December 25th. I think the time for me to write my list of 2014 albums has finally arrived, even though I’ve been delaying this moment to the max.
I feel a bit frustrated because I’ve been so busy I haven’t been updated my album of the week section much, perhaps because I always like to develop the post a bit, add some story behind or develop my enthusiasm so I can sell the product in the best way, so to speak.
2014 in terms of album releases has been fabulous, and I’ve discovered many bands and discographies I had never been into before, which now I follow passionately. The two main reasons for a very eclectic list have been RockZone Magazine, which has placed names I wasn’t acquainted with right in front of my eyes, and since I’m more involved in the mag I felt the curiosity to dig into that stuff, and of course my beloved forum and the awesome people I have the luck to discuss about music and lots of other funny shit on almost a daily basis.
The problem here is that in a month I’ve written down a couple of lists and I’ve changed orders and modified/added records, because there’s so much stuff I haven’t managed to listen to I’m still discovering awesome things, which means that list could change in a month, but this list defines what I like the most lately.
Hope you find it interesting enough as to dig into the albums.
RYAN ADAMS / BEAUTY & RUIN
Sharing the throne like father and son, it couldn’t be any other way.
My fave messy hair boy has turned the screw magnificently and has delivered one of his most remarkable works up to date. I was a huge fan of The Cardinals era, and the last works left me a bit cold, but with Ryan Adams, breathing the essence of Tom Petty, has truly jumped to an upper level. More rock, more groove, and more livid. I think of ‘Trouble’, ‘Kim’, ‘am I Safe’ to start with, but I should mention all the songs as they are all absolutely terrific. As a complement, Adams previously issued a 16 minute ep named 1984, which was an excellent homage paid to 80’s American punk. 2014 has meant the rise of Ryan Adams at all levels, as he’s constantly playing life, issuing different singles and nonstop creating.
Bob Mould is one of the biggest discoveries this year. I had barely listened to Hüsker Dü in the past, and this guy, thanks to Beauty & Ruin, has opened the doors to his universe. Another workaholic and singular character, very close to Ryan Adams nowadays, and with an immense talent. Songs such as ‘Low Season’, ‘I don’t know you anymore’ or ‘The War’ really make me vibe.
Cedric and Omar are back in track and this time they’ve got rid of lots of ornaments and progressive style to deliver straight and energetic songs so easy to assimilate, you get hooked in a nick of time.
DO TO THE BEAST
The Afghan Whigs have assured their comeback releasing and impressive album which is not the continuity to their previous work but the starting point to a new promising future. Elegance and uniqueness are their trademark and once again they’ve proved they should be among the greatest bands on earth.
INTO THE MAELSTROM
Not being into prog, Into the Maelstrom is so expressive and grandiloquent, the result is a record with overwhelming songs. It’s like an intense trip to the vast corners of the land of the future, it opens your mind to a different experience and the ride is magnificent.
Strong folkie tunes full of passion and intensity. Not the typical mild songs but rough ones as if it was a shot of bourbon you had. Harsh, hot, painful and glorious. Absolutely delightful, the more you listen to it, the more you love it, the more you want to fall in love with someone with Till Midnight as the most suitable soundtrack to live that with.
Frank Turner is not just a folkie boy. He’s got balls and he loves hardcore, and this project seems to be the perfect outlet for anger, rage and frustration. not many people around me are aware of this treasure, which contains absolute anthems.
GREAT WESTERN VALKYRIE
If Rival Sons had kept on tryinf emulate Led Zepp I wouldn’t be talking about this record, but these guys seem to have found a marking point to find their own style and sound and have delivered an outstanding album.
EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IN THE END
First Weezer album which hooked me immediately. Very teenager melodies mixed with brilliant guitars, great structures with wonderful chorus, have this time caught my attention.
TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES
Emotionally speaking probably this album should be on top for all what Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! have meant to me this year. I’ve learnt about dysforia, I got the chance to interview Laura, and attend one of the greatest live shows this year. I have nothing but great words and it’s awesome to find such a great confession and statement on this album.
Punk and mayhem. What else do you need sometimes? OFF! deliver that shot of energy and rage you need which prevents you from blowing this world.
BACK FROM THE ABYSS
My boys made it good again. Excellent album which confirms years of hard work have been worth the effort. There are outstanding anthems and songs are well built and developed. They seem comfortable with what they’re doing and it’s finally reflected on this album.
If I had been told I’d be listening to mariachi few years ago I’d still be laughing but I’m currently doing it and the punk guys from California dressed in killing suits have stolen my heart. Viva Mariachi El Bronx!
*** Please don’t judge by the cover.
It’s true there are not anthems in this albums in the way Fu Manchu used to do, but the riffs are incredible, heavier songs and this road spirit will always be present, and the trio does never fail me.
There are many other albums I’m discovering which probably would deserve to be included, but at this poin this is my list and the way I feel right now.
Still, I made this playlist with a selection of songs of my personal soundtrack of this year, which might be of your interest.