A Web site (magazine?) called Loudwire posted their list of the most anticipated rock albums of 2013. The first question we have is "anticipated by whom?" Because if the answer is "people who love music," then we've got some major problems here.
10. Motley Crue
Really? The tenth most anticipated new rock album. Really. Look, we're not saying Motley Crue aren't hugely popular, clearly they are. They sell out gigantic concert venues and will probably continue to do so for a long time. But is anyone really looking forward to new Motley Crue music?
Diehard fans, maybe, but are there enough of them to make this the number ten most anticipated album of 2013? "Girls Girls Girls" may take you back to 1987 and fond memories of your youth, but it's now been over twenty years since grunge killed hair metal stone dead. Motley Crue's next album is going to change that? Come on.
Will it be any good? Depends on how much you liked Motley Crue at their zenith. But no.
Will it actually come out? If we could stop it, we would.
You've never heard of Device, but they're the reason we've got to try to inject some extraneous punctuation into the following word: "super(?)group." It's the singer from Disturbed and the guitarist from Filter, so... this combination is supposed to excite people, we gather. Considering no one has given a shit about either Disturbed or Filter in more than ten years, we really don't see how combining them in an untested outing is supposed to get us all hot and bothered. Maybe they'll have fun together, though. Good for them.
Will it be any good? Do you wish "Hey Man, Nice Shot" ended with a dude screaming about his mommy for five minutes? Well then you should probably go bookmark their MySpace page. Yeah, if you're interested in this band, there's no way you're on anything newer than MySpace.
Will it actually come out? They started recording in June, so we'll at least get a single or two out of them. Could be a personality clash before the album drops, though. It's hard to tell with these super(?)groups and their clashing mega(?)egos.
8. Rob Zombie
He's taking a break from making horror films -- which were slowly but steadily improving as he went along, by the way -- to return to music-making. The three words he supplied to describe the sound he's going for are "dark, heavy, and weird," so that sounds promising. Should a new Rob Zombie crack the top ten, is the real question. Being very, very charitable, the answer is... mmmaybe.
Will it be any good? It might. We're always inclined to give Mr. Zombie the benefit of the doubt, sight unseen.
Will it actually come out? Yeah, he's pretty reliable, for a zombie.
7. Pearl Jam
It's not really a surprise to see them here, as they've been steadily releasing material ever since 1991. Perhaps to their own detriment; never taking a break kind of meant never leaving a hole in the life of the Generation Xer which they would seek to fill with, say, a big Pearl Jam reunion show. Even though we'll miss them when they finally do call it quits, at this point we can't really work up much excitement to hear what they've got planned next, or not enough to put them in the Top 10, anyway.
Will it be any good? Their last album, Backspacer, was. No reason to think this one won't be.
Will it actually come out? Yes. Pearl Jam know they have a loyal following and try extra hard not to jerk them around.
6. Queens of the Stone Age
Now we're talking. This is the first selection from Loudwire's list that we would actually move further up rather than removing entirely. Six years is a long time to go with no new Queens of the Stone Age, and it's going to be interesting indeed to see what Josh Homme has cooked up since George W. Bush was president.
Will it be any good? Has there been a bad Queens album yet? (Hint: no.)
Will it actually come out? Oh God, please don't toy with us, Josh.
5. Judas Priest
"Oh my God, Judas Priest are making a comeback?" you probably aren't saying, but theoretically could. Well, apologies to LL Cool J, but don't call it a comeback; they've been here for years. Judas Priest have been releasing new material relatively steadily ever since they hit the scene. Their last album was 2008's Nostradamus. Do you remember anything about it? Do you still listen to any songs off it? Did it make any lasting impact in any way?
Of course not. And, since their next album isn't any kind of reunion project, it's hard to see why anyone should care. Sure, they shook the world back in their heyday and they're still a solid act. But top ten most anticipated? Really? When there are umpteen bands out there trying new and interesting things, how many people can still get excited over more same old, same old?
Will it be any good? Their last few albums weren't all that great, so probably not.
Will it actually come out? Sure, like we said, these guys have been steadily delivering long past quitting time.
4. Alice In Chains
The second album from the post-Layne Staley incarnation of Alice In Chains. Rocks Off never listened to the first, 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue. All the best to the band and their new singer, but we just couldn't do it. Sorry. And even if Layne Staley were still alive, would we be excited enough about a new Alice In Chains album to put it in the Top 10? For the answer to that question, please see the Pearl Jam entry.
Will it be any good? Don't know. Not something we can bring ourselves to get into, good or not.
Will it actually come out? We would have bet that the 2009 album wouldn't happen, but it did, so this one probably will, too.
In case you hadn't picked up the pattern already: this is not a list that gives any semblance of a shit about new, exciting music. Sure, Tool are a great band and yes, it's been a good long while since we had new material from them, but for Christ's sake, does anyone involved with the making of this list listen to any bands that were formed in the last ten years?
And not Device-like super(?)groups made up of people you've already heard of, but a truly new artist who would maybe challenge you a little? Contrary to the beliefs of all too many aging Gen-Xers, good music did not suddenly stop in the late '90s. It got harder to find, sure. Did you bother to look, though?
Will it be any good? Maybe, but yet again, we have another band whose prime is past in this depressing Top 10 list. Unless you really believe that whatever we hear on this album might be as good as or better than Undertow, in which case, may the forces of good forever protect your gentle, optimistic soul. This is sad, Loudwire, fucking SAD.
Will it actually come out? Who even knows with Maynard?
2. Black Sabbath
Previous entry's ranting aside: we admit we are very curious about this one. Sure, the last album by a band called "Black Sabbath" came out in 1995, but this is the first featuring most of the original lineup since 1978. Yes, Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer are all back, missing only drummer Bill Ward, who couldn't reach an agreement in contract negotiations. Really, Bill?
Tony Iommi recorded some of the music that will be on this album while undergoing chemotherapy, but you just couldn't iron out the fine points of the contract, huh? Anyway, unlike the Judas Priest album, we actually have a reason to care with this one.
Will it be any good? Well... the last album they did together, Never Say Die!, was not very good. But they have had a while to fine-tune, so we'll give it a fair listen.
Will it actually come out? Seems like they're pretty serious about it. Everybody but Bill, that is.
1. Nine Inch Nails
It was time for Trent Reznor to take time off from Nine Inch Nails. With Teeth was a solid album, but Year Zero didn't do much for us and the all-digital The Slip did even less. However, seven years is long enough. It's time to hear again from one of the few musicians who has never been afraid to push his own limits and try new things.
And so there you have it: Three decent entries on Loudwire's Top 10 list, all musicians who have been around for 15 years or more. Be honest, Loudwire: Are any of you guys younger than 45?
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Will it be any good? We dare hope that yes, yes it will be.
Will it actually come out? Ehhh... it's hard to tell. We wouldn't be surprised if Trent gets bogged down in the full-length album release of his other side project, How To Destroy Angels, and pushes a new Nine Inch Nails album to 2014. We hope not, though.