Start the Machine

I’ve been balancing my love for old school mid-80s hair bands with new albums coming out (Def Leppard, Journey, Motley Crue) with some new(ish) bands and music. This is hard for me because I’m an old fart and think most of the new bands out there suck donkey.

The first band I did a bit of research on was Black Tide. These kids are like Hanson if they were fed a steady diet of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motorhead and Judas Priest, which is to say they are a throwback to the kind a music I’ve always dug.

Shockwave sounds like Priest riffing minus Halford’s screams and Warriors of Time sounds like something Iron Maiden would have been comfortable recording. The Let Me riff is something Randy Rhodes might have recorded in 1982. Live Fast Die Young rips like every hair band circa 1988 and I know I’ve heard that main riff before… While their influences are obvious, they are talented enough to sound contemporary and retro at the same time and that’s a mean feat.

I know I’m a little behind the times, but I just found a little band called Angels and Airwaves and they’re kinda good. I’m so out of it, I didn’t even know Blink-182 broke up. Of course, there is zero B182 influence here.

Tom DeLonge’s voice never touches his earlier punk style and is clear and strong. The musicianship across the board is complex and diverse. There’s a hint of over production, but that’s exactly the sound they going for as it is consistent across every song. In the studio they can get away with the production tricks, but I wonder how it reproduces live.

The melody line on Do It For Me Now is unpredictable and interesting as if Spandau Ballet decided to make a rock track. The War is a fantastic blend of riffing guitar, drums and keyboard. However, I appreciate the album as a whole. It certainly isn’t just a haphazard collection of songs and definitely not a radio hit and a bunch of filler.

AvA (as I learned the band prefers to shorten their name as well as a nod and a wink to DeLonge’s daughter Ava) is something I never thought I’d find, a contemporary band which appeals to this old fart.