Rocks Off's 10 Biggest Musical Disappointments of 2012

Everyone's mother once told them, or should have, that life is not always going to be a puppy mill full of unicorns and rainbows. Remember why all those puppies are there. Sometimes life -- and especially pop music -- doesn't turn out like you were expecting, so now we present Rocks Off's Biggest Musical Disappointments of 2012.

Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator at House of Blues last week
Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator at House of Blues last week
Photo by Marco Torres

COREY DEITERMAN: My biggest disappointment in music this year is the career trajectory of Odd Future. Look, I was one of their biggest adherents when they first came out and I even stuck with them when they alienated their hipster fanbase around the middle of 2011. But there's only so much even I could take. Goblin was the last great release from these guys, in my opinion.

Everything since, and there's been lots, has been boring and shown how much thin ice they were treading even in the beginning. The cracks have not only shown themselves on recent albums, they've blown wide open as the rap crew has played itself out completely. Even their collective OF Tape Vol. 2 and the much-hyped return of Earl Sweatshirt simply raised my hopes to promptly kill them as brutally as possible.

I'm pretty much ready to call it a day on these guys ever making anything worth paying attention to again, but I admit I'm still waiting to hear Wolf before really giving up.

CORY GARCIA: It may not have made it to TMZ but it was sad watching Ween go out in a blaze of unnecessary drama. While I fully expect for them to reunite at some point in the future it's never fun to watch a group you like have a very public falling out, especially when it comes out of left field the way this one did.

Rocks Off's 10 Biggest Musical Disappointments of 2012

CHRIS GRAY: These days I find that my expectations are generally so low with anything regarding music, be it a new album or concert or some viral trend, that it's difficult to be seriously disappointed in much. That way if something does turn out well, I am pleasantly surprised; if not, no big deal. So although I thought this year was ready for the glue factory by about April, there wasn't a whole lot that truly let me down.

Instead I want to mention something that exceeded my expectations beyond any reasonable amount: ABC's country-music drama Nashville. I'm not recapping it here anymore because nobody was reading (which I'm sure is my fault), but Nashville has happily been extended for a full season, and I'm still watching every week. It's on "winter hiatus" until Jan. 9.

Nashville has something of Melrose Place, aka Pretty People Making Stupid Choices, a conniving prime-time villain for the ages in the ruthlessly velvety Powers Boothe, and enough music-biz savvy to write in eyelash cameo roles for serious Nashville cats like Americana don Buddy Miller and rowdy roots band Cadillac Black. But then it will go and do something only the best trashy soaps can get away with, like pairing up the Strait-Laced Christian Pro Quarterback and the Bad-Girl Ingenue with a Mom in Rehab -- and the show has her ask him to marry her. I'm hooked.

JOHN SEABORN GRAY: Probably the new Gaslight Anthem album, Handwritten. I wanted to like it, but it just didn't do anything for me.


Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth at Toyota Center in June
Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth at Toyota Center in June
Photo by Groovehouse

CRAIG HLAVATY: David Lee Roth and the Van Halen Family Band? Yes, it could be said with some exaggeration, and tongue firmly sunken and glued in cheek, that openers/funk legends Kool & the Gang were the main act and that Van Halen played their afterparty.

I thought that during the K&TG set jokingly, but as each VH song reeled out, it was like a hellish Nostradorkus prediction. The Van Halen Family Band -- Eddie, uncle Alex and son/nephew Wolfgang -- was playing with menacing precision. For his age, Wolfie was in the pocket. Sure, we all miss Michael Anthony, but with Wolf you at least know that it's in reverent hands. His backing vocals aren't terrible, either. Those backing vocals were the saving grace of the night, which isn't how it should be.

That's the only way one could even sing along, if you wanted to attempt to. It disrupted the "groove," so to speak. Roth was either ahead of the band, behind the band or adding new lyrics and embellishments to nearly every cut, save for maybe "You Really Got Me" and "I'll Wait."

I wish that Roth had been at the show the Van Halens were at, because it would have sounded great. He was in an alternate Vegas dimension in front of a million-piece orchestra where he had to fill up two hours of dead air.

MATTHEW KEEVER: The Killers' new album, Battle Born. Overall, it was just too mellow. It's not a bad album, per se, but coming from the same guys who released Hot Fuss, it's something of a letdown. If nothing else, though, it's definitely an improvement from Day & Age. What the hell was that about, anyway?

CHRISTINA LYNN: "Anything Is Possible" by Ellie Goulding -- it just does not grab me like her single "Lights" did.

SHEA SERRANO: Tyga breaking my heart when I went to go see him perform "Rack City" and some other songs.

NATHAN SMITH: Though Bill Ward's contract wrangling didn't help, Tony Iommi's shocking cancer diagnosis derailed any hope of a Black Sabbath reunion tour in 2012. Sure, they're creaky old dudes these days, and Ozzy's voice has been gone for decades. But it was still hard to accept that I've seen the mighty Sabbath for probably the last time already.


Trouble outside Boondocks this past January
Trouble outside Boondocks this past January
Photo by Marco Torres

MARCO TORRES: My biggest disappointment of 2012 was Chapter 30 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances, which deals with noise and sound regulation. Late last year, in response to an alleged increase of noise complaints, the Houston City Council passed amendments to the noise ordinance that allowed police officers to write tickets and arrest individuals without the aid of a decibel reader. This caused thousands of dollars worth of fines, unnecessary jail time, and the waste of city resources.

Although a few clubs such as Fitzgerald's and Boondocks have taken measures to insulate and regulate their sound pollution, the ordinance caused a temporary deterioration in the city's music scene. All of the court cases were eventually dismissed.

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