Counting down my 15 favourite releases of 2014

2014 was an incredibly rich year when it comes to rock and roll: tons of fantastic releases from old and new bands. Here are 15 of my favourites that all made a major impression on me, and my playlist.

RockNRollDisaster

15. Thundermother – Rock ‘N’ Roll Disaster

What I said: “The music here is no-bull, kick-your-ass, rattle-your-ribs, bang-your-head, guitar-powered, AC/DC-ish hard rock, lit up by the band’s infectiously boisterous energy —Thundermother’s sound is still rough around the edges, but it’s a pleasant roughness that makes this album crackle with a raw and irrepressible rock’n’roll energy.”

Station_Wired

14. Station – Wired

What I said: “Sometimes you hear music that instantly, without warning or even a simple “hello”, pushes your sheer-pleasure button – the one that’s connected to your mind, your gut, your soul, your heart and everything in between. — this EP is four tracks of joyful rock-perfection, and so damn addictive it ought to come with a health-warning.”

ResonanceProject-TaleGoesOn

13. Resonance Project – Tale Goes On

What I said: “Each track on Tale Goes On feels a bit like a finely crafted short story or fairy-tale, expertly shaped and polished with both musical skill and profound, lyrical poetry. — the band stands out as a truly original and compelling musical voice.”

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12. Ragdoll – Ragdoll Rewound

What I said: “This is pure rock’n’roll gold from start to finish… each song is like a treasure chest you can return to and explore again and again, always finding something more to love.”

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11. Flash Lightnin’ – For The Sinners

What I said: “…Flash Lightnin’s For The Sinners is a revelation: a feverishly hot, groove-rocking, sweaty and bristly, full body- and mind-contact album. —there are sharp, barbed and heavy hooks in both the music and lyrics that dig in under your skin, until you wake up with a tune stuck in your head three days in a row (true story).”

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10. Tunga Moln – Tunga Moln II

What I said: “This album just gets to me on every level: from the music – an original blend of heavy, psychedelic rock with prog tendencies; to the lyrics, which reveal a dark and haunting emotional landscape. — a trippy musical magic carpet ride, and I just can’t stop listening to it.”

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9. Mothership- II

What I said: “…a mind-tripping, mind-ripping ride into an alternate universe. — Mothership unleashes track after track of heavy, yet exquisitely layered hard rock that flashes and thunders with blues and psychedelia, powered by the kind of bass-lines and drums that makes your ribs rattle.”

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8. October Rage – Fallout, Dust And Guns

What I said: “…a heavy rocking, five-track EP with massive riffs, rugged and powerful vocals, and a deep, thumping heartbeat. This is no mindless rock-by-numbers release: instead there’s a dark, lyrical undertow to each tune here, but each tune is also lit up by the band’s musical pyrotechnics…”

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7. Royal Bliss – Chasing The Sun

What I said: “Chasing The Sun is quite simply a stunner – a beautifully crafted, heart-ripping, chest-thumping, ass-kicking stack of rock… The entire album is rippling with frigging amazing vocals, brawny riffs, killer drums, and lyrics that cut right through the pre-fab bullshit and into some serious heart-and-soul territory.”

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6. Black Tora – Black Tora

What I said: “Black Tora cranks it up to 11 on this album, making this an irresistible and thoroughly satisfying heavy and hard rock and roll ride that will take your breath away, jumpstart your heart, melt your face, and make you bang your head, all at the same time. (Yes, it actually is possible.)”

ReadyToBlow

5. Aviator Shades – Ready To Blow

What I said: “Vancouver’s Aviator Shades is just one of those bands that have it all: pure, hellacious rock’n’roll firepower; deep-dish-satisfying musical talent; and a knack for making tunes that gets your shimmy-and-shake muscles moving.”

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4. KXM – KXM

What I said: “…this is a mesmerizing, rich and deep album, where each player’s instrument and voice is allowed to shine equally, and add to the brilliance of the whole. — If you’re looking for a musical high, you simply can’t go wrong with KXM.”

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3. One Bad Son – Black Buffalo

What I said: “…a full-on rock’n’roll attack, right from the ridiculously tasty opening track “Vinyl Spin Burner” — One Bad Son does not put a foot wrong on Black Buffalo, delivering a slayer of an album with lyrics that have a story to tell, and music that is bold, heavy, and hooky enough to satisfy any rock’n’roll craving.”

Great_Western_Valkyrie

2. Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie

What I said: “…Rival Sons has a masterful ability to use musical influences without submerging their own unique energy, always finding that sweet spot for their own groove and sound. — Great Western Valkyrie is another tour de force, and proof positive that this band is quite simply one of the best damn bands in the world right now.”

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1. Crucified Barbara – In The Red

What I said: “Heavier, harder, catchier, hookier… more everything. This is Crucified Barbara in full and fearless flight, holding nothing back, delivering 11 blazing hot tunes roaring with lust and desire, anger and defiance, pain and power. — There’s a breathtaking feeling of freedom and power and pure, raw energy here that is electrifying. Crucified Barbara is burning hotter, cutting deeper, and rocking harder than ever…”

14 comments

  1. I noticed that THE band of 2014 ‘Electric Mary’ didn’t get a mention nor their latest 2014 release ‘The ‘Last Great Hope’ 1 simple Question … Why?

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    • Simple answer: I have not listened to Electric Mary’s full album. What I have heard of Electric Mary I certainly do like a lot. However, I didn’t listen to the full album because being just the one person I’m never able to listen to everything within the calendar year. I’m sure there are lots of great releases I didn’t get around to this year, and some of them I will no doubt get around to in 2015! This list is just my personal, unscientific list of favourites of the releases I listened to in 2014.

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  2. At last someone’s giving Crucified Barbara credit.Ive been listening to this band for 4 years now.I’ve been into metal/rock for 35 years.I’m just a fan.I’ve never seen a better balance on stage like these girls have got when they play live.I just wished a DJ would give them some airplay on radio in England.Still that could be said about alot of bands.Mia plays a bit like Micheal Schenker in small breaks.They keep playing the festivals so that should make them popular.

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    • They really are fantastic, and I do hope they get some attention in the “mainstream” (whatever that is for rock’n’roll and hard rock these days!). It’s definitely a band with loyal fans that do appreciate them, and In The Red should/could be a game-changer for them. I do wish they’d get some airplay in Canada as well!

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  3. […] Canadian rockers One Bad Son have just announced that they will be opening for legendary band Def Leppard on that band’s tour in western Canada. This is huge and fantastic news for One Bad Son: they are one of the best rock bands I follow, and their latest release Black Buffalo was one of my favourite albums of 2014. […]

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