For years, while often fluxing between greatness and mediocrity, American radio and music as a whole have historically been pretty decent. Some hated disco, but there was Zeppelin and Sabbath, not to mention punk rock in the clubs for those who wanted depth. The eighties offered everything from metal with technical prowess still awe worthy even today, to the birth of rap (which at the time was a good thing), and even new wave. Likewise, the 90's stole radio from every existing format, but 90's music was still quite diverse. Pearl Jam sounded nothing like The Prodigy. Nine Inch Nails did not sound like Fight.

Advertisement

How our music died

Then, the labels decided to make music safer and more comical. Bands like Hootie and Blowfish, Presidents of the United States (peaches? Really? On the radio every hour?), and the like began to play endlessly. Soon after, the death knell came with The Spice Girls. Overnight music was ruined in such a way that it has yet to recover. Music has been largely a collection of pre-frabricated drum loops that the artist did not write nor compile, lyrics rooted in sex told on a third grade reading level, and a collection of grossly overused and tiresome vocal running screeching.

To escape, let us look at some great music that shouldn't be missed...but likely was.

Lest we be accused of only liking old music let us keep in mind the woe is that what we are force fed is terrible, not new music. As such, “Animals as Leaders” may be the best instrumental musical group playing today. Their drum patterns are like Tool, only somehow both more complicated, yet easier to follow. The guitar and bass work has a level of technical development that is actually beyond the difficulty of even the likes of Mozart (NOT an exaggeration), and sometimes the bass and a guitar line are played at one time by one man.

Advertisement

A must hear.

While the new Metallica album is certainly a gem, the last Megadeth album called “Dystopia” may have been one of the most stunning metal albums released in their career. This was true of Exodus' “Blood in Blood Out” with saw Kirk Hammet guest solo in the band that he started, too. There is also a new band called “Avatar” putting on one of the most entertaining live shows on the road today. Fans of keyboard wizardly and skill will like Passing Time with such songs as “War on For Your Mind” and “She”, which uses no power chords.

Also, don't miss Children of Bodom since they keyboardist is simply stunning.

As for older gems passed over, perhaps none should get more mention than Eon's “Void Dweller”, which is easily one of the best full CD's of eclectic music ever made. It is a flawless listen, though the remixes do lack. Where is the “RAW!” metal, you ask? Vengeance Rising released two death/thrash metal CD's called “Human Sacrifice” and “Once Dead” that were, and still are two of the best CD's in the genres history. The last two VR CD's....well....

Advertisement

Because Wendy O Williams was famous for antics, Plasmatics “Coup De Tat” gets missed as one of the best rock music records ever released. If feeling more mellow, “Stranger” by Clan of Xymox is a song crafted immaculately. While everyone knows Ozzy, most have missed “Walk on Water” since it was in a silly movie (Beavis and Butthead). The version in the movie was ruined, but the one on the “Prince Of Darkness” box set is one of the best Oz songs in his whole history.Lyrically and musically brilliant. The ending counterpoint is priceless.

Pour juice on your chin

Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedy's is currently in “The Guantanamo School of Medicine” which while overly leftist is still Jello, still musically sound and not "slop punk", and still solidly made.”Dead Stars” by Covenant should be heard, as should the very underrated songs “Retaliate” and “Aeroscope” by VnV Nation. A true classic, Gruesome Twosomes "Hallucination Generation" is captivating music, Lastly, if you have not seen the video, “Frontier Psychiatrist” by The Avalanches...”Pour juice on your chin.”