Oh, boy. I don’t even know where to begin with this one…
A few years ago I found myself inexplicably drawn back into Van Halen. Not the crappy “Van Hagar” albums, mind you, just the really awesome ones the original line-up did. Then the much-ballyhooed “reunion” tour happened…yikes. The less said about that cluster-fuck/money grab the better.
Then things cooled on the Van Halen website and all was as it should be in the world. Then yesterday I was dicking around on iTunes and I saw that there was a “new” Van Halen song along with a new album available for pre-order. Yes, that’s right kids…the tour has now spawned a new album, A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH which comes out February 7. With great reluctance, I hit the “preview” button on the album’s lead single, “Tattoo.” As I waited for the clip to load, I thought: “This doesn’t have to be fantastic, just don’t be embarrassing…”
Well embarrassing would be a step-up from this piece of garbage.
To say that this is a shitty song is an understatement. It’s the worst fucking thing I’ve heard all year* and I feel both sad and angry at Van Halen. I don’t understand why these Dinosaurs of Rock don’t just fade off into the sunset like they’re supposed to. If, after 20+ years of silence you want to get together and make music that’s fine–but don’t hire your fat son to play bass AND DON’T CALL IT VAN HALEN! Anyway, the song, “Tattoo” is basically just David Lee Roth singing “Tattoo, tattoo, tattoo…sexy dragon tattoo…I’m in love with you” over and over and over and over and over again. There is generic guitar and there are drums (hooray?). It’s so generic and bland that it’s hard to even make fun of it (except for Lee Roth’s lame-ass vocals, which are pretty damn lame).
This track is really bumming me out.
What’s worse, according to Sammy Hagar (ha!) this “new” Van Halen album is just a bunch of old songs the band’s had for years. Now I’m a Van Halen fan, but I don’t pretend to be a super-mega-hardcore fan that can tell that this new song “Tattoo” is just a reworking of a never-recorded, but often-played song from the 1970s called “Down In Flames.” But apparently the Red Rocker’s claims that the rest of Van Halen are about to drop an album of Van Halen-leftovers appears to be true (you can read all about it over at MTV). Why come out of record-making retirement just to release a bunch of warmed-over rejects? I mean, it’s not like they haven’t had enough TIME to write BRAND NEW music. The fact that this song has been around (in some form) for longer than I’ve been alive makes me even sadder. I mean, you can’t polish a turd…no matter how long and hard you try. I think Van Halen knew this song sucked, which is why they’re releasing it in 2012 as opposed to 1984 when people still cared.
So to recap, “Tattoo” is just another nail in the Van Halen coffin as far as I’m concerned. Just when we all though nothing could be as bad as fucking Wolfgang…this had to happen. The only silver-linning that I can see is that 99.999% of people will not actually hear about this. So there is that…I still love classic Van Halen, but this ain’t it.
I’m going to encourage you to NOT watch this video, as it is fucking terrible.
*To be fair, the year just started.