The bravado of giving an album like the title 1000hp is to be commended for the presumed wishful thinking involved. Maybe the lower-frequency-heavy, crunch and drive of the lead/title track is meant as a statement of intention with the rest of album but it really sounds like some of the sludgy metal of ten years ago rather than something current and vital. It also lacks the psychedelic undertones that gave even the most uninspired of that music the veneer of an exercise in imaginative melodic structure. It’s not that Godsmack sounds tired. It doesn’t. It just doesn’t seem to have developed a whole lot since its previous album. That really works for longtime fans and probably works for the band but it doesn’t make for an interesting listen for the unconverted.
It’s tempting to say that “FML” would be an appropriate title for this album but really the song doesn’t delve into dark territory. It sounds like someone in Godsmack wishes to reclaim the hard rock glory that many blame Kurt Cobain for chopping down in the early 90s. But to synthesize that sound with grunge. The sound is a bit more exposed than a lot of the band’s earlier material so in that regard, the album is a success.
“Something Different” strikes a more tender tone but comes in with that sludgy drive again that is what the band’s fans will enjoy, but, again, it is reminiscent of one of those bands that you see in certain kinds of rock clubs across the country in cities of a sufficient size that mine an older sound and try to update it. “Livin’ in the Gray” sounds like a djent-inflected imitation of a more raw Stone Temple Pilots. “Nothing Comes Easy” hearkens to a hard-edged “Nobody’s Fault” by Aerosmith. At least in the beginning. In essence, though, no surprises. Sully Erna still sounds like he’s doing his best James Hetfield circa Metallica and no major chances taken in experimenting with ideas or sounds. Except that the band has taken a step or two away from the nü metal groove and rut that has seemingly defined its sound.