[5-5-5] of 2022 Part 2: Old Releases

Happy year six of this weird thing I do and happy end to 2022, y’all! As we say goodbye to another year packed with Russian invasions, the rights of American women being stripped away just in time for the Republican party to embarrass itself (again) without the help of its former Cheeto-in-Chief, dying queens and a promising step forward in our battle against cancer, we must also take time to reflect on the great music of the year. Just like it has been every year since I started this thing, this will be a three-part series where I follow in the footsteps of my favorite music blogs and present my favorite music of the year. As per usual, it will be broken down into three parts: 5 Favorite New Releases of 2022, 5 Favorite NOT New Releases That I Rocked Hard in 2022 and 5 Songs I Made My Ears Bleed With — Both New and Old — in 2022. I’m including a handful of honorable mentions where applicable and, of course, all three sets are presented in no particular order unless otherwise noted.

So in memory of Meat Loaf, Keith Levene, Jeff Cook, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loretta Lynn, Coolio, Taylor Hawkins, Darryl Hunt, Stuart Anstis, Terry Hall and the great D.H. Peligro, I give you …

Part 2 of 3

TOP 5 OLD RELEASES OF 2022

HateRugia
Release Date: October 15, 2021
My Favorite Tracks:The Wolf Queen, Rugia, Exiles of Pantheon

Polish Blackened Death Metal band Hate have been around since 1990. In one form or another at least — lead singer Adam “ATF Sinner” Buszko is the only original member that has stayed the course with 13 former members, five former live members and one former session musician. I was fortunate to catch them earlier this year when they followed the mighty Summoner’s Circle as opening act for fellow Polish extreme metallers Batushka. I always love me some Summoner’s Circle and Batushka was definitely worthy of the headline slot … but there was something about Hate that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I saw them that night. I’ve taken a deep dive into their discography from their fifth studio album Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred (2005) and followup Morphosis (2008) to more recent release Auric Gates of Veles (2019) and of course, 2021’s Rugia. Their sound is the very definition of Blackened Death Metal with seas of blastbeats, death growls, heavy breakdowns, veiled elements of Thrash and shredding solos all driven forward with an unstoppable energy.


Morgan WallenDangerous: The Double Album
Release Date: January 8, 2021
My Favorite Tracks: Warning, Neon Eyes, Country A$$ Shit

My boy Morgan Wallen here making his fourth appearance on my annual year-end list (numbers five and six coming tomorrow! SPOILER). Wallen has almost single-handedly renewed my faith in modern Country music. And while he’s certainly come out with several great singles this year including Don’t Think Jesus, Thought You Should Know, You Proof and Days That End in Why, his Herculean double-album from 2021 is about as good as Country music could ever get. I can’t get with the hair or the University of Tennessee references but I can certainly get with the proud Southernisms he sings about and his sugary-sweet approach to love songs. 7 Summers started this weird little fascination I have with this particular artist but songs like Warning and Neon Eyes keep me coming back for more. Look for this record to show up on next year’s list as well more than likely.


Hootie and the BlowfishCracked Rear View
Release Date: July 5, 1994
My Favorite Tracks: Time, Goodbye, Hannah Jane

Bet you didn’t see this one coming did you? Me neither, honestly! This album came out when I was 10 years old and I remember buying it (or having it bought for me). I still have the same CD I wore out in my walkman and on my boombox 28 years ago tucked away in my CD folder in my studio somewhere. I can’t say much about this hit-after-hit record that hasn’t already been said so I guess I’ll just mention why it came back up for me in such a big way this year. I can’t speak for all musicians but I know that as an amateur guitar player, bass player and drummer, I often accidentally learn how to play certain songs. While strumming on my acoustic one afternoon, I accidentally strummed the G – D – C – G chord progression found in Let Her Cry and even though I don’t remember the last time I listened to the song, I immediately remembered every word and belted it out as I strummed. Holy shit, that was easy! I said aloud (literally) and immediately started digging into other Hootie songs from this record. Turns out they’re all pretty easy to play using major chords. By the end of the day I was playing Hold My Hand and Only Wanna Be With You with minimal effort. I don’t care what anyone says about Hootie and the Blowfish — they hold up.


The MisfitsStatic Age
Release Date: February 27, 1996
My Favorite Tracks: Bullet, Hybrid Moments, Some Kinda Hate

Much like Morgan Wallen, Static Age is a staple on my year-end list and likely will be forever. The Misfits are still my favorite band and Static Age is their best record. This year I got an even deeper appreciation for it by banging out songs like Static Age, TV Casualty, Last Caress, Hybrid Moments and We Are 138 on bass! Add to that all the hype from the original Misfits lineup playing so many reunion shows (and sounding dynamite, I might add) over the last couple of years. Seeing a Glenn Danzig-fronted Misfits set in-person is the ultimate bucket list concert for me but until that time comes, I’ll just stay in my studio slugging away on my guitar and bass to songs from the mighty Static Age.


Blink 182Enema of the State
Release Date: June 1, 1999
My Favorite Tracks: Dysentery Gary, Mutt, Going Away to College

Remember last year when I learned how to play the entire Dookie album by Green Day on guitar? I basically did the same thing this year but it was bass guitar and it was Enema of the State by Blink 182. To say this record really takes me back is an understatement as this — along with their followup record Take Off Your Pants and Jacket — was the soundtrack to my high school years. Tom Delonge was my hero and I’d sing all his parts in my car while my friend and fellow LoserKid Townsend would fill in Mark’s parts. Life certainly has a funny way of working because I started to dislike Tom after the Angels and Airwaves fiasco and I grew to appreciate Mark even more after being gifted my Ibanez bass guitar last Christmas. A couple things I noticed while learning the bass parts to this fine pop-punk record: Dysentery Gary is still my favorite Blink song, Going Away to College, Wendy Clear and Mutt are criminally underrated and if you learn the bass parts to just about any punk rock song, you can play it on guitar (close enough at least) using the bass part as the root for power chords! Tom’s style of guitar playing is a little too-fancy-pants for my skillset so I’ve just not played many Blink 182 songs on guitar … until now! Not only that, but I’ve also taken on the bass parts for the first half of Take Off Your Pants. I didn’t quit because it got too hard, I just got distracted by other projects and started playing MXPX on bass instead — which may be my project for next year!


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