Top 20 albums of 2012 (10-1)

 10The Vaccines
 Come of AgeVaccinesComeOfAge

Ok, ok I know it’s a pop rock record, but I do think it deserves to be in the top 10, as it genuinely is a very good album.  Teenage Icon, No Hope & I Always Knew are particularly impressive, and although the album goes a tad stale in the middle, it redeems itself in the end.  Well worth a purchase even for the hardened classic rock fan.

Best Song – Teenage Icon

9 Lucero
 Women & Work
LUCERO Women & Work

Trying to put Lucero into a “genre” is providing near on impossible, but according to various sources they are Alternative Country, Country Rock, Blues, Southern Rock and, bizarrely, Cowpunk, whatever that means.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t care as it is s cracking album, so much so that I intend to purchase their first 5 albums at some point.  Why have I not heard of these guys before?

Best Song – Women & Work


8 ZZ Top
zz_top_la_futura_
 La Futura

When the bearded rockers announced they were releasing a new album, I was thrilled.  Sadly, I was left a little deflated by La Futura.  Not sure why exactly, perhaps I expected too much.  Anyway, a poor ZZ Top album is still better than most bands best albums, so it still makes the top ten.

Best Song – Have a Little Mercy

7 Europeeurope bag of bones
 Bag of Bones

Europe?  Yes, Europe.  No, they haven’t only sung one song, and this high energy rock ‘n’ roll album proves that they have still got what it takes to compete with the big boys.  Trust me, you will find it extremely hard not to like Bag of Bones.

Best Song – Riches to Rags


6 Cory Branancory branan mutt

 Mutt

Cory Branan is probably a name that you have not heard of so far in your life.  You will.  2013 is going to be a huge year for Cory, and Mutt will be the springboard for a highly successful career.  Stunning, stunning debut album.  Irish folk rock at it’s very best.

Best Song – Hold Me Down 


5 The Rolling Stonesrolling stones grrr
 Grrr!

Maybe slightly unfair that Grrr! makes the best album list of 2012 as it is pretty much a greatest hits compilation.  I don’t care.  It’s the Rolling Stones.  Plus Doom and Gloom is awesome.  So there…

Best Song – Brown Sugar

4 Rival Sons
 Head Downrival-sons-head-down

Saw these guys live when they toured with Black Stone Cherry last year, and they blew me away.  They could be the next Led Zeppelin they are seriously that good!  Head Down is not as good as Pressure and Time, which, incidentally, was the best album of 2011, but still a classic rock masterpiece.  This is as close you will get to reliving the 70’s rock scene.

Best Song – Manifest Destiny (Pt. 1)


3 Kiss kiss monster
 Monster

Kiss are back with a bang – easily the best album they have released since Crazy Nights and a timely return to form.

Best Song – Hell and Hallelujah 
2 Foxy Shazam
Foxy Shazam - Church of Rock & Roll
 Church of Rock & Roll

If you have read my recent review on this album, you will already know that Foxy Shazam could be my new favourite band.  This album is like to other – unique, classy, great riffs, sensational vocals, melodic, emotional and genius.  If you are looking for something just a little different then I urge you to buy Church of Rock & Roll.

Best Song – (It’s) Too Late baby
1 Lynyrd SkynrydLast_Of_A_Dyin'_Breed_Lynyrd_Skynyrd
 Last of a Dyin’ Breed 

Well, it’s been a fantastic year for rock, and nothing epitomised this more than the return of Lynyrd Skynryd.  One of the best albums they have released, probably only Pronounced can actually top this.  Every track offers something completely different to the last.  The ballads are simply stunning and when they want to rock, boy do they just!  One of the best albums I have bought in the last few years, and re-affirmed my love affair with the greatest southern rock band of all time.

Best Song – Last of a Dyin’ Breed

Album review : Foxy Shazam, Church of Rock & Roll

Credit has to go to Classic Rock magazine for putting me in touch with this band.  I’ll be honest, I had never heard of them before I listened to Welcome to the Church of Rock & Roll  on one of their free cd’s.  I am now addicted.  Granted, when I first listened to this album, I wasn’t sure – it is very unique and an album that you have to “get into” so to speak.  But once you get past that initial barrier it is truly a joy to behold.

What was that?  This is their 4th album?  Let’s get the wallet out…..

Foxy Shazam - Church of Rock & Roll1.  Welcome to the Church of Rock & Roll
What a way to start an album!  mesmerizing, unique, high-pitched rock and roll.  This could be the church of rock and roll – an absolute classic!  9/10

2.  I Like It
This track should be called “I Love It”.  Genuinely don’t know why, I have never heard anything like it before – it’s a grower but slowly becoming my favourite.  8/10

3.  Holy Touch
The tracks keep coming with this uniquely brilliant.  Eric Sean Nally’s vocals are breathtaking on this track.  8/10

4.  Last Chance At Love
A hint of Queen, and a more pop-rock ensemble from the Ohio band, still solid tho.  7/10

5.  Forever Together
Simply bizarre, but uniquely brilliant.  8/10

6.  (It’s) Too Late Baby
Best song on the album, and that takes some doing.  The emotion in this track takes your breath away.  9/10

7.  I Wanna be Yours
A hint of slow-punk, electronic and once again Queen.  Trying to explain this album is proving tricky.  7/10

8.  Wasted Feelings
Hmmmm, Jimmy Somerfield anyone?  Very 80’s feel, but hugely entertaining and catchy.  7/10

9.  The Temple
Starts off dirty, even slightly Sabbath-esque and turns into Muse.  Not sure about this one?!?  5/10

10.  The Streets
Thought this album was going to fizzle out and come to a disappointing end.  Oh no……  7/10

11.  Freedom
A delightful, mellow ending to a terrific album.  8/10