Van Halen- A Different Kind of Truth
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.
You know its true, bunny rabbits we have got lovely little fluffy bottoms. We do. That's why people often mistake us for Danny Devito.