Earlier this month, Fuel released their 5th studio album: Puppet Strings.
It’s been a long time coming. This is their first album in 7 years.
Puppet Strings marks the official return to the band of original lead singer Brett Scallions, who left the band back in February of 2006 citing conflict and creative differences with guitarist Carl Bell, who was the band’s main song writer.
Scallions was replaced by Toryn Green in April of 2007. Fuel subsequently released their fourth studio album later that year, which didn’t do that well.
Late in 2009, Scallions formed a band with Fuel’s original bass player Jeff Abercrombie called Re-Fueled. They began playing shows where the band would perform all of the great Fuel songs that Scallions and Abercrombie helped make popular.
In 2010, it was revealed that Re-Fueled would become Fuel, but Scallions would be the band’s only original member.
Fuel has had a few lineup changes since then. Their current lineup consists of Brett Scallions on vocals, Andy Andersson on lead guitar, Brad Steward on bass, and Shannon Boone on drums.
As mentioned before, Fuel’s original guitarist Carl Bell wrote the vast majority of the band’s songs from their first album back in 1998 until 2007. So I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned with how the new album was going to sound.
However, my fears were unfounded, as Puppet Strings is phenomenal from start to finish.
With most bands, there always seems to be a point where they hit a wall creatively.
In Fuel’s case, that probably would have been in 2003 when they released their third studio album, Natural Selection.
It was even more apparent on their 2007 release, Angels & Devils. Personally, I enjoyed both albums, but both lacked passion and were pretty much the same old stuff we’d been hearing for years.
Puppet Strings is very refreshing, and definitely does not lack passion.
Every single track on the album is getting the band’s best effort, and it’s not one of those albums where there’s two or three songs that are supposed to be the hits and the rest of the album is just filler. From beginning to end, this album is a masterpiece.
What are you getting with this album?
Well, you’ll get tracks like Cold Summer and Soul To Preach To, which could have fit well on any of the past Fuel albums. You’ll also get tracks like Hey Mama, which has a bluesy/country sound to it.
When you listen to this album, one thing you’ll realize very quickly is that Andy Andersson steals the show in nearly every song. He is the star of the album in my opinion. Andersson’s guitar work in Time For Me To Stop is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in years.
Fuel has gone through a number of different guitarists since its reformation in 2010. Thankfully Andersson stuck.
Overall, this is a great album from start to finish. Every song seems fresh. Each song is original and creative. And Brett Scallions sounds better than ever.
Puppet Strings is a home run in my book, and I personally feel like a fool for doubting the creativity of this group.
Have you listened to Puppet Strings?
Share your opinions of the album below!