Top 5 Best New Rock Albums From Old Bands
5) Whitesnake – Good To Be Bad
It seems there has been a demand for real rock and roll music considering the amount of new studio albums being released from bands that are 20+ years old. Whitesnake is no exception, releasing Good To Be Bad just about a decade after their last studio album. The album marks the 30th anniversary of the band and does not disappoint. Although David Coverdale is the only original member, Whitesnake is topped with some mighty replacements. Guitar monsters Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich form a perfect duo and capture the unique Whitesnake guitar style set down by John Sykes in 87. More importantly, the guitar tone is very true to the late 80s Whitesnake which gives off a genuinely vintage sound. “Can You Hear The Wind Blow” and “All For Love” revolve around enormous sounding guitars with rough and rowdy hooks. Songs like “Best Years”, “Till The End Of Time” , and “Call On Me” feature the bands musical blues roots emphasized by Doug Aldrich slippery and funky blue licks.
This is a hell of a comeback CD and falls nothing short of amazing; truly encompassing Whitesnake’s arena rock sound. It’s a very versatile album that features everything from a power ballad to straight forward hard hitting guitar driven stadium rock to the ‘Led Zeppelin on steroids” blues rockers. Not only does Whitesnake deliver on this record but they remain one of the most powerful, and seasoned live groups.
4) Megadeth – Thirteen
Megadeth’s “Thirteen” is the first album since 2001 to feature co-founding member bassist Dave Ellefson. The album is darker and heavier than 2009’s “Endgame”. Thirteen features completely new tracks as well as older cuts that were never put on tape. The Album has a vintage Megadeth feel and is filled with qualities that remind the listener of early Megadeth. The album is quite diverse ranging from the retro-thrash “Never Dead” to the melodic anti-war “Millenium of The Blind”. All in all a very solid that doesen’t waste your time with filler.
3) AC/DC – Black Ice
ACDC has always held the notion that ‘If It ain’t broke, don’t fix it” (to powerphrase). Well, this has served the band very well as they seem to be one of the very few bands who has never been influenced by the current environment of music. Black Ice marks the 16th studio album to be released by ACDC. Just like all ACDC records, “Black Ice” is just that, another ACDC record. Pure Marshall stack distortion, devilish vocals, a hard thumping rhythm section, and catchy tunes. The ACDC formula is by no means ‘hard’ but it is unique to them and that’s why this record takes spot # 3. A solid album, great singles, and a great album that celebrates all we love about the band.
2) Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth
Van Halen’s reunion album is one of the pleasant surprises of 2012. One day after it was released to ITunes, “Tattoo” was the #1 selling rock song in the US, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. That, in itself, speaks for not only the quality of the record and Van Halen’s audience appeal but it also begs the question ‘Where are Today’s Rockstars?’. Maybe what made the album so good was the fact that most of the ‘new’ songs came from material that the band never used back in the 70’s. While the album is missing an instrumental stand-alone track from Eddie himself (Instrumentals appeared on every VH record featuring Roth), it is all in all an actual Van Halen record.
Roth claims “Eddie and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976, and 1977.” 1970′s recordings exist of what became “She’s the Woman”, “Outta Space”, “Big River”, “Beats Workin’”, “Tattoo”, “Honey baby sweetie doll”, and “Bullethead”. It’s no wonder the record still has that VH/Roth sound. Eddie is still shredding on the guitar like it was 1978, Roth provides excellent vocals with tongue-in-cheek style lyrics, and Alex (as usual) proves why he is one of rock and roll’s greatest drummers (although he hardly gets the credit he deserves).
1) Ratt – Infestation
Ratt N Roll is back with a vengeance. Not having released an album since 1999, Ratt comes back strong with debut Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo. Other than Jake E Lee, Ratt couldn’t have found anyone more suitable to replace the late Robbin “King” Crosby’s position. The album tops this chart for one simple reason; Ratt may be one of the very few older acts to release a new album that is true to their roots instead of trying to play catch-up with the deteriorated modern rock scene. This album is real rock and roll, not some alternative rock record with an arena rock band name stamped on it.
This album is top to bottom early Ratt. The band hasn’t sounded this good since “Detonator” (yes I know many Ratt fans hate Detonator but I happen to think the songs are very good except a few cheesy lyrics). The album is reminiscent of Ratt’s “Out Of The Cellar” and “Invasion Of Your Privacy”, really gritty and aggressive. Warren Demartini, as usual, provides blistering solos and unique arena rock rhythm.
The record kicks off with the aggressive “Eat Me Up Alive” and continues to kick you in the nuts with badass solos, awesome dual rhythm guitar, and tons of hooks right till the end. Oddly enough, the song “Scatter” is only included on the Japanese release or as an ITunes bonus track which is surprising considering it’s one of the strongest songs on the album (marketing ploy perhaps?).
Ratt is currently working on a new album, and considering how good Infestation is I’m very much looking forward to their next record. It’s unfair that Ratt is only performing in the LA club circuit and not headlining major tours presently but that goes to show the danger of being associated with the negative label of the ‘Hair’ Metal Scene. Ratt is one of the few bands releasing new material that can actually be put side by side with their early material. Ratt N Roll or pay the toll!