Once again we are back to that time honored tradition of making a list and checking it twice...oops, that's that other guy! Nope, I'm listing off my favorites for the year, musically speaking. This was a tough year for me, I didn't spend a lot of time tracking down new bands, but I did hear a lot of tunes I liked. This list leans a little more heavily to the hard rock and heavy metal spectrum, but hey, that's what I was listening to. So without further ado, here we go starting from the bottom and working our way up to number one....
10. Suicidal Tendencies World Gone Mad
On the surface, a typical ST record, only this time they have drummer extraordinaire Dave Lombardo providing the backbeat. In my eyes, that's going to instantly up anybody's game.
9. David Bowie Blackstar
This one was a challenging listen, but most Bowie albums are. It turns out to be a very rewarding one as well. A fitting eulogy to one of the greats....
8. NoFX First Ditch Effort
There's always room for a NoFX album on my lists, and this one is no different. Love the vocal harmonies, and Fat Mike has got to be one of my favorite bass players - I love the sound he gets.
7. Anthrax For All Kings
Their second album with Joey back on vocals - this one continues their return to glory after many years in the wilderness...
6. Blackberry Smoke Like An Arrow
I got this on recommendation from Joel, Shane & Karl. They did not disappoint me. I fell in love with it from the first spin - love the variety here.
5. Metallica Hardwired...To Self Destruct
Some say a stunning return to form, I say about half of the album is indeed great. Like many cds in this day and age, the artist seems to lose the edit button. Cut this album by one or two songs, and it's perfect. That said, "Atlas Rise" is a stunner...
4. Rolling Stones Blue & Lonesome
The Stones sound more alive here than they have on any release in the last 30 years. I know, everybody has said that, but it's true. It doesn't hurt that I love all of these old blues tunes.
3. Southern Culture On The Skids The Electric Pinecones
Leaning more towards their 60s sounds than the countrified songs of the last few releases, SCOTS' first original album in about five years was kind of a surprise. But what a gorgeous surprise it was. Stellar tunes and the playing chops to back them up.
2. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression
The former James Osterburg finds a new creative foil in one Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age fame. That Iggy does this without losing his essential "Iggy-ness" is a credit to both of them. Iggy's vocals are more of a croon than a scream these days, but it fits him as the elder statesman of punk that he is. Seriously, there is not a clunker on this record. If this is indeed Iggy's final go-round, he is going out on top.
1. Megadeth Dystopia
All of this talk lately about Metallica going back to their old school roots, and it turns out that Dave Mustaine beat them to it by almost a year. Megadeth have had their ups and downs, but this record is a fantastic return to form for them. Easily their best since Rust In Peace, maybe even Peace Sells...But Who's Buying. I came to this record late, because every record they put out seems to come with the "best since such and such album", but this is the real deal. Run, don't walk, and buy it. You won't be sorry.
Avenged Sevenfold The Stage - still working on this one, it's real good but it has taken several listens...; and a few 2015 albums that did not leave the player for the entire year - Clutch Psychic Warfare, Slayer Repentless, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages Under The Savage Sky
Biggest Disappointments: Red Hot Chili Peppers The Getaway (seriously, what happened to this band? It's like they made a pact to get more boring with each release since Californication) and The Cult Hidden City (the songs are okay, but nothing really grabs me on this one.)
Best Reissues: Soundgarden Badmotorfinger; Monster Magnet's entire catalog...
Check out Episode 136 of the podcast which will include the co-host's favorite albums of 2016. Their choices for favorite video games as well.