Friday, January 24, 2014

Warner Drive - Metal Bridge

I recently heard that El Hefe (NoFX) signed a band called Warner Drive to his Cyber-Tracks label and since I loved the Implants album that they released last year, I decided to give them a minute of my time.    Man!  I hope you brought the toast 'cause here's the jam!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Favorite Albums of 2013

1. Black Sabbath - 13
8 + minute jams, sinister lyrics, bluesy doom grooves, Iommi-amputated-finger-solos, and Ozzy shouting the occasional "Alright Now!" ala Sweet Leaf. They knocked this one out of the park, Bill Ward or not.

Favorite 3 tracks - ***Damaged Soul **Zeitgeist *God is Dead?

2. The Virginmarys - King of Conflict 
 This Macclesfield, England trio capsules the grooves of the White Stripes, the outer-edge emotional hemorrhages of Nirvana, the contagiousness of Green Day, and an occasional hint of Zeppelin.  This was probably played the most and cranked the loudest of everything I listened to in 2013.
Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Portrait Of Red **Bang, Bang, Bang *Dressed To Kill

File:Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe.png 
3. Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe
What?!?  A Scottish Electro-pop group in my top 3?!?  This is so catchy and  80's retro I can picture Rod & Rex doing a dance routine to this before the bicycle boogie.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***We Sink **Recover *Under The Tide

4. Scorpion Child - S/T
"Ooooooh... Make your move...", was the best opening line of all my favorite releases this year.  Like fellow Austin classic rockers The Sword, except instead of Sabbath, SC leans more towards the Zep.  "In the Arms of Ecstasy" is in desperate need of cowbell!  I'm thinking of buying one myself so I can open a can of whoop-ass during that chorus!

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Liquor **Polygon of Eyes * In the Arms of Ecstasy 
5. Implants - From Chaos To Order
This is the 90's Epitaph-Fat equivalent of the super-group 80's-hair-rockers Damn YankeesIf songs comprised from the best of Strung Out, Pulley, and Brown Lobster Tank gives you a boner like me, then prepare for wood!

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Once Was I **Through The Window *Parallel

File:Seethelight by LTJ.jpg 
6. Less Than Jake - See The Light
A return to Fat and form from these ska/punk veterans.  Exactly what you'd expect from a great LTJ album...super-catchy-toe-tapping-sing-a-long-fun.  Their best album in 10 years.
Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Bless The Cracks **American Idle *Good Enough

File:The Afterman Descension album cover.jpg 
7. Coheed & Cambria - The Afterman: Descension
I already came out of the closet on my weird man-crush for these fellas.  I will not negotiate, so please do not try to blackmail me with video footage of myself singing along at the top of my lungs while stuck in Miami traffic.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Number City **The Dark Side Of Me *The Hard Sell 

File:Cover art for Tomahawk's album "Oddfellows".jpg
 8. Tomahawk - Oddfellows
Man it's been a while since Mike Patton dipped his toes in a more traditional hard rock realm.  One of the most under-rated vocalists brings the thunder with Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), John Stanier (Helmet) and Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard), but still takes the time to get weird and artsy.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Stone Letter **White Hats/Black Hats *South Paw

9. Walking Papers - S/T
 A Seattle super-group of sorts (featuring members of Screaming Trees & Guns N Roses) deliver a unique album of film-noir tunes that would not feel out of place next to the Afghan Whigs or Morphine.  This would have been huge and played on every station in Milwaukee from 93QFM to Lazer103 to New Rock 102.9 back in the day. 

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***The Whole World's Watching **I'll Stick Around *Already Dead

10. AFI - Burials
After 2009's more unusually jubilant Crash Love album, AFI return with a menace and a reminder why their acronym stands for A Fire Inside.  Davey Havok alternates croons and curses like a romantic Glenn Danzig.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***I Hope You Suffer **17 Crimes *Greater Than 84

11. HIM - Tears On Tape
The first time I heard HIM was from a male co-worker named DJ Dracula's Daughter at an independent record store in Miami Beach.  After repeated in-store listens, I fell in love with 1999's Razorblade Romance.  This latest release reminds me of that pinnacle album and my other favorite, 2005's Dark Light.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***All Lips Go Blue **I Will Be The End Of You *Love Without Tears

File:Pixies EP1 2013.jpg
12. Pixies - EP1
Ok, so this isn't a full-length AND no Kim Deal... but I really listened the shit out of this 4 song EP.  Deal or no Deal, it's beautiful, loud, weird, and unmistakeably Pixies.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Indie Cindy **Another Toe In The Ocean *Andro Queen

13. Dog Party - Lost Control
 Great minimalistic punk obviously influenced by the Ramones from these high school sisters.  My daughter made me play "Flamingo Go!" over and over and over for her in 2013.  I see great things to put in my earholes from these two in the future.  Another fantastic release from Asian Man Records.
Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Best Friend **Flamingo Go! *I Can't Wait

 File:Black Dog Barking (Album Cover).jpg
 14. Airbourne - Black Dog Barking
 The third (and best) album from this Aussie group plays like a pressure-cooker of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and Motorhead.  The video for "Live It Up" was one of my favorites of the year.
Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Live It Up **Black Dog Barking *Hungry
15. Luscious Jackson - Magic Hour
I can't remember one of our infamous basement parties in Milwaukee that didn't involve a smoke machine, strobe lights, massive amounts of alcohol, and Luscious Jackson's "Energy Sucker" or "Let Yourself Get Down" being played at some point in the night.  It's been almost 15 years and if you're feeling nostalgic for that classic NYC-Grand Royal-City Song Sound, you should check this out.  "So Rock On" co-written by Beastie Boys Ad Rock is worth the price of admission alone.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***So Rock On **Frequency *Show Us What You Got

 16. Dan Vapid & The Cheats - Two
The second and best album from former Screeching Weasel Dan Vapid's current musical outfit.  I was lucky enough to see the first show ever from this group at the aftermath of 2011's cancelled Weaselfest in Chicago.  Vapid may be one of the only musicians to have so many seminal albums with so many different bands (Screeching Weasel, Riverdales, Sludgeworth, The Mopes, The Methadones, Noise By Numbers).

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***If You're Not Happy You Should Go **A Long Way *Face The Music

17. Crashdiet - The Savage Playground
 There must be aqua-net in the water with the influx of sleaze-metal bands Sweden keeps turning out!  I've mentioned my fondness for Reckless Love, but Crashdiet feel a little more risque.  More Skid Row than Warrant and more Motley Crue than Poison. 
Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Cocaine Cowboys **California *Lickin' Dog

 18. Deap Vally - Sistrionix
White Stripes comparisons are inevitable for this 2-piece.  Bare-bones, bluesy, beer soaked, balls-out rock-n-roll.  Also, another of my favorite videos in 2013 for "End Of The World".  I wanna hang out with these ladies! 

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***End Of The World **Walk Of Shame *Gonna Make My Own Money

19. Nikola Sarcevic - Freedom To Roam
 This is the third, and second best from Swedish Millencolin's front man Nikola Sarcevic.  It's more folk and country than his debut Lock, Sport, Krock, but thankfully still absolutely beautiful.

Favorite 3 Tracks - ***In Love With A Fool **Which Way To Go *Orphelia 

20. Michael Monroe - Horns And Halos
After receiving accolades in my much enjoyed UK published Classic Rock magazine I decided to check out 2012's Sensory Overdrive by Michael Monroe (Hanoi Rocks) with co-writing , lead guitar, and background vocals by Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts) and
man, it would have made it in my top 5 favorite albums of 2012 list!  This time Ginger isn't back, but Dregen (Backyard Babies & The Hellacopters) warms his seat most pleasantly and if I hadn't of received this so late, I can't help but think it would have made it higher.

 Favorite 3 Tracks - ***Ballad Of The Lower East Side **TNT Diet *Soul Surrender