Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year End List!

The Year End List

Well, another year has come and gone and once again, a lot of bitchin’ music has made it a great year. While it seems that popular music has gotten shittier and shittier, rock music came back stronger than ever. And thank God for that! On the personal side, new jobs have opened up and thinks have been looking up. But enough of me yakking, let’s get on to reviewing one of the heaviest years in rock!

Records of the Year

01. Primus-Green Naugahyde

It was a close one between the top three records but Primus pulled out at number one. Not only did they make the best album of the year, they made their best album in almost 20 years. And they were able to do it by not changing a damn thing about themselves or the music. Great bass riffs, amazing lyrics and a general attitude of ‘we’re not changing a damn thing!’

02. Red Hot Chili Peppers-I’m With You

Bouncing back from the second departure of John Frusciante, the band reemerged with stronger songs and catchier melodies. Some of the songs are so good they almost bring tears to your eyes. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll be able to top this in a few years.

03. Foo Fighters-Wasting Light

Coming back from a four year break, the band came back heavier and harder. While some songs did not live up to expectations, others kicked the ass of everything else that came on the radio. Once again, Dave Grohl showed why he is one of the coolest guys around and strongest songwriters in rock.

04. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones-The Magic of Youth

Coming back after the sub-par Pin Points and Gin Joints, one of the hardest working punk-ska bands in history return to form with one of their best records since their breakthrough, ‘97’s classic Let’s Face It. Great songs, awesome lyrics and fantastic performances made this late arrival one of the best old school punk rock records I’ve heard all year.

05. Patton Oswalt-Finest Hour

Without a doubt, the funniest comedian around and this, his fourth record, continues to show why he’s so amazing.

06. Anthrax-Worship Music

After years of doubt, due to constant lineup changes, the band returned after an eight-year break and single-handedly delivered one of the most bone-crunching metal records of the last few years. Not only that, but it debuted at #12 on the chart, showing that metal is still alive and kicking.

07. The Dead Milkmen-The King in Yellow

After sixteen years, the legendary goof-punk band returned with an album that showed they could still be mature and idiotic at the same time. It’s good to know in this politically correct day and age that punk rock like this could still exist. Although they have matured a bit, there’s still a bit of that old snottiness that will always permeate their music.

08. Radiohead-The King of Limbs

After years of being disappointed by their previous records, Radiohead came back with a force this year by continuing to do things on their own but they also managed to turn things down a bit. By going softer on tracks like “Give Up the Ghost,” they showed they’re capable of nailing just about every genre of music.

09. Fishbone-Crazy Glue EP

The ‘Bone returns with a vengeance; with their legacy now secured thanks to an amazing documentary, the band returns to form with a six-song EP that has them going back to their roots. After so many crappy records, it was about time they returned to what made them so great in the first place.

10. Green Day-Awesome as Fuck

After touring for over a year and a half behind 21st Century Breakdown, the band returned with a live album that was ten times better than Bullet in a Bible. Not only did they not perform many of Breakdown’s weaker tracks, but they also broke out many old classics including “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” For those looking for a great punk rock live album in the 21st century, then look no further.

Honorable Mention:

Chevelle-Hats off to the Bull
Pearl Jam-Live on Ten Legs
David Lowery-The Palace Guards

Worst Records

Metallica and Lou Reed-Lulu

I had high hopes for this record because I thought it would be really interesting but dear God was I wrong. When I heard Reed’s creaky, 70-something year-old voice basically talking over top of Metallica’s riffs, I thought it was the worst thing I could ever hear all year. I used to like Lou Reed, but after this disaster, I’ve lost all belief in him as a musician.

Justin Bieber-Under the Mistletoe

Just what the world needs, a whiny, little bastard Canadian auto-tuning his way through Holiday classics. Will someone please make it a crime for any Canadian not in Arcade Fire to even think of becoming a musician.

Lady Gaga-Born This Way

And the verdict is in: America doesn’t really seem to care too much for her anymore and for that, I think we can all be thankful!

Disappointments of the Year

Chris Carrabba-Covered in the Flood

A collection of sub-par cover songs done by the main man of Dashboard Confessional (remember them?) Mostly folk songs but the real piece of shit is his slowed down cover of R.E.M.’s classic “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” He takes the song and slows it down so much its almost unrecognizable.


Was expecting so much more from this record but they decided it was time to grow up and write boring songs. I know that all bands have to mature but do they all have to mature this badly? Not one halfway decent track to be found. Probably their most boring record since, well, ever.

Times of Grace-The Hymn of a Broken Man

This side project of Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam D and former vocalist Jesse Leach, they decided to make a more personal record, which really wasn’t a great idea. While they’ve each gone through some devastating personal issues, they both forgot to bring great songs to the table.

R.E.M.-Collapse Into Now

What a terrible way to close out a thirty-year career; many people considered this a great album but unlike 2008’s Accelerate, there wasn’t one good song on the whole album. Oddly, they recorded the great songs as outtakes that wound up on their career retrospective which came out in the fall.

Coldplay-Mylo Xyloto

Where to begin? First off, continuing to try to believe they’re U2 is just foolish. Then add that they’re trying to go all the way pop and it’s just a recipe for disaster. Finally, add the collaboration with Rhianna and now it just seems that they’re just fooling themselves. Come back to the real world and we’ll try and forgive you!


Middle Class Rut
Young the Giant
Childish Gambino

Singles of the Year

Middle Class Rut-New Low

It came out late last year, but I could not get it out of my head as soon as I heard it. Without a doubt, the most powerful, stomping song of the year. And in my opinion, one of the best rock duos out right now, much more than the Black Keys.


After a five-year hiatus, they came back with a mediocre record but an amazing single that ranks as one of their best of all time. Not bad for a band entering their second decade of making great alternative rock.

Foo Fighters-Rope

Probably the most successful rock song of the year and deservedly so because it continues the tradition of great music from Dave Grohl and company that the fans have always come to expect.

Primus-Lee Van Cleef

Continuing the legacy of great, eclectic music from Les Claypool, this tribute to the westerns of his youth has a yearning feel to it that seems missing in most of today’s alternative rock.

Beastie Boys-Make Some Noise

Even though they’re not touring until MCA is fully cured, they managed to make the best video of the year by bringing in the greatest comedy minds of my generation in one place to lovingly make fun and pay tribute to their past. The rhymes presented here hearken back to Check Your Head and Ill Communication, probably their two best records and that’s always a good thing.

TV on the Radio-Will Do

A haunting, beautiful ballad from one of the most unique bands around. But its success was hampered by the death of bassist Gerard Smith but the band persevered and their next go-round is sure to be their best ever.

Most Anticipated for 2012

Pearl Jam-Hopefully, they’ll be able to continue on the path they set on Backspacer and make another great album and not another Binaural.

Lamb of God-Resolution comes out January 24, 2012 and should be one of the heaviest metal records of the decade, besides Wrath, of course.

Toadies-Coming back with a new full-length of brand new songs should help to erase the memory of No Deliverance.

Green Day-Please come back in 2012 with a basic collection of great rock songs that don’t have any type of unifying storyline. PLEASE!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Worst Rock Albums Ever!

The Worst Rock Albums Ever!

It was while listening to a certain album not too long ago, I decided that the worst rock albums in the world needed their own list. Some people may notice that certain shit from the whole rap-rock era is missing, in particular albums by Limp Bizkit as well as forgotten bands like Twisted Method and Lifer, but the people who read this who’ve heard those records know they suck ass, so it’s time to introduce them to something new and even more excruciating. Now I don’t recommend tracking down these albums but if you must, be prepared to hear some of the worst rock music you could possibly think of. Be prepared for your ears to start bleeding!

20. Dance Club Massacre-Circle of Death (2008) [Not much can be said about this awful piece of shit except that it was one of many, many bands that tried to jump on the ‘deathcore’ wagon and failed miserably. The piece de resistance here is a twenty-seven minute version of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.]

19. Franz Ferdinand-You Could Have It So Much Better (2005) [One of the most hyped rock bands of the last 10 years hit the dreaded sophomore slump with a bunch of rock songs mixed with dance rhythms. Problem is they forgot to bring anything memorable to the table at all. You know things are bad when the only halfway decent song is the next to last track. No wonder it took them four years to come back with a third album that disappeared without a trace.]

18. Gutterboy-S/T (1990) [A bunch of guys from notable New York City hardcore bands decided to make some money and became a middle of the road alternative band that looked like a bunch of future rejects from “Jersey Shore.” There was absolutely nothing notable about this band or its bland music. But somehow, they were able to secure not one, but two major label deals. How? I’ll never know.]

17. Suicidal Tendencies-Still Cyco After All These Years (1993) [A collection of re-recordings of their debut album that was totally unnecessary. The originals were so slamming and kickass that even though the original is now back in print on CD and digitally, we’re still stuck with these tracks. The fact that the re-recording of the classic “Institutionalized” got nominated for a Grammy just shows that the Grammys don’t know shit about good music.]

16. Soul Asylum-Candy from A Stranger (1998) [By this point, they were down on their luck; so much so that they had to rerecord this album after the record company rejected it the first time around. They were so downtrodden that they forgot to bring any worthwhile songs. The best song, the title track, was left off the album and only appeared on their greatest hits. After this, they got dropped and went underground until their bassist died of cancer in 2004.]

15. Queens of the Stone Age-Era Vulgaris (2007) [Their second album without bassist Nick Oliveri and his absence shows on this record. Aside from “Make It Wit Chu,” there is not one notable song on this record. Other than that, there’s not really much else that can be said.]

14. Runner Runner-S/T (2011) [A quasi supergroup from Virginia, signed to David Letterman’s label and a lot of hype; you would think that’d transfer to something, but alas, it was all for nothing. They just turned into a shitty dance pop/rock band without a shred of irony. Such a waste of talent.]

13. Train-My Private Nation (2003) [Some of the worst, most inane lyrics I’ve ever heard on plastic. The lyrics were so bad that you tend to block them out to focus on the music but they keep coming back. The worst record in their entire catalogue; even the singles were bad.]

12. Coldplay-X&Y (2005) [They were so buoyed by the success of A Rush of Blood to the Head that they took a year and a half with Brian Eno and couldn’t come up with one damn thing. This was also when they got into dance music so they had remixes of several tracks but none of that made a difference. I was a pretty big Coldplay fan but there was nothing I could find to recommend it to anybody. That’s when you know a record sucks.]

11. Brokencyde-I’m Not a Fan, But the Kids Like It! (2008) [Worse than Bloodhound Gang, worse than Insane Clown Posse, this ‘band’ of ‘crunk-rockin’ retards have somehow become moderately popular by being racist, sexist and bigots all at the same time while defending what they do as art. Please, Frank Zappa was ruder than these guys but he was a genius, not a retard.]

10. Chris Cornell-Scream (2008) [Without a doubt, one of the best rock singers of all time decided it was time to try something new. So he decided to work with hip hop producer Timbaland and see what happened. And what happened was SHIT! Absolutely no one wants to hear Chris Cornell singing R&B with techno beats behind it with assistance from the guy in OneRepublic and Justin Timberlake. No wonder he reunited Soundgarden so quickly afterwards.]

09. Annotations of an Autopsy-Before the Throne of Infection (2008) [A grindcore band from the U.K. that wore their influences on their sleeves but forgot one important thing: originality! They just sounded like everything else that was around them but with shittier vocals. One of the worst metal records I’ve ever heard, period.]

08. Metallica-St. Anger (2003) [What more needs to be said about this record. Aside from “Frantic” and the title track, there isn’t one great track to recommend to anyone. No Solos??? What the fuck were they not drinking or smoking when they thought that was a good idea.]

07. Ministry-Rio Grande Blood (2006) [They used to be one of the- best industrial bands ever but when George W. Bush came into office, they just trashed him over and over again. The first record was okay but after two more and numerous remixes and shit, it just became too much to take. They rotted their fanbase with these records but oddly scored numerous Grammy nominations in the process. This was the last of them and thankfully they disbanded a year later.]

06. Weezer-Raditude (2008) [All anyone needs to know about this album by this once phenomenal band is three words: “Can’t Stop Partying.”]

05. Anthrax-Stomp 442 (1995) [They were one of the best metal bands around but after they lost their lead guitarist in 1994, they just suffered. Having to play all the guitars themselves, they struggled to come up with even one decent song and it wouldn’t be until 1998 that they were able to get their bearings back.]

04. Fishbone-Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge (1996) [After the loss of their lead guitarist and keyboardist, who were also their main songwriters as well as being dropped from Columbia Records, this band took it hard, very hard. Most of the album deals with the pressures of the major labels but they turn it into a racist thing, screaming ‘kill whitey’ on several tracks. Add in the absolutely horrible production courtesy of TLC producer Dallas Austin and you’ve got a recipe for absolute disaster.]

03. Mighty Lemon Drops-Sound…Goodbye to Your Standards (1991) [One of the most forgotten of all the British eighties alternarock bands. Reduced to working with their label’s staff producers, they forgot how to write a decent song or even record it with any emotion. Consequently, it flopped and after one more album, they disappeared into oblivion.]

02. The Cranberries-To the Faithful Departed (1996) [One of the best Irish bands of the last twenty years but they really stumbled with this record. They went heavier and more emotion but asides from “Salvation” and “Free to Decide,” they couldn’t come up with anything exciting or interesting. They even titled one song “I Just Shot John Lennon” to gather some press. It was awhile before they were able to climb back from this disaster.]

01. Oasis-Be Here Now (1997) [If anyone wants to hear what cocaine sounds like on plastic, throw this piece of shit on and you’ll be able to hear in glorious shit-tone. Two songs over ten minutes and the rest at least over five. Absolute shit brought to you by the Gallagher brothers, both of whom have pretty much disowned this record.]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Forgotten Songs of the '90s: GWAR

Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: GWAR

Everyone looks at GWAR as just a goof with no real discernible talent behind them but if one looks behind the makeup and prosthetics, one will find one of the heaviest and loudest metal bands of the last twenty years. What better place to look than 1992’s “The Road Behind.”

Starting off like an eighties power ballad, with acoustic guitar and whistling, Odorous Ungerus blasts in with only a voice a singer like him can possess, talking about life on the road and the rest of the band comes in behind, slowly but effectively. After thrashing around for a while, the chorus comes in with bassist Beefcake the Mighty taking the lead and doing it so well, it sounds like the band were actually trying to score on the radio. But alas, it was all for nothing and they’ve never been able to break into the mainstream. This song just proves that they still are one of the best no-nonsense metal bands around.

Twenty five years down the line and they’re still going strong and they’re now more popular than they’ve been since 1992. It’s a testament to how they’ve stuck to their principles and never changed a damn thing about anything they’ve ever done. Even though he wouldn't join the band for another ten years, R.I.P. Cory Smoot!
Forgotten Songs of the ‘80s: Kix

Kix are one of the most forgotten ‘hair metal’ bands of all time, but to call them ‘hair metal’ is a huge misnomer; they’re more like blues metal with a bit of sleaze. But that’s the best way to describe them, particularly on one of their best songs, the title track to 1985’s Midnight Dynamite.

Building on a slow groove guided by Steve Whiteman’s dynamic vocals, the band explode into the instantly sing-along chorus. Hearing this song and all the double entendres, you can’t help but pump your fist in the air and scream along. The song is just so amazingly catchy, it should almost be a crime not to like it. But since Kix are only remembered for one song, 1988’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” a power ballad, it’s almost understandable why.

But in the twenty-five(!) years since, time has been much nicer to Kix and has allowed their fanbase to expand and grow but that still doesn’t explain the lack of love given to “Midnite Dynamite” and it’s about damn time that that changes . So listen to the song and, in the words of Alice Cooper, raise your fist and yell!

Forgotten Songs of the '60s: Badfinger

Forgotten Songs of the ‘60s: Badfinger

Many of articles and books have been written about Badfinger and their unbelievable streak of bad luck: bad business deals, suicides, backstabbing and everything else one could think of. But going through their catalogue certain songs demand reevaluation because they’re absolutely amazing. One of those songs is “Carry On ‘Til Tomorrow,” off their first record, Magic Christian Music.

The song begins like a lot of early Badfinger, with some light guitar chords and some beautiful harmonies courtesy of the entire band. Mining some lyrical territory that they would then strike gold with in the future, leaders Pete Ham and Tom Evans sing about coping with lost love and the necessary power to move forward. Ironically enough, both singer/songwriters ended up committing suicide bringing the band to a tragic and really unnecessary premature end.

Despite all that, the songs and the musical legacy of Badfinger have only improved over the years, which is the best thing that could have possibly happened to this band. But if you only like “Without You” or “Come and Get It,” then there is a lot more out there to discover and what better place to start than here.

Forgotten Songs of the '90s: Fastball

Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: Fastball

When Fastball broke out from the Texas underground in 1998, most people assumed they’d just be another one hit wonder when “The Way” became one of the biggest hits of the year. By the end of the year, when they released the second single from their sophomore album, All the Pain Money Can Buy, they were almost correct. But “Fire Escape” is a song that deserves to be remembered for what it really is: a fantastic pop song.

Right off the bat, the odds were against the song becoming a hit, because for one thing, guitarist Miles Zuniga wrote and sang the song as opposed to bassist Tony Scalzo who’d sang “The Way.” Zuniga’s voice has a little more gruff to it and doesn’t really sound as radio friendly as Scalzo’s but that’s one of the song’s biggest charms. By the fall of 1998, you wanted to hear a song that was a little darker than everything else because it all sounded so dandy and sweet.

As a result of the song being about wanting to hang around your ex even though you’re done is a bit creepy and the song’s video did not help matters at all. The video depicted the band’s number one fan who ended up kidnapping the band and slowly killing them including drowning Scalzo in a bathtub. Consequently, the song flopped and the record looked like it was done until they released a third single in the spring of 1999; “Out of My Mind” became a top twenty hit and helped push the album past platinum. But “Fire Escape” was lost in the shuffle and even though it was later used in “The Prince & Me,” it still seems like it’s the least remembered Fastball song and that is a damn shame that needs to change.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of the 2000's

The 100 Best Songs of the 2000’s

ATTN: This list is in response to VH1’s shitty list of the ‘greatest songs of the 2000’s’ which included songs by Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. Where were all the good rock songs, one might ask? Well, they were missing because VH1 is trying to appease all their viewers. This list is not out to appease anyone. If there is a song that you think is missing, well, tough luck. I and all the other voters carefully went over this list and made sure that all the songs met the criteria that we set. So, enough with the bullshit, let’s get on with the list.

100. Weird Al Yankovic-“White & Nerdy” (2006)
99. John Mayer-“No Such Thing” (2001) (Suggested by Aaron Enright)
98. Dave Matthews Band-Where are You Going? (2002) (Suggested by Aaron Enright)
97. Fountains of Wayne-“Mexican Wine” (2003)
96. Cake-“Short Skirt/Long Jacket” (2001)
95. Coldplay-“Viva La Vida” (2008)
94. Drowning Pool-“Bodies” (2001)
93. Uncle Kracker-“Follow Me” (2000) (Suggested by Brandon Powers)
92. 311-“Amber” (2001)
91. Gorillaz-“Clint Eastwood” (2001)
90. Fugazi-“Epic Problem” (2001) (Suggested by Darrel Herbert, formerly of the Toadies)
89. Eminem-“Stan” (2000)
88. Lifehouse-“Hanging by A Moment” (2000)87. Yellowcard-“Ocean Avenue” (2003)
86. Toadies-“Hell Below/Stars Above” (2001)
85. Unwritten Law-“Seein’ Red” (2002)
84. AFI-“The Leaving Song, Pt. 2” (2003)
83. Weezer-“Pork & Beans” (2008)
82. Death Cab for Cutie-“The New Year” (2003)
81. Every Time I Die-“We’reWolf” (2007)
80. Incubus-“Oil and Water” (2006)
79. Eddie Vedder-“Hard Sun” (2007)
78. Audioslave-“Like a Stone” (2002)
77. Middle Class Rut-“New Low” (2010)
76. Andrew W.K.-“Party Hard” (2002)
75. Ben Folds-“Gone” (2001)
74. blink-182-“I Miss You” (2003)
73. The White Stripes-“Seven Nation Army” (2003)
72. The Dillinger Escape Plan-“Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants” (2004)
71. Deftones-“Change (In the House of Flies) (2000)
70. John Legend ft. Andre 3000-“Green Light” (2008)
69. Glassjaw-“Ape Dos Mil” (2002)
68. The Arcade Fire-“Rebellion (Lies)” (2004)
67. Velvet Revolver-“Fall to Pieces” (2004)
66. Thursday-“Understanding in a Car Crash” (2001)
65. Metallica-“My Apocalypse” (2008)
64. The Roots ft. Musiq Soulchild-“Break You Off” (2002)
63. at-the-drive-in-“One Armed Scissor” (2000)
62. Chevelle-“The Fad” (2007)
61. TV on the Radio-“Wolf Like Me” (2006)
60. Wilco-“I am Trying to Break Your Heart” (2002)
59. N.E.R.D.-“Lapdance” (2002)
58. The Postal Service-“Such Great Heights” (2003)
57. Franz Ferdinand-“Take Me Out” (2004)
56. Peter, Bjorn & John-“Young Folks” (2007)
55. Nine Days-“Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” (2000)
54. Jack Johnson-“Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” (2005)
53. Rush-“Far Cry” (2007)
52. System of a Down-“Question!” (2005)
51. Linkin Park-“Somewhere I Belong” (2003)
50. 10 Years-“Shoot It Out” (2010)
49. The Flaming Lips-“Do You Realize??” (2002)
48. My Morning Jacket-“One Big Holiday” (2003)
47. Modest Mouse-“Ocean Breathes Salty” (2004)
46. Queens of the Stone Age-“Go with the Flow” (2002)
45. TV on the Radio-“Dancing Choose” (2008)
44. Killing Joke-“Absolute Dissent” (2010)
43. Finger Eleven-“Paralyzer” (2007)
42. Maxwell-“Bad Habits” (2009)
41. Jimmy Eat World-“The Middle” (2001)
40. Outkast-“Hey Ya!” (2003)
39. Weezer-“Island in the Sun” (2001)
38. Switchfoot-“Meant to Live” (2003)
37. blink-182-“First Date” (2001)
36. The Cribs-“Men’s Needs” (2007)
35. Modest Mouse-“Float On” (2004)
34. Radiohead-“The National Anthem” (2000)
33. Foo Fighters-“Times Like These” (2002)
32. Pearl Jam-“Just Breathe” (2009)
31. Them Crooked Vultures-“New Fang” (2009)
30. Brand New-“The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” (2003)
29. The Killers-“Somebody Told Me” (2004)
28. Foo Fighters-“The Pretender” (2007)
27. Tool-“Schism” (2001)
26. Coheed & Cambria-“Welcome Home” (2005)
25. The Shins-“New Slang” (2001)
24. Maroon 5-“This Love” (2002)
23. Cee-Lo Green-“What Part of Forever” (2010)
22. Green Day-“Warning” (2000)
21. Killswitch Engage-“My Curse” (2006)
20. Linkin Park-“In the End” (2000)
19. Death Cab for Cutie-“Marching Bands of Manhattan” (2005)
18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs-“Maps” (2003)
17. Green Day-“Jesus of Suburbia” (2004)
16. Johnny Cash-“Hurt” (2002)
15. Tool-“Vicarious” (2006)
14. Queens of the Stone Age-“No One Knows” (2002)
13. Lamb of God-“Set to Fail” (2009)
12. Killswitch Engage-“Temple from the Within” (2002)
11. Red Hot Chili Peppers-“Can’t Stop” (2002)
10. Green Day-“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (2004)
09. Snow Patrol-“Run” (2003)
08. Gnarls Barkley-“Crazy” (2006)
07. System of a Down-“Chop Suey” (2001)
06. The Strokes-Last Nite” (2001)
05. Coldplay-“Clocks” (2002)
04. Lamb of God-“Laid to Rest” (2004) (Suggested by Aaron Enright)
03. Foo Fighters-“All My Life” (2002)
02. Therapy?-“If It Kills Me” (2003)
01. Red Hot Chili Peppers-“Dani California” (2006)