Contrary to reports, rumors and speculation, the genre continues to roar By Mitchell Peters and Phil Gallo
The Smashing Pumpkins
Album title: Oceania
Label: Martha's Music/EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution
Management: Peter Katsis, Prospect Park
Release date: June 19
After experimenting with gradually releasing free tracks during the past three years as part of its ongoing 44-song "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" project, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan switched gears and began rethinking the traditional album approach. "We were seeing that the fans were swallowing the songs so fast and literally pitting one song against my entire back catalog," he says. "It's just the culture we're living in, where everything is almost assumed to be disposable." Instead of completely abandoning "Teargarden," Corgan will release the band's new album, "Oceania," as part of the project. It's the group's first studio set since 2007's "Zeitgeist."
Reverting back to the traditional album format was refreshing, Corgan says. "With the song-by-song approach, it was almost like I was overproducing each song and trying too hard to make them perfect," he says. "Maybe something was getting lost in that process." Corgan notes that the partnership with EMI to release "Oceania" almost didn't happen. "I pretty much wrote EMI off because of all the years of contentious issues. Every time you turn around there's a new regime in there, so you can't even blame the new people," he says. "My manager, Peter Katsis, felt it was still prudent to give EMI that one last chance."
Corgan was also pleased with EMI's commitment to reissuing the band's catalog, which began last year and continues into 2013. He says he's already planning to write another studio album, but hasn't yet decided if he'll release the music through EMI. "Right now it's only for the one cycle," he says. "You have to stay flexible so that you can get the best deal and keep everyone honest in the game."
Album title: Clockwork Angels
Label: Anthem/ Roadrunner Records
Management: Ray Danniels, SRO
Release date: June 12
It's been more than five years since Rush's last studio album, "Snakes & Arrows," which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. "But we really haven't been away," manager Ray Danniels says, noting that the Canadian rock trio has actively toured behind the release in recent years. For "Clockwork Angels," co-produced by Nick Raskulinecz, Rush has "revisited the idea of a concept record," Daniels says, adding, "This is their 20th record. I'm thrilled that we got there."
Album title: Harakiri
Label: Serjical Strike/ Reprise Records
Management: George Tonikian, Serjical Strike
Release date: July 10
System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian may have surprised some fans by following up his rock-heavy 2007 solo debut, "Elect the Dead," with the elements of electronica, orchestral music and jazz found on his second album, 2010's "Imperfect Harmonies." But "Harakiri," Tankian's third solo effort, should please the rocker's core fan base. "This is definitely a return to his more edgier, heavier side," Warner Bros. Records head of marketing Xavier Ramos says.
The Gaslight Anthem
Album title: Handwritten
Label: Mercury Records
Management: Tom Sarig, Esther Creative Group
Release date: July 24
Signed to Mercury Records last summer, the Gaslight Anthem will release its fourth album and major-label debut, "Handwritten," produced by Brendan O'Brien. "They're a young, dynamic rock band in the tradition of long-term artists like Bruce Springsteen," Mercury president David Massey says. "They have a rock edge, but it's very melodic, classic songwriting." The act has yet to experience radio success, but new single "45" is bubbling under Billboard's Alternative chart. The group's 2010 album, "American Slang," has sold 96,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Album title: Living Things
Label: Warner Bros.
Management: Jordan Berliant, the Collective
Release date: June 26
Linkin Park's sixth studio album is hitting multiple platforms in the marketing plan. The first single, "Burn It Down," was used in TNT's NBA playoffs ads. Presales linking the album with tickets to an August North American tour topped expectations at the Collective. Prior to playing the United States, Linkin Park will be in Europe where its music will be tied in with the Euro Cup soccer tournament. Film and videogame tie-ins are forthcoming later in the year.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Album title: Americana
Management: Elliot Roberts, Lookout
Release date: June 5
The first album from Neil Young with Crazy Horse in nine years is a collection of murder ballads and protest and campfire songs reinterpreted by Young's electric outfit. Young covers Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," "Jesus' Chariot," "Clementine" and other folk works plus the Silhouettes' doo-wop classic "Get a Job."