The Week's New Music Drops Got Something for Everyone
Wolfgang Van Halen, Maroon 5, Danny Elfman, and more
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
June 10, 2021
The music world is still reeling from the loss of guitar god Eddie Van Halen who passed in October of last year. But now Eddie's son Wolfgang is carrying on the family legacy with the release of his latest self-titled debut Mammoth WVH. Plans for this album actually started in 2013, during which time Wolfgang was fresh off his gig from playing bass with his father and Uncle Alex in the reunited version of Van Halen. Wolfgang worked up a demo version of a song that appears on this record called "Mammoth." The title of the song, and now the group and first CD, are a tribute to his late father's band who originally went under the name Mammoth before settling on Van Halen. For touring purposes, Wolfgang has put together a group of musicians. But on this record, he is a one-man band playing every instrument himself. It is made up of 13 tracks plus one bonus track. The album opener, "Mr. Ed," is yet another tribute to the late great Eddie Van Halen. Wolfgang also expands beyond hard rock with the track "Think It Over," which incorporates strong elements of pop. The album is available on the Japanese label Avex Infinity/Avex Trax.
Danny Elfman first made a name for himself back in the 70s and 80s with his new wave band Oingo Boingo. He successfully transitioned from the world of rock to the world of film and television, composing scores for directors like Tim Burton, Gus Van Sant, and David O. Russell, just to name a few. Along the way, Elfman has notched one Grammy and two Emmys as well as multiple nominations for both Golden Globe and Academy Awards. His latest album is called Big Mess, and it is his first non-soundtrack release of pop/rock music since his 1984 So-Lo. The record includes recent singles "Happy" (which was originally set to debut at Coachella 2020), "Sorry," and "Love In The Time Of Covid," the latter of which is fitting since the album was recorded during the pandemic lockdown last year. Elfman wraps things up nicely with a reworking of the Oingo Boingo gem "Insects."
1990s alternative stalwarts Garbage return with their seventh studio recording No Gods No Masters led by Scottish vocalist Shirley Manson and producer/drummer extraordinaire Butch Vig. Never a band to back down from addressing many of the problems plaguing the world, Manson describes the record as "a critique of the rise of capitalist short-sightedness, racism, sexism, and misogyny across the world." The album will be available on CD as well as green neon and white vinyl. There's also a deluxe version, which includes stand-alone singles the band released between 2013 and 2018. A special limited edition will be available for Record Store Day on June 12th with an alternative cover on pink vinyl. The band is planning a tour later this year in support of the album with arena concert tours as the opening act for both Alanis Morissette and Blondie.
American band Maroon 5 fronted by former The Voice coach Adam Levine have dropped their seventh studio album Jordi on 222, Interscope Records, and Polydor Records. The album is filled with special guest appearances including Megan Thee Stallion, Stevie Nicks, and H.E.R., as well as the late rappers Juice Wrld, Nipsey Hussle, and YG. A deluxe edition of the album is also available featuring even more guest appearances from such artists as Anuel AA, Tainy, and Jason Derulo. The album title is a tribute to the band's manager Jordan Feldstein who passed away in 2017 from a heart attack and went by the nickname Jordi. The song “Memories” is dedicated to Feldstein and is the first single from the album.
All-girl punk/indie band Sleater-Kinney are back with a self-produced full-length album called Path of Wellness through the NYC independent label Mom & Pop Music. As in years past, Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein continue to handle guitar and vocal duties, but this is the first release by the band as a duo since the departure of percussionist Janet Weiss. The band invited local Portland musicians into the studio to help round out the sound. The first single and video for the record are "Worry With You." The band will be hitting the road later this summer with Wilco, so keep an eye out for them in your area.