Well, Hello. It’s that time of year again – I present to you my list of the top seven new albums I’ve enjoyed this year. Couldn’t have timed it better this year, as it’s Hogmanay that this list is unleashed upon the world!
Have to give a shout out first to an album released in 2015 that I only discovered this year -the incredible Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats self titled debut record. It’s an incredible bluesy, rocky record that just drips with attitude and class. Go check it out after you’ve read this list. And now, without further ado… the list!
Ghost of Graceland
You’re not alone if never heard of them, because I hadn’t either! But, this is great power rock. Nothing ground breaking or innovative – just some good tunes played well by some good musicians. This one appeared out of nowhere for me, but was recommended to me – and now I recommend it to you!
The Temperance Movement
While it’s not as visceral as their debut record, it’s still very good, and it’s well worth checking out. It’s the sign of a band that’s comfortable in their skin and growing their sound as they learn their craft. And as usual with The Temperance Movement, the record is just a gateway to the incredible live show.
Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie
Volbeat are a band that sneak up on you with how many good songs they actually have, and how many you know. Of course, the distinctive vocals seem to be a bit of a marmite, you either love or hate them – but the tunes themselves are cracking. And hey, there’s a cover of the classic Battleship Chains on here too!
One Sided War
Michael Sweet AGAIN makes one of my end of year lists. Can’t fault the man’s work ethic or consistency. This is a heavier record than he’s been involved with for a while, the riffs are solid and you can feel the weight behind them. Of course, with Michael Sweet, it’s the vocals that shine & his voice has never sounded better.
Yes, THAT Rick Springfield. He’s still churning out music, and it’s still relevant and high quality. This record has tinges of country rock to it in places, but still has that pop-rock quality that Springfield has always excelled at. The voice is still there too, it’s undeniably still Rick Springfield’s vocals. A great surprise of a record!
This is a band that’s been on my radar for a while with EP releases, but the debut full length album is no disappointment. Covering a few genres, it touches base with operatic metal, and also hits the heavy, groovy riffs with a swagger that is addictive. Maja Shining’s vocals soar and carry this album to amazing heights.
Hey! Hello! Too!
The band that nearly imploded a million times over in a manner reminiscent of Ginger’s day job, The Wildhearts. If you followed the PledgeMusic campaign, you know that the singer they initially had for the record, Hollis of Lovezombies, quit on practically the eve of release. Pledgers already got the completed album with her vocals in place, and then it was all gone…
Ginger persevered, even publicly auditioned new vocalists, then threatened to sing it all himself, and finally, this version was released with several rotating guest vocalists… and it’s stunning. Every song is the perfect power pop punk mashup you’d expect from Ginger Wildheart. He is the Paul McCartney of the power chord… and the songs are gloriously overblown, the riffs are huge, and it’s just so much fun to listen to. Go get it!
So there you go, peeps. Another year of music, another 7 albums to tickle your proverbial fancy. All that’s left to say is have a Happy New Year when it arrives, and see you in 12 months!