On Mafia, Wylde found time for an Alice in Chains face-lift, and the album bears the unmistakable marks of the operation: Drowsy post-anesthetic harmonies decorate gloomy dirges, while surgical scarring renders the vocalist temporarily unable to sing out of both sides of his mouth. Ozzy influenced AIC, so Mafia feels like a postmodern project, an idolized artist interpreting the sounds his work inspired. This reverent treatment occasionally produces refreshing records, e.g., David Bowie appropriating Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash tapping Danzig or Wylde exhuming Layne Staley.
Wylde stretches his voice, supplementing his snarl with upper-octave yowls and grave, gritty tones. He alters his axe attack, shrouding songs in a wah-wah haze. When even the piano ballads sound solid, Wylde is definitely going through changes.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.