Man where did the last six and half months go? With the year half over we’re looking at music that’s knocked our socks off this year.
Here are my top 7, in no particular order.
Baroness – Purple
With Purple, Baroness (Savannah, Georgia) have transcended heavy rock and made an album that is as timeless as anything Deep Purple or Blue Oyster Cult has released. I mean that sincerely by saying this record will stand up in 20, 30, 40 years as an example of what musicians can do when they’re on their game. After a death-defying, horrific bus accident in 2012 while on tour in England, Baroness regrouped and poured everything into the making of this record, and man does it pay off, Purple is one for the ages.
Bummers Eve – S/T
Every once in a while I have to ask myself” “Why so serious?” and when I do, Cincinnati’s Bummers Eve is the antidote. These guys can lift you up when you’re down. They can turn that frown upside down even if they’re singing about dying, or self-loathing. This stuff is like pop rocks, so full of sugary hooks it will give you cavities and it’s phasers on stun fuzzy garage rock perfection.
Marvelous Mark – Crushin’
Goddamn it Toronto’s Marvelous Mark should be all over the radio. Sweeter than Matthew, fuzzier than Teenage Fanclub, Crushin’ is power pop heaven and that never gets old for me.
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
The third record from this Kentucky born old-school country troubadour. With a voice that can instantly make me cry in my beer, and a willingness to push the boundaries of country music. Simpson integrates the Beach Boys, Motown, Willie Nelson, and Nirvana into his music while maintaining a twang that stands next to the greats. Sturgill is one of the most exciting artists around these days. I already can’t wait to hear what’s next.
The Victim Party – Getting To Know the Victim Party
I connected with Toronto outfit The Victim Party for a Meet The Band a while ago, sent some questions, and then never heard back…But that’s okay I don’t hold a grudge, especially since this record is a killer reminder of how catchy punk rock can be even while thrashing about like a rabid racoon. Really from 2014, but released on vinyl this year, GTKTVP is steeped in the girl/boy trade-off vocals of The Rezillos with the hooks to match. You’ll be singing along at the top of your lungs in no time. So in the absence of an interview, this wicked record will have to be your introduction to The Victim Party.
Cat Clyde – Ivory Castanets
It says something about an artist when one remembers their opening set more than the headliner. And so it was when I saw Cat Clyde open for Shakey Graves last year. This young lady from Stratford, Ontario just oozes talent and fierce authenticity. She is an old soul and surely the world awaits. Ivory Castanets will be re-released in October 2016.
AANTHEMS – Die Every Night
I just can’t get enough of this EP. Vancouver’s Aanthems remind me of Bachman Turner Overdrive playing Death From Above 1979 covers. Yes you read that right. The giant arena rock riffs and choruses will get your blood boiling and your fist pumping. This four song EP, along with their previous EP – Old Dogs, would make a kickass full length. What say you Last Gang Records?