Wednesday, December 18, 2019

the Top 10 Rock Albums of 2019

It's that time of year again, to sort through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, then use them, to compile the top 10 albums of the year. Later in the month I am making the top 10 lists for the decade, though to be blunt this is the decade's weakest year for music; Especially when it comes to new artists. There are only 3 on this one. This year's rock list finds the genre stripped down to a rawer core.  I am; giving a brief explanation as to why these albums stand over their peers in lower positions on the list. The very fact these bands made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more.

After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However I listen to five new albums a day so yes I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No, I do not care what you think about it.;I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list. There are links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 rock albums of 2019.

10- Ville Vallo and Agents- "s/t" 

Yes this is the guy from H.I.M, they covered Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" so this turn of events should not be a shocker. Imagine if they never got into Type O Negative , and wanted to become a Chris Isaak tribute band, but he realized he could not sing like that so he got depressed and took pain pills while writing country songs. This is what that might sound like.

9-Jess By the Lake- "Under the Red Light Shine"

The sultry tinge of blues feels more like she has found herself in her voice than what I heard from her with the Ancient Ones. She I say there is a lot of Heart in what they are doing here I mean Anne Wilson. This retro rock is served with a large enough side of pop to give it the edge over Ville.

8-the Planchettes- "The Truth"

 These kids might flirt with the post-punk revival and they are one of the few I have heard influenced by the Cramps. The male vocals are really crazed at times, . The guitar tone is pretty authentic. It's more of a twangy cow punk. They are not tense nor are they angry which plants them firmly at rock n roll. Their quirky take on it is enough fun to land them the number 8 spot.

7- Hollywood Vampires- "Rise" 

First impressions of this band being here is what happens on A.A golf events in LA when rock stars and movie stars have too much time on their hands. Despite the fact I am an Alice Cooper fan and know Jo Perry is good guitar player I was till skeptical so was surprised with how the album opened with a rock song that is more serious than I thought I could take this band. It is hard for this to not sound like an Alice Cooper album and I am fine with that so here it is at the number 7 slot.

6-Lost Crowns- "Every Night Something Happens" 

This sounds like it could have come out in the 70S. Angular labyrinths of melodies give the bass the space to most of the grit. While it is not dark there are some shades of gray coloring it and I would not say it is happy. Ambitious and British yet this does not get in the way of this band remembering to write songs, planting them here on the list.

5-Brian Jonestown Massacre- 's/t"

 If you don't know who these guys are then this is Anton Newcombe from the Dandy Warhols. There is a moody almost post-rock feel to the strummed guitar. Anton makes up for what he lacks in vocal prowess with attitude. The arrangements are fairly simplistic rock n roll, darker than the Rolling Stones, but also less dangerous. Mick Jagger is never this depressed. Rather than go on any long winding roads the songs jam off a singular vibe, but it is hooky enough to land them the 5 spot here.

4-Twin Temple- "Twin Temple Brings You Their Signature Sound"

 When we talk of rock here we are talking more about the 50as. Despite their allegiances to the SJW knock off of his church this recalls an era Lavey would approve of. If Amy Winehouse devil there might be a similar result though this does has more raw power musically to avoid the pop list. They are not doing this in the kind of goofy fashion Ghost. The hooks put them at fourth place.

3- Starcrawler- "Devour You" 

Here is what happens when you grow up in Hollywood and get exposed to more than you should at a young age. This album could have made the punk list if not for it's grunge tendencies that sounds like a more inspired Courtney Love from the early Hole days. It's the realness of her swagger that infects these and gives her the number 3 spot, rock n roll is an attitude that all 3 of the bands in the top spots have


2-Alice Cooper-Breadcrumbs

Hanging out with vampires in Hollywood must have turned back the clock to him. This raw album of garage rock cover from Detroit could have almost just as easily made it on the punk album. Way more energy than you could have ever imagined coming off the gold course at 70.

1- Sturgill  Simpson - "Sound & Fury"

 If you think this is just a country album you are wrong. It owes as much to ZZ Top as it does Pink Floyd. The vocals are really the only thing that is constantly country. The drums might sound like they are from 90s Alt Rock radio before you are hit with a  funky bass line from out of nowhere. Futuristic and retro at the same time, the songwriting is the glue and it puts these songs at the top of the list.

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