Friday, December 7, 2012

Mark Prindle Speaks On Some Of The Music Of 2012

Mark Prindle Speaks Via Facebook.
I  don't have a web site anymore, but here are a few quick opinions of the latest releases by some really old bands.

The new Bad Brains album -- Not nearly as bad as I'd thought it was on first listen. Still too much dub reggae for my tastes, but a lot of the loud guitar songs kick some solid butt! If you like their last one, this one should be right up your alley as well.

The new Aerosmith album -- Ruined by awful power ballads. The rockers may not be the best they've ever written, but they're also not bad at all for a bunch of elderly gentlemen. It's also great to hear Steven Tyler sing in a lower register again instead of just shrieking. The first two or three songs are in fact downright fantastic. But good god do the ballads stink. And they comprise a full third of the CD! It's possible to write a great ballad -- "Dream On" was basically a ballad, remember. "Seasons of Wither" and "You See Me Crying" were terrific songs too. But this is just generic "Crazy"/"Amazing"/"Crying"-alike garbage, as if Stephen truly came to believe that the garbage music he heard on American Idol had true artistic value. It's a real shame. They really stink up an otherwise not-bad-at-all rock and roll record. I'd probably give it a 5/10.

The new Kiss album -- I absolutely loathed it on first listen, which is weird because it sounds exactly like Kiss. Like '70s Kiss. No classic riffs you'll be humming for years, but it sounds EXACTLY like '70s Kiss. So if you think the world needs a new '70s Kiss album in 2012, go for it!

That new Beach Boys album that came out some time ago -- Starts strong! Then starts sounding like late-period Beach Boys. But then ends strong again! As mediocre as it is as a whole, it's still a better record than anything they've done since probably "Love You."

The three Guided By Voices albums that came out this year -- So many great tunes! Some throwaway Bob Pollard bullshit too, of course, but oh my god so many great tunes! Tobin Sprout in particular was on fire this year, with loads of wonderful melodies.

The two new Neil Young albums - "Americana" is fantastic jogging music, because every song has a fairly upbeat, steady 4/4 tempo. And it's fun to hear Neil screw around with these old classic songs. My only complaint would be that some of them are far too long and repetitive. This was the first album he ever recorded while not drunk or high though, so that's kind of interesting. "Psychedelic Pill" is an interesting, frustrating mixture of classic emotional/moody Neil and dopey-ass late-period goofballness. The first song is like 26 minutes long and he made up the lyrics as he went! I love Neil Young. Long may he run to the studio and record another album.

The new Swans album - I've only listened to it once so far. The songs seemed far too long at that time, but first listens cannot be trusted. I shall listen again!

The two new Public Enemy albums - Surprisingly not bad at all, on first listen. Some nice "beats," some interesting lyrics - and it sounds like Public Enemy alright!

The new Neurosis album - On first listen, it sounded a lot like Neurosis. First listens cannot be trusted though. I predict that on second listen it will sound like Demetri Martin.

The new Killing Joke album - I love it, even if two or three songs have no reason to exist. I just love this band.

The new Flaming Lips album - I hated it with a passion on first listen, but having listened a couple more times, I've grown to quite enjoy it. Even the stupider songs (like the one with Nick Cave) have interesting music/moods. I doubt "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" will ever grow on me though.

The new Iggy Pop - More easy-listening French crooner covers. Come on, Ig. Nobody wants to hear this bullshit.

The new Public Image Ltd. - Has a few really good melodies near the beginning, but too much of it sounds completely half-assed.

The new ZZ Top - They've dumped the eccentricity of "Mescalero" and retreated to what they feel they do best - blues-rock. It's decent though. No surprises, but beats the hell out of everything between Recycler and XXX.

The new Bob Dylan - His voice has never sounded worse. I can't even comment on the music because his voice sounds so bad.

The new Soundgarden - Only listened once so far, but it seemed to start off surprisingly strong before taking a turn for the dull about halfway through.

The new Joey Ramone - Don't blame Joey for the hit-or-miss quality of the songs. If he were alive, it probably wouldn't have been released! It's wonderful to hear his voice again, but a lot of these tunes are just 'whatever.'

The new Sebadoh EP - I like it! Sounds like good strong melodic Sebadoh!

The new Rush - On first listen, I thought the riffs sucked. On second listen, they sounded much better but Geddy's voice got on my nerves. Could it be that I've grown to hate Geddy's voice again?

I know I'm missing some other recent releases, but they aren't coming to mind at the moment. I still haven't heard the new Pig Destroyer, though I'd like to. I didn't bother with the new Everclear. I'm looking forward to the new Bad Religion and Nick Cave.

And hopefully I've already made it abundantly clear that I'm quite fond of the new Van Halen album. That'd be a high 8/10 in my book of numbers.
 While Mark may have retired from the record review site, he can still found at facebook

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