Alright so I haven’t written about any new albums in quite a while. Why? Because music sucks! That’s right, I said it, music sucks. We’re in a pit of despair with music right now. Record companies want to charge us for listening to samples before we download songs, bands don’t tour anymore, music is incredibly generic and anyone with a weird idea or something interesting is shut down before they even record a demo.
Don’t believe me? Do you think a band like Queen or Rush would ever have a chance in today’s market? Heck no. it’s all about generic, bland, commercial success. That’s why mainstream rock, pop, country and Christian rock all sound pretty much EXACTLY the same.
However, given this sad state of affairs, there’s still gems to be heard. Some of the commercial stuff is entertaining, and a lot of the older players have enough money that they can release their albums even if the monster music companies won’t. Now, this doesn’t always work out. There was a rash of REALLY crappy albums by big names who thought they could mix a record in their basement, and well… they proved they couldn’t. But we now have a few bands that are making great rock and a few record companies that are taking chances again.
That said, here’s my picks for great music released in the past year or so. Yeah I know that’s not exactly NEW… but then again, it’s slim picking man, give me a break. I gotta go back a bit to find some killer stuff. So……
First up, commercial rock at its finest: Daughtry – Leave This Town. Yep, you really don’t get more washed out and generic than Daughtry, but I love this guy. Great hooks, fat guitars, and an honest dude that stays in touch with his fans. How can you dislike this guy? Probably one of the best albums of the year. ‘Nuff said.
Next, old school heavy metal: Megadeth – End Game. Honestly, I don’t even know how to explain how this album makes me feel. Maybe like the goosebumpy feeling of a 16 year old girl on her first Sadie Hawkins? Maybe like the warm comfort of sourdough bread that mom used to make? Maybe like the feeling of running really fast in your new sneakers that mom bought you at Payless Shoe Source? No, I’m afraid none of these analogies will suffice. It’s more like being struck in the face with a cold slab of tempered steel, while simultaneously having a hot fireplace poker shoved into each ear canal. Yes my friends, this is the glory that is Heavy Metal. It’s a beautiful thing. Buy this album or be doomed to a life of boredom. This album is heavy metal defined in 2009.
Thirdly: Killswitch Engage. Ok this isn’t really a new album but it’s new to me, and since this is my blog, I can list it as a new album. See how that works? This is a shredders paradise. It’s an old album remixed, but darn it, it still holds up and plain makes new metal look like child’s play. Pick it up or be lame.
Ok, next: Queensryche – American Soldier. Now Queensryche hasn’t done anything worth listening to in years. They’ve kind of fallen into that hideous void of “best of” albums, or rehashes of old concepts that bands fall into when they can’t write relevant music anymore. American Soldier is different though. Why? Well, it actually rocks. And it also makes you think and I like that. Pick it up.
I really wanted to list more albums, but nothing else in my library was written this year. How incredibly sad is that? The good news though is that there are three new albums that are coming out in the next few months that are going to be FAT!!! FAT I SAY!!!!
Kiss is releasing a new album that is totally old school baby. Vintage amps, recorded on TAPE. What? YEAH TAPE BABY! The major takes where also done with the full band. No crazy multi tracking here. So what does this mean? Vintage KISS, that’s what it means. If you can’t appreciate this, then you suck. Sorry, that’s just the rule. If you don’t like it, write your congressman.
Alice in Chains is also releasing a new album with a new singer. First new stuff in 15 years and the single, which is out now, is so fat it’s sickening. It’s called Check My Brain and it’s just glorious.
Lastly, Creed is back together. I know, Scott Stapp is a complete tool. But Mark Tremonti writes all the songs anyway, so who cares? The new single is wicked fat, and i think this is going to be a great record.
So that’s my music round up for the weekend. Here’s a bunch of links if you want to spend some money to make your ears bleed.