Saturday, February 18, 2017

Music: Body Count - No Lives Matter

I remember back in the early 90's when Ice-T's band Body Count came out with their song Cop Killer and controversy exploded.  Lost in all that controversy was a real problem that black youth were dealing with in the inner-city.  It is crazy to think that this issue is still around today.  Ice-T and Body Count are back with a new song that focuses on social injustice and I am digging not only the message, but the song as well.

So check out their new song, No Lives Matter:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Music: Best Albums of 2016

The Virginmarys

I think it is only fitting that the day after the Grammy Awards, a night that awards record label manufactured music, that I write about my favorite music of 2016.  In my opinion, 2016 was one of the best years for rock music in a long time.  No, rock music doesn't sell worth a crap anymore here in the States, but that doesn't change the fact that there were a ton of great rock albums released this past year.  All told, I checked out 48 new albums in 2016 and by checking them out, I mean listening to them over and over again to really get into them.  It wasn't just rock music I listened to this year as there was also funk, pop and indie music albums as well.  Because there were so many great albums this year, I decided to do a 'Top 15' list.  So check out the list and be sure to check out the music as well.

TOP 15 OF 2016

15.  The Like Magnets - Amazing Pulsar

The Like Magnets features one of my favorite singer/songwriters (Walt Lafty) and this project finds him going a more indie rock route than in his past.  The songs are great and hopefully we get more albums from this band.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

14.  Crobot - Welcome to Fat City

Crobot is a band that is unique to itself with their stoner rock meets rock style.  This album is explosive and full of energy.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

13.  Wolfmother - Victorious

Andrew Stockdale continues his Black Sabbath inspired rock and Wolfmother's fourth album is a worthy to the 70's style of rock from which it is inspired. My thoughts on the album can be read here.

12.  Airbourne - Breakin' Outta Hell

Looking for a band that is similar to AC/DC?  Look no further than Australia's Airbourne.  They not only share the same country as the legendary band, but they share their energy, riffs and attitude.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

11.  Sixx AM - Prayers for the Blessed

Sixx AM put out two albums this year and both were excellent.  Nikki Sixx shows that while Motley Crue may have ended, he will continue to put out great rock music.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

10.  David Bowie - Black Star

The last album that Bowie gave us is a special one.  It infuses different style's of music with  cryptic and emotional lyrics.  He will be missed.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

09.  The Heavy - Hurt & the Merciless

The Heavy mixes rock, funk and soul to create an album that really grooves.  Not only is the music solid, but the lead vocalist can really sing.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

08.  Prince - HitnRun Phase II

His name is Prince and he is funky.  How fitting is it that his last album that he would release is the funkiest one he has done since Musicology.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

07.  Billy Talent - Afraid of Heights

My favorite Canadian band is Billy Talent and their fifth album is just as good as their debut album was.  Their highly harmonized punk style is what separates them from other bands.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

06.  Rival Sons - Hollow Bones

Seriously, a band whose style reminds the listener of bands like Led Zepplin, Deep Purple and Bad Company?  Need I say more?  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

05.  StoneRider - Hologram

Not to repeat myself, but any album that sounds like Deep Purple and Pink Floyd made an album together is really all that needs to be said.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

04.  Butch Walker - Stay Gold

Butch Walker is my favorite singer/songwriter and Stay Gold continues his tradition of great albums.  His last album was an emotional one, so it is really great to get another fun rock album from him.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

03.  Sixx AM - Prayers of the Damned

Sixx AM put out two albums this year and while Prayers for the Blessed was #11 on this list, Prayers of the Damned comes in at #3.  This album proves that Nikki Sixx and James Michael are a great songwriting team.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

02.  The Struts - Everybody Wants (US Version)

The British release of The Struts Everybody Wants was my favorite album of that year and that made me almost not want to put the US version of the album on this list.  I decided to do so because this album has some new songs on it and quite frankly, it is just too damn good to be ignored. My thoughts on the album can be read here. 

01.  The Virginmarys - Divides

So far The Virginmarys are two for two.  Their 2013 album was my favorite of that year and their second album is my favorite album of 2016.  There isn't a band whose future I am more excited about than theirs.  My thoughts on the album can be read here.

Albums That Just Missed the List

Monster Truck - Sittin' Heavy
Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis
The Dead Daises - Make Some Noise
Cheap Trick - Bang Zoom Crazy...Hello
The Cadillac Three - Bury Me in My Boots

Most Disappointing Albums

Zakk Wylde - Book of Shadows II
Air Traffic Control - Black Box
Spraygun War - Into the Blackness

Favorite Songs of the Year

Xtraloveable by Prince
Your Chains by StoneRider
Since You've Been Gone by The Heavy
When We Were Gods by Sixx AM
Halo in Her Silhouette by The Virginmarys
Descending by Butch Walker
Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats by Billy Talent
Hollow Bones Part 2 by Rival Sons
Blackstar by David Bowie
The Ol' Switcheroo by The Struts

Friday, February 10, 2017

List of 2016 Albums

I've been spending the last month or so re-listening to all the 2016 albums I checked out this past year and I decided to share that list with you.

The Like Magnets – Amazing Pulsar
Sam Means – 10 Songs
Wolfmother – Victorious
David Bowie – Black Star
Prince – HitnRun Phase II
The Struts – Everybody Wants
Air Traffic Control – Black Box
Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy
The Temperance Movement – White Bear
The Treatment – Generation Me
Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky
Cheap Trick – Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello
Weezer – The White Album
The Heavy – Hurt & The Merciless
Zakk Wylde – Book of Shadows II
StoneRider – Hologram
The Virginmarys – Divides
Rooney – Washed Away
Sixx: AM – Prayers for the Damned
Spraygun War – Into the Blackness
Panic at the Disco – Death of a Bachelor
Rival Sons – Hollow Bones
Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette
Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis
Billy Talent – Afraid of Heights
The Dead Daises – Make Some Noise
The Cadillac Three – Bury Me in My Boots
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – Wayside
Butch Walker – Stay Gold
Michael Sweet – One Sided War
Jack White – Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016
Aaron Lewis – Sinner
Deap Vally - Femejism
Airbourne – Breaking Outta Hell
The Sword – Low Country
Crobot – Welcome to Fat City
Eric Hutchinson – Easy Street
RavenEye – Nova
Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
Sully Erna – Hometown Life
Shovels and Rope – Little Seeds
Kings of Leon – Walls
Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Ride
The Wind and The Wave – Happiness is not a Place
Bon Jovi – This House is Not for Sale
Sixx AM – Prayers for the Blessed
Taylor Hawkins – Kota (EP)
Metallica - Hardwired to Self-Destruct

From my count, that is 48 albums.  In all honesty, I found 2016 to be a great year for music and I enjoyed the hell out of a lot of these albums.  There were some albums I wasn't able to check out every album I wanted to yet, but I did the best I could.

My 'Best of 2016' list is coming very soon...