I've always been a fan of the sonic pleasure of music. I was turned onto music by the sounds of the rock 'n' roll and oldies I heard growing up. As a youngster following the cues of my misguided peers I was swept up in time-lost fads like Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer. I find it hard to believe that I liked that tripe, but kids will be kids. Put a shiny enough wrapper on the so-called rapper and you got kids dancing like little fools to the beat of something that wouldn't, couldn't last. That's okay. In the long run, that awful music planted the seed that would begin to sprout at the moment I heard bands like Metallica and Guns 'N' Roses, and eventually the seedling would thrive.
I was a music fiend in the 90s with a penchant toward heavy metal, but I didn't shy away from twangy country, blues, bubblegum 60s pop, industrial, classical and whatever else I could get my hands on. Music was fun and being a guitar player caused me to open my mind and travel down avenues I would have scoffed at otherwise.
In time, though, my tastes for modern music dwindled. The bands I'd grown to love began putting out terrible records and the fresh crop of rock and metal bands sounded like they were playing guitars with broken strings and crooning to the contents of an outhouse. I guess that's a nice way of saying it sounded like shit.
I dropped out of the rat race for decent new music. In the early 2000s I regressed, searching for the roots of the music I so loved, and I found it squarely in the 50s and 60s. It's all there. In many ways you could call those two eras the very blueprints for all good music that has come since. All you have to do is listen close enough. Consider "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets. If you close your eyes and listen to the guitar riffs, you can hear some of the very seeds of what would eventually, through harder rockin' bands in the 60s and 70s, become metal. It's all there. I listened for several years wondering how the hell people found the tolerance for the crap that was being foisted upon us at the time.
Now I'm completely removed from modern music. I can hardly listen to the radio without a gag reflex. I found something in artists like Amy Winehouse and Muse, Mastodon and The Black Keys, but there is a realization culminating in my mind that perhaps I'm just getting old enough to bitch about how awful modern music is. Maybe. I mean, there have always been fads that were less than appealing (I figure every generation has its "disco" that, for the most part, is better left in the dustbin of history).
After I burned out on the oldies I went back to my own roots (no, not Vanilla Ice, those were seeds). I delved into metal music and I haven't looked back. I decided to try out some newer bands and newer albums from bands I used to love. Two albums I have been enamored with are SUPER COLLIDER by Megadeth and INFLIKTED by Cavalera Conspiracy.
The Megadeth album is infectious. It harkens back to CRYPTIC WRITINGS and COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION. I stopped listening to new Megadeth music after the steaming pile that was RISK. After all these years I am excited to hear good music from a band that I had admired so much in my teenage years.
As for Cavalera Conspiracy's INFLIKTED, this is the album Sepultura should have produced in the wake of CHAOS AD, which so happens to be one of my favorite heavy metal albums ever. It's good to hear the result of Max and Igor Cavalera burying the hatchet. I've been listening to this one at least once every day for almost two weeks now. They have a second album that has been calling to me and they are in production of a third. I hope they're as good as INFLIKTED.
There are always good tunes to be found, even if I have to tap old resources. I have a lot to choose from.