2022 Year End Faves
1 - Drive-By Truckers - Welcome 2 Club XIII
2022's number one album by my favorite band ever won't come as much of a shocker to those who know me, but they've only made my number one spot one other time since I've been doing this. For those who say their glory days are long gone, this is Exhibit A, a time capsule of lost songs brought back to life, meant to dissuade the jury from sending the Greatest American Rock Band to legacy status. Hood and Cooley look back on their past youth and the songs hit hard as hell.
2 - 50 Foot Wave - Black Pearl
It's an near-impossible certainty that Kristin Hersh can throw down with anyone, but she blows everyone out of the running as far as loud, angry guitar rock goes with this release. At this point in her career, most would be hitting the acoustic stage, but not our heroine; she doubles down with multi-dimensional fury and the listener gets dragged by the cuffs to her final destination.
3 -The Black Angels - Wilderness of Mirrors
Have to admit, their last few albums just didn't do it for me, after loving them since their inception. This powerhouse comeback album is a throwback to their primal, grinding psych roots. Definitely meant for enjoying with a substance of your choice, but the songs themselves only need your ears to be a pathway to enhanced reality.
4 - Body Type - Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing's Surprising
My favorite surprise of last year was this gathering of Australian lasses and their modern take on punk/ post punk/ garage rock. When everyone in the band sings (and sings like a badass), you've probably got me in the bag, but the fascinating dual guitars ring my bells the most.
5 - Mizmor & Thou - Myopia
Wondering if Thou can ever do anything wrong in my eyes; the Louisiana noise/ metal/ ambient/ hardcore group takes on a collaboration with avantgarde artist Mizmor and the results are never boring, even if you know what to expect. It's a total journey with all the movements of life represented.
6 -Hammers of Misfortune - Overtaker
Mind just blown at where metal can go. Just when you think its all been said and done, Hammers of Misfortune blaze out with an album that takes sci-fi thrash to a whole 'nother level. Is it prog? Probably? Does it jam, son? Between the organ work (!) and the rhythm section derived from the band Vektor (!!!), hell yeah. Jamie Myers helming the space ship with her amazing vocals takes this one into some real outer space.
7 - Clutch - Sunrise on Slaughter Beach
The now legendary band never fails to deliver, sometimes throwing fans a curveball with bluesy records, but this one burns a hole straight through the catcher's mitt, and ending the umpire's chances of ever siring any little refs.
8 - Infinitefreefall - Graceful Exit Live
This Charleston, SC band's 2022 album was so good they had to release a live version the same year. Chillwave, Downtempo, Emotional Techno- all the signifiers fit. But while most sane people would be scratching their heads over releasing a live iteration in the same year, anyone who has witnessed them onstage knows why. If there ever was a movie where a group of disparate underdogs got together to blow apart a talent show and win the hearts of their true loves, John Waters never made it, but Infinitefreefall make it every time they land onstage. Cinematic like that.
9 - Sanhedrin - Lights On
Erica Stoltz and her NY based power trio Sanhedrin aren't reinventing the wheel, but their ideal of fuzzed out Thin Lizzy retro metal hits me in every right spot. Guitars are pretty much perfection and any Dio fan would be wise to check out Stoltz' classic howls.
10 - Zeal & Ardor - Zeal & Ardor
Marcel Gagneux takes the bet he made with combining slave gospel work songs with black metal years ago and finally wins; he crushes his first two albums (which were both awesome, make no mistake) with this fully realized version of where metal can go and be appreciated by fans of all ages and inclinations.
11 - Voivod - Synchro Anarchy
Although the post Piggy/ Blacky years of Voivod still feel like some meticulous college level class assignment in spirit, in the small moments wherein the band bucks their own motif, they regain my interest. I'll take it.
12 - Homeskin - Itch Ecstasy
I'm in love with everything ultra-prolific one-man Dallas band Garry Brents (Cara Neir, Gonemage, Sallow Moth, etc, etc) does but the last Homeskin defies my feeble understanding with its mix of electronics and grindcore, all recorded in mere hours.
13 - Zion. - A Composition.
For all those who remember and miss Columbia's Boo Hag, this is a more than welcome substitute, with Saul Seibert recruiting a cast of stellar locals to delve into an epic three part stoner rock/ post metal soundscape.
14 - Birth Order - Farewell, Square Horse
Kansas City noise rockers Birth Order took their Season to Risk lessons in stride. "It's just a process, baby".
15 - Marissa Nadler - The Wrath of the Clouds
EP of acoustic covers and unreleased tracks in the hands of one of the very best of singer/ guitarists.
16 - Moses Andrews III - Exodus Pt. II
Methodically challenging and reassuring at the same time, this Columbia genius will blow your mind with his folky hiphop.
17 - Innumerable Forms - Philosophical Collapse
Not much death metal ever cracks my top twenty, but this who's who from so many bands (many of whom don't identify as DM) take it to another level of crushing hardcore.
18 - Midnight - Let There Be Witchery
As sole band member and metal visionary Athenar told me in an interview last year, its more of the same stuff, but "mo' betta". Ain't broken.
19 - Candy Coffins - Once Do It With Feeling
The Columbia band digs deep into '80s post punk nostalgia and it never feels forced or annoying, just like something impossibly great you missed from when you were listening to something probably not so great, back then.
20 -Belushi Speed Ball - What Us, Worry?
The greatest thrash metal band in the world right now is from Kentucky.
21 -Infinitefreefall - Graceful Exit
22 -Black Cilice - Esoteric Atavism
23 -Dream Widow - Dream Widow
24 -Whitespade - Whitespade
25 -Halberd - Parasitic Humanity
26 -Hank Williams Jr. - Rich White Honky Blues
27 -Haunt - Windows of Your Heart
28 -Brandy and the Butcher - Lucky Foot
29 -Wailin Storms - The Silver Snake Unfolds
30 -Brutus - Unison Life
31 -Corroder - Tombs of Terror
32 -Darkthrone - Astral Fortress
33 -Goatwhore - Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven
34 -Candlemass - Sweet Evil Sun
35 -Rip Ryde - A Taste for the Kill
36 -Golf Slang - How I Lost My Voice
37 -Blue Dogs - Big Dreamers
38 -Close Encounter - Just Visiting
39 -OFF! - Free LSD
40 -Horse Lords - Comradely Objects
41 -Zane Nichols - Should Have Ducked
42 -Goodbye Sunshine - Keep Failing, You're Doing Great!
43 -John List Society - JLS
44 -Cara Neir - Phantasmal
45 -Ian Noe - River Fools & Mountain Saints
46 -Petrol Girls - Baby
47 -Savage Master - Those Who Hunt At Night
48 -Razor - Cycle of Contempt
49 -Turbo Gatto - Bad Mewsic for Bad Cats
50 -Torrents - Dual Fates
51 -Kara's Walk Home - Look! A Rainbow!
52 -Black Valley Moon - Songs From The Black Valley
53 -A Place to Bury Strangers - See Through You
54 -White Ward - False Light
55 -Sumerlands - Dreamkiller
56 -MNRVA - Hollow
57 -Cloakroom - Dissolution Wave
58 -Witchery - Nightside
60 -S.G. Goodman - Teeth Marks
61 -Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead!
62 -Various - Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol III
63 -The Beths - Expert In A Dying Field
64 -Soda City Riot - Love, Anger, and Coping Methods
65 -Sharon Van Etten - We've Been Going About This All Wrong
66 -Scumslaught - Knives and Amphetamines
67 -Krallice - Crystalline Exhaustion
68 -Homeskin - Each Day Orbital
69 -Gnod - Hexen Valley
70 -Gillian Carter - Salvation Through Misery
71 -FUCKED - Volume
72 -Eight Bells - Legacy of Ruin
73 -Earthless - Night Parade Of One Hundred Demons
74 -E.Z. Shakes - Everything Changes
75 -Bodega - Broken Equipment
76 -2047 - The Sprawling City Is Alive
77 -Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires - Old-Time Folks
78 -White Lung - Premonition
79 -The Linda Lindas - Growing Up
80 -Spiter - Bathe the Babe in Bats' Blood
81 -Satan - Earth Infernal
82 -Local Teen - Boy Howdy!!! You've Got A Ton of Guilt
83 -Helms Alee - Keep This Be the Way
84 -Green/ Blue - Paper Thin
85 -Funeral Chic - Roman Candle
86 -DITZ - The Great Regression
87 -Devil Master - Ecstasies Of Never Ending Night
88 -Angel Olsen - Big Time
89 -And So I Watch You from Afar - Jettison
90 -Spiritualized - Everything Was Beautiful
91 -Sadness - Sadness
92 -No Fidelity - Bug Music
93 -Homeskin - Life's Wishes to Tears
94 -Cave In - Heavy Pendulum
95 -Trampled By Turtles - Alpenglow
96 -Burialkult - Infernal Death Manifest
97 -Ann Wilson - Fierce Bliss
98 -!!! - Let It Be Blue
99 -Wet Leg - Wet Leg
100 The Cult - Under the Midnight Sun