It's the end of 2012, or at least close enough that most major album releases have come and gone. So let's take a min to sit back, and evaluate what we've seen, and heard, this year.
This list will include the 20 best albums of the year. No "greatest hits" or "live" releases are allowed...sorry Slipknot and Zeppelin fans.
But our rules are pretty simple outside of that, these are based mostly on what I think. I looked at sales and chart numbers, as well as requests and song performance here at Rock 94.7. But mostly this is about what I took away from the albums.
Here we go! Let's start with #20-15...
20. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
I need to thank Terry Stevens for this one. I only knew Testament as “just another metal band” but the first time I heard “Native Blood” I was in. I sat down for a thrash-athon, and came away impressed. Chuck Billy delivers the perfect vocal balance to go along with the brutality this album holds. If you have someone on your holiday list that you’ve been trying to CONVERT to becoming a metal fan, THIS album will do it.
19. The Darkness - Hot Cakes
These guys...these guys right here...The Darkness burrowed their way into our hearts years ago with “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” and that campy, yet clear, sound is BACK!
Lead singer Justin Hawkins spent the last few years getting clean after a nasty cocaine addiction, and now the band is back at full strength, and singles like “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” and “Everybody Have A Good Time” are some of the top party jams of the year in the rock world. Not to mention they’re back to their hilarious ways with their music videos.
18. Cancer Bats - Dead Set on Living
The Canadians are invading! The Canadians are invading! Well, ok, maybe they’re not “invading” but the Cancer Bats are coming to kick some ass at least.
This Toronto punk/thrash/hardcore/metal...you know, I don’t know what to call them, except good.
Check out the singles “Road Sick”, “Old Blood”, and “Bastards” and that should convince you to buy this damn album!
17. Cavo - Thick as Thieves
The band Cavo had to be disappointed in their year for 2012. Trying to follow up their Top 10 album Bright Nights Dark Days, the band laid out on their title track “Thick As Thieves”. But they didn’t save a lot for some other tracks on the album. I’m not saying that this is a bad release, but outside of a handful of songs, it may have been better for the group to wait another 6 months to produce a few more hits to go with “Thick As Thieves” and “Circles”. Still, one of the best releases of the year.
16. Our Lady Peace - Curve
I’m sure most of you don’t own this one yet...but you should. Our Lady Peace is best known for their 1997 hit “Clumsy” but the Canadian Alt Rockers have grown and evolved since then.
A decade since their last taste of chart success in either the US or Canada led to a lack of anticipation for this release. But the band took some risks, and play with a coordinated, yet reckless abandon throughout this album. Even going as far as dropping sound bites from Canadian boxing legend George Chuvalo into the song “Mettle”. Chuvalo is also featured on the cover of the album. It’s worth the money.
15. 10 Years - Minus the Machine
Taking matters into your own hands can be very risky, especially when you’re a notable rock band. So when 10 Years made the choice to record and release their album Minus The Machine completely on their own, it was anything short of a slam-dunk.
The group recorded the album in drummer Brian Vodinh’s basement, and it had that quality to it. Much like Foo Fighters did with Wasting Light last year. The first single “Backlash” opened a lot of people up to this “new” sound that 10 Years created, and it looks like it will serve them well in the future.
Look for the next set, #14-#9 in the next blog! CLICK HERE TO KEEP GOING!