Bush? Soundgarden? Evanescence? The Avengers Soundtrack Features All the Hottest Bands of Yesterday

In addition to announcing their Tribeca closing night bow, Marvel recently unveiled the full track listing for their upcoming Avengers companion album, comprised of "music from and inspired by" the May 4 superhero flick. Among the hot bands of today yesterday contributing future hits to the soundtrack? Soundgarden! Papa Roach! Bush! And the kicker: Evanescence. Now, I know these major recording artists have been around since their respective heydays in the '90s and '00s, but really, Avengers? I haven't had this kind of knee-jerk reaction to a movie soundtrack since I revisited the abomination that was the soundtrack to 1998's Godzilla.

Well, who am I kidding. I was guilty of buying that awful Godzilla album back in my misguided youth. (From BMG! It was too easy! FORGIVE ME!) Even then I knew it was terrible, and that was in the actual '90s. I'd love to hear Joss Whedon's explanation for the assemblage of rock bands and millennial metal outfits gathered here. (A standalone score will also be released with Alan Silvestri's music from the film.)

Is there a throwback sentiment at work in this selection, a parallel musical commentary on pop culture's constant re-imagining and resuscitation of things from the past, bands we loved when we were kids? Is it simply that the '90s are the new '80s, or that Whedon listened to a lot of Canadian rock while making Iron Man and the Hulk and Thor and Captain America and Black Widow -- oh, and you too, Hawkeye -- tangle with evil spaceships?

(Fourth theory: Whedon is paying homage to the difficulties of keeping a band/team of superheroes together by bringing reunited/re-jiggered line-ups like Bush and Soundgarden onboard in a stroke of brilliant thematic confluence. Who else would know better how hard it is to balance egos and personalities for the greater good?)

Now, it's possible that "Live to Rise" by Soundgarden may put them back on the map, or that Evanescence's "A New Way to Bleed" will do for The Avengers what that one other Evanescence song did for the Elektra soundtrack. Still, I call no fairsies: International retailers get a bonus track by Kasabian.

The more that I stare at this track list, the more I'm convinced it's just another way to bring a certain demographic in to see The Avengers. Whedon and Marvel already have the geek quotient hooked, and they'll get a mainstream audience by default. Will this bring the former grunge girls and boys and current emo-rock listeners in droves?

The Avengers is in theaters May 4; the Avengers Assemble-inspired album will be available May 1. And, look: If you can convince me that any of these above bands are actually worth listening to these days, my ears are open.

[via @Avengers]

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  • rainestorm says:

    Better question: has a soundtrack alone motivated you to go see a movie in which you had no previous interest?

    • Jen Yamato says:

      Not exactly an answer, but I heard the soundtrack to Purple Rain before I saw (and then loved) the film... so, kinda?

  • The Winchester says:

    Sweet! Proof that Whedon's been getting the mix tapes I've been sending him!

  • SD says:

    I cannot decide which I hate more "music inspired by a motion picture" or "inspired by true events".

    Let's just call it a tie.

  • wong says:

    Imagine what they COULD have gone with.
    Some amazing, atmospheric, beat sorcerer.
    Shit, Skrillex would have been preferable!
    I know the dorks are getting frothy over this tentpiece, I mean tentPOLE, but it all just looks so cut scene-ish, shallow and tinny - and now we know the Avengers will sound tinny too

  • Lee says:

    Well, one of the film's stars IS 90's pop star Robin Sparkles. Maybe that influenced Whedon.

  • A-Cod says:

    Everyone thinks of the overdone Puff Daddy tune on the Godzilla Soundtrack, But the Michael Penn track "Macy Day Parade" is one of my favorite songs of all time. plus the Rage Against the Machine track was noteworthy for railing against consumerism and big summer movies. That is something you don't see on your average tent pole soundtrack.

  • MartiniShark says:

    Relax folks, there's no Fred Durst -- everything will be fine.

  • Bernadette says:

    I was thinking the same thing, Rainestorm.

    Will you even hear these songs in the film? I think compiling a soundtrack for a movie that doesn't feature music is kind of stupid and just another money-grab opportunity.

    I'm just mad the Kasabian song is only on the "international release".

  • Huffstuff says:

    Soundgarden is the only worthy band on that list. I saw them recently and they sound awesome. Unlike Bush or other recent reunions where they sucked, or were subpar.

  • Tom says:

    Oh heavens to betsy, no! A soundtrack not all filled with the latest trendsetters - for shame! Does it really have to be selections from some newfangled bands of today? Soundgarden, Shinedown, Bush, Buck Cherry and Scott Weiland sounds like a pretty sweet mix for a movie soundtrack about people running around in costumes beating up bad guys. Anyway, of course they're trying to appeal to certain demographic groups with the soundtrack. Little kids will rock out to anything with loud guitars and a beat but the guys who used to watch these marvel cartoon shows and collect the comics are probably at least 1/3 of the audience for this movie. Maybe I'm old at the decrepit age of 27 myself, but who are the new rock bands on the scene taking the world by storm? Anyone?... yeah. Well, Halestorm would have been cool. They did throw in Black Veil Brides so you've got something current I guess, and who could forget Nickleba-I mean Theory of a Deadman. There's something for the kiddies at least.

  • Wes says:

    Evanescence is one of the few acts that knocked Adele out of #1 spot this year, they're relevant, they just took 5 years off to make their most recent masterpiece.

    Just wait for the 2013 Grammys, they will be up a for a couple awards.

  • Baldrick says:

    God what an annoying review. Have you listened to today's music? It's pretty damn awful. Decent new rock bands are almost nonexistent. The radio and tv are full of one-hit novelty bands/singers, and a multi-ethnic rainbow of hot girls who most likely can't even really sing. Most soundtracks try to grab the hot bands/singers of right now. But if you look back at most of those soundtracks, there are only a couple of artists that you can remember. The rest have vanished because their "talent" was used up on the one big hit they had (which usually isn't even the song they contributed to the soundtrack). The bottom line is most soundtracks end up as dust collectors that we bought to get one song by a band we love. But by going with established artists over flavors of the month you stand a better shot at making an entire album that people will illegally download instead of just one track. That being said, they could still have made better choices in older bands. Aside from the Soundgarden song which I just downloaded for free on itunes, I have zero interest in the rest of the soundtrack.

  • James Jordan says:

    Have heard the Evanescence track, it's pretty good actually.

  • Darik says:

    I have to agree with Baldrick-- first, that this is a terribly annoying op-ed, and second, that there really aren't any decent rock bands around today. The way I see it, Marvel's trying to recreate the strange synergy they got when they paired Iron Man with AC/DC, this time by choosing a whole bunch of older (but good) rock bands and hauling them out of retirement to contribute to a single semi-decent soundtrack. It's a good idea, IMO, as long as the songs aren't half-assed... but the "Live to Rise" track by Soundgarden was pretty sweet, so I have high hopes for this album.

    Besides, if worst comes to worst, all we'll have is another mediocre summer movie soundtrack that no one will listen to. Not that great a loss.

  • lynn says:

    Your review was beyond pathetic Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Black Veil Brides...bands from the past??? Where did you earn your journalism degree? If you even have one? Did you do any research into any of these bands before you wrote this review (i use the term loosely)...ok Soundgarden and Bush have been around awhile...yes...but Chris Cornell, has singlehandedly in the past 2 years...sold out every acoustic show he played....I would put money on the fact that you have probably never even heard a Shinedown song since their first album was released in 2003...Five Finger Death Punch released their first album in 2005 Black Veil Brides 2006 so yeah I guess these bands are in the past (moron)... This was probably one of the worst reviews I've ever read...Do your homework next time. I guess I won't even bother to ask you to name one song from any of these bands "from the past"...quit your day job...freedom of the press is one thing...stupidity another.

  • Shinedown had 5 singles off their last album, and just sold 104,000 copies of their new album Amaryllis. Came in 4th behind madonna, adele and one other i cant remember off hand, on the billboard charts in the first week of sales. Hardly irrelevant and 'old'. Kick ass comic book action hero movie needs kick ass soundtrack filled with heavy metal and rock - sure as hell wouldnt sound good with hipster crap currently being pushed by industry here in canada - sheepdogs? pfft. Pop crap like Bieber? hardly..

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Best review until now. I totally agree with you... And I think that strategy worked out pretty well. If I didnt go to see Avengers because of The Avengers themselves, I admit I would have gone to listen to Evanescence. Infortunetly they werent even in the credits, but I really enjoyed the movie, so... (I live in Brazil and a saw A LOT of metal heads there in the premier. It was kinda beautiful to see =p)

  • Martin says:

    Fck you! decent movies needs decent OSTs!! Current music is PURE CRAP.. that's why The 90's-00's rock bands as you call them are in this list... those bands are way too good to be heard by the same people that listen to Shakira, (current) Daft Punk and other shits like William Pharrel... we.. the "emo-rock" listeners (as you call us), are very glad of this OST... Yo do not have an idea the surprise I got when I heard Soundgarden at the end of the movie! haha!