Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Van Halen's "Tattoo"

The knee-jerk reaction is to stamp the suck label on “Tattoo,” the new song and vid from Van Halen, Rock Hall Class of 2007.

If you haven’t watched or listened yet, I suggest you listen first. The tune is definitely a Piss Break Anthem, but it’s not the litter box left unattended for two weeks that people are already making it out to be.

Like any VH track, “Tattoo” is impeccably produced, and features ace guitar work by Ed, whether it’s the beefy chunk chords  in the verse or the obligatory insane solo. Wisely, Ed the songwriter throttled Diamond Dave down to a lower, more mature register for the refrain.

Why listen first? Because the video is a total joke. What the f*ck is wrong with David Lee Roth? Is he really some kind of modern-day, real-life Samson, who lost his ability to even pretend to be cool when he lost his hair?
"Tattoo": Definitely an homage to "Jump." Only lamer.

Does he know someone who’s a fan of Alex Chilton, and they told him Alex Chilton (RIP) was cool, so DLR got mixed up and stole his ’do?

Whatever the problem, Roth is in full-on goof mode, only it’s Weird Uncle goof, like as in you wouldn’t want to leave your kid alone with this guy for five seconds. It’s just not funny, and you can tell Alex and Ed are kind of not that comfortable with it.

(also, the words don't match up with the vid. DUDE.)

Dave - we don’t care if you’re bald. Or if it looks bad. Grow the hair out in the back, even if that look gives you a mullet, and even if it gives you a skullet. We want our Van Halen, but we only want it with Long-Haired Dave.

All of this, however, is irrelevant, because this isn’t really Van Halen. We can’t judge this as a “Van Halen” track because the bass is missing.

David Lee Roth and Alex Chilton share the same hairdo.
The bones of an average to slightly below average song is here, but it’s like a donut without Michael Anthony’s wicked lines. Wolfgang would be an excellent School of Rock player, but putting him in VH is really a crime.

We understand there might be some booze/ no booze issues here (one of Anthony’s basses is shaped like a f*cking whiskey bottle) and maybe that’s more important, but a fact’s a fact. No Michael Anthony, no Van Halen.

Grade: Incomplete.

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