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!