone seems to mesh really well. Shmotz can finally be heard again, waylon can really alter the tone of an entire song whether its through singing or yelling. There really isnt one bad song on here. Something to fit every mood. Buy it!


Formed: 1993 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Known for their theatrical live show and the black masks that most of their members wear on-stage, Mushroomhead are one of the more unique and adventurous alternative metal outfits that emerged in the 1990s. And the Cleveland band's music is as interesting as its image; Mushroomhead's forceful yet melodic alterna-metal incorporates elements of hip-hop, punk, and goth rock as well as industrial and techno. The members of Mushroomhead have been performing incognito since 1993, when drummer Skinny founded...
Full Bio
Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, Mushroomhead
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Metal, Music, Rock, Hard Rock
  • Released: Sep 28, 2010
  • Parental Advisory

Customer Ratings