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.
4. MONOLORD “Rust”
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!!
MONOLORD “Where Death Meets The Sea”
5. MELVINS “Walk 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.
MELVINS “Flaming 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. ELDER “Reflections 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!
9. PRIMUS “The 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!
PRIMUS “The Seven”
10. ATOMIC BITCHWAX “Force 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”
There it is! My list!!
I gotta give a shout out and honorable mention to:
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!