One of the best things about music is its unpredictability. Sometimes, those moments can cause true horror but the best moments are just ace. That’s why we spend so much time caring so much – for those moments. It’s worth the risk. Most of the time. Here are all of the Thrash Hits contributors’ biggest surprises of 2013. They’re mainly bad, actually, but whatever…
When I went round to David Draiman’s house and he played me his and Lzzy Hale’s cover of the classic Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford duet, Close My Eyes Forever for Draiman’s Device project, I never expected it to be better than the original. Clearly, there are already a lot of people out there who disagree with me, and no doubt there will soon be more but…
Danzig not being awful – and in fact being incredible – at the Roundhouse show. His petulant, beyond woeful “performance” at Download Festival 2011, his ridiculous antics at Fun Fun Fun Fest and, well, his entire career for the last decade has been one long spiral of despair for much of his fanbase (the non-blinkered ones, at any rate), so to see Glenn Danzig perform not just perform Danzig material brilliantly, but to team up with his former Misfits bandmate Doyle to perform a whole brace of Misfits songs equally brilliantly was sublime.
Jawbreaker’s Blake Schwarzenbach choosing to shit on a perfectly good legacy, by reinventing himself as a vest-wearing rapper named Chris Lager.
Lemmy not being immortal after all.
Watsky jumping off a lighting rig at Vans Warped tour in London. What did he think was going to happen?
And nastiest. Ian Watkins pleading guilty to child sex abuse charges. Like a lot of folks my age, many of my happiest memories of living away from home for the first time are bound up in dancing around in baggy jeans, getting bladdered to ‘shinobivsdragonninja’. This has been one of the biggest lessons in separation between musicians and their music we’ve had in years.
That AFI’s Burials isn’t absolutely awful. Those last two records were diabolical and I’d pretty much given up hope but when ‘I Hope You Suffer’ dropped I realised I was a moron.
Status Quo being announced to play Down(load), Down(load), Deeper and Down(load).
Tim Lambesis hiring a hitman to do his wife.
From hating Pure Love’s album to actually liking it. A dramatic turnaround.
Seeing Blue October at Koko. I’ve wasted 18 years of my life by not knowing this band inside out. A progressive Rancid with Glen Hansard on vocals, snarling – not whining – about the shittest things in existence. I’m a mug.
Jamie Lenman’s return to music. There have been a few attempts from Reuben fans to get the band together but it’s never actually happened. Granted it didn’t happen this year either but what did happen is the pleasant surprise of frontman Jamie Lenman announcing the release of his debut solo album. Although seemingly out of nowhere (while actually being in the works for over four years) the surprises kept coming as this was a far cry from his output with Reuben. Half blisteringly heavy, half an eclectic mix of folk and jazz stylings, Jamie’s superb song writing prowess is still firmly intact and it’s great to have him back.
Jeff Hanneman’s death was a shocker. He was one of the most important metal guitarists of all time and played a significant role in shaping the music scene today. Virtually all modern metal bands owe a debt to the man’s riffs, whether they know it or not. What a legend. RIP Jeff.
Not putting a new Dark Tranquility album on my top 20 list. For a dyed in the wool fanboy, it’s both a surprise and a massive disappointment.
That people apparently still get upset by metal not getting included in mainstream awards events. Shut up, you divs.