Thursday, March 1, 2012

2012: The Year in Music.


2012: The Year in Music. All you really need to know, and a few things you’ll wish you didn’t.
In deference to the Mayans being so kind as to leave us signs that this will be the last year of the Earth (ha), I’ve decided to do a little bit of prognosticating myself. No, I won’t be telling your fortune, per se, and I won’t be reading your palm. What I am going to do is tell you the future of music; or, at least the next several months of music. I’m not going to cover every single month or every single release because, frankly, some of the stuff being released isn’t even funny and I have no intention of breaking international laws by torturing you.
While there are some really great albums scheduled to come out this year, there is, of course, some real rank ass shit too. You’ll forgive the language once you see what I mean.
So let’s start with what are definitely going to be the highlights of 2012 music.
March 26 IRON MAIDEN-En Vivo
While I’m ususally not a fan of live albums, I figure that since I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Iron Maiden live this is the next best thing. Regardless, it’s Iron Maiden and that’s all that needs to be said.
The offering will consist of a two disc set along with a DVD/BluRay of the concert in Santiago, Chile from 2011. And even though the guys are getting on up there in years, from the buzz about the early cuts this promises to be well worth the wait.
March 27 Shinedown-Amaryllis
I know there are some who don’t particularly like this band, but I do so bite me. I still say that singer Brent Smith belongs in the realm of Bruce Dickinson, Layne Staley and Sebastian Bach. This guy has vocal talent that many only dream of.
Smith has said in interviews that this album didn’t feel like just another version of the previous albums but a progression into what the perfection of Shinedown is. This is a high bar considering all six singles from 2008’s Sound of Madness went to #1.
June 2012 KISS-Monster
Well here we go again, and no I’m not talking about David Coverdale. Yes, it’s time for another KISS album. Sure it’s KISS and everyone will run out and buy it, but at this point KISS has more to lose by releasing a new album than to gain. If they release a great album it will just be another in the long line of KISS, if it sucks though, well then they become a joke. After all, you’re only as good as your last album and at this point the members of KISS are getting a little old and have far less time in front of them than behind them. But, I have faith in Gene and Paul and actually expect a good effort and even not being a fanatic KISS fan I’ll probably, wait for it…buy my FIRST KISS album. I know, I know, I’m late to the party. It’s not that I don’t have KISS on the old MP3 player, I’ve just never gone to the store and bought an entire album. Hoping there’s no disappointment.
May 2012 Tool-The Seventh Side
It’s Tool, one of the greatest and most originally talented groups of musicians to ever play together. I know they’re not for everyone, but as a classically trained musician it’s the depth of their writing that has always drawn me in and never disappointed, that and the fact that they rock out like so few can now. Early reviews for this are far more than glowing. Reports are that it will be the best Tool album yet.
Spring Soundgarden
Not to sound superstitious or anything, but I have noticed an odd coincidence that relates hair length to music quality. Don’t believe it? Think about when Metallica started to suck. It was just after they all got skeezy looking short haircuts, Soundgarden rocked far less once Chris Cornell’s hair got short and commercial and Robert Plant got old the minute he went to the bowl cut. On the flip side, Ronnie James Dio sported metal locks until the day he died and now Chris Cornell is back to actually looking like a rocker instead of some cashier at Abercrombie and Fitch. I am hoping for good things.
TBA Rage Against the Machine
And following up Chris Cornell, I guess it’s time for Zach De La Rocha to get back to making money, I mean bitching about politics. Hopefully he’s not gotten so jaded with success and fortune that the album will include such titles as, Oppressed by My Facebook Timeline, Township Cotillion or Take the Caviar Back.
TBA Black Sabbath
With the original lineup of Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer and Bill Ward you’d expect this to be incredible. Well, just to top that off, it is going to be produced by Rick Rubin which all but guarantees it to be one of the absolute best albums of the year. This is a presale I will getting into.

TBA Motorhead-The Covers Album
Apparently Lemmy thought other bands sucked at playing their own songs so he’s just going to show them how to do it right. A definite purchase for me. But as of right now, there’s not much info on what songs will be on the album or band lineup. So, just turn on Top 40 Radio and imagine how Motorhead would do it.

TBA Slayer
Ah, Slayer. Yes, Slayer. That is all.

Honorable Mention
Cannibal Corpse March 13, Testament Spring, Lamb of God January 24, NOFX, Bad Religion, Diablo Swing Orchestra
Now to the fun part, the LEAST worthy albums expected out this year. This section had to be cut down at least a dozen times. Not because I got long winded, but because there is so much unmitigated crap coming out this year. Just as an example you can expect new abominations from the Bieber, Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga.
TBA Scott Stapp-Somewhere in the Middle of Lust and Love
So if you didn’t get tired of Creed sucking, well here’s a second chance. Scott Stapp has gone solo; obviously even his fellow band mates just couldn’t handle him anymore. The only thing worse would be a perfect storm of Stapp opening for Nickelback. What have I just done? Damn I hope no one from the networks or record labels took that as a good idea, otherwise we’re all screwed.

May 29 Insane Clown Posse-The Mighty death Pop!
ICP, the band who has supplied the soundtrack to trailer park meth labs across America. Once again, there is no justice in the world. They say only the good die young, so I guess we have another century or two of these idiots. This has to be some sick joke; there must be some international human rights law against releasing shit like this. But since there isn’t we’re going to be “blessed” with the fanatical delusions and ramblings of Juggalos and more talk about their fascination with Faygo. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a five minute conversation with a Juggalo, you don’t know what you’re missing and for that you should be eternally grateful.
What I expect from this album, which I will most definitely waste the brain cells on, is more of the fundamental questions of life as in their previous albums such as,

Sorry, I get a little teary eyed when I read great poetry.

March 20 Adam Lambert-Trespassing
Ok, I don’t watch American Idol so I didn’t know what this “thing” was when I first saw it. To be honest, my first thought was, “wow, dark Goth chick with daddy issues. Sounds hot.” Then, I found out it was a guy. Ouch. On a related note, this was also comparable to my first impression when I saw the previews to Brokeback Mountains. I thought, “Hey, cool a new cowboy movie”. Luckily I found out what it was about before going in blind and being surprised. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being judgmental, but sometimes surprise is a little too much. For reference just watch the “Two Girls One Cup” reaction videos and see what happens when what you expect is clearly the opposite of what you get.


Anonymous said...

What early reviews have there been for the new TOOL album? I like to keep up to date with what those guys are doing and I've seen nothing. I'm sure it will be their best album yet because every album they release is better than all their previous albums but I just haven't seen these glowing reviews you're talking about. There are clips of them on Youtube where they're playing something that could be part of a track from the new album. It sounds great, really addictive. It's quite interesting musically, as one would expect from TOOL, really nice build up with Adam Jones playing about with the volume knob, the bassline is using a nice scale (kind of D Phrygian but with a major 3rd), the time signiture is 11/8. It might not be from the new album but I hope (and think) it is. You heard it yet? The clips are taken from a few different shows so it's slightly different each time, and the sound quality varies from video to video so you have to look around a little bit to find the best ones.

I can't see the album being out by May. I don't think they've even begun recording yet. Then they've got to mix the thing. And then there's the artwork. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't come out till 2014! But hopefully it'll be out this year. The other thing is the title. Of course, like everyone I've heard rumours of it being called 'The Seventh Side' or, more usually, simply 'Seventh Side' but don't forget that the band said their third album was going to be called 'Systema Encéphale' and look what happened there. The band (or perhaps even someone else) might have started this Seventh Side rumour just to build anticipation or for some other reason.

I also heard rumours that Judas Priest are doing a new album. Meshuggah are definitely doing a new album this year. Slayer. Soundgarden. Sabbath. QOTSA. The Mars Volta. Queensryche. Rush. The list of potential awesomeness goes on and on. 2012 seems like it should be a good time for people who appreciate the harder or more interesting sides of rock music. Remember Thick as a Brick? Well how about Thick as a Brick II? Confirmed!! The gods of rock have been very kind this year, that's for sure.

Some bad news: For reasons (super)unknown the Soundgarden album has unfortunately been delayed until at least Autumn/Fall 2012. Sad but true. And I don't think a new Rage album has been confirmed yet, it's just rumours as far as I can tell.

-J said...

You're right, it seems the Soundgarden album has been pushed back. The info I was going on was the original "official" posting about it, but we all know that sometimes the rumor mill gets the info out before the labels choose to share. As far as the Tool early reviews, an engineer involved with the project was online a few days ago and was sharing info relating to the scratch tracks that had already been laid out. The opinion was that the compositions were mostly complete and what was left was the actual recording, mixing and editing, which is going to take a while. With Rage, it seems that what "could" be going on is a plan for a live album release of some of the 2011 reunion shows and they'll also be headlining Bonaroo this year so who knows what may come out of that. Any Rage release will make a fortune and the label knows this so be sure if there's anyway possible, they'll get one out. As always, nearly everything is rumor until it actually happens.
You're also right about the magnitude of albums slated to come out this year. I, unfortunately, was restrained in how many I could actually go into through my desire to not end up writing a book.

Anonymous said...

Ha, I don't blame you for not writing more, I think you wrote quite enough! I didn't mean anything by it, I was just listing some bands for the sake of it really, like so: MESHUGGAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! However I will say that I won't be getting the new Shinedown album unless there's a radical change in their sound. To me they sound a bit like Creed or Daughtry but I must admit they're not as downright annoying as Creed. We can't all like the same things anyway.

Yes, I think you could be spot on with Rage, a live album seems very plausible. I think that would be pretty cool. The Soundgarden delay wasn't announced till recently so I can see why you missed that. They were still saying "spring" up until a few weeks ago so I have no idea what happened there. It's annoying but another few months is nothing compared to sixteen years so I guess I can live with that. It's the same thing with TOOL, I've waited six years so what's another year in the grand scheme of things?

Do you have a link to what that engineer was saying about the new TOOL, or do you know the name of the website? I'm kind of obsessed so I'd like to read it, if that's at all possible! What you're saying about where they are with the new album makes sense though, that's roughly what I would have expected. I've read in a few places that they started recording at the end of 2011 but I find that very hard to believe considering everything else they've been doing since then.

-J said...

The Tool info actually came through an engineer friend who was peripherally involved in the post production of Lateralus. I'll try to get the site he was talking to the people involved on and post it for those interested. The story given to him was that the concept began in 2009 but didn't really get going until sometime last year. Keenan himself has said that Jones and Carey have been diligently working on an album while he was out with Puscifer.- As always though, and especially with Tool, rumors abound and usually with far less basis than they claim.

Anonymous said...

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