Tag Archives: Music

EVH/Fender Striped Series 5150

In a direct nod to one of Eddie Van Halen’s all-time favourite guitars, the Kramer 5150, along comes an almost exact reproduction of that particular guitar.

The EVH Striped Series 5150 is a much better deal than hiring a luthier to complete a replica job by yourself (although many prior to the release of this guitar did so). So without further a due, let’s dive into the details of the guitar.

Based on the Kramer 5150, this guitar is one essential bit of kit.

Image result for eddie van halen 5150 guitar

Picture courtesy https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comments/3ox4hn/how_to_make_a_van_halen_5150_guitar_replica/

The paint process of the EVH Striped Series guitars, including the Striped Series 5150, takes around 2 to 3 weeks to complete. The guitar itself is not an exact replica since it does not exhibit the wear and tear from Eddie on the original Kramer 5150. Instead, it serves as an homage guitar.

It comes in a satin finish, complete with virtually identical contours on the body itself. The body is made of basswood in comparison to the (presumably) poplar body on the original itself. There is a direct mount EVH Wolfgang humbucker in the bridge, as opposed to the Seymour Duncan pickup used on the Kramer 5150. It also features a 12 inch to 16 inch compound radius on the neck.

Aside from this, most of the features remain as close as or identical to the original. Below are the specs, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/striped-series/striped-series-5150-maple-fingerboard-red-black-and-white-stripes/:

Smiling indeed: the legend that is Eddie Van Halen.

Image result for eddie van halen with 5150 guitar

Picture courtesy https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/artist-interviews/eddie-van-halen-early-guitar-gear-tone-evh-and-more

GENERAL:

Model Name: Striped Series 5150®, Maple Fingerboard, Red, Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107902515

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1931.02

Colour: R/B/W “5150” Striped Pattern

BODY:

Body Material: Basswood

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Hi Performance Modified “C” Shape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R3 Locking

Nut Width: 1.685” (42.8mm)

Headstock: EVH

Neck Plate: 4-Bolt Standard

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

ELECTRONICS:

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Included Accessories: 3mm, 2.5mm Allen Wrenches Tremolo Arm

 

For those who enjoy the 1980’s and Eddie’s Kramer 5150, start here.

 

References:

  1. EVH Gear NAMM 2017 New Gear Exclusive Tour 5150 & More. EVH & Gear TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uecAYTUgtNw&t=86s

EVH/Fender Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature Model

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eddie Van Halen put out this model of guitar for people to enjoy after much interest in the EVH Gear label.

The continuous evolution of Eddie’s sound and tone over the years has had many twists and turns. The result is this, EVH’s signature model guitar. It is exactly what Eddie himself uses and plays today.

Eddie Van Halen is a living legend, as shown here in the special Smithsonian lecture for which he was an honourable guest at. He fully deserves the credit for his musical development, of the latest main development is the guitar next to him, which this article is about.

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen has been honored by the Smithsonian Institution for his contributions to American music. (Smithsonian Institution)

Picture courtesy https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/2/eddie-van-halens-immigrant-take-on-american-rock-n/

So, what differs to the main line of EVH Wolfgang guitars? Coming in either an Ivory (White) or Stealth (Black) finish, there are a few key differences to the regular line of Wolfgangs here.

Firstly, the Basswood body is complemented with a Maple top. The pickups are also somewhat different from a traditional Wolfgang, being that the neck pickup is an Alnico 3 type humbucker, with the bridge pickup being an Alnico 2 humbucker. Prior to this, all EVH Gear guitars had Alnico 2 pickups on them in both positions.

The EVH Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature also comes in an Ivory finish. As mentioned by EVH marketer Matt Bruck, the Ivory version of this line of guitars is intended to be a halfway house between the Stealth version, and the Tour Relic Replica that Eddie recently played in 2015 on the live tour.

Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature, Ebony Fingerboard, Ivory

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-edward-van-halen-signature-ebony-fingerboard-ivory/

Additionally, there is the kill switch. This is on Eddie’s own guitar which acts as a push-push volume cut, which Eddie notably uses on “You Really Got Me” in live performances, and other songs he plays. Additionally, instead of the regular strap buttons come key clasps, ideal for the dog-lead style strap that Eddie Van Halen uses on his guitars for a more secure strap setting.

In any case, below are the specifications of the guitar, courtesy of the www.evhgear.com website:

GENERAL:

Model Name: Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature, Ebony Fingerboard, Stealth

Model Number: 5107920868

Series: Wolgang® USA

MSRP: $4475.51

Colours: Choice between Ivory (White) or Stealth (Black)

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood with Big Leaf Maple Top

Body Finish: Satin Urethane

Body Back: Basswood

Body Top: Big Leaf Maple

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape, .805” @ 3rd fret / .890 @ 12th fret

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12”-16” compound radius (304.8 mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Locking

Nut Width: 1.650” (42mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: NA

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearloid Dot (Stealth) or Block Inlays (Ivory)

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® AL3 Humbucker

Controls: EVH® BI Tech HPU Low Friction Volume, EVH® Bourns High Friction Tone

Pickup Switching: EVH Reverse-Style 3-Position Switching: Position 1: Neck Pickup, Position 2: Neck and Bridge, Position 3: Bridge.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

Switch Tips: Black

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Is there anything Eddie Van Halen himself cannot do or has not done in his pursuit of the perfect tone? Eddie truly is the master of tone chasing and this guitar is the last step (so far) in that tone chasing nature of his. 

Picture courtesy https://spinditty.com/instruments-gear/EVH-Wolfgang-vs-Ibanez-JEM77

Notably, this guitar is the final step (to this date) of Eddie Van Halen’s most recent evolution, although future changes could be done to this guitar and line up of guitars. If you are fascinated by the most modern and recent addition to the evolution of the Brown Sound, or just need a fantastic shred style guitar to add to your collection, look no further.

 

References:

  1. Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature. EVH Gear. http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-edward-van-halen-signature-ebony-fingerboard-stealth/
  2. EVH Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature Electric Guitar – New From NAMM 2017. Musician’s Friend, YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF0fdY3gAiI

EVH/Fender 5150 III S

Eddie Van Halen himself admitted that his musical tastes were constantly changing in pursuit of his tone chasing and updated revisionism on his musical equipment.

In acknowledgement of this fact, Eddie began modifying his own EVH 5150 III amplifiers to further suit a more personalised experience. The result is a limited edition head which is available for purchase.

Eddie never fails to disappoint with his EVH Gear brand.

Eddie with his Striped Series 5150 and 5150III EL34

Picture courtesy https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/artist-interviews/eddie-van-halen-early-guitar-gear-tone-evh-and-more

So, what differs from the previous EVH 5150 III amplifier heads? The basic differences from the regular EVH 5150 III heads are, as noted from www.evhgear.com themselves, are:

  • Increased gain on Channel Two for greater sustain.
  • Revoicing on Channel Two for further low-mid frequency clarity definition.
  • Channel Three also features increased gain.
  • Improved low end control range on Channel Three.
  • Each Channel has an additional resonance control on the rear of each channel to fine tune low frequency response.
  • Eight JJ ECC83 preamp tubes.
  • Four Shuguang 6L6 Power Tubes.
  • Switchable output impedance (4, 8 and 16 ohms)
  • Adjustable bias control.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eddie was inspired by his early Van Halen sound in the making of the EVH 5150 III S amplifier.

Image result for eddie van halen with marshall amp

Picture courtesy https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=491342

Aside from this, all the regular features are, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

GENERAL:

Model Name: 5150III® 100S Head, 120V, Black

Model Number: 2250250000

Series: EVH® 5150 III® Heads

Amplifier Type: Tube

MSRP: $3055.54

Colour: Black

ELECTRONICS:

Controls: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume, Channel Select, Prescence and Resonance for each channel

Effects Loop: 1/4” – (Send/Return)

Inputs: One – 1/4″

Line Out: One – (1/4”)

Channels: Three – (Clean, Crunch and Lead)

Voltage: 120V

Wattage: 100 Watts into 4, 8 or 16 ohms (Switchable)

HARDWARE:

Cabinet Material: Birch/Pine

Handle: Molded Plastic Strap with Nickel-Plated Caps

Control Knobs: Chicken-Head Style Pointer

TUBES:

Pre Amp Tubes: Eight JJ ECC83S / 12AX7

Power Tubes: Four Shuguang 6L6

ACCESSORIES:

FootSwitch: 4-Button Footswich Included

 

The basis for the update of this amplifier was to mold together two brilliant theories of the perfect sound that Eddie himself has been tone chasing in his amplifiers throughout his music career. The first was to provide a modern amplifier that would be ideal for a fresh and innovative approach for those who sought the latest in rock innovation.

The second was to replicate, in this modern amplifier, a tone that looked back at the heyday of Eddie Van Halen that he had early on in his career with his Marshall Superlead head. This is not an easy sound for a company to capture. However, Eddie himself has blown away any competitors and imitators in this regard. The best product is the one that sells itself, and the EVH 5150 III S, for these reasons, is a must have for any gigging musician today.

EVH Gear are no doubt forward thinking and boundary pushing in their approach which complements Eddie’s tone chasing vision.

EVH® Logo 3x5 Banner

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/accessories/evh-logo-3-x-5-banner/

 

References:

  1. Review: EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 Amp Head and 4×12 Cabinet. Guitar World. https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/review-evh-5150-iiis-el34-amp-head-and-4×12-cabinet

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Special Striped

Given the fact that Eddie himself wanted to show that we was not just an one trick pony, the team at EVH Gear went out there to provide a more refined fan based guitar range: the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped guitars.

These three guitars differ in typical comparison to other EVH guitars in that they are collectable pieces of art in terms of artwork and their playability.

The EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Series is an awesome creation by Eddie Van Halen in collaboration with Fender.

Eddie Van Halen's EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Series

Picture courtesy http://equipboard.com/pros/eddie-van-halen/evh-wolfgang-special-striped-series

Indeed, the team at EVH Gear hand paint these guitars. Aside from this, they have all the typical features that one would expect from the EVH Gear Special range.

These guitars come in three different paint based finishes: Red, White and Black; Black and Yellow; Black and White. All three are priced around the same price range, so we can choose (or collect) as we please. Each retails around $2,100 MSRP to $2,200 MSRP respectively.

For those who love statistics and the details of these guitars, they are listed below, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

For those who like the artwork of the typical Van Halen stripes and the sound of the EVH Wolfgang series of guitars, this may be an ideal choice of guitar for you.

EVH® Wolfgang® Special, Ebony Fingerboard, Red with Black and White Stripes

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/evh-wolfgang-special-ebony-fingerboard-red-black-and-white-stripes/

RED, BLACK AND WHITE:

 

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® Special, Ebony Fingerboard, Red with Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107701515

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2237.75

Colour: Red with Black and White Stripes

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

Finish:  Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang® Backshape .805” @ 3rd Fret / .890 @ 12th Fret

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” – 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® RS Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: None

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Dot

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low FrictionPot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction)

Pickup Switching: 3 Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Included Accessories: 3/2.5 hex wrenches Tremolo Arm

 

BLACK AND YELLOW:

There are three different finishes in this new lineup of EVH Wolfgang guitars, designed to appeal to those with a historical throwback to early Van Halen guitars.

 Wolfgang® Special Striped, Maple Fingerboard, Black and Yellow

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/wolfgang-special-striped-maple-fingerboard-black-and-yellow/

GENERAL:

Model Name: Wolfgang® Special Striped, Maple Fingerboard, Black and Yellow

Model Number: 5107701516

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2167.18

Colour: Black with Yellow Stripes

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

NECK:

Neck Material: Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12”-16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dots

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low Friction Pot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction)

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

 

BLACK AND WHITE:

The black and white EVH Wolfgang Special Striped is a hybrid of the original Frankenstrat look – and in addition the latest tonal explorations from Eddie Van Halen himself.

EVH Wolfgang Special, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Stripes

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/evh-wolfgang-special-maple-fingerboard-black-and-white-stripes/

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH Wolfgang Special, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107701517

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2167.82

Colour:

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” – 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® RS Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Satin Urethane

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low Friction Pot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction Pot)

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

 

To summarise, these guitars are a basic hybrid of the EVH Wolfgang Specials and the EVH Striped Series guitars. They do appeal to those who like the sound and tone of the former, and the art-based paint work of the latter.

Eddie is still constantly creating new and innovative guitars via his EVH Brand to this day.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/extras/catalogs/

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Limited Tour Relic (Replica)

During the supporting tour for the Tokyo Dome Live In Concert album in 2015, Eddie did not play his EVH Wolfgang Stealth that he normally held onto. Instead, Chip Ellis of EVH Gear made Eddie Van Halen a brand new guitar that was seen on the tour.

This guitar is very special to Eddie.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhtrading.com/topic/evh-wolfgang-custom-with-floyd

The story goes that Eddie wanted a guitar that had a Relic’d paint job. So Chip Ellis got to work and designed this guitar. According to Eddie, he liked the sound of this guitar more than he enjoyed the sound of his Stealth, so he used it on tour.

Eddie reportedly shaved and sanded the back of the neck to make it easier to play, but aside from this, the guitar was left in more or less the same condition during the tour.

The EVH Gear brand is here to stay and produces new and exciting equipment with each passing year.

Picture courtesy http://guitardisorder.com/tag/evh/

The sound quality of this guitar is noticeably different to that of the EVH Wolfgang Stealth, sounding more like a natural guitar. Below are the specifications of this guitar, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com:

 

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® Limited Tour Relic (Replica), Ebony Fingerboard, Ivory

Model Number: 5101011000

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $13,888.88

Colour: Ivory

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood with Maple Top

Body Finish: Lacquer Relic

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3mm)

Headstock: EVH

Neck Plate: NA

Neck Finish: Oiled Relic

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Mother-of-Pearl Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount EVH Wolfgang® Zebra Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount EVH Wolfgang® Zebra Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Reverse Toggle: Position 1. Neck Pickup, Position 2.  Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Bridge Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

Special Electronics: Bourns Low-Friction Pot (Volume), Bourns High-Friction Pot (Tone)

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome with Pearloid Buttons

Orientation: Right Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

Unique Features: Red Monetary Kill Switch, Eye-Bolt Strap Holders, Non-Matching Black Headstock, Cream Binding on Relic Ivory Finish, Black Undercoat with Ivory Top Coat, Relic’d and Replicated to Exact Specs of EVH Tour Guitar 2015 Direct-Mount Pickups, Magna Coatings Paint, 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods, EVH® D-Tuna.

Included Accessories:

Signed Certificate, EVH Premium Leather Strap, EVH Premium Instrument Cable, EVH Strings, EVH Pick Tin w/ Picks.

 

Notably on the website, this is a limited edition twenty piece run, so although the price is high for this guitar, it will not be sold forever.

Tokyo Dome Live In Concert

Many older fans of Van Halen in particular were disappointed with the lack of activity from the Van Halen camp between Van Halen III and A Different Kind of Truth. There were calls from some Van Halen fans for a new live set to be assembled with the return of David Lee Roth.

Although Dave is back in the Van Halen camp, this recording is disappointing overall.

Picture courtesy http://logonoid.com/van-halen-logo/

So in early 2015, Van Halen unleased their most recent offering, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert, which was recorded on June 21 2013 and the Van Halen boys chose this as their best from the 2012-2013 A.D.K.O.T. tour. It is their second official live album and is a two disc set.
The biggest problem is that, regardless of the songs here, the band seemingly have not really embraced the necessity for change in the 21st century like they did in the past. David Lee Roth’s singing is undoubtedly awful, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tone is less “sound” and more just “brown” in quality, Alex Van Halen still pushes a reasonable groove but Wolfgang Van Halen is no Michael Anthony in terms of backing vocals, although he excels on the bass guitar.

Wolfgang has proven to be a great bass guitarist.

Picture courtesy http://ultimateclassicrock.com/wolfgang-van-halen-tremonti-2014/

Still it is sad to hear and see (depending on if you have the CD or DVD) Van Halen become just another old rock and roll act. Although David Lee Roth has his own stage front man personality which is a one-of-a-kind, his singing and his inability to hit the notes properly leaves something to be desired. Although the live recording was edited, Dave’s vocals were not.

A good thing about this record is that it is entertaining to hear David Lee Roth adapt the songs for the Japanese crowd. And of course, Eddie’s solo is okay. But this mixed bag of goods just seemingly falls flat.

Van Halen still have a good future ahead of themselves, regardless of the quality of this recording.

Picture courtesy http://www.laweekly.com/music/i-waited-31-years-to-see-van-halen-and-it-was-totally-worth-it-6127958

The reviews and enthusiasm for this Van Halen live album were more negative than the Live: Right Here Right Now album during the “Van Hagar” era, which is sadly the truth. Still, if you need to have every single Van Halen album in your collection, visit this from time to time. Otherwise, need not bother.

On another note, a highly successful tour was done after this album was released around the U.S. Notably Eddie’s guitar playing was better than it had been for many years. A new album will be arriving soon around 2018-2019, although this is speculation.

A Different Kind Of Truth

The test had arrived for Van Halen to commence on a path once again with David Lee Roth. Indeed, the band had for the most part, gotten their act together. Being a reunited front with the new line up of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son the band had to deliver a new record for the Van Halen fans.

The test came when the record was released in February 2012. However, although on paper the songs were old, leftover rewrites, the record itself is an enjoyable listen, although not exactly a perfect record itself.

Van Halen have got back to work with a renewed and fresh approach to their music.

Picture courtesy http://loudwire.com/van-halen-launch-2012-north-american-tour/

The record begins with the trashy and enjoyable, “Tattoo”. Although the song is enjoyable, it wears out after successive listens. Still, it is way better than anything on Van Halen III, pure proof of the band’s new and more focused direction.

The glorious “She’s The Woman” is a much better song. It starts off with a brilliant guitar part, leading into a loud and catchy tune, with an interesting solo in the midsection. Not bad overall.

The chugging “You and Your Blues” follows, indicating a different side to the band’s repertoire of music. Entertaining and very listenable.

For the new Van Halen record, Eddie Van Halen used the latest in EVH Wolfgang guitars, an EVH USA Wolfgang Stealth which sounds loud and powerful as it does here.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-stealth-ebony-fingerboard-stealth-black-w-case/

The next song, “China Town” is rather awful. In a way it is sort of laughable, but sounds very ordinary indeed. For those who like skipping tracks, you may be best off doing so here.

“Blood and Fire” follows, which is another rather ordinary song with a forgettable chorus. Still it is miles better than anything that Van Halen have recorded since Balance.

The pseudo-thrash of “Bullethead” follows, rather strangely catchy. It is a loud, full on roar of a song. Good listening.

Eddie Van Halen himself is back on track and happier than ever to create new music.

Picture courtesy https://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/people_tag/eddie-van-halen/

“As Is” continues the rather nonsensical lyrics that seem to dominate this album. Indeed, some of the older Van Halen fans may be disappointed by this approach to lyric writing, yet is very musically viable indeed.

The rather boring and forgettable “Honeybabysweetiedoll” makes as much sense as it sounds by the song title, and the song itself. It seems as though Van Halen had put the worst tracks on the first half of this record…

It is fantastic to see Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen part of the Van Halen crew, a remarkably musically talented young man.

Picture courtesy http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-wolfgang-van-halen-talks-bass-different-kind-truth-and-more

Next up, “The Trouble with Never” is a rather good and catchy piece which demonstrates how wonderful and well respected Eddie Van Halen should be considered and deserves every bit of respect for his great guitar skills on it. Not bad at all.

“Outta Space” is obviously a rework, but not a bad one at that. Deeming indeed that the earth is full, it continues the nonsensical slur of lyrics that predominates the album.

The “Ice Cream Man” of this record, “Stay Frosty” is an anti-religious and reveals that in life, one must Stay Frosty in terms of laidback attitude. Starting off acoustically, it becomes a loud and rocking song that is well served.

David Lee Roth and the three Van Halens have successfully buried the majority of issues between each other and work cohesively together as a unit with great success.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2012/02/16/van-halen-allowing-fans-to-shoot-photos-video-at-shows/

“Big River” follows, which is a good rework of one of the songs on the Van Halen Zero demo. With all these wonderful songs here, one must think that the wait for a new Van Halen record was sure worth it.

The last, loudest and heaviest, and most likely, the best song of the album “Beats Workin’” shows Eddie Van Halen at his best. Indeed, those many years of tone chasing per se have proved that EVH himself can create a monstrous and undeniably brilliant sound. Legendary.

As long as their efforts continue with this new approach, Van Halen will continue to survive well into the 21st century.

Picture courtesy https://wallpapersafari.com/free-van-halen-logo-wallpapers/

Overall, the critics all agreed that this was a good, though not great, effort from Van Halen. Indeed, it has been many years between the previous Van Halen III and the A Different Kind of Truth record. Despite all this, it is a solidly good record that shows the future direction of a reworked and re-energised band. Well done.