It’s that time of year when all of these shitey lists start popping up all over the place. And, dammit, this site is no different.
I always do a list, a review if you will, of the best new records I’ve listened to over the the last 12 months – or a year, if you want to be smart. It’s been a weird year, I’ve found myself listening more and more to podcasts and classic albums, but there has been some top, top music out there.
You may not agree with any of them – I’d be bemused and amazed if you did – but have a read and a dabble anyway. You might just find something you like. Enjoy.
7. WHITESNAKE – Forevermore
While there may have been a debate over Mr. Coverdale’s live vocals and their quality (or lack thereof) there was no doubt that this was a damn fine blues rock record. A return to form for one of the finest (recorded) voices rock music still has to offer. His tactic of surrounding himself with a killer band still works – this sounds great, and amazingly, relevant in this day and age. Give it a go.
6. MASTODON – The Hunter
I gotta admit, I’ve not been a fan of Mastodon up until this point, but so many people raved over this record, I figured it was worth a go. I’m glad I listened, it’s bloody good! It’s sounds like what Josh Homme would if he still gave a damn, but with a heavy edge to it. Great record, and a new chapter in the history of Mastodon? Could be.
5. BURN HALO – Up From The Ashes
Another record I tried after reading recommendations from all and sundry. Not a band I was familiar with, but well worth checking out in the end. They sound fresh, yet retro – it’s a hard edged sound, kind of like an updated Motley Crue for this decade. Looking forward to hearing more of this lot.
4. THE ANSWER – Revival
Norn Iron’s finest, coming off a career year supporting AC/DC on the Black Ice tour, they needed a strong record to boost their presence, and they delivered. They haven’t sounded this good since their debut record. Backed up by strong live performances, this could be the album that pushes them into the top tier of bands from the UK. Brilliant sound, amazing vocals and top songwriting.
3. ALICE COOPER – Welcome To My Nightmare
Revisiting a classic album to do a sequel can be the sign of an artist who’s ran out of ideas. With Alice, it seems natural. This album is his best in years, veering all over the place from classic rock, to ballads, to pop, even disco in one zombie infested track. Alice has never sounded so good in years, and has been backing it up on the road as well. Seriously, pick up a copy of this record. You owe it to yourself. Plus, Alice probably knows where you live…
2. MICHAEL MONROE – Sensory Overdrive
He’s a funny fellow, this Michael Monroe. He looks like a woman, yet sings like a devil… this may be his finest hour in music. Featuring writing and playing from Wildhearts main man Ginger, this album grabs you by the throat and refuses to let you go. From start to finish, it’s thrilling and deserved a lot more sales than it got. Classic Rock voted it album of the year. They almost got it right…
My favourite new album of 2011 then… is this:
1. THE UNION – Siren’s Song
The second album is often difficult and troublesome. Not for The Union. This record comes off as being self assured, full of swagger, high on energy and bodes well for the future. The vocals on this are simply stunning from Peter Shoulder, and the guitar work is the usual mastery you’d expect from Luke Morley. The songs? Amazing. The title track may well be my favourite new song of the past few years, certainly this year. You owe it yourself, and Luke and Pete, to check this amazing, amazing record out. Go. Now.