Best of 2013 (Part 2): Top 10 Rock Albums of 2013

Part two of my “Best of 2013” retrospective takes a look at the best rock albums of the year.

Before commencing this countdown, here is a quick look back at Part 1:  The Top 15 Rock Songs of the Year:

15. Deftones- “Swerve City”

14. Filter- “What Do you Say”

13. Rob Zombie- “We’re an American Band”

12. Arctic Monkeys- “Do I Wanna Know”

11. Avenged Sevenfold- “Hail to the King”

10. A Perfect Circle- “By and Down”

9. Ghost- “Secular Haze”

8. Korn- “Love and Meth”

7. Nine Inch Nails- “Came Back Haunted”

6. Queens of the Stone Age- “If I Had a Tail”

5. Paul McCartney/Dave Grohl- “Cut me Some Slack”

4. Volbeat- “Lola Montez”

3. Pearl Jam- “Sirens”

2. Black Sabbath- “God is Dead?”

1. Alice in Chains- “Stone”

And now without further ado, my top 10 rock albums of 2013:

10. Motorhead- “Aftershock”    

This year was rough on Lemmy Kilmeister, who battled through a slew of health issues.  However, Motorhead endured.  “Aftershock” is a testament to Kilmeister’s resilience and consistency as one of rock’s most beloved and unique singers. There are few bells and whistles here, few twists on the classic Motorhead formula of rock/punk/metal/blues guitars and rough-edged, acidic vocals.  Yet, “Aftershock” still manages to sound fresher than ever.  The album is simply Motorhead doing Motorhead, and doing it damn well.

 

9, Korn- “The Paradigm Shift”    

Korn benefited immensely from the return of second guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch in 2013.  “The Paradigm Shift” marks the band’s first album as a nearly-reunited outfit in many years, and their old chemistry shows.  “Love and Meth,” “Spike in My Veins,” and “Victimized” stand as some of Korn’s best songs over the past decade, while songs like “Punishment Time,” echo the ridiculously anger-driven guitars and vocals that allowed them to scare radio stations back in the early 1990s.  “The Paradigm Shift” has brought Korn back to relevance.

8. Dave Grohl- “Sound City: Reel to Reel”    

Ever wonder what it would sound like if members of Nirvana, Cheap Trick, Kyng, and Slipknot all joined forces on a song?  Well, thanks to the ambitious mind of Dave Grohl, now you can appease such fantastical curiosity.  “From Can to Can’t” (the aforementioned super-song scenario) is just one many interesting collaborations found on Grohl’s “Sound City” soundtrack.  Grohl contributes to original tracks featuring the likes of Paul McCartney, Trent Reznor, Josh Homme, Stevie Nicks, Lee Ving, and many more.  The twelve-song all-star sampling of Sound City Studios is an expertly-crafted soundtrack effort.

7. Nine Inch Nails- “Hesitation Marks”    

Hot off a stellar outing in the film-soundtrack industry, Trent Reznor gave Nine Inch Nails fans everywhere a surprising treat last summer.  That treat was “Hesitation Marks,” NIN’s first studio album in four years.  The album puts a fresh spin on the evocative songwriting approaches one would come to expect from NIN.  Clear standouts- in terms of such innovation- include “Copy of A,” a repetitious piece of clever wordplay, and “Find My Way,” a haunting masterpiece of dark meditation.  Reznor is a genius.  A genius in a mad scientist kind of way, but a genius nonetheless.  “Hesitation Marks” is stunning.

6. Queens of the Stone Age- “…Like Clockwork”    

It was a fairly long wait, but Queens of the Stone Age finally returned this year with “…Like Clockwork.”  The album is beautifully-bizarre in that distinguishable QotSA way, but it is also- at times- emotional and personally-driven.  There is no better example of this than “I Appear Missing,” a moving song about Josh Homme’s recent near death experience.  Homme has taken a fairly dark moment in his life and turned it into an overwhelming positive.  “…Like Clockwork” is quite possibly the most impressive and all-around perfect creative monument of QotSA’s tenure as a band.

5. Ghost- “Infestissumam”    

Let’s just get one thing clear right away:  there was no other rock album like Ghost’s “Infestissumam” in 2013.  The album is like a beautifully-painted, segmented nightmare of dark catharsis that slowly dances to its climax: the mesmerizing “Monstrance Clock.”  Think Blue Oyster Cult meets Marylin Manson meets Foo Fighters meets King Diamond.  “Infestissumam” is a reminder that it’s still okay to bring a fresh approach to heavy metal.  If you haven’t checked Ghost out yet, do yourself a favor.

4. Pearl Jam- “Lightning Bolt”    

There aren’t many bands as consistently great as Pearl Jam.  “Lightning Bolt” provides a logical next step after 2009’s “Backspacer.”  Eddie Vedder keeps to his usual tricks on “Getaway,” “Mind Your Manners” and the album’s title track, but he also shows he’s not afraid to experiment with different arrangements;  “Sirens,” “Yellow Moon,” and “Sleeping by Myself” (adapted from Vedder’s recent “Ukulele Songs”) attest to this.  “Lightning Bolt” shines immensely through creative guitar riffs and a beautifully-arranged upbeat/slow melodic dichotomy of tracks.

3. Volbeat- “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies”    

This year was an important one for Volbeat:  “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” produced two of the band’s most successful singles yet (“The Hangman’s Body Count” and “Lola Montez”).  As a whole, the album is one of the most versatile and exciting of Volbeat’s career, ranging from the crushing force of “Doc Holliday” to an uplifting cover of Young the Giant’s “My Body.”  One could call it a sleeper hit, but “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” was nonetheless one of 2013’s most complete album experiences.

2. Black Sabbath- “13”    

The legendary Black Sabbath returned in 2013, and they did so in a huge way.  “13,” their first studio release since 1995, is so much more than a return to the motions that built their legacy, it is a nearly unparalleled force of nature compacted into eight tracks.  “End of the Beginning,” “God is Dead,” “Loner,” and “Live Forever,” include the types of bluesy/heavy Toni Iommi guitar riffs and spiritually-themed Ozzy Osbourne lyrics that will make listeners think they stepped back into the 1970s.  However, the songs also have a noticeable modern gloss that makes them all the more appealing.  If ”13” truly ends up being Sabbath’s last album, then let it be known that they went out with a massive bang.

1. Alice in Chains- “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”    

Captivating, proud, and undeniably robust in construction, Alice in Chains’ “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” takes the impressive post-Layne Staley bar set by 2009’s “Black Gives Way to Blue,” and shoots it to the moon.  Jerry Cantrell and William Duvall strengthen their chemistry in dual-harmony through powerfully-heavy tracks (“Hollow,” “Stone,” “Lab Monkey”), as well as emotionally-evocative ones (“Scalpel,” “Voices,” “Choke.”)  “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” is brilliant because it finds Alice in Chains blending their typical grunge gloom with a shimmering layer of upbeat confidence.  The album is evidence of a band focused on progressing an already-winning formula, a band done with drugs, done with grief, and done with doubt.  “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” stands as 2013’s finest rock achievement.

The Wrap:

Much like 2012, 2013- as a whole- was mostly defined by the success and sales of alternative metal and other variations of hard rock.  It’s easy to see that Alice in Chains dominated 2013.  The band provided the year’s fullest album experience, as well as three chart-dominating singles (Hollow, Stone, and Voices) that allowed them to keep momentum month-by-month.  Nipping at their heels were fellow grunge-era icons, Pearl Jam, and living metal legends, Black Sabbath, who more than proved their continued relevance in a genre they helped define.  At the same time, Danish genre-blenders, Volbeat quickly imbedded their way into rock’s top tiers, carving their niche- in spite of veteran competition- thanks to the overwhelming success of “The Hangman’s Body Count” and “Lola Montez.” Ghost, easily the most interesting band of 2013, also gained further attention with “Secular Haze” and the clearly eye-catching aesthetic appeal of centerpiece lead singer, Papa Emeritus II.   Those with a taste for industrial metal were treated to new material from genre-mainstays, Nine Inch Nails and Filter, along with monstrous debut tracks from David Draiman’s Device.

Meanwhile, bands like Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, and Queens of the Stone Age kept traditional alternative rock well-represented amidst an electronic haze generated from successful charting groups like the Imagine Dragons and Awolnation.  Other bands like Deftones and Korn kept consistent with the experimental sounds and songwriting approaches that have kept each of them intriguingly unique.   And who could forget Dave Grohl?  Sound City market a stellar directorial debut for the Foo Fighters frontman, and conceived a variety of interesting collaborative songs.

All-in-all, 2013 produced some of the most memorable and all-around impressive rock music in recent history, and with highly-anticipated new releases from Metallica, Tool, Foo Fighters, Mastodon, and Black Label Society currently on the horizon, readers can rest assured that the ball has only just begun to roll as we move into 2014.

Best of 2013 (Part 1): Top 15 Rock Singles

I understand that this blog has been inactive for some time now.  Between various life events, finals, and a crashing hard drive, remaining consistent to my writing has been next to impossible, until now.  Unfortunately, a lot of great material from noteworthy artists has come out (and ultimately gone unrecognized by the blog) since my last post.

In an attempt to compensate for this matter, I have decided to bring the blog back into action with a three-part retrospective on 2013.  This year was a really good one where rock music was concerned, and it’s important that we look back on the songs, albums, and artists that helped define it.

Expect parts 2 and 3 between now and New Year’s Day.  As always, I greatly appreciate your interest and feedback.

Now then, let’s kick things off with my top 15 rock singles of the year:

1. Alice in Chains- “Stone”          

Alice in Chains’ “Stone” is one of those rock songs that makes you remember where you were when you first heard it.  This is mainly a result of its bellowing, ferocious guitar riff- one of the best Jerry Cantrell has ever penned.  The song exemplifies AiC’s talent for innovating their sound, all while keeping in contact with the kinds of evocative blunt force that has kept their work so powerful to this day.

2. Black Sabbath- “God is Dead?”        

The first indicator that Black Sabbath was BACK, “God is Dead” quickly exceeded any expectations fans had about the band’s comeback effort, “13.” The song dances over a haunting guitar arpeggio, periodically exploding into madness before finally climaxing with a classic Toni Iommi guitar solo.

3. Pearl Jam- “Sirens”      

If “Mind Your Manners” was a reminder of Pearl Jam’s angst and aggression, then “Sirens” was a testament to their mastery of sensitive emotion.  “Sirens,” a ballad of uncertainty and loyalty, is a moving accomplishment that could only be topped off by the wavering, cathartic voice of Eddie Vedder.

4. Volbeat- “Lola Montez”      

“Lola Montez” stands as a defining moment on Volbeat’s “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies, drawing strength from a catchy chorus and a collection of upbeat lead runs from new member, Rob Caggiano.  The song boasts a made-for-radio sound that juxtaposes its clear sense of creative pride.

5. Paul McCartney/Dave Grohl- “Cut me Some Slack”      

First debuted during last year’s iconic “12/12/12” benefit concert, “Cut me Some Slack” finds Paul McCartney teaming up with the remaining members of Nirvana to deliver a jam reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.”  Collaborations don’t get much better than this.

6. Queens of the Stone Age- “If I Had a Tail”

It’s hard to pick one track to represent Queens of the Stone Age’s splendid “…Like Clockwork,” one of the year’s standout rock albums.  However, “If I Had a Tail” is simply too infectious to deny.  The song grooves along at a steady pace and benefits from a strong, moody vocal performance from Josh Homme.

7. Nine Inch Nails- “Came Back Haunted”      

Where good Nine Inch Nails songs are concerned, “Came Back Haunted” does it all:  swirling layers of chirping synthesizers and crunching guitars, battered, anxiety-tinted vocals, and a collection of dark themes.  The song draws from a lot of NIN’s notable past works.

8. Korn- “Love and Meth”      

After Korn re-united with former guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch, fans were initially put off by “Never, Never,” a song that favored electronic mixing over guitar work.  “Love and Meth,” the band’s follow-up single, quickly eased these anxieties.  The song features the kind of groaning, pulsating riffs and breakdowns that helped define the popularity of Korn’s late 90’s releases.

9. Ghost- “Secular Haze”      

Ghost are a band based heavily on spectacle, and this spectacle is what fuels “Secular Haze,” one of 2013’s most mesmerizing rock songs.  The track is a slow-paced death waltz centered on a haunting blend of organs, guitars, and the band’s signature tongue-in-cheek satanic imagery.

10. A Perfect Circle- “By and Down”      

They finally did it:  A Perfect Circle unveiled new material in 2013, much to the joy of the band’s eager fanbase (who had been waiting since the release of 2004’s “Passive”).  “By and Down,” an eerie trip through the darkest confines of Maynard James Keenan’s brain, is not a new song per say; it had been performed live for years prior to its studio release in October.  Still, APC’s presence on the charts was refreshing, and continued to fuel hope for a new album.

11. Avenged Sevenfold- “Hail to the King”      

Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail to the King” takes a modern approach to classic Maiden-style metal and sprinkles it over top themes of medieval war.  Many viewed the song as an acquired taste, but its fresh, catchy impact on 2013’s rock charts proved to be more than evident over time.

12. Arctic Monkeys- “Do I Wanna Know”      

The Arctic Monkeys are a band that deserves more recognition.  “Do I Wanna Know,” may be the major segue track they have been looking for; Alex Turner plays off the song’s defining dirty, bluesy riff with a series of smooth alliterations that are comfortable on the ears and rough on the soul.

13. Rob Zombie- “We’re an American Band”      

When you take the mind of a brilliant modern metal act and apply it to a vintage rock favorite, great things are bound to happen.  Rob Zombie achieved success in putting a fun, gritty twist on a Grand Funk Railroad classic.

14. Filter- “What Do You Say”      

Filter made an unexpected comeback in 2013, blazing a trail for themselves with “What Do You Say.” The hard-hitting track that could easily be viewed as a sequel to the band’s mid-90s classic, “Hey Man, Nice Shot.”

15. Deftones- “Swerve City”      

On “Swerve City,” Deftones stay true to their method of layering entrancing vocals atop a brutally heavy guitar section.  The song is a great cut from “Koi No Yokan”- which received high amounts of praise upon its release in 2012.

This post is dedicated to the memory of Chi Cheng, Lou Reed, Jeff Hanneman, and all the other wonderful and irreplaceable rock musicians we lost during 2013.

Song Review: Nine Inch Nails- “Came Back Haunted”

Lately, Trent Reznor has been up to a lot of different things:  strengthening his career as a composer by scoring the very successful “The Social Network” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” forming the side project, How to Destroy Angels, contributing to Dave Grohl’s “Sound City” project, and even winning an Academy Award.

But Reznor’s musical claim to fame, Nine Inch Nails, has remained untouched since 2008’s “The Slip.”

Not anymore.

Nine Inch Nails have returned with “Came Back Haunted,” the first single off the forthcoming and newly announced “Hesitation Marks” (or “HALO 28”).

The song- a partial hybrid of “Pretty Hate Machine” and “Year Zero-” buzzes with twisting synth beats and is driven by a creeping undertone. Reznor’s voice is, for lack of a better word, haunting and eerily calm in melody.  A churning guitar breakdown echoes “The Downward Spiral” and tops the song off in a powerful way.

It’s clear that Reznor’s success in his other musical endeavors has maximized his confidence and ambition as an artist.  He has poured this newfound creative energy into Nine Inch Nails in a very logical manner.  The result is a song that respects the past, but is not afraid to take a big experimental step into the unknown.

“Came Back Haunted” is no “Head Like a Hole,” but it’s pretty close.

Nine Inch Nails- “Came Back Haunted:” 4.5/5

Listen to “Came Back Haunted” here:

Music Video Spotlight: Foo Fighters- “Big Me”

It’s clear that the Foo Fighters are currently one of the most dominant rock acts in the world.  They carry a reputation for several things:  blistering live performances, brilliant songwriting, a carefree approach to the creative process, and most notably- their iconic music videos.

“Big Me,” a song from the band’s1995 self-titled debut album, is one of the most beloved deep gems of their entire catalog.  This is mainly attributed to its hilarious music video.

The video is an all-out parody of 90s Mentos commercials, in which characters would endure some sort of problem or set-back, only to have it solved after popping in a mentos:

These commercials are parodied three times in the video- and each one includes an early Foos line-up playing essential characters.  In one, the band portrays an exceptionally strong group of painters, who lift and move a car for a woman who’s been parked in.  In another, they are shown as soccer players who become inconveniently separated by a limo.  Finally, they play themselves during a live performance- during which an aspiring young musician sneaks past security in order to play on stage with them.

In all of these scenarios, the character in peril has his or her problems solved by eating “Footos (“the fresh fighter,”)” an ingeniously-named knock off of Mentos (as well as its signature catchphrase- “the fresh maker.”)  Each problem’s solution is capitalized on with a slew of exaggerated happy faces from all involved- as shown below:

The “Big Me” video is perfect parody at its finest.  It brilliantly captures the aesthetic of vintage mentos commercials, and then accurately satirizes every little ridiculous detail.

The video’s cleverness and humor make it a staple of alternative rock history.

The Top 10 Nirvana Songs That Aren’t “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Aside from maybe Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles themselves, there are few bands that are universally beloved more than Nirvana.  Credited with catapulting grunge rock into the mainstream spotlight, the classic trio of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl helped  bring unique sound, image, and aggression to a rock world desperately in need of a kick in the pants.  Sadly, the band was short-lived, as Cobain tragically took his own life not long after the release of band’s third album, “In Utero.”

There’s no question that Nirvana had a lot of memorable and iconic songs.  In most cases, the band’s mega-hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” easily tops any and all top-whatever lists due to its massive pop culture impact and chart-smashing success.  But that’s no fun.  So, in honor of Mr. Cobain’s birthday, here are what I believe to be Nirvana’s ten best songs that aren’t “Teen Spirit:”

1.     “All Apologies”– “All Apologies” was released in a manner that made its lyrics and melody all the more haunting:  not only was it the concluding track to Nirvana’s final album prior to Cobain’s suicide, it was also the band’s last official radio single.  Nevertheless, if looked at as the band’s swan song, “All Apologies” is a perfect fit- blending beautiful verse melody with an angsty chorus and ending on a final bar that epitomizes the band’s chaotic, hazy lifespan.

2.     Pennyroyal Tea”– When comparing it to major Nirvana singles such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Heart-Shaped Box,” it’s easy to over-look or under-appreciate “Pennyroyal Tea.” The song was originally planned as “In Utero’s” third single, but was canceled after Cobain’s suicide.  According to statements made by Cobain, the song is about someone who “is beyond depressed” and “is on their death bed.”  Furthermore, the song’s title is a reference to an herbal remedy that Cobain used for his own personal health issues, all to no avail.  The song initially seems like a typical, satisfying loud/quiet Nirvana track, but its overall themes of depression, hopelessness, and acceptance of death pack quite an emotional punch when considering the band’s fate.

3.     “Heart-Shaped Box”– When modern grunge-inspired bands aspire to write a perfect song, “Heart-Shaped Box” almost definitely comes to mind as a reference point.  A diminishing Cobain paints a perfect portrait of moody tone and haunting imagery.  The song was also accompanied by the best music video of Nirvana’s career.

4.     “In Bloom”One of Nirvana’s slickest songs, “In Bloom” was released as an ode to fans who didn’t actually understand the band’s lyrics or overall meaning.  The song’s catchy chorus and crunchy guitar parts have allowed it to remain a classic staple of rock radio.  However, with fake Nirvana fans on the rise now more than ever, the song’s meaning has barely aged and remains relevant and humorous.

5.     “Paper Cuts”– While Alice in Chains and Soundgarden had almost complete control of the metal/grunge market, Nirvana’s “Paper Cuts” proved that the band could be just as affective by means of sheer intensity.  The song is one of Nirvana’s heaviest and makes use of some truly brutal feedback.

6.      “Lithium”- “Lithium” was given the near-impossible task of following up the massively successful “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come as you Are.”  However, it held its own and quickly went down as one of Nirvana’s most well-known songs.  Never before had a band constructed such a memorable chorus based on a single word (“yeah.”)

7.     “Something in the Way”It’s almost a shame that “Something in the Way” was included as a hidden track on “Nevermind;” the song is one of Nirvana’s most beautiful, with an uncharacteristically calm mood and an ear-catching string backdrop.  The song should have been given a proper spot on the band’s sophomore marvel, but perhaps its melodic nature would have disrupted the album’s flow.

8.     “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle”As if its massive title doesn’t already command enough attention, “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” loudly sputters up and down and rings on even past its conclusion.  The song finds Nirvana channeling their aggression in a stand-out manner.

9.     “Come as you Are”Nearly every person educated in proper rock music history can quickly recognize “Come as you Are’s” monotone main riff.  The song’s dreary melody practically embodies the ripples of the water featured on “Nevermind’s” cover.  It is a grunge classic.

10.     “Negative Creep”– “Negative Creep” is a monster of a track.  The song really helps establish “Bleach’s” dark undertones by means of static distortion.  Cobain’s vocals grow increasingly frantic and harsh as the song builds momentum.

10 Rock Artists Who Could Potentially Play a Superbowl Halftime Show

A major part of every Superbowl is its corresponding halftime performance;  it is during this time that millions of viewers are kept entertained by a high-profile musical artist.  Over the years, fans have been treated to a multitude of impressive performances ranging from The Who to ‘N Sync.

Specifically, the rock genre has been well-represented during recent Superbowls.  Generally, the NFL’s selections have been very good, but here are ten more rock acts that should at least be considered for a future halftime slot:

Foo Fighters– The Foos are clearly an ideal choice for any live performance, let alone the Superbowl.  Picture Dave Grohl and the boys belting out “My Hero” and “The Pretender” to legions of raving football fans; the image seems too perfect.

Van Halen– Despite their inevitable aging, Van Halen could still bring a lot of energy to the Superbowl with their library of timeless, hard-rocking hits.  Rumors of a Van Halen halftime show have been rising and falling for several years, and it’s easy to see why.

Red Hot Chili Peppers– The Chili Peppers have been at it for several decades now, but their live performances have only gotten better.  With a versatile catalog of hits, iconic stage presence, and a very large fan-base, the band would be a great fit for a major event like the Superbowl.

UPDATE: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to join Bruno Mars during the Superbowl XLVIII Halftime Show on February 2, 2014.

Eric Clapton– The legendary “slowhand” rocker may not be the most eccentric live performer, but he would bring a good show to the Superbowl in the same vein as Tom Petty or Paul McCartney.  Viewers could cool-down from the game’s first quarter action by observing a master craftsman at work on the fret board.

Elton John– Considering the classic rock trend of recent Superbowl halftime shows, it’s not unlikely that Elton John may eventually be considered to follow suit.  John could handpick just about any of his singles and still be guaranteed to have the entire stadium singing along.

Bon Jovi– Bon Jovi are one of those rare bands that appeal to a large mix of classic rock and modern rock fans.  In addition, next year’s superbowl is, in fact, set to be played at the New Meadowlands.   This almost seems unavoidable.

Pearl Jam– Pearl Jam would provide one of the, for lack of a better adjective, coolest halftime performances of all time.  “Alive,” “Even Flow” and “Life Wasted” would rock a football stadium to its feet, all while remaining accessible and bearable for a family audience.

Coldplay– Yes, the initial thought is sleep-inducing, but it would be ridiculous to not consider Coldplay in the running for an eventual halftime slot.  The British quartet are one of the most popular modern rock bands of the past decade and typically play high-profile television events anyway.

UPDATE: Coldplay served as the headlining act for the Superbowl 50 halftime show – performing alongside Beyonce and Bruno Mars.

Green Day– Whether you like or hate them, Green Day have developed themselves into an arena rock band with an impressive live show.  Up-tempo songs like “Basketcase” and “Know Your Enemy” would make a Green Day halftime show a lot of fun (assuming Billie Joe Armstrong would be able to handle the strict time constraints on the set).

Led Zeppelin– Okay, I decided to include a fantastical scenario.  Odds are, Zeppelin will never play the Superbowl, but nothing is impossible.  The band’s surviving members have reunited several times, even as recently as 2007.  Eventually, it will happen again.  As for the Superbowl, again, nothing is impossible.  One thing is for sure:  Roger Goodell would be paying a lot of money in exchange for what would most likely be the greatest music-related televised moment of the year.

Song Review: Dave Grohl Ft. Corey Taylor, Scott Reeder, and Rick Neilsen: “From Can to Can’t”

Rock collaborations are interesting, mainly because the genre’s variety of sub-genres and artists.  When artists of different styles come together, the result is generally a memorable syncing of different creative approaches.

One artist who has dabbled quite a bit in collaboration is the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who has played with everyone from Queens of the Stone Age, to Tom Petty, to The Prodigy.

“From Can to Can’t,” a song that will be featured on Grohl’s upcoming rock documentary, “Sound City,” is no different. The song features Grohl on drums, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen on guitar, Kyuss’s Scott Reeder on bass, and, most notably, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor on lead vocals.  This collaboration’s unconventional nature could be compared to that of fantasy sports, but it results in surprising chemistry.  Particularly, Nielson’s dark riffs blend very nicely with the angry undercurrent of Taylor’s vocals.

Strictly as a song and nothing more, “From Can to Can’t” comes up just short of being as memorable as the actual grouping of talented artists at hand.  Nevertheless, it is a solid song that stands as a testament to Grohl’s versatility.

Dave Grohl ft. Corey Taylor, Rick Nielsen, and Scott Reeder- “From Can to Can’t:” 4.5/5