And in our final round-up of the best new music of 2012 we review and rate Green Day, The Getaway Plan, Deftones, Red Lamb (pictured) and Blue Origin.
Next week we’ll wrap up the year in the RUSHONROCK ROLL OF HONOUR 2012 – with our definitive list of the best albums, gigs and DVDs featuring selections from our favourite critics and the overall winners.
And once we welcome in 2013 expect more of the latest rock and metal releases every week on New Music Sunday when we reveal the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK and the BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Heavy Metal
Chino Moreno and his band of tattooed, bearded and boisterous brothers go from strength to strength: this ear-bashing release of pure metal fury manages to sound both angry and assured, urgent and controlled.
Mixing trad metal with thrash, hardcore and no shortage of melody – the surging Poltergeist fuses all three and more – Deftones deliver a fitting follow-up to the genre-defying Diamond Eyes.
Even when Moreno does his George Michael impression (really) on Entombed it somehow works. This band – like Linkin Park before them – has reached a creative plain where anything goes and experimentation is the buzzword here.
Far from relying on the past this is a glimpse of Deftones’ glorious future: a stepping stone on the path to greatness. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Def Jam
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Punk Rock
This trilogy has been and gone so quickly it’s worth reflecting on the back-to-basics affability that underpins the first of Green Day’s big three.
Carefully appeasing the punk rock faithful yet to be convinced of the merits of arena-busting giants American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown and still embracing the world of high production values this pop punk for all.
But that makes Uno a very dull Green Day record indeed. Being all things to all men is simply not their style and this benign offering sounds like the demos that didn’t quite make Dos (see below).
It’s always a good idea (and Green Day have had oads of them during the last decade) to announce your latest raft of material with a bang. Uno is more of a whimper and the best thing it does it set up Dos to be far, far superior. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 4/10 Uno No No
Genre: Punk Rock
Dos is where Green Day get down and dirty with the acoustic-led opener See You Tonight perfecty juxtaposed with the riotous and explicit Fuck Time.
Where Uno (see above) struggles for any kind of identity this is unmistakably Armstrong et al. Cheeky, occasionally cheesy and always bang on the button it’s more punk meets garage rock with a series of addictive, humalong hooks eating away at even the most sceptical listener.
Lazy Bones is vintage Green Day and while Makeout Party may belong somewhere in the band’s mid 90s back catalogue it’s bound to curry favour with die-hards and teen latecomers alike.
If Green Day were going to release one album in 2012 this would have been it. A killer example of why quality always outweighs quantity. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Dos And Donts
Genre: Modern Metal
Throw together two towering guitar heroes and there are no guarantees that creativity will force a way through the wall of egos. But Red Lamb is less about the big names and more about the big tunes.
Recorded to help raise awareness of autism on a global scale this slamming self-titled debut boasts good intentions as well as great music.
Mustaine performs with genuine passion and Spitz’s timing is impeccable – no surprise given the fact that he’s been training as a master watchmaker in Switzerland since quitting Anthrax for the second time.
More than a mere vehicle for charity, Red Lamb is a modern metal record that rolls along at a breakneck pace – Runaway Train would slot seamlessly into any Big Four setlist but much of this album is more Machine Head than classic Metallica or Megadeth.
Released just before Christmas it’s a Must-have cracker. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Lamb’s Chops
Genre: Alt Rock
Aussie upstarts The Getaway Plan released Requiem back home in 2011. But this year’s worldwide release proved a timely reminder that – after 2009’s split – this Melbourne band is officially back.
Victims of the ‘too much, too young’ syndrome following the breakthrough success of debut Other Voices, Other Rooms, it had looked as if the alt rockers would be forever remembered as one-album wonders.
But Requiem is a statement of maturity, ambition and determination. Making the most of their second chance – ‘if we can make it through the weekend, we can make it through the year’ sings Matthew Wright on Flying Colours – there’s a recognition that The Getaway Plan have been given another tilt at glory.
This is far from the finished article but it’s a class above the music peddled by so many tuneless peers skirting the extremities of the post-hardcore scene. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Plan B
Genre: Hard Rock
Anyone who’s caught up with Duff McKagan and his band Loaded during the former Gunner’s many forays into British territory in recent years will find much to like about Somnium’s punchy opener Sick.
And if you’re partial to a bit of Fozzy, Shinedown’s modern take on metal and even Black Label Society’s more mellow moments then this album is a perfect pastiche on the US hard rock scene.
The thing is Blue Origin are from Stoke. And for all their brazen imitation these five lads from the Potteries have smashed it on their cocky self-funded debut.
Trying to Americanise their sound might draw sneers from the cynics but as the increasingly heavier Heaven’s Basement have proved it’s not the craziest move ever. Ones to watch – on both sides of the Pond. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Origin Tonic