My 3 cents regarding the new Van Halen lp. Meet the old boss, same as the older boss (sans Michael Anthony). The new “A Different Kind Of Truth” is a throwback to the pre-1984 days of America’s favorite hard rock nincompoops.
Let’s face it- Van Halen is (are?) pretty freaking stupid. Have you actually ever actually read the lyrics to any of their stuff? Not exactly “The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock”. If you can decipher David Lee Roth’s California scat-boy derailed train of “thoughts” that is. But you don’t listen to VH for the intellectual property; you listen for Eddie’s squeelin’ riffs, Alex’s rock steady beat (though I absolutely hate the lack of bottom he gets) and the bass root notes. Oh yeah, and Diamond Dave’s shrieks and howls.
Does the new album deliver? Fuckin’ A it does. Yeah, Roth’s vox have gotten deeper with age, but the instrumentation is dead on. I wish I could complain about little Wolfie’s bass lines, but lets face it, Michael Anthony was never exactly Geddy Lee. Lord knows how many times they had to prop Eddie up to record his guitar parts, but that’s not our problem, is it?
Word is that many of these songs were actually 70’s era demo’s that never made it onto any of the early VH albums. Sure, there are some “re-workings” of old VH classic tunes (“Beats Working” lifts the chorus from VH 1’s “Feel Your Love Tonight” pretty blatantly). Fine by me; after all, AC/DC’s been re-recording the same song for 35 years (and they stole THAT from Chuck Berry!). VH fucking delivers on this album. A worthy successor to their last good album “Fair Warning” (that’s when I stopped listening - fuck EVH on synths, fuck Sammy Hagar and let's not mention that other lead singer either).
Play loud- just don’t pay attention to the lyrics.