Right Off the bat , let me go on record to say I am all about Van Hagar. Had to get that off my chest. When I first heard Van Halen would be reuniting w/ David Lee Roth and relasing an album , honestly I could care less at first. Then as it got nearer and nearer , I realized this could be good if it is done right. Done right In my ears would be a straight up Rock record. No synth , no programming. Just a raw rock record that packs a mean punch. Well , I got my wish. Van Halen is back and never sounded better. 14 years since a release and 28(!) years since a release with Diamond Dave is for sure a long time to wait.
The guitar work that Eddie provides is fantastic. No overplaying , not excesssive signature finger tapping. Just a shred away from pure perfection. Alex has the boom and it sounds great. BOOM BOOM crisp nice! Wolfgang has the big task of stepping in some big BIG shoes replacing the irreplacable Michael Anthony. The kid does the job and sounds really really good. Provides a infectious low end that holds the bottom on a steady foundation. Now , David Lee Roth. The attitude is there. The vocals shine and gives us the cockiness that he never lost. You could almost visualize the chesire cat smile he obviously had on while recording his vocal track. Job well done! This is the first step and they did it right. Hopefully they will play nice nice long enough to get through the tour and stick around to give the music world something that has been lacking and kind of going into extinction , Real Rock N Roll .
Here is the track listing with a brief description of each :
1. Tattoo – first single. not really a great song to get attention. weird decision but it is what it is
2. She’s The Woman – a great rock tune that screams vintage Van Halen from the 70s.
3. You and Your Blues – definitely sounds like a tune that should be on 1984 before they added the synths. Haunting lyrics , great harmonies and really bass driven
4. China Town – WOW! With the exception of Wolfie , 60s year olds blazing like they are in their twenties. Awesome! Great drum work for Alex
5. Blood and Fire – from the start you think its a ballad but David Lee Roth picks it right up. Sounds like the bastard child of Unchained and Dance The Night Away. Same vein
6. Bullethead – a definite left over from ” Women and Children First “. Quick & to the point. Chorus forever implanted into your head
7. As Is – Classick Van Halen crunch. Watch out for the blistering Eddie melting your face if you already didnt get kick in the teeth by David Lee Roth or punched in the gut by the awesome rythmn of Wolfie and Uncle Alex
8. Honeybabysweetiedoll – Odd song but it works. Van Halen get invaded by martians and then take over our brains in less than 3 minutes
9. The Trouble With Never – Welcome to The David Lee Roth show. Classick throwback to the golden days of VH
10. Outta Space – another scortcher and awesome work on all parts of the band. Great lead , infectious bass , BIG BOOM , and DLR screamer!
11. Stay Frosty – the son of the Ice Cream Man. Van Halen blues bliss
12. Big River – My favorite tune on the record. 3 word chorus . Eddie being Eddie and showing us who is the master
13. Beats Workin’ – Can’t wait to hear this one live. This tune coulda been on VH 1 or 2. Great ending to a great album
Van Halen is back , wether you like it or not. Will they stay , only time will tell.
Van Halen is :
David Lee Roth – Vocals / Alex Van Halen – Drums / Wolfgang Van Halen – Bass / Eddie Van Halen – Guitar
Check out everything VH here : www.van-halen.com
Review by NzaSixx