Wormhounds Albums Of 2017

So let’s put 2017 in the books shall we. Despite all the shity stuff that happened in the world this year we still had some good Rock and Roll to keep us sane. I have to admit my list this year was really hard to put together. I struggled with the letdown that some of the album’s I was really looking forward to turned out to be a let down. For example “Villains” by Queens of the Stone Age was garbage in my opinion. I just couldn’t get into it. What happened to me this year though, was that a lot of albums grew on me and once I gave multiple listens I find little nuances that hit me. My list is going to be different from others and I’m sure some of you will disagree and possibly even give me shit. But that’s what’s great about rock and roll it speaks to us in many different ways. so why don’t we just get to the list already.

1. ALL THEM WITCHES “Sleeping Through The War”

Number one for me this year without a doubt was “Sleeping Through The War” by All Them Witches. These guys continue to impress me with a mix of unique Sounds that no other band comes close to. I really can’t get into cookie cutter bands who put out records that sound like a watered-down version of their influences. I love bands who take chances and create something that is unique to them and them only. Alll Them Witches are the quintessential band who really gives no shits on what you think they should sound like. They are heavy without slamming it down your face and their grooves are infectious. “Sleeping Through War” takes the listener on a journey through many different soundscapes that are tasteful and full of twist and turns. Like their albums in the past All Them Witches continue to bring a seriously devastating guitar tone and show great song craft. “Don’t Bring Me My Coffee” is a classic all them Witches song. it’s a mix of heavy with a creepy folk like vibe that is haunting. “Alabaster” is a bit of a psychedelic trip with killer uses of temp change. The vocals are trance like.

This song rips!

All Them Witches “Bruce Lee”

2. BLOODCLOT! “Up In Arms”

The number 2 record for me this year was the badass hard core punk album “Up In Arms” by Bloodclot! Now bloodclot is not your ordinary Band, it is a punk rock supergroup. The band features John Joseph from the cro-mags on vocals along with former Danzig guitar Slinger Todd youth. Bloodclot also features Joey Castillo (Queens Of The Stone Age) who is one of the greatest drummers in the world. Another QOTSA alum and rock n roll legend Nick Oliveri holds down the four strings and give this quartet an element of danger. “Up In Arms” is a hardcore masterpiece and was the best punk rock record to come out in 2017 by far. I had the privilege of seeing boys slay it in San Francisco and they did not disappoint! if you love hard core punk rock in any way, get this album now!!

Bloodclot! “Up In Arms”

3. Sasquatch “Maneuvers”

Maneuvers by Sasquatch was an excellent album from start to finish. Sasquatch always knows how to utilize killer riffs and “Maneuvers” is no different. This album is full of badass heavy riffs that stick in your head. This album also features a very strong vocal performance by Keith Gibbs. I highly suggest this record for anyone who is into the stoner Rock genre.

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4. MONOLORDRust

MonoLord’s heavy and sludgy “Rust” is number 4 on my list. “Rust” is an ominous and heavy record that does not compromise. Monolord always sounds massive and “Rust” continues this trend. The album is a perfect mix of Sabbath style doom, Electric Wizard and even a hint of Fu Manchu. Love this band and love this record!!

MONOLORDWhere Death Meets The Sea”

5. MELVINSWalk Through Love & Death

Number 5 on my list is the legendary Melvins. their 2017 release titled a “Walk Through Love and Death, deserves a lot more credit than it got. It is actually a double album. The “Love” side of the album is a soundtrack to a short film while the “Death” side is a 9 song standard album. I think people got tripped up on the love side of the record. it’s a far out there bizarre soundscape that The Melvins have become masters of over the years. As far as standard rock songs go the “Love” side is not what you’re gonna get. The “Death” side of the record however is classic Melvin’s featuring trippy riffs and drum rhythms that only the melvins can get away with. King Buzzo still sounds amazing on vocals and his guitar work never disappoints.

MELVINSFlaming Creature

6. FOO FIGHTERS “Concrete & Gold”

So this is where I’ll probably start getting some shit. Number 6 for me was “Concrete And Gold” by the Foo Fighters. As much as I try not to like a Foo Fighters records every time they come out I end up really liking them! Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl are like having a Monday off work. It just feels good! at this point Dave Grohl can do whatever the hell he wants and nobody can give him shit for it. He has earned all the leeway he wants. “Concrete And gold” is a solid record that features those classic Foo Fighter hooks that always get stuck in your brain and refuse to leave. I mean, Dave Grohl even got Justin Timberlake to sound kind of heavy. I will admit, at first I didn’t understand this record. This Foo Fighter record took a couple listens to really gel for me. I know a lot of fans of heavy music don’t want to give Foo Fighters a chance but, you really should. I suggest you start off with the heavy riff slammer of the track “Run.” I don’t care what you all think about me, I dig me some Foo Fighters!

FOO FIGHTERS “Run

7. YEAR OF THE COBRA “Burn Your Dead

The Seattle Duo Year Of The Cobra continued their rapid rise on the underground rock scene with the release of “Burn Your Dead.” It’s definitely a must have for fans of heavy or doom. Year Of The Cobra is a band all should be checking out in 2018. I’m a big believer in this duo!! “Burn Your Dead” is an expansion of what YOTC do best!

YEAR OF THE COBRA “Burn Your Dead”

8. ELDERReflections Of A Floating World

Elder’s “Reflections Of A Floating World” comes in at 8 for me. This album takes you back in time to a world full of warlocks, goblins and magic. This is a great album to get lost in and forget about all your worries!! It’s progish but not with a pompous kinda vibe that leaves feeling cheap and empty. Elder rips it up but still has a soul!

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9. PRIMUSThe Desaturating Seven

For number 9 I went outside the box. I went with Primus and their album “The Desaturating Seven.” Listening To Primus makes me feel good. It makes me feel young. They remind me of my childhood. The Desaturating Seven” is a very solid Primus record. I will admit I was not a fan of much Primus after “Tales Of The Punch Bowl” and didn’t expect much from this record. I was pleasantly surprised though, a lot of classic Primus sounds going on! It’s the bizarre sounds that have always made Primus great but also has songs and melodies you can grip. I’ve since revisited a lot of The later Primus Records and have found some gems. I hope this band never stops making Records!

PRIMUSThe Seven

10. ATOMIC BITCHWAXForce Field

A rock n roll feel good record ends my 2017 list with “Force Field” by The Atomic Bitchwax. This record is a party ready to happen. Love the riffs and the rhythms on this bad boy! Spent a lot of time driving using this album has my soundtrack. If you never have, you should definitely check out Atomic Bitchwax!

ATOMIC BITCHWAX “Force Field”

SO……….

There it is! My list!!

I gotta give a shout out and honorable mention to:

BRUME (Rooster)

Lo Pan. (In Tensions)

Mastodon (Emperor Of Sand)

Nick Oliveri (No Hits At All)

The Obsessed (Sacred)

Royal Blood (How Did We Get So Dark)

I also absolutely have to mention the remaster Of Stone Temple Pilots “Core.” In celebration of its 25th anniversary. Holy shit time flies!!! I swear I just bought this album brand new on cassette! “Core” was a big album for me and truly made an impact on my life!

I also can’t close out 2017 with out…

Giving love and respect for some of my fallen idols!

First off RIP Chris Cornell. One of the greatest rock voices of all time!

I also can’t believe Tom Petty is gone. He was one of the all time great song writers and the definition of cool.

Off Course we can’t leave this year without a tribute to greatest rhythm guitar player ever Malcom Young!

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Year Of The Cobra is legit!

The dynamic duo that is known as Year Of The Cobra continue to amaze me. The Seattle based tag team upped their game with their latest effort “Burn Your Dead” by keeping the heavy while adding depth to their sound.

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With Mr. Billy Anderson once again at the controls YOTC’s “Burn Your Dead” is sonically out of this world. Billy captures Amy Tung Barrysmith’s massive bass tone to perfection while Drummer Jon Barrysmith’s snare cracks with unforgiving power.  YOTC and Billy Anderson are a match made in heaven. Some bands who work again  and again with the same producer can get stuck doing the same old thing on repeat. Considering that YOTC is a only bass, drums and vocals they could easily just make a straight forward kick ass doom record. But YOTC and Billy are way to talented for that! It amazes me how big and complex this band can sound without the help of a guitar.

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YOTC  accomplished a ton on their last record “…In The Shadows Below” which is brilliant. But to me, “Burn Your Dead” is even better. It has the heavy that I loved on the last record but, with a more complex sound, and much more depth to the songs. Amy and Jon really pushed themselves and their song writing. Amy’s vocal performance on this record is phenomenal.  Not only the tone of her voice but the melodies in which she uses.  “The Decent” is track that really captures what Amy does vocally that I love. The song is heavy but Amy paints over the top of it beautifully and with an interesting cadence that pulls you in. “The Decent” also has a killer breakdown that features some nice piano work before it kicks back into a steady march.

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“Burn Your Dead” also has some some good tempo changes going on to keep you out of the sludge mud the whole time. I dig this! I always love doom but some variety in tempos keeps things intresting. The title track reminds me of some old school punk with a killer trash style vocal army approach to the chorus. It also has a killer bass riff and break down. Its a bit of an anthem if you will.

“The Howl” Features another strong vocal performance from Amy while Jon pushes the song forward with a very strong beat and some nifty rolls on the drums. I love how Jon creates space with his snare worand on the bridge. Year Of The Cobra always sound huge and Jon’s drumming is a major part of why. He has great taste and knows when to pull a song back into a groove or push it forward.

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The more I listen to this record the more I like it. Year Of The Cobra are only going up and are by far one of the most exciting bands out right now. I think “Burn Your Dead” will stand the test of time and be realvant for a long long time. Do yourself a favor and get to know this and add this record to your collection. GO THE BANDS BANDCAMP AND BUY IT HERE! 

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The Heavy & Groovy Time Machine That Is Supernaut.

I first came aware of Supernaut in 2016 when I caught them live at the Blue Lagoon. I remember being pumped for the show because along with Supernaut, Mountain Tamer & Doors To No Where were on the same bill. I’m always pumped to check out new bands and the boys from D2N spoke highly of both bands. I was not disappointed in either and overall that show kicked ass. It is one of the best I have been to at the Blue. I made note to keep an eye out for Supernaut because of their unique sound and talent. They have built quite the name from themselves and have constantly been hard at it pushing forward.  Supernaut is like a groovy time machine that takes you back to the 70’s for a doom infuesed bluesy psyched out journey.

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So….. Lets fast forward to 2017!  They boys from Supernaut just dropped their debut album on us and its a very very solid effort. First off, I love the underground kinda garage band production they got going. It fits them like a glove. Think Wolfmother’s “New Crown album.” mixed with that classic warm but dirty 70’s sound.  Supernaut’s self titled disc gives us 9 tracks that are all worth a listen and the disc grows on you with each listen.

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Track 5 titled “Mad Prophet” is a stand out track for me. Its dripping with a Sabbath vibe and Will Lermini drops some serious groove on the bass. The vocals keep the Sabbath vibe going while Oliver Niemann paints some tasteful but creepy blues guitar over it. “Mad Prophet”  shows the chemistry this bands plays with along with their ability to push a heavy groove. Supernaut does not like skill on their instruments but they don’t step on each others toes either to show off individual chops. “Mad Prophet” is a perfect balance of skill and great song writing.

“Mind Control” also stood out to me. Its another track I could see being written in the 70’s heyday of rock. Once again Oliver’s guitar work stands out. He plays in such a tasteful way without over playing anything. The vocalist and drummer Sean Niemann’s vocal performance is strong on this one. I say this in a good way, he brings a kinda Moody Blues thing to this track.  Like I said, these boys take you on a time machine. They are also not afraid to step out of the box and push their sound.

The boys in Supernaut should be very proud of their work. I love their throwback sound and the fact that they are not just another cookie cutter rock band. They have a knack for being heavy without jamming it down your throat. I love that shit!! Supernaut lets their riffs breath and has no fear of using dynamics to take you on a journey. Reminds a bit of Cream, All Them Witches and some Deep Purple mixed in. Of coarse you can hear The Sabbath influence  but I also hear some Fleetwood Mac but with the heavy turned way up. I’m not talking about the Fleetwood Mac that became a mainstream band. I’m talking about the early blues heavy Fleetwood Mac fronted by Peter Green or the sound and style from the “Future Games” album. Again, I mean this in a good way! Supernaut is doing nothing but good things and in my opinion  is worth your attention. Get yourself a copy of the album here

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Supernaut will be celebrating the release of their album tonight with a hometown show in Santa Cruz before they head out on a winter tour. Make sure you get yourself to a show and check them out for your selves. You will not be disappointed.

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Tony Reed of Mos Generator

If you don’t know who Tony Reed is you better do your homework and found out! You can thanks us later! Mr. Reed is the leader of rock giants Mos Generator and his a beast on the guitar! Tony was kind enough to be our first ever installment of our random Q’s segment!

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WH-  What is your go to guilty pleasure band/artist? 

REED – Gino Vanelli

WH- If you could make an album with one band/artist dead or alive who is it and why?

REED-  David Bowie. He was not afraid to try anything musically and I admire that very much. He pulled off completely changing his sound many times in his career. Not many artists can say that.

WH- Favorite genre of music besides your own?

REED-  70’s Soft Rock

WH- Favorite tour food/snack?

REED- Mr Toms peanut bars

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WH-Besides music name one hobby you enjoy?

REED- I have no hobbies

WH-What was the last gift you gave someone?

REED- Some cassettes I recorded for someone because they only have a tape player in their car

WH- If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?

REED- 2112 overture by RUSH

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WH- What song best describes you?

REED- You’re so vain

WH- What nickname would you give yourself?

REED- Bonehenge

WH- If you could steal one song from anyone which one would it be and why?

REED- “Killing Yourself to Live” by Black Sabbath. Because it’s the best heavy rock song ever written.

WH- Give your bandmates nicknames?  

REED- The Bear and Conway

WH- What is one band you suggest people checkout?

REED- Golden Pig Electric Blues Band

 

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THANKS AGAIN TO TONY REED! BE SURE TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR NEW MOS GENERATOR SOON!! THEY NEVER DISAPPOINT! IN THE MEANTIME ENJOY THE TRACK “LONELY ONE KENOBI” BELOW. ALSO MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW MOS GENERATOR ON FACEBOOK HERE!

Queens Of The Pop Age

I’ve purposely waited a long long time after the release of Queens Of The Stone Ages new album Villains to commit to my review. Why you ask… well.. I wanted to really give it a chance. I mean it’s QOTSA who is a band I’ve loved and followed since the beginning. When I say begginnning I mean it. I was at some of the very first shows and was the first in my circle to not wanna torch Homme and company for moving on from the mighty Kyuss. So… yeah, I really wanted to like this record. I wanted it to grow on me. I wanted to find the genious. Problem is I just can’t!!


Sure, Villains does have some cool moments and is sprinkled with some cool guitar work but for my taste it’s just not enough. The album to me comes off thin and produced to the point of becoming a little bit bubble gum poppy and over the top. Homme and whatever current lineup he had assembled in QOTSA always seem to approach things with a no fucks given attitude to writing records. Meaning we are gonna flip this shit upside down and shove down your throats. 


 Villains does not seem to have that same magic. Now I’ve seen the arguments going down on online that Homme and crew have just expanded their sound and grown as a band stretching their sound. I jus can’t get behind this though. If Homme was really looking to grow and expand his sound he probably wouldn’t had hired Mark Ronson who is one of the more successful pop and mainstream producers to produce Villains. 


My take on Villains is that it is all about Homme, is ego and his drive to become an icon. Why else would he put out a pop rock album? Maybe I’m just a bitter longtime fan that misses the unique way in which QOTSA brought the heavy. But for now.. I still can’t find the genious in Villains and I can only hope one day QOTSA will find their balls again! 

Motherships High Strangeness

The Texas rockers have been killing it for awhile now. Their 2012 self titled debut was killer. Their follow up record (Mothership ll) released in 2014 established them as easily the strongest act on the RIPPLE music roster. So whats next???? Well… On March 17th Mothership will give us their third album “High Strangeness” and it’s a good one and has the band establishing themselves as a giant in the scene! Mothership’s new record will once again  be released through RIPPLE music in the states. “High Strangeness” will also be released in Europe through HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS. Like I said… the band is making a lot of noise in the scene! For years now they have been pounding the underground world with high energy live performances to support the aforementioned records Mothership 1 and 2. “High Strangeness”  is their best effort yet and will cattlepult them to the next level.

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So what makes “High Strangeness”  so darn good? To begin with, it’s a freaking riff factory and sounds huge. The trio of Kelley Juett (Guitars/Vox), Kyle Juett (Bass/Vox) and                     Judge Smith (Drums) are firing on all cylinders. Mothership’s sound is heavy but you can hear a bit of the southern goods mixed with some good ole fashion psychedelic trips mixed in. “Midnight Express” is a killer little track that captures the power and precision Mothership use to generate their sound. The Juett bro’s also bring a nice little vocal trade off on this track. The tracks main riff chugs along with a dirty swag while Smith pounds it into your earholes for a long lasting impression.

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Motherships strength is definitely their talents on their instruments as well as writing killer riffs. The vocals seem to take a backseat to this. But the track “Crown Of Lies” features some killer vocals and a catchy little hook. But don’t worry folks, “Crown Of Lies” still features some face melting guitar work. The song even includes a bit of an Iron Maiden type guitar solo. Smith and Kyle both kill it creating a badass rhythm section.

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“Speed Dealer” is yet another riff led track that remind a bit of ZZ Top if ZZ Top was on speed! Kelley’s guitar work shines on the songs solo. The extended outro riff is heavy with a hint of doom narrated by some psychedelic guitar work. I look forward to the band taking this one on in their live set.

“Speed Dealer” is yet another riff led track that remind a bit of ZZ Top if ZZ Top was on speed! Kelley’s guitar work shines on the songs solo. The extended outro riff is heavy with a hint of doom narrated by some psychedelic guitar work. I look forward to the band taking this one on in their live set.

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Speaking of live. Mothership his headlining their own tour in support of “High Strangeness” and it recently hit the bay area. I was able to check them out last Saturday at The Ritz in San Jose CA. The boys did not disappoint. The Juett bros along with Smith delivered their high octane Texas boogie with passion, energy and plenty of power. If Mothership comes to a town near you you best go see them!!!!!

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So….. Mothership’s “High Strangeness” is a badass and solid record that I see pushing them to the next level!! It’s a killer mix of heavy, speed and a bit of that good old fashion Texas boogie and blues. Fans of ZZ Top, Sabbath, Maiden and UFO will really dig this!!!

BUY “High Strangeness”

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Cloud Catcher’s brillant “Trails Of Kozmic Dust”

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So let’s cut to the chase….. On March 13th through Totem Cat Records the Denver based trio Cloud Catcher are going to release their latest album “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” and it’s a total game changer.  I’m going on the record saying this will be one of the best albums of the year!!! “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” is a fuzzed out psychedelic beast dripping with intergalactic cosmic rock. The album contains 8 blistering tracks that are fueled by some insane guitar playing! If you’re into some serious guitar shred with soul you will love this shit! Think Sabbath on a bit of acid being directed by Hendrix while on overdrive.

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Cloud Catcher just don’t shred though, they still have riffs that groove. It’s not just speeding up and down scales for the hell of it. They respect the power of the riff!  This is why I love it! Its obvious this trio can all get down on their respective instruments. Some serious next level talent!! What makes them so good though is they gel incredibly well creating a monster of sound that can in my opinion be best described as a blistering cosmic ass kicking! I hear hints of Mothership, Mos Generator, Budgie and vocally a little Spirit Caravan. But Cloud Catcher separate themselves from pack using frantic riffs and aggresive rhythms. Their sound has some 70’s blood pumping through its veins for sure.  

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“Visions” is a stand out track for me. Fueled by a dirty raunchy  little riff and the album’s strongest vocal performance. Cloud Catcher deliver some serious rhythms on this track! The guitar solos are tasteful and unapologetic while the drums and bass are relentlessly punching your face!

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Like I said…. This album is a game changer. Cloud Catcher are going to make a big statement with this record establishing themselves as one of the front runners of good ole fashion ass kicking rock n roll!  “Trails Of Kozmic Dust” will be out everywhere March 13th in CD and digital formats. The album will also have a limited Vinyl release. If Your into that sort a thing you best act quick!

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Trails Of Kozmic Dust – Tracklisting
Astral Warlord
Celestial Empress
Beyond The Electric Sun
Dimensional Interlude
Visions
Trails Of Kozmic Dust
Super Acid Magick
Righteous Ruler
Band Members
Rory Rummings
Kam Wentworth
Jared Soloman Handman
BAND LINKS
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