New Music 8.5.14 – Finally, A Rock Album Worth Listening To

Technology is whizzing by at a blinding rate and once you finally stop to see where it has led, you start to miss what you left behind.

Music consumption used to be so different. Certain tracks were unobtainable. Music videos had a place on television. Music stores mattered. With countless music streaming and buying services, there are some experiences I’ll never have again. And those experiences left intangible effects on my musical discovery that this newer generation might not have.

I’m a child from the 90s, so I can’t speak for the 8-track and cassette generations, but there are many things I can no longer experience. I miss them greatly:

  • The elation of hearing your favorite song come on the radio. In many cases, this was the only way you could hear it until you bought the album.
  • Browsing the tunes at Sam Goody or FYE, having to pick only what your allowance could afford. Music stores are overpriced grave sites at this point.
  • Hey, remember leather-bound CD cases and lyric sheets? There was a benefit to having palpable music. You could really appreciate the detail of the album art and the disc design. Some were pretty darn cool. And you could stack your collection as a totem to your musical fortitude.
  • Getting your CD case stolen.
  • The scratches and skips you get when you went off-road furious with your Walkman.
  • Scavenging for an unreleased B-Side. Do not put out a B-Side and Rarity album. I want to EARN it. And when Pearl Jam performs a cover of “Let It Go” at a concert that I didn’t attend, I need to feel like I missed it.
  • Six-disc changers!
  • Accidentally buying edited versions of “Parental Advisory” albums.

I could reminisce all day.  What do you miss?

Anyway, here’s some new music for you:

Godsmack – 1000hp

Rating: 1000hp is an improbable figure.

I will begin with the highlights. “Something Different” sounds like cool, smokey country song and is actually something different. “Generation Day” has some great guitar licks and a nice build, though you have to coast for three minutes just to get to it.  Then you’re reminded that you’re stuck in a Godsmack album.

When you’ve heard one Godsmack song, you’ve pretty much heard them all. I could pick two outliers from each of their albums and have one of the all-time great rock records. Instead, we get two decades of the same of jagged, thrash rock over half a dozen albums.

I appreciate that they still present anger and despair as they always have, but I’m getting tired of talking about how rock bands remain stale. I might have to abandon my hard rock initiative unless…

Wovenwar – Wovenwar

Rating: \m/

Oh my goodness. This is a rock album.

Wovenwar features members from As I Lay Dying and Oh, Sleeper. Both were bands I couldn’t listen to due to their incessant rage and splattered aggression. But put together, they created something magical. Vocalist Shane Blay is actually singing in every song, which is something this band’s former incarnations avoided at all costs.

We’ve talked about butt rock being too self-aware for it’s own good, but rock music was never about fitting in. These guys just made music that explored inner struggles and, what a lot of rock bands are missing, the act of being human.

When aimed in the right direction, strife can become a powerful motivator. Add that to guitar licks that pierce the sky and deliver crushing blows from beginning to end. You could save Middle-earth while listening to this album. “The Mason” is sick.

If you’re looking for the full album, you’ll have to go to their website. It’s a long one, but well worth your time. It’s the best pure rock album  I’ve heard since Stone Sour’s House of Gold & Bones compilation.

Updated Best of 2014 playlist:

How about VERIDIA for another great rock band for the new age? They could win over a lot of pop fans, which would be a nightmare.

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