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JRA
02-17-2012, 05:18 PM
I didn't think they could do it.

Holy motherfucking entire dictionary of racial ephitets, never have I been so glad to be wrong.

I never get excited about new music, even by classic artists. Partially because the modern musical landscape has been raped by Nirvana gone pop and over-afro-centric sensibilities, and partially because its a bit more interesting to dive into the past to see what you've been missing. Honestly if an new album is really that good I'll cross paths with it eventually.

In 2007 Eddie Trunk made me one of the biggest David Lee Roth era Van Halen marks on the planet. So much so that I felt like a complete nimrod for missing not only one, but two opportunities to see the "reunited" band trotting out one of the greatest rock & roll sets in recent history.

But you know what I'm not complete nimrod for?

Buying this album.

You are though, for not have bought it already and having me be a potential last village idiot to catch the boat.

Seriously, I thought at best, this would be a serviceable yet lamentable portrait of how good this band used to be, on how Michael Anthony was in fact a key tripod leg of the band and they just fall to pieces without him. We'd give 4, maybe 5 songs that would be kind of cool to hear live while we waited patiently to hear Mean Street, I'm The One and Light Up The Sky.

Instead, we have 13 song, 50 minute, 5/5 stars Van Halen album.

I repeat, WE HAVE A 5/5 STAR VAN HALEN ALBUM.

You know how you were kind of underwhelmed by Tattoo? Well really, when you study the history, can anybody honestly say they preferred Dance The Night Away over DOA and the aforementioned Light Up The Sky? Or And The Cradle Will Rock over Romeo Delight, Take Your Whiskey Home or In A Simple Rhyme? Or Jump over Drop Dead Legs or Girl Gone Bad?

Tattoo is the second weakest song on the record, and even when I heard it now I was enjoying the hell out of it, and screaming SEXY DRAGON MAGIC!

But any real Van Halen fan knows that the essence of what made them great was that they were a speed metal band disguised as AC/DC. What made them great was all sorts of lightning speed riffs that Judas Priest would be pissed for never coming up with, while Alex and Michael played top speed to match the intensity. All the while Roth struggling (and eventually succeeding) to keep up and cut through with all sorts of isms that had the jock masses incessantly repeating as if they were the ten commandements of high school.

You want fast? You want heavy? You want that 70's style of metal before 1980 came through and turned the whole thing into a mafia? It's right the fuck right here.

If there are two things I hate about the CD's capacity, its that they allow artists to be arrogant enough to think that the world can stomach more than 6, let alone 9 turds from their asshole. Even worse, the damn thing stretches out to 80 minutes, which even as concert set times for most modern acts is really stretching it. People whine about albums being too short, yet claim to have ADD can only listen to first verse and chorus of a song before having to switch over. At the conclusion of an album you should simultaneously be left wanting more, yet satisfied that the conclusion has been reached. Albums too long just have you looking at the clock praying for it to end, and no form of entertainment should ever have you doing that.

This sucker clocks in at 50 minutes and 7 seconds. There is not one single wasted riff, vocal, beat, rhythm or song on here (well, ok, Blood & Fire is up for debate). As the album started to go deeper and deeper, I kept thinking "ok, this is where the weak shit is gonna come in" only to have my head ripped off and painfully sewn back on again without any anesthetic. In vain to, as the process would repeat itself right down to the opening salvo of the closing track Beats Working.

Like I said before, I figured this thing would be an amusing attempt at proving the band is a shadow of what it used to be. Fuckin A was I wrong. Now maybe 6 months down the line, I could be anywhere from it doesn't hold up to repeat listens to "Its the best album they've released since Van Halen 1" (Of course I'm not foolhardy enough to say they will ever top that masterwork. You don't, by definition).

But right now, I can be filed under "if you don't like this, you are either a pedophile, a hipster, a brony, a Nickelback fan, or all of the above, and if 2012 really does wipe out a segment of the human race, I hope its all of you."

Welcome back boys, and stay frosty.

El Gordo
02-17-2012, 08:34 PM
Yeah, I haven't listened to the whole thing yet dude. But it's sounding pretty fucking good so far. Almost unbelievably so.

IrritatedTrout
02-17-2012, 08:54 PM
The album's decent but I wasn't overly impressed. I'd give it a 7.5.

treghet
02-17-2012, 09:19 PM
Okay, I had pretty much written this album off after I heard Tattoo. That song just crushed any hopes for me. I mentioned liking some of the samples, but that wasn't enough to get me to check it out immediately. Well, in your review you brought up some good points, namely that most of the singles Van Halen has released are the worst songs on the album. So I'm listening to the album now. Holy shit. This is a goddamn comeback! Now it should be noted that more than half the songs on the album are reworked old songs, but still, I'm really enjoying it. And one of my favorites, China Town, isn't an old song, so that's pretty surprising. Anyway, I'm a lot more excited about seeing them live now! :party:

300%_Density
02-17-2012, 09:52 PM
Even though I don't normally do this for albums I'm gonna give this another shot, idk if I was in a shit mood or what when I heard it but I was very disapointed by this the first listen. I'll still say that Tattoo is awful & Stay Frosty is the most absurd thing I've ever heard but everything else I'll atleast give it another shot. Its VH I want to like it, I really do.

MetalIsArt
02-18-2012, 01:46 AM
Tattoo was awful indeed, but man, this album rocks!!!!

:eek::eek::eek:

And Wolfie's bass on She's The One is awesome.

TonyD
02-18-2012, 02:09 AM
Tattoo was awful indeed, but man, this album rocks!!!!

:eek::eek::eek:

And Wolfie's bass on She's The One is awesome.

You mean Show Your Love?

Tattoo isn't total garbage, I think You and Your Blues is the one that really takes the cake. She's the Woman, China Town, Honeybaby... and As Is are the standouts for me. In the iPod age, I'll take an album of half duds and half zingers over ten consistently ok songs every time.

treghet
02-18-2012, 02:28 AM
In case anybody was wondering...

Reworked old songs (all are from the '70s demos except for "Blood and Fire," which was written in 1984):

She's The Woman
Outta Space = Let's Get Rockin'
Big River = Big Trouble
Beats Workin' = Put Out the Lights
Tattoo = Down in Flames
Honeybabysweetiedoll = Act Like It Hurts
Bullethead
Blood and Fire = Ripley

New songs:

You and Your Blues
China Town
As Is
The Trouble with Never
Stay Frosty

MPF
02-18-2012, 02:41 AM
The album is badass...that is all!

MetalIsArt
02-18-2012, 04:56 AM
You mean Show Your Love?

Tattoo isn't total garbage, I think You and Your Blues is the one that really takes the cake. She's the Woman, China Town, Honeybaby... and As Is are the standouts for me. In the iPod age, I'll take an album of half duds and half zingers over ten consistently ok songs every time.

No.

mastodon421
02-18-2012, 04:58 AM
Did you guys listen to same album I did? This album was about as mediocre as they come. China Town is good, Tattoo and Stay Frosty are awful, but the rest are just really, really subpar. The masterpiece talk in this thread is blowing my mind.

MetalIsArt
02-18-2012, 05:01 AM
Did you guys listen to same album I did? This album was about as mediocre as they come. China Town is good, Tattoo and Stay Frosty are awful, but the rest are just really, really subpar. The masterpiece talk in this thread is blowing my mind.

Yes we did and while it's not a masterpiece, it's much better than what I expected.

Far better than Mastodon too. :allan: :bouville: :bliss: :lol: ;)

Sanitarium78
02-18-2012, 05:58 AM
Did you guys listen to same album I did? This album was about as mediocre as they come. China Town is good, Tattoo and Stay Frosty are awful, but the rest are just really, really subpar. The masterpiece talk in this thread is blowing my mind.

But aren't you aware that the Roth era of Van Halen is the greatest era of any band ever:tp: I've honestly never seen any era of any band get it's ass kissed more than the original VH. Yeah, they had some pretty good stuff but it's not up to the level of praise they recieve.

The new album i'd give a 6 or 7 out of 10. I've heard it three times and it's enjoyable but i've got better things to listen to so I don't see it making my rotation any time soon.

dcmetal108
02-18-2012, 08:38 AM
Tattoo is horrible but I do really like this album. It surprised me.

treghet
02-18-2012, 09:19 AM
Did you guys listen to same album I did? This album was about as mediocre as they come. China Town is good, Tattoo and Stay Frosty are awful, but the rest are just really, really subpar. The masterpiece talk in this thread is blowing my mind.

JRA is the only one who claimed it was a masterpiece. There are a number of flaws in the album, but overall, it's much better than expected. I don't know how you can say "She's the Woman" and "Outta Space" are subpar, but to each his own.

But aren't you aware that the Roth era of Van Halen is the greatest era of any band ever:tp: I've honestly never seen any era of any band get it's ass kissed more than the original VH. Yeah, they had some pretty good stuff but it's not up to the level of praise they recieve.

If you're implying that we only think it's great because it's a reunion with DLR, then you should probably read my first reply.

MetalIsArt
02-18-2012, 10:35 AM
Tattoo is horrible but I do really like this album. It surprised me.

This.

JRA
02-18-2012, 06:42 PM
You mean Show Your Love?



He means She's The Woman. Incidentally, Show Your Love was the original title of I'm The One, which is the best Van Halen song ever.

SomewhereInTime72
02-19-2012, 04:17 AM
Ok I wasn't very interested in this but now I am and I have to get it. :hmm:

Epidemic Reign
02-19-2012, 04:47 AM
>2012
>Van Halen



:lol:

Crionics
02-19-2012, 06:30 AM
I thought this would be bad, but it turned out pretty well!

MetalIsArt
02-19-2012, 06:46 AM
I thought this would be bad, but it turned out pretty well!

This.

SomewhereInTime72
02-19-2012, 08:10 AM
Lazy sunday. I already stole and listened to this and it is actually really good and I think I may have to buy it.

JRA
02-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Lazy sunday. I already stole and listened to this and it is actually really good and I think I may have to buy it.

It's worth it it man. Give Diamond Dave yo :money:

SomewhereInTime72
02-24-2012, 02:44 AM
I'll probably procure it when my next album-purchasing spree happens aka my next paycheck. :D :lol:

BloodoftheKings
02-26-2012, 05:00 PM
Been listening to this album a lot lately and it definitely grew on me. I hated Stay Frosty at first but now I like that song. Tatoo is really the only weak track on this album but even that song I don't hate as much as most people. Songs like She's The Woman and Big River just blow my mind with how old school they sound. If it wasn't for the production I could be convinced those songs were unreleased tracks from the late 70's.

treghet
02-26-2012, 08:25 PM
Songs like She's The Woman and Big River just blow my mind with how old school they sound. If it wasn't for the production I could be convinced those songs were unreleased tracks from the late 70's.

Well, they are. :lol:

BloodoftheKings
02-26-2012, 08:59 PM
Well, they are. :lol:

Well yeah, they were written back then but I meant it sounds like it's from the 70's performance wise.

Blackened12
03-06-2012, 06:32 PM
Just listened to this and it kicked a ridiculous amount of ass:rocker::rocker::rocker:

MPF
03-06-2012, 06:35 PM
It's in my top 10 of 2012 for sure.

Its just a badass, Hard Rock album.

christopher
03-06-2012, 07:25 PM
I never really listened to Van Halen before. I would always recognize songs here and there but was never a fan. I'm going to check out this album since all of you are in love with it and get the old shit too :D

JRA
03-06-2012, 07:42 PM
Stay Frosty is basically their stab at writing their own version of their cover of Ice Cream Man.

and am I the only person who thinks parts of HoneybabySweetieDoll sound Mastodon-ish? :eek:

PVH5150
06-07-2012, 06:23 PM
I don't care how late to the party I am, I feel compelled to spill my 2 cents about this album.

Firstly, I laughed my nuts off when people wrote off the entire album on the basis of hearing only Tattoo. If anybody knew a thing about VH, they know that VH almost always released the shittiest song on any given album as the leadoff single (Jump, Why Can't This Be Love, When It's Love, Poundcake & Can't Stop Lovin' You all come to mind as the weakest on their respective albums).

Now, my review, track by track.

1. Tattoo.
I agree with 99% of the general consensus. Worst song on the album, by a long shot. Could've been a standout on OU812 or VH3, but not on this one.

2. She's The Woman
The first of 4 bulldozer, sub 3 minute, rock the fuck out tracks. My favorite solo on the album, which was new. The original solo in She's The Woman became the solo in Mean Street.

3. You & Your Blues
Not my favorite track, but Ed has killer tone in this one, especially the intro. Damn good solo as well. Song as a whole was a bit boring though.

4. China Town
The 2nd bulldozer. Love everything about it.

5. Blood & Fire
The intro (recorded with Ed's old school Kramer Ripley guitar) is one of my favorite clean sounding pieces, anywhere. Hearing the notes come at you from every which way possible on a good sound system is amazing. 2nd favorite solo on the album & a damn good song as a whole.

6. Bullethead
The 3rd bulldozer. Like the song as a whole a lot. The solo could've done without the heavy chorus/Leslie simulator.

7. As Is
My favorite song on the album. One of the oddest tunings I've ever heard in any song (The low E was dropped to B, and all other strings were tuned UP 1/2 a step), but goddamn, that intro is possibly the heaviest shit the boys have ever done. Love the quick rhythms & solos.

8. Honeybabysweetiedoll
Possibly the oddest VH song ever, but man, what a treat. The use of the Sustainer is fresh by Ed in this one (not overused like in the VH3-BOBW days) and the Whammy usage was a nicely added effect. Another very heavy Drop D awesome track.

9. The Trouble With Never
Took me a while to warm up to this one, but the spoken part by Dave into the breakdown is one of the coolest things I've ever heard. Little too much wah for my taste, overall.

10. Outta Space
DAT RIFF. DAT TONE. Wish they'd play this one live. It would get the crowd rockin.

11. Stay Frosty
Remove Dave's "UH UH UH"s, and it's a damn good song. Love everything past the acoustic intro. Another track of yummy heaviness.

12. Big River
Solid song overall, but nothing really stood out that much to me.

13. Beats Workin'
Excellent ending to a great album. Awesome intro, solid song, WALL OF TONE for a good 30 seconds to close it out.


Overall: 8.5/10. If Tattoo was left off & Ed dusted off his old Plexi for at least half of the album, it could've been near perfection.

Still, I can't think of a better comeback album by any other band that hadn't released a full album in almost a decade & a half.

jorgea
08-07-2012, 06:33 PM
Thanks for sharing your wonderful review of this new album here at http://www.metalsetlists.com

dcmetal108
08-07-2012, 06:37 PM
Thanks for sharing your wonderful review of this new album here at http://www.metalsetlists.com

?

Promoting in the same thread by also necro'ing the thread.