Monday, May 7, 2007

Hard Rock Gets Good

Hard Rock is making a comeback, and no, it isn't in the form of Cafes.

The White Stripes have a new album, Icky Thump, coming out June 19th. Their first single, also titled "Icky Thump," is a much heavier sound than much of their previous work. Think "Blue Orchid" from Get Behind Me Satan. As the British DJ that debuted the song said, "White Stripes - Icky Fump. Heafvy. Very heafvy, man." It remains to be seen whether the rest of the album maintains this sound or not, but one can always hope.

[mp3] The White Stripes - Icky Fump

The Silversun Pickups have begun to have mainstream success, a full year after their first album's release date (Carnavas in '06). They opened for Snow Patrol on their recent nationwide tour, and their single, "Lazy Eye" hit #5 on the Billboard Rock charts. Imagine my surprise when I heard it on ZRock 103.3.

[mp3] The Silversun Pickups - Well Thought Out Twinkles

The Whigs are a band hailing from the music-rich Athens, Georgia. They've had an LP out for awhile now, Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, but they recently signed to ATO Records (that would be fellow Athenian Dave Matthews' record label) who re-released the album to a much wider audience. I like the album, it continues a very rich garage rock tradition.

[mp3] The Whigs - Violet Furs

The Smashing Pumpkins (actually just drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and Drama-Queen-Himself, Mr Billy Corgan) are recording a new album, Zeitgeist. The lineup is, as some have called it, Zwan 2.0. I'm cool with that. I liked Zwan's album, but I wasn't surprised when Corgan broke it up, as he seems to be very hard to work with in a creative setting. They released the first single, "Tarantula," and it's pretty good. The chorus (and vocals) have a distinct Zwan-ish feel, but the guitars are quite a bit heavier and distorted than anything Zwan tried. Jimmy Chamberlain is a great drummer, and I think a lynch-pin of the Pumpkins' success (and Corgan's for that matter). Whenever the Smashing Pumpkins or Billy Corgan attempts something without him I just have to shake my head. Their record label is currently going nuts trying to keep the song on lockdown, so no dice on an mp3.

Velvet Revolver is coming out with another album, and it is probably destined for success, just like their first. It's called Libertad, and the first single is "She Builds Quick Machines" (who do they have in charge of writing titles, anyway?). I'm sure it will be all over mainstream radio in no time, played into oblivion, and then never heard from again. At least, that's how things seem to go nowadays.

[video] Velvet Revolver - She Builds Quick Machines (Warning: contains futuristic western craziness)