I’d love to know how many bands I’ve declared to be my favourite. From my early years when I couldn’t imagine not loving My Chemical Romance or Fall Out Boy to the fiery passion that Nirvana still raises in me. I fall in love with a different band on a near weekly basis, and the truth is I don’t have a favourite. I have a family of albums and songs that surround me and which make my life better. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I haven’t been introduced to a band in the last ten years that mean more to me than letlive.
What a difference a few months makes. If you’d asked a hundred wrestling fans who they have expected to get a push coming out of WrestleMania, I’m willing to bet not one would have said, Jinder Mahal. Mojo Rawley, Curt Hawkins and The Drifter would have been surprising, but even that would have made more sense than Jinder’s sudden rise to the top.
WrestleMania is within spitting distance, and the card for WWE’s biggest show is taking shape. We have Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg and AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon and I could not give less of a shit.
Two weeks ago Kenny Omega walked out of Wrestle Kingdom as the hottest thing in wrestling. Ignoring the fact that Kazuchika Okada was as important to that match as he was and that Omega has been brilliant for years, it suddenly felt like the world woke up to The Cleaner. Yet, rather than turn his sights towards a potential rematch with Okada and a chance to become only the seventh non-Japanese wrestler to hold the belt and help spearhead New Japan’s push into the US, he began talking about taking some time off.
I can count on one hand the bands that mean more to me than Metallica. Which is hardly rare, if you were to ask a hundred heavy metal fans they would probably say the same. In fact, ask a thousand, they’ll still be up there. And yet recent years haven’t been too kind to ‘Tallica. The whole Lulu debacle came after two average at best and downright bad at worst albums. While ‘Lords of Summer’ and some sloppy live shows didn’t exactly set the bar high for what was to come in the future. That was until they dropped ‘Moth Into Flame’.
Metallica are one of the greatest bands of all time. Some people would call that an opinion, but they would be wrong. It is fact. Few bands have rewritten the rulebook as many times as James Hetfield and co. Go back and listen to Kill ‘Em All and then throw on Justice For All… and tell me that sounds like the same band. You can then mosey on down to the Black Album and hear something completely different.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Pokemon has kind of become a thing again. The game that many of us put hundreds of hours into in our childhood (and a few of us continue to do so in our adult lives) has suddenly become culturally relevant again. And not just for those clicked into the video game nexus. Odds are your mum has even heard of Pokemon Go and the various amusing stories that have come around because of it.
The first Fast & Furious film that I saw was the seventh, and yet it was everything I hoped for. If it had been two hours of The Rock hulking out of a cast I probably would have been happy and yet that wasn’t even the daftest moment. It also got me thinking. If I can jump into this franchise at number seven with little to no issue, what happens if I watch the entire thing backwards. A few months later I’ve done exactly that.
While 2016 is setting itself up to be an outstanding year for music, it is also refusing to allow us those dollops of joy without giving us a few swift kicks to the nads as well. From the death of David Bowie to the breaking up of brilliant bands like The Defiled music hasn’t been neglected by the curse of 2016. The latest high-profile casualty appears to be Nails.
We can all claim maturity, but it doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone loves a good fight. It’s why UFC is worth $4 billion, and Brock Lesnar is a motherfucking hero. It’s also why watching two bands bicker will also be entertaining. Whether it’s Guns ‘N’ Roses and Nirvana or Slipknot and Mushroomhead seeing two groups trade barbed comments through the media (or as is the case now, social media) is just fun.