Top Albums Of 2018

So another year is in the books and once again I lagged on getting my top ten album list out. Maybe next year I will be on time but I  doubt it! 2018 brought some goods to us in rock music loving world and the return of some of my all time favorite bands. This year I also struggled with the order of which I put my top ten. My top four were locks for me and could easily each be number 1 on my list. Five through 10  really gave me fits and I finally after debating came up with my list. Anyways, enough with my rant. Lets get this started.

  1. Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

This was one of the releases I was most excited for in 2018. In my opinion Monster Magnet is one of the most underrated bands in rock and never really gets the credit they deserve. Mindfucker didn’t fully jive with me at first but after a couple spins I woke the fuck up. The album is full of classic Monster Magnet riffs and melodies that front man Dave Wyndorf  is a master of. Speaking of Wyndorf, he still sounds great. 

  1. Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium

The trio from Rome Italy killed it on this psychedelic stoner doom trip. I love the tones and dark edge to this album. And let us not forget how badass the album art was! Since seeing Black Rainbows in Santa Cruz California they have become one of my favorite active bands. Front man Gabriele Fiori is a ripping guitar player. Pandaemonium is one of many great albums of Black Rainbows. 

   8. Corrosion Of Conformity – No cross No Crown

This was another album I couldn’t wait for. I love the COC line up that features Pepper Keenan on vocals and I was pumped he was back in the fold for this album. The album features that heavy pan fried southern rock that COC do better then anyone. It sure felt good to hear how Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan work together on guitar. That twin solo thing they do is always fire! 

7. Greenleaf – Hear The Rivers

The Swedish rockers crushed it on this one. Founding guitarist Tommi Holappa is a factory for bad ass riffs. I love the tones and production on Hear The Rivers. vocalist Arvid Hällagård paints over Holappa’s riffs masterfully. I also got to say Greenleaf came out with a killer music video as well.

  1. Yawning Man – The Revolt Against Tired Noises

This album is absolutely beautiful and blew my mind. It truly is a musical journey that colors the soul. I listened to this record on a road trip this year and escaped the daily grinds of life and truly felt lifted into a state of bliss. Gary Arce guitar work on this thing is amazing. Mario Lalli the desert legend himself lays down serious grooves on bass. I really can not say enough about how beautiful this album is. 

  1. Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions

Clutch is so consistent it isn’t even funny. They got the formula down pat and just keep putting out insanely cool records. Book Of Bad Decisions is another great clutch album driven by great riffs and catchy and unique vocal melodies. The production is once again great and its exactly what you expect a Clutch album to sound like. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. 

  1. Sleep – The Sciences

This is a heavy ass masterpiece that hits hard!  This riff driven sonic ass whooping  is so ugly it’s beautiful. The boys in Sleep live up to their legend on The Sciences and once again show why they are in a class of their own. The doom pioneers are so good at creating tension and pounding you over and over into submission while slowly building up to a cosmic ass whooping.   

  1. All Souls – Self Titled

This debut record hit all the feels and blew my mind from the get! Top to bottom this record rips and is a must have! It’s got a haunting familiarity while being very unique. The overall production on this album is next level and the guitar tones are perfect. All Souls put them selves on the map with this record and I can’t wait to hear what they do next. 

  1. Brant Bjork – Mankind Woman

The king Of cool Brant Bjork gave us another groovy little masterpiece in 2018 . Mankind Women is a hot groove booty shaking machine. Bjork really hit his stride on this record vocally and sounds great. Brant has always put out solid records but Mankind Woman captures the essence of what Bjork and his band do live. I love the feels on this record. It literary sounds like they are playing in your living room. 

  1. Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe

Another great album from the mighty Fu Manchu! So many great riffs and hooks. The band is truly on fire and bringing the gold. Clone Of The Universe sounds huge and explosive. So many classic FU style riffs postmarked by the trademark vocal style of Scott Hill. These dudes are the kings of tones and making it sound so smooth and simple. 

So…. Thats my list! I would also like to give honorable mentions to Alice In Chains, Orange Goblin and the Chris Cornell record. The Alice In Chains album was sneaky good and is still growing on me. The Cornell record had a lot of cool older live stuff on it. Anyways… Happy New Years!!

 

  1. Fu Manchu – Clone Of The Universe
  2. Brant Bjork – Mankind Women
  3. All Souls – Self Titled
  4. Sleep – The Sciences
  5. Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions
  6. Yawning man – The Revolt Against Tired Noises
  7. Greenleaf – Hear The Rivers
  8. Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross No Crown
  9. Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium
  10. Monster Magnet – Mindfucker

 

 

 

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Best of 2016

So….. Here is my list for 2016. It was a beast to finalize. I’m probably gonna get some grief for my top pick but I don’t give 2 shits. What really made it hard is that Honestly that the records that made 2, 3 and 4 could all be number 1. It was a killer year for music were both music legends and new exciting acts gave us the goods.  Hope you all enjoy and happy New Years!!

  1. David Bowie – Black Star
  2. Brant Bjork – Tao Of The Devil 
  3. Doors To No Where – The Haunting
  4. Big Business-Command Your Weather 
  5. Megadeth – Dystopia 
  6. Fatso Jetson – Idle Hands
  7. YearOfTheCobra-The Shadows Below
  8. Greenleaf – Rise Above Tge Meadow
  9. Geezer – Self Titled 
  10. 1000Mods – Repeated Exposure To…


David Bowie “BLACKSTAR”

  Without a doubt, there will never ever be another Bowie. His catalog of songs speak for themselves. I don’t need to talk about his legacy. But let’s talk about how he left this planet. Only Bowie could pull of what he did with “Blackstar.” Knowing he was sick and his days numbered he channeled this all into a brilliant album. I mean really?? Who can do this knowing they are dying?? Only Bowie! “Lazarus” is such a beautiful and powerful track. Bowie’s voice sounds amazing and leaves a haunting impression. The songs lyrics are truly moving and knowing now that he was dying when he wrote them makes them even more powerful.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • ‘Tis Pity She Was A Whore
  • BlackStar
  • Girl Loves Me


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Brant Bjork “TAO THE DEVIL”


 One of the coolest cats in all of rock n roll added another killer album to his discography in 2016 with Tao The The Devil! Laced with groove after groove Brant delivers an album that captures what we love best about his solo career while continuing to forge ahead. This album is all about letting the good times roll with a little bit of peace and love. Released in September this album quickly became the soundtrack to my Indian summer and was In constant rotation. “The Greenhen is my jam!  Download this album now, crank it to eleven and let the good times roll!

Other Killer Tracks

  • Humble Pie
  • Luvin‘ 


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DOORS TO NO WHERE “THE HAUTING”

The Santa Cruz based trio killed it on their Album “The Haunting.” Doors To No Where mix stoner, punk and the heavy side of grunge all blended in a Sabbath machine. “The Haunting” sounds insane with bad ass guitar tones and vocals. Frontman Marc Lewis establishes himself as one of the stronger vocalist in the scene. One of the album’s strongest moments is “4give me.” The song features a heavy sludge riff that lewis rips over vocally and delivers a killer guitar solo. I really liked “The Haunting” because it’s complex with a lot of depth and variety. This record offers something for all kinds of listeners.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Wires
  • Burn
  • Sinking


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BIG BUSINESS  “COMMAND YOUR WEATHER”

This duo is one of the most badass bands on this planet. “Command Your Weather” showcases the unique magic that is Big Business. Bass and drums only combo are beyond massive and hit hard. “Send Help” is an epic track that takes you on a spacey journey. Built on tripped out rhythm the vocals shone on this track. 

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Regulars
  • Father’s Day

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MEGADETH “DYSTOPIA” 

Love him or hate him one cannot deny that Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is a living legend. Often criticized for his strong opinions and reputation for being hard to work with I think Megadeth has been very underrated over the years. Well, in 2016 Megadeth delivered the metal album of the year in Dystopia. The album is full of classic trash riffs and fret melting solos. One of the album’s strongest moments is “Post-American world.” Equipped with a classic chugging megadeth riff Mustaine and crew slay it.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Dystopia
  • Death From Within
  • Fatal Illusion 


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FATSO JETSON “IDLE HANDS”

The desert rock legends absolutely crushed it on Idle Hands. Full of classic Fatso Jetson riffs the. And prove once again why they are such an influential band to so many. “Royal Family” is one of “Idle Hands” many strong points. The track feature a classic Fatso Jetson vibe while it pushes forward and grabs hold of your soul.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS  

  • Then And Now
  • Last  Of The Good Times 


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YEAR OF THE COBRA “IN THE SHADOWS BELOW...”
The Seattle duo known as Year Of The Cobra had themselves quite the year. Establishing themselves as the most exciting new bands in the scene while putting out one of the year’s best albums. …In The Shadows Below is a heavy crushing monster. The band who worked with Billy Anderson sounds massive on the album and it really shows on “The Siege.” Pounding away with big drums and bass “The Siege” let’s the vocals seduce into a trance.  

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • White Wizard
  • Spider And The Fly


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GREENLEAf “RISE ABOVE THE MEADOW”

Greenleaf have been killing it for years and already have several great albums in their discography. “Rise Above The Meadow” is a perfect snapshot of what the band represents. Killer riffs pushed by badass drumming. This album really grows on you and is more then just a straightforward stoner rock record. “Howl” is a track that really hit hard for me. 

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • Golden Throne
  • Funeral Pyre

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GEEZER “SELF TITLED” 

This is a mighty debut! Geezer’s self titled record is a stoner heavy blues machine. Reminds me a bit of old Clutch and Orange Goblin mixed with a little psychedelic sprinkled on top . This band has a very bright future. “Sunday Speed Demon” is badass. Check it out now.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS

  • Sun Gods
  • Stoney Poney

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1000MODS “Repeated Exposure To…”

I gotta admit. This band and album snuck up on me just recently. Suggested by a random Facebook post I stumbled on to them. My first reaction was this sounds like COC during The Blind era. This is not a bad thing!! “Repeated Exposure To…” is a solid rock record. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this band. “Above179” is a killer track with a catchy hook.

OTHER KILLER TRACKS 

  • The Son
  • A.W.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS 

  • Red Fang “Only Ghosts”
  • Mountain Tamer “self Titled”
  • All Them Witches “Live In Brussels”
  • Hornss “Telepath”
  • Mos Generator  “Abyssinia”

In all honesty it was really hard to leave Red Fang of the top ten. “Only Ghosts” may Not be there best record but it still kicks ass. It could easily have been 9 or 10 on my list.  

Mountain Tamer is a band that came highly recommended from Doors To No Where. Also from Santa Cruz CA Mountain Tamer is a young band to keep an eye on and their self titled debut album is a kick ass heavy psychedelic trip. 

All Them Witches continue to amaze me. Their live from Brussels captures the band delivering a killer set.

The Hornss album was a lot to process. Sonically it’s hard to digest at times. The drums are bit buried in the mix and there are a lot of overtones going on. Once your ears adjust though, this album is real heavy and motors along with interesting landscapes. It’s one of those albums that needs to grow on you but it will!

Mos Generator are a very talented band who are some serious road warriors. Abyssinia shreds and is a solid kick ass rocker. I caught them live when they came through SF and they blew the show away.





Greenleaf’s rise! 

GREENLEAF is alive and well

  
The swede rockers latest effort “Rise Above The Meadow” drops some stoney groove goodness with no shortage of rocking riffs. Led by guitarist Tommi Holappa (Dozer ) the once side project is now a full time force to be reckoned with. And this is good news, “Rise Above The Meadow” shows just how great this band can be. You can hear some echoes of Clutch, which the band toured with last year, but GREENLEAF is far more complex. Songs like “Carry Out The Ribbons” have a classic rock feel to them in the vain of Zeppelin or Sabbath. Another stand out song off “Rise Above The Meadow” is “Golden Throne.” Drummer Sebastian “Kongo” Olsson and vocalist Arvid Jonsson shine on this track. “Golden Throne” has a swampy Blues feel that the the Black Keys wish they could capture.  If GREENLEAF set out to put out a killer kick ass record they reached their goal. Pick up “Rise Above The Meadow” now!