The last month (or so) has been a deliciously hectic one for the rock zone. To begin with, after years and years of waiting, we here at Napster can finally offer our beloved subscribers the entire Red Hot Chili Peppers catalog, from Blood Sugar Sex Magik to By the Way to their excellent Greatest Hits collection (originally released in 2003).
As for new releases, Paramore (now down to a trio) return with a self-titled album that's far and away their most ambitious to date. And speaking of ambition, Stone Sour's epic House of Gold & Bones Part 2 is further evidence that they just might be America's premier hard rock/alt metal outfit. I mean, really, who else out there unleashes wildly over-the-top concept albums that sound like a prog-rock fusion of Slipknot, Muse and Alice in Chains? The answer is, of course, NOBODY.
Other titles you'll surely need to check out are Rob Zombie's Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, yet another gnarled slab of zombified horror rock and post-industrial mayhem; Volbeat's audacious Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, Danish death 'n' roll meets spaghetti Westerns; and an expanded edition of 1995's Above, Mad Season's lone full-length, which has aged exceptionally well. Not surprisingly, Layne Staley sounds moody as all hell.