Yash’s Rock Picks of 2011 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution! *wannabe air guitar riff, power slide, hammer on, guitar breaking, strip, coronary* But sometimes, it’s just that. Read on to know what was and what wasn’t.

THE GOOD

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – I’m With You

It’s RHCP.  And RHCP know how to get it right. I’m With You, although not great, did live up to the expectations. It has all the elements that makes this band work – incoherent but melodic lyrics intertwined with dulcet drumming and guitaring. ‘Monarchy of Roses‘ and ‘The Adventures of Raindance Maggie‘ are the two most memorable songs from this album. The band has kept up its tradition of including the theme of California in its music.

Fancypants information aside, what do you think the fly sitting on the capsule is all about? High? Fly high? Er? No?

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Whitesnake – Forevermore

 The good ol’ snake still has some life left in it! 

They have been rocking since 1978 and their eleventh studio album proves that they want to continue to rock Forevermore. The English artists have included long guitar solos and all other elements of their music that are good for head-banging in all the songs. The title track is unique as it has a slow romantic start but progresses into their signature style. Love is a common theme in the album but that did not stop them from making the songs hard, fast and heavy. All-in-all, Whitesnake still rock. Here’s to them.

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The Black Keys – El Camino

 
Listening to El Camino is like being in a badass cowboy movie, with a shady barman, an oblivious pianist, a damsel in distress and a dusty cigarette hanging from your lips. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have come up with some brilliant work in this album. No two songs sound alike and all are worth a listen. ‘Little Black Submarines‘ is a brilliant progressive song that stands out. The American duo released ‘Lonely Boy‘ and ‘Run Right Back‘ as singles and it’s easy to see why. The mix of blues and garage seems to be working well for the The Black Keys and ‘El Camino‘ was certainly one of the hits of the year.

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THE BAD

Nickelback – Here and Now

The Canadian band’s seventh studio album isn’t worth spending a nickel for. ‘If it isn’t broken why fix it‘ seems to be their mantra. But their latest venture is so similar to their previous work that it leaves the listener wondering how much time  they actually put into creating their music. Much like their earlier albums, Here and Now is a mixture of attempted headbanging anthems and cheesy love songs.

Bottoms Up‘ and ‘This Means War‘, which were released as singles, are intended to be the fast and heavy numbers but they end up sounding like songs by high school bands thanks to some immature lyrics. ‘We Stand Together‘ is supposed to the inspirational song the album, but it is no ‘Imagine‘. The lesser said about the love ‘ballads’, the better. 

Judging from Here and Now, it looks like all they really want to do is drink, pass out, drink, mope, drink and sing about strippers.

But then, don’t we all.

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3 Doors Down – Time Of My Life

 
Cliched and frivolous – are the two words which best describe 3 Doors Down’s Time of My Life. The themes of the songs, the lyrics, the instrumentals, just about everything about this album makes one wonder whether they took effort to actually sound childish. One doesn’t even have to listen to the music; the titles ‘Round and round‘ and ‘My Way‘ are good enough to give a fair idea of what to expect. The guitaring and the drumming in the songs, which was average, are the only things that keep the music from sounding like boy band songs from the 90’s. 

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Eskimo Joe – Ghosts of the Past

 
Ghosts of the Past was a big let-down of the year. The Aussie band had produced some memorable work in their previous two albums, but their latest effort does not live up to Black Fingernails, Red Wine and Inshalla. The best way to describe a majority of the songs is ignorable. The band will really have to deal with their ‘ghosts of the Past’ when they look back to this album.

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THE UGLY

Hollywood Undead – American Tragedy

It is hard not to describe Hollywood Undead’s American Tragedy as a tragedy. The songs in the album are full of run-of-the mill lyrics, with cussing for the sake of cussing and insipid instrumentals. They also sound like Linkin Park in this album. It is clear that the band is trying to shock the listeners with their strong lyrics, but are unsuccessful in most cases apart from ‘Levitate’, which is surprisingly peppy for its theme – suicide, without any attempted dark humour.

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Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra

No, this album is not in the ugly section because of the album cover. Much was expected when Limp Bizkit returned to their original line-up after a decade. Their last album together, Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Falvoured Water defined the Rap-Rock genre, but Gold Cobra barely makes any noise. If anything, the music in this album sounds like a bad knock-off of their own music from the turn of the century.They have tried to bring back their glory days and utterly failed, making you wish that you were actually bitten by cobras, to put you out of your misery.

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Adelitas Way – Home School Valedictorian

Adelita Way‘s second album begs the question – should they really be a mainstream rock band? Most of the songs in the album are generic cliches. Their attempts to make fast and hard music is not really worth it. The only bearable songs are their love ballads. Adelitas Way should probably just try to make songs that would end up being sound tracks for ‘American Pie’ type of Hollywood movies that are aimed at teens. Even then, we can’t promise anything.

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Yash Sawant, a taciturn tactical expert, divides his time between strategizing over sports statistics (gambling) and writing his critiques (crying over his losses) accordingly. He is an avid fan of the more livelier forms of performing arts such as poetry and dance, and can hence often be found frequenting underground rap battles and dance floors at the most exclusive nightclubs in town. A man of few words but myriad opinions, in his spare time, he pens his thoughts about the the declining state of stand-up comedy and cultural anthropology. He cites Sri Sri Kaamanand Swami of Wadala as a source of great zest, zeal and inspiration.

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