Friday 5: Five Greatest New Beginnings
Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).
Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. Today let’s toast to the new year!
Five Awesome New Beginnings
Anso DF, MetalSucks Senior Editor
1. Jason McMaster
First-wave prog thrash singer to raunchy hair metal frontman
By 1989, Watchtower’s first-wave prog thrash was serious business to pre-teen snobs so seriously devoted to non-bullshit music. Later, to teen ex-snobs it was mind-blowing to encounter their former singer in a very different line of work: the wry, ribald singer for a sleaze rock band from Texas called Dangerous Toys. Soon we were forced to resort to astonishment when their booze, boobs, and boots vibe turned out to be hilarious and endearing. To treasure McMaster and DToys, their music is the biggest reason, but not the only reason.
2. Steel Panther
Semi-parodic regional cover band to subversive headliner
Nobody’s idea of a super bit of professional experience for your resume: Singer of post-post-popular L.A. Guns. Nor is “Guitarist in short-lived side project by Rob Halford.” And actually, it’s tough to make it sound cool to be in “really qualified Van Halen tribute band” and “popular and awesome Monday-night hair metal cover band in West Hollywood.” But of course everything about Steel Panther past and present is tough to capture with words, though your body language will convey your esteem for their humor and horniness. In 2015, a fan’s job is easier for SPanther’s success speaks for itself: They’re on track to be like Maiden, a global touring organization, beloved, traveling via jumbo jet. I can just imagine it flying through the high blues skies now, painted to resemble a boner.
3. Cave In
Good hardcore to cosmic major label heavy rock
If ever you’re about to lose your patience with an OG fan of Cave In — the one who forever shouts at shows for songs from the band’s first couple releases — remember that your love of Cave In’s next phase is every bit as creepily jealous and monomaniacal. That means the status of “disgruntled fan” could’ve been yours had Jupiter and Antenna come before the band’s hardcore albums. You would’ve been collateral damage in a major land shift. It could’ve been you at shows 15 years later standing motionless for 75 minutes but then going crazy during “Youth Overrided” or something. You would’ve called out song titles like “Stream Of Commerce” and “Joy Opposites” to the chagrin of a band no longer in that mode. It would’ve been you garnering eye-rolls and nearby sighs of “douchebag.” Close one, right?
4. Alice In Chains
Best-case scenario change of singer
For at least a segment of would-be fans of Alice In Chains, late singer Layne Staley was a roadblock. Or at least a speedbump. Because at some point, his skill is a casualty of his vibe. A masterpiece painting of a decrepit, soul-fucked junkie is still a picture of a slow suicide. Hang that in your home and it’ll bum out an entire party, and that’s akin to your own death. Now that Alice In Chains survived even though Staley didn’t, guitarist Jerry Cantrell is unhindered and flush with awesome songs; new vocalist William DuVall isn’t too blank to be rad nor too present as to trip up superfans of Staley.
’90s cult favorite to ’10s cult favorite
It’s a weird world in which a reunion of a long-dormant metal band might be awesome. As recently as ten years ago, you would’ve approached a reunion as you would a donut stuck to the sidewalk: skeptically but hooked by foolish hope. Back then you thought, Hey, maybe if all original members return, none are unignorably fat, and their songs don’t sound foolish played by old men … then their reunion might not make us all barf. Into that world returned Atheist after a 17-year break for their fourth album, Jupiter. Heck, they had to come back, it’s like metal wandered into the woods to retrieve them to a thriving scene for technical heavy bands. Again, Atheist’s album was hailed but low-profile — and fucking awesome!