Your read it right…before you can buy it on February 7th, we here at the WGUB Board managed to get our hands on an advance copy of Van Halen’s new album entitled “A Different Kind of Truth.” This is the first full length album with original vocalist David Lee Roth in 28 years. If you haven’t heard, the album contains some reworked versions of unreleased material…much of it from their early demo tapes that landed them their initial record deal with Warner Bros. and believe it or not was funded by Gene Simmons of Kiss fame.
“Tattoo” The first single…you’ve probably already heard it…moving on…
“She’s the Woman”: From the original demo’s and recently performed at the private Cafe Wha? performance. This polished version on ADKOT is ridiculous. Dave’s yelps and screams over the solo make the song. Eddie also manages toward the end of the track to replicate the chorus with the squeal of his guitar.
“You and Your Blues”: From the outset it’s very sing-songy with great harmonies – not Dave double-tracking himself the whole time. It’s freaking catchy as hell too. Solo: short but sweet.
“China Town”: I’m surprised Alex Van Halen didn’t injure himself on this. Eddie’s playing is ferocious. Solo: some of the fastest fretwork he’s ever done.
“Blood and Fire”: Very catchy and could be the next single. Dave brings back the “look at all the people here tonight” lyrics from Van Halen’s Fair Warning album. If your listening to this track with headphones you’ll lose some hearing right around the 2 minute and 37 second mark.
“Bullethead”: This just chugs along – using the highway as a metaphor is perfect. An expectedly short solo for the shortest song on the record, with some odd effects including that “Wooo” from “Runnin’ with the Devil” which is used throughout the song.
“As Is”: Freaking heavy at the beginning, but quickly turns into a speedy almost punk like song. This will remind you of “Hang ‘Em High” from the Diver Down album quite a bit at times. Solo is, um…sick, quick, then it drops back into that heavy groove and Dave goes, “A little more volume in here I think please?” Loving the line “Every day down here’s a rainy day – and we don’t save up.”
“Honeybabysweetiedoll”: Begins with some odd knob twiddling and just blasts into a heavy riff. Eddie’s playing is so thick, chunky and drop-D here – it could be a Pantera riff. From the title of this it was easy to think that it was going to be reminiscent of one of Dave’s cheesy solo efforts, but instead Dave’s breakdown rap is reminiscent of “Loss of Control” from Van Halen’s 3rd record “Women & Children First”. The solo on this is hands down one of the best and longest on the record. That innovative guitar work people have been looking for? It’s right here. No wheel reinvention – but definitely some self-reinvention going on. Also, listen for Dave’s dog that barks over the mix as it winds down.
“Trouble With Never” Short and sweet as the band has already included this one in their set. The big question is how did they get former bass player Michael Anthony’s high harmonies in this song? Either some side deals were made or Wolfgang can freaking sing. Strong lyrically with plenty of Alice in Wonderland references throughout.
“Outta Space” Re-worked from the previously unreleased song “Let’s Get Rockin.’” Musically it’s pretty much the same. Solo echos the old one, but has a 21st century sheen on it. Ed gets flashy, almost as if to show he’s not the same kid who did that original one.
“Stay Frosty” “Ice Cream Man” revisited…includes Dave’s acoustic at the beginning of the track and much like “Ice Cream Man” turns very heavy. Wolfgang Van Halen shines on here quite a bit. Dave does more spoken word than verses, but it works for the song. Ed’s solo is really, really bluesy.
“Big River” This was originally “Big Trouble” from the early days and is arguably the best track the band has never released. We have new lyrics for this record with the chorus changing from “Big Trouble” to “Big River…Flowing”. The music is pretty much the same as the original…you won’t be able to get this song out of your head.
“Beats Workin’” This song is from another unreleased track called “Put Out the Lights” – Sounds like the classic “Eruption“ at the beginning before going into that familiar riff. It’s a lot thicker now. The song drags a bit until 3:00 minute point, where Al, Ed and Wolf break it down and then Ed drops a solo that seems to rekindle the song. Eddie is in madman mode for the remainder of the track.
Van Halen’s – A Different Kind of Truth will be released for the masses on 2-7-12