[6-6-6] of 2017 Part 3: Top Tracks

With a few days left in the year, I figured it was my turn to add my two cents to the “best records of the year” like so many of the blogs I follow. Where I differ from these posts, though, is that I don’t always listen to brand new music all the time and often uncover stuff that came out decades before I was even born, choosing to spend my time with it instead. Therefore, I’m breaking this post down into three parts: my 6 favorite new releases for 2017, my 6 favorite NOT new releases I jammed the most in 2017, and the 6 songs I blasted the most — both new and old — in 2017.

All three sets are in no particular order.

This is Part 3/3

— TOP 6 TRACKS, NEW AND OLD, OF 2017 —

Mutoid ManKiss of Death
Album: War Moans — Released: 2017

This may not be my favorite song from this record but it’s definitely the song that gave this band my attention. So heavy, so dirty, so gritty. It’s everything I want in rock and roll. Is it punk? Is it metal? Is it sludge? Answer: YES. The only thing that tops how heavy this song is on the record is standing two feet away from drummer Ben Koller’s drum kit while they play it live!

ConvergeHomewrecker
Album: Jane Doe — Released: 2001

This song comes shredding right out of the gate with a rumble of drums provided by the above mentioned Ben Koller (who in addition to Converge and Mutoid Man lends his talents to Cave In and All Pigs Must Die). If you’re okay with shrieking vocals, you can’t help but thrash to this song as it quickly rises to peak energy level and stays there for nearly four minutes. I don’t know how the guys in the band stay in their skin while playing it because I have a hard enough time doing it while listening.

Every Time I DieWe’rewolf
Album: The Big Dirty — Released: 2007

Spotify fed me this song after a playlist ended earlier this year and I developed an instant crush on it. The record’s name is The Big Dirty and there’s no better way to describe the music of Every time I Die. While the animal being referenced in this song is of the party variety, the lyrics get my juiced to do all things in life at full volume. But I didn’t put my hair in a pony tail for nothing so if I’m going home alone — I’m not going at all!

Tyler, the CreatorI Ain’t Got Time!
Album: Scum Fuck Flower Boy — Released: 2017

This is my favorite Tyler song since Transylvania. Beats are varied but so rad, the sampling is brilliant, lyrics are top-notch and he’s included one of his best hooks to date. A little chaotic at times, maybe, but it works as a whole. It’s not as mean and evil as a lot of older Tyler but neither is this entire record. I ain’t mad about it. I went through the entire record four or five times when I picked it up, then I left this track on repeat for the rest of the week.

The AquabatsThe Shark Fighter!
Album: Hi-Five Soup! — Released: 2011

I’ve always been a fan of the Aquabats. I have an Aquabats tattoo for Christ’s sake. But admittedly, I’m mostly in love with “old” Aquabats and the nostalgia they bring every time I listen to Super Rad!, Pool Party!, Anti-Matter and whatnot. After I saw them in concert this past Summer, though, I got a better appreciation for later songs like Fashion Zombies!, The Legend is True!, Hey Homies! and Look At Me (I’m a Winner)! Standing above them all, though, is The Shark Fighter!. He fights sharks. He fights them in the water, ’cause that’s where they are. Is it ska? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing song that’s still classic in the Aquabats sense.

The Velvet UndergroundAfter Hours
Album: The Velvet Underground — Released: 1969

Written by my boy Lou Reed in 1969, After Hours is probably my favorite Velvet Underground song. A little different from other Velvet tracks, this song brings drummer Maureen Tucker to the lead vocalist position and tells the story of someone dealing with a loved one struggling with alcoholism. Maybe a dark subject but the song itself is simple and innocent in its delivery. It’s also fun to bang out on an acoustic guitar.


This is just me, though. Got any tracks you really dug this year? Tell me about them!

[6-6-6] of 2017 Part 2: Old Releases

With a few days left in the year, I figured it was my turn to add my two cents to the “best records of the year” like so many of the blogs I follow. Where I differ from these posts, though, is that I don’t always listen to brand new music all the time and often uncover stuff that came out decades before I was even born, choosing to spend my time with it instead. Therefore, I’m breaking this post down into three parts: my 6 favorite new releases for 2017, my 6 favorite NOT new releases I jammed the most in 2017, and the 6 songs I blasted the most — both new and old — in 2017.

All three sets are in no particular order.

This is Part 2/3

— TOP 6 OLD RELEASES OF 2017 —

The MisfitsStatic Age
Release Date: (February 27, 1996 — originally recorded in 1978)
My Favorite Tracks: Hybrid Moments; Bullet; She

The Misfits are one of my favorite bands — maybe my #1 favorite band. So many great tracks across their career, and yes I’m even referring to post-Danzig era. I feel like if I were to include a “top not-new records” list every year, Static Age would be on my list every year. It’s basically a Misfits’ greatest hits record from start to finish including the super groovy Return of the Fly, the pure-evil scorcher Bullet and the macabre sing-along favorite Last Caress. If you didn’t listen to any other Misfits for the rest of your life, your days will be better just having experienced this music. I seriously listen to something from this album every. Single. Day.

David BowieDavid Bowie
Release Date: (June 1, 1967)
My Favorite Tracks: Uncle Arthur; Love You Till Tuesday; Please Mr. Gravedigger

A few months ago I went through a phase where if it wasn’t David Bowie, I didn’t want to hear it. Chances are, if you’re not a fan of Bowie or are only a casual fan, you’ve probably never heard anything from this, his self-titled and first proper release. It’s really not even the kind of Bowie I prefer — I’m more of a Hunky Dory or Rise and Fall… kind of guy. But as I revisited his discography, I found myself continually coming back to this record, fascinated by his folky singer-songwriter attempt.

Cannibal CorpseTomb of the Mutilated
Release Date: (September 22, 1992)
My Favorite Tracks: Hammer Smashed Face; I Cum Blood; Split Wide Open

Back in November when I caught Exhumed in concert, I had to admit to myself and everyone else that while I’m a fan of extreme metal in general, the Death Metal genre has never really done much for me (Exhumed changed my mind that night). With that said, extreme metalheads will probably scoff at my affection for what is likely the most cliche Death Metal selection I could’ve chosen, but this was and still is the Death Metal record I’ve gotten the most into. Sure the artwork, song titles and lyrics are horrific beyond measure, but I mean, that’s Death Metal for you. Hammer Smashed Face could easily be a Death Metal 101 lesson and for good reason. If you don’t like that track, you’re not going to like anything else.

The Velvet UndergroundThe Velvet Underground & Nico
Release Date: (March 12, 1967)
My Favorite Tracks: I’m Waiting for the Man; Femme Fatale; Sunday Morning

A couple of years ago I decided I had an enormous man crush on Lou Reed. Looking past his faults and crazy drug-laced history, there’s something about Lou that I always thought was just super cool. I only hate that I didn’t appreciate him until later in mine (and his) life. Either way, tracks from this first Velvet record stick with me, flowing in and out of my head throughout most days. In addition to the above listed tracks, Venus in Furs, Run Run Run, All Tomorrow’s Parties and I’ll Be Your Mirror haunt my existence and I’m not mad about it. Lou may not have been crazy about Nico joining the band, but she definitely brought something to this record that it would’ve been sorely missing without her or if someone else had taken her place.

Epic DitchEP
Release Date: (March 21, 2011)
My Favorite Tracks: Hope and Change; Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Gonna Save You Now; I Want to Destroy

Punk fucking rock, y’all. John Davis and Nick Slack, already made famous here from yesterday’s blurb, join forces with famed producer Nick Raskulinecz to send out a scorching six tracks on this EP that comes in at around 14 minutes TRT. I found myself putting tracks from this record on several Spotify playlists in the last year from general punk playlists to collections of songs that make me want to lift heavy, fight hard or simply push through difficult bullshit in my personal life.

SuperdragHead Trip in Every Key
Release Date: (March 24, 1998)
My Favorite Tracks: Bankrupt Vibration; Annetichrist; Shuck & Jive

Much to the record label’s disappointment, Head Trip… wasn’t a commercial success like the guys’ 1996 predecessor Regretfully Yours, but the musicianship, songwriting, production quality and overall aesthetic of this record went leagues above it. If MTV wasn’t crazy about John Davis’ (yes, him again) decision to change the lyrics of Sucked Out to “Who Sucked Out the Feeling? Music Television!” the entire industry couldn’t be happy about his lyrics in Bankrupt VibrationAnd your alternative station is such a bankrupt vibration; it’s a fucking illusion of an alternative nation; modern rock is a snow job; a popularity blowjob; come on down to the big show to celebrate what you don’t know. Those lyrics were eventually changed before the track made the record, of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that John Davis and the guys were the epitome of rock and roll.


This is just me, though. Got any OLD releases you really dug this year? Tell me about them!

[6-6-6] of 2017 Part 1: New Releases

With a few days left in the year, I figured it was my turn to add my two cents to the “best records of the year” like so many of the blogs I follow. Where I differ from these posts, though, is that I don’t always listen to brand new music all the time and often uncover stuff that came out decades before I was even born, choosing to spend my time with it instead. Therefore, I’m breaking this post down into three parts: my 6 favorite new releases for 2017, my 6 favorite NOT new releases I jammed the most in 2017, and the 6 songs I blasted the most — both new and old — in 2017.

All three sets are in no particular order.

This is Part 1/3

— TOP 6 NEW RELEASES OF 2017 —

Mutoid ManWar Moans
Release Date: (June 2, 2017)
My Favorite Tracks: Afterlife; Kiss of Death; Headrush

The release date of War Moans marks the exact date I found out about these guys. Every Friday for the last year or so I check the Shit That Comes Out Today section of MetalSucks.net to see … what shit came out that day … and came across a favorably written review of this record. It sounded like something I would be into so I checked out the lead single Kiss of Death and was immediately hooked. From the chug-chug-chuging introduction and the man-making bass tone to the lyrical content and the melody with which it’s presented are unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time. No, I was not a fan of Cave In or Converge prior to this so don’t bother asking. I get it, you’re probably a bigger Brodsky fan than I am, and I don’t care. Mutoid Man rips. I said earlier that this is in no particular order, but this is easily #1.

The Lees of MemoryThe Blinding White Of Nothing At All
Release Date: (November 24, 2017 )
My Favorite Tracks: Bring it Home to Me; It’s Too Late to Change; Last Thing I Wanted to Do

It might be easy to say I only added this to my list because I’m friends with the guys in the band (former Superdrag bandmates Brandon Fisher and John Davis) and you could easily say that I’m partial because I helped with the layout of the CD and LP … and you wouldn’t be entirely incorrect. However, this ambitious double album really highlights the musical genius these guys possess. I’m a big fan of John as a songwriter anyway from Superdrag to his solo stuff to Epic Ditch and beyond, but in my opinion this record contains some of his best work. Running hardcore with the Freedom Rock banner, this record runs the gamut musically from bare-bones Velvet Underground-esque tunes to songs with nearly stoner-rock-level guitar solos. Would a lot of bands be stretching to fit 24 quality songs onto four sides? Probably. Just not these guys.

Lana Del ReyLust for Life
Release Date: (July 21, 2017)
My Favorite Tracks: Love; Tomorrow Never Came; Cherry

Everyone knows I love Lana Del Rey. And I love every one of her records. She’s one of my favorite singers of all time right up there with Amy Winehouse, Frank Sinatra and Nina Simone. From her “First” record through to Paradise, Born to Die, Ultraviolence and Paradise, you listen to her voice and you hear pure beauty. There may be a lot of mystery and a lot of sadness, but it’s unmatched beauty. One of the things people immediately pointed out about the new record was the virtually nonexistent sadness. Songs on this record reflect a happier Lana — a more hopeful Lana. This is also reflected in her first-ever cover image portraying her with a smile and the overall vibe on the record. Add to that some quality collaborations with A$AP Rocky, the Weeknd, Stevie Nicks and Sean Lennon and you have one of Lana’s finest performances.

Tyler, the CreatorScum Fuck Flower Boy
Release Date: (July 21, 2017)
My Favorite Tracks: Foreword; Who Dat Boy; I Aint’ Got Time!

July 21 must’ve been a great day for new releases! Tyler is back with his fourth studio album and it’s his most solid record yet. The beats and lyrics on this record hit me in a way that I haven’t heard from him since Goblin. Not to mention I Ain’t Got Time! has one of my favorite hooks in hip-hop. Is his language often unnecessary? Sure, but that’s Tyler, the Creator for you. Dude’s a talented poet with a unique voice in an otherwise boring sea of unremarkable artists. All 14 tracks on this record, including the short one-minute interlude Droppin’ Seeds featuring Lil Wayne is just ear candy.

ExhumedDeath Revenge
Release Date: (October 13, 2017)
My Favorite Tracks: Dead End; Unspeakable; The Anatomy Act of 1832

I was familiar with Exhumed from years of being a metalhead, but honestly, with the exception of some of the more popular selections (see Cannibal Corpse, Dethklok), I’ve just never been a huge fan of Death Metal. Exhumed set out to change that this year and they pulled it off in the most brutal way possible. I caught these guys in Johnson City just after Thanksgiving and saw firsthand why these guys are widely accepted as the Masters of Gore in a metal genre that solely exists to glorify gore (gorify?). Death Revenge is Exhumed’s first record since 2015’s Gore Metal: A Necrospective and despite it being 19 years since their first studio record — 25 years since their first EP — they’re tighter than ever. Death Revenge is arranged as a fun concept album. That is, if your idea of fun includes brutal murders and the underground trade of grave-robbed cadavers.

Cursed MoonRite of Darkness
Release Date: (October 27, 2017)
My Favorite Tracks: Gates of Hell; Rise of the Antichrist; Creatures of the Night

Just in time for Halloween, Cursed Moon (representing Hell’s Headbangers) comes out on a day where they could’ve easily been overshadowed by same-day releases by All Pigs Must Die and even Powerman 5000. Granted, I’ve not seen hardly any press talk about Rite of Darkness, but that’s not surprising since this very Black Metal record has been self-identified as Deathwave, bringing together the sounds of macabre basement Black Metal and the drum machine electronica of the 80s. When I first heard this record, I realized it was unlike anything I’d ever heard before so I coughed up the $6.66 to buy the digital record and headed over to Hell’s Headbangers to put an order in for a t-shirt. True story. This record is scary, it’s unique, and it’s one of my favorite listens of the year.


This is just me, though. Got any new releases you really dug this year? Tell me about them!