Happy holidays to y’all!
Once the few family Xmas commitments successfully finished, it’s time I start focusing on closing this 2013. I’m gonna start with the easiest part, which is the list of my 13 favorite album releases.
I reckon this year has been marked by harder sounds and styles compared to the last years. Somehow it seems that my current mood is also looking for more energy in music. Truth is that, as usual, there are many albums I haven’t listened to yet and perhaps with the passing of time the list would change, but right now these are the albums I’ve been enjoying most this strange 2013.
13. VALIENT THORR: OUR OWN MASTERS
Rage and pure energy, Valient Himself and his guys nailed it once again with this album. Lyrics with message, so to speak, wrapped in exploding riffs and superfast speed. Very happy I could attend another of their burning shows last month.
12. SUN & SAIL CLUB: MANNEQUIN
This is the project of Scott Thomas Reeder, Kyuss former bass player, Bob Balch and Scott Reeder (the drummer) of Fu Manchu. Vocoder robotic voice melodies can prevent some people from loving this album which is a masterpiece of powerful riffs, intense bass lines and kickin’ ass drums. Respect for the veterans!
11. TOUCHÉ AMORÉ: IS SURVIVED BY
Post-hardcore bands are not within my usual range of music, however some of them manage to step into my universe from time to time. This time was Touché Amoré, recommended by my dear friend (and mentor) Jordi, personally and through the magazine. Confessional lyrics, lots of yelling, weird writing, but with an overwhelming intensity.
10. MONSTER MAGNET: LAST PATROL
The return of Dave Wyndorf and his gang to the fields of psicodelia. I had the chance to interview the leader for Rockzone magazine and thanks to his explanations and remarks I could enjoy the album even more. As a whole, as a journey, some sort of confession of experience and release of emotions. There are great songs such as ‘Paradise’ or ‘The Duke (of Supernature)’ of ‘I Live Behind The Clouds’. A great comeback superior to their previous releases. Can’t wait to see their show in February.
9. NEKO CASE: THE WORSE THINGS GET, THE HARDER I FIGHT, THE HARDER I FIGHT , THE MORE I LOVE YOU
This is the hardest album of the artist and the most confessional. She leaves the story telling aside and focuses on expressing what’s she’s going through, marked by the loss of important members of her family, and a state of depression she eventually underwent to for some time. it is Neko, the woman, the human being here, you can feel closer to her, identified with some of her songs. ‘Man’, ‘Nearly Midnight, Honolulu’, ‘Calling Cards’ are thrilling.
8. ORANGE GOBLIN: A EULOGY FOR THE FANS
This live album is the celebration of the success achieved with their last and most solid up to date studio album A Eulogy For The Damned. The only BUT I find here is that sound doesn’t capture their performance 100%, but still it’s a good document to confirm that not only their at their best moment but also that the Brits are a live band.
7. AMERICAN SHARKS
This crazy trio from Texas blew my mind with their single ‘Overdrive’ and reached my thrashy side with their debut album. Every time I have a dj session I play one of their songs. Energy and fun, sometimes they remind me of Gluecifer for some reason. Wish I can see them playing in Spain in 2014.
6. DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD: STAY TRUE
I feel ashamed for not having written about this wonderful album already, because it deserves a special attention and I don’t think many people are aware of this wonderful work. I couldn’t find the proper time or the mood to write about it as a week album, however I’ve been constantly listening to them when looking for a realm of peace and relax. Danny and the Champs leave the Bruce Springsteen formula so present in Hearts & Arrows and focus on more rooted sounds.
5. MICHAEL MONROE: HORNS & HALOS
The blonde Finnish is a God of some kind. every time he releases a new album everybody’s expections end up completely fulfilled. This time I was a bit afraid of the change from Ginger Wildheart to Dregen of Backyard Babies as the main guitar and writer, but the result has been very positive, in fact Horns & Halos is superior to Dregen’s first solo album which has left me completely indifferent and not interested at all. Listening to any Monroe’s album means feeling something inside you unsettled, which at the end of the day you realize it’s the need for partying crying for good times. I don’t understand the reckless energy of the singer, and I don’t care. I just take it as it comes and enjoy the most of it.
4. RED FANG: WHALES AND LEECHES
No need to comment much about this album after what I wrote. It’s brutal and can’t stop listening to it. I really needed this badass music in my life. Exactly one month remaining for their show in Barcelona. I know it’s gonna be insane.
3. HEY! HELLO!
Ginger is a sort of Kind midas in music, but fortunately every project he starts is worth listening and the results are usually great. This time teaming up with Victoria Liedtke, he’s surprised the fans with more partying and very fresh tunes, and perhaps it’s been the key to retake and resuscitate his main son, The Wildhearts.
Hey! Hello! will open for The Wildhearts in April and I’ll be at The Electric Ballroom to tell you about it. it’s gonna be awesome, probably one of the best 2014 shows.
2. CLUTCH: EARTH ROCKER
Clutch has been the greatest discovery of this year. They’ve become a complete reference and have also awaken the spirit of the fan which was a bit in stagnation. Earth Rocker came demolishing and I devoured it with devoted passion. The impact of the self titled single on my was one of the most intense I remember in the last years. It left me breathless, and when I recovered I had the full album which was an injection of energy I really needed. I also relate the album to many personal highlights this year, among others writing for Rockzone magazine and coming back to the company I had been fired from last year.
1. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: …LIKE A CLOCKWORK
Well, after not so much thinking I’ve finally reached the conclusion that Like a Clockwork is my favorite album of the year.
It was an instant crush since the very beginning and has been settling throughout these months. When I first listened to the album I compared the experience as dating someone you idolize, therefore now I could regard my relationship with the album as a consolidated. Yeah, we’re a couple, we can flirt with others but at the end of the day it will be Like a Clockwork the one I’ll always choose.
Josh Homme has improved not only his singing but also his writing, and his evolution, very criticized by many of his fans in Kyuss, is fascinating from my point of view. Probably ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’ is my favorite song of the year, but I love the whole album and regard it as an indivisible unit.