Well, hello.

It’s nearly the end of the year, and as usual, any idiot with a keyboard and a blog starts putting together end of year lists. This idiot is no different… it’s time for my annual top seven albums of the year!

I choose seven because, well, why not? Plus, I’m way too lazy to write about 10 albums. So, you get seven instead. This also means, dear reader, there’s less of this guff to wade through.

Let’s get on to business, and start in reverse order with:

7
AC/DC:
Rock Or Bust

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 Yep, they’re still going, even though founding member Malcolm Young has left the band due to ill health, and drummer Paul Rudd is doing his best to get sent to jail for various reasons.

It’s an AC/DC album. That’s all you need to know. It sounds like AC/DC always have done since Back In Black, and probably how AC/DC will always sound. You get exactly what you expect, and dammit, you still can’t help tapping your foot.

An AC/DC record is like an old friend… you can listen to it for the first time and still hum along to the songs on instinct. What’s not to like?

6
The Presidents Of The
United States Of America:
Kudos To You

Kudos_to_You!_Album_Cover

YES! They’re back! And they’re still churning out quirky, short, pop punk anthems with a 2 string basitar and a 3 string guitbass. I thought they were inactive for years, imagine my joy at discovering a new record by one of my favourite bands.

Just listening to these guys puts you in a good mood, you can’t help but to smile at tales of fleas fighting mites, cop cars, or the world’s worst ghost. Seriously. Check this record out if you’re in a funk, it’ll help.

5
Storm Large:
Le Bonheur

Storm_Large_Le_Bonheur_2014_Album_Cover

Ah, the mighty Storm Large makes a welcome return to my year end list. One of the greatest voices I’ve ever heard, and she’s put out a record that mixes some great covers with some of her own songs too.

The covers range from Black Sabbath, to Lou Reed via Cole Porter, but the standout track by far for me is her original composition, Stand Up For Me. Not a word I throw around lightly, but it’s beautiful. There. I said it! Love love love this record.

4
Slash
w/ Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators:
World On Fire

Slash_-_World_on_Fire

The past couple of Slash solo records haven’t really set the world on fire for me; they’ve been good, but not great. This being the second record working as a cohesive unit with Kennedy and the Conspirators backing band, it really comes across much better.

Slash seems to work better when he has some stability (given his past with Axl Rose and Scott Weiland, that’s not surprising) and Myles is a good influence, and being honest, a hell of a vocalist. This is a solid record, and leaves me looking forward to the next one. Hopefully!

3
California Breed:
California Breed

CaliforniaBreed-CaliforniaBreed

 

Glenn Hughes continues his musical hopscotch, leaving behind Black Country Communion and Joe Bonamassa and Jason Bonham to kick start a new band with Joey Castillo and somewhat unknown Andrew Watt.

And what a decision he’s made. I liked BCC, but it just never clicked for me, mainly because I’m not a huge Bonamassa fan. Watt has a nice style of his own, and Hughes? He’s not sounded as good as this in years. A stunning debut, and well worth checking out.

2
Fozzy:
Do You Wanna Start A War

Do_You_Wanna_Start_a_War

Yes, let’s address the elephant in the room; Fozzy’s vocalist is pro wrestler Chris Jericho. This, however, is no vanity side project. With Rich Ward of Stuck Mojo fame in charge of the guitars, it’s a genuinely good album, and Jericho’s stage presence has finally translated to an album.

The riffs are heavy and groovy equally in places, and it’s a definite improvement on previous Fozzy offerings; it’s the sound of a band growing into their own sound and believing in themselves more than ever before. Almost, almost my favourite record of the year… but not quite.

Number 1
Collibus:
The False Awakening

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One of the first records I listened to this year, and it’s stayed on my tablet and media player all year long; pretty much the highest recommendation I can give to a record these days! Playing sets at Sonisphere, Download and across Europe shows I’m not alone in loving the record, too.

There’s a full review of The False Awakening elsewhere on this site (HERE it is, fact fans) so go and check out that, but nothing has changed my mind about how damn good this record is. This band deserve to be heard, and this record even more so. Go. Listen. Love.

So, there you go. Another year, another seven records you really should hear. Get to it!

Until next year… have fun, go mad.

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