Counting down my 15 favourite releases in 2015

I listened to a lot of awesome music this past year, and there was also a whole lot of music I never had time to check out (only so many hours in the day, unfortunately!) These are my favourite albums and EPs among the ones that I personally had time to listen to and review.


15. BROWSING COLLECTION ‘Greetings From Wonderland’

What I said: “Better brace yourself for impact and hold on to something solid, because Browsing Collection’s new album Greetings From Wonderland just might knock you flat on your back once you crank it up. This Swedish four-piece holds absolutely nothing back on this release, speeding and slamming their way through a track-list that is chock-full of hard-rocking goodness.”

Browsing Collection’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


14. DOLAN BROTHERHOOD ‘Love And Hurricanes’

What I said: “Every now and then you come across an album that catches you totally unawares and proceeds to just reach into your mind and your heart and grab a hold of you, making you sit up and go “wth did I just hear?”. That just happened to me this past weekend with Dolan Brotherhood’s new album Love And Hurricanes. I’ve listened it more times than I’ll admit, and I am just struck down to my core: it’s simply outstanding from start to finish.”

Dolan Brotherhood’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


13. DELLACOMA ‘South of Everything’

What I said: “Australian/American rock-band Dellacoma released its debut album South of Everything recently, and after listening to it on repeat for a few days, I’m convinced it ought to come with a warning label, because this is one devastatingly hot collection of tunes. The band is simply on fire from start to finish, with a raw and rowdy vibe that brings to mind the best of old-school rock’n’roll.”

Dellacoma’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


12. THE WINERY DOGS ‘Hot Streak’

What I said: “Obviously, this is a band with a high level of technical proficiency, but The Winery Dogs also deliver tunes that have significant emotional power. It’s a joyful experience to hear these three guys play together: they seem to be an excellent fit, reinforcing and strengthening each other, taking their considerable individual strengths and fusing them into something even greater than the sum of those already impressive parts.”

The Winery Dogs’ official website / Facebook / Twitter


11. LEOGUN ‘Majick Potion’

What I said: “…an EP that adds more irresistible grooves, as well as an intriguing mix of softness and darkness to Leogun’s brand of sexy-hot, crazy-good rock’n’roll.”

Leogun’s official website / Facebook / Twitter.



What I said: “Ian Fletcher Thornley’s new solo album ‘Secrets’ is an exceptional release, filled with exquisitely crafted and hauntingly beautiful tunes. After playing it obsessively over the weekend, I have also come to the conclusion that listening to ‘Secrets’ is a strangely hallucinogenic experience – sort of like entering some kind of auditory daydream: the music just seems to have that half-dreaming, half-lucid vibe you get right between waking and sleeping.”

Ian Fletcher Thornley’s official website / Facebook / Twitter



What I said: “There’s a gutsiness and power on Road Fever that is truly impressive, with the band barreling straight through 10 hard rocking, fully charged tracks. There are obvious flashes and sparks of AC/DC and all sorts of 1970s rock’n’roll goodness in the music, but more than that, there’s a heavy, bluesy core, and an old-school, no-frills vibe to the music.”

Thundermother’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


8. DIEMONDS ‘Never Wanna Die’

What I said: “Canadian band Diemonds is back with a brand new album and it’s a stunner. Never Wanna Die is one of the best and most enjoyable albums I’ve listened to this year. Why? Because this is pure, face-melting, head-turning rock and roll moonshine. It’s been three years since the band released The Bad Pack, and the years since have not necessarily been easy for the band, but whatever they’ve been through, the band members have managed to channel all of that emotion and energy into something remarkable.”

Diemonds’ official web-page / Twitter / Facebook.



What I said: “…ten tracks of blistering, straight-up rock’n’roll with a whole lot of attitude. If you’re looking for ballads, hearts-on-sleeves, and sensitive crooning you should definitely look elsewhere. This is an album that is all fire, defiance, and speed: Game On flies by in just over half an hour, and it is a high-powered and hugely promising debut from a young band that is sizzling with talent and energy.”

The Amorettes official website / Facebook / Twitter


6. SCREAMING EAGLES ‘Stand Up And Be Counted’

What I said: “Make me pick just one word to describe Northern Ireland’s Screaming Eagles, and it would have to be “hot”. As in fire. As in flames. As in rock’n’roll that doesn’t mess you around, or let you down, or come up short. As in music that gets your heart racing and your blood pumping, and puts a ridiculously happy smile on your face.”

The Screaming Eagles’ official websiteFacebook / Twitter


5. GRAHAM GREENE ‘Down Devils Road’

What I said: “Down Devils Road is Australian guitarist Graham Greene’s first full length release since Leap of Face in 2006, and it’s an album that showcases both the creativity and the craftsmanship of an artist who obviously doesn’t mind stretching and flexing his musical muscles.  – – – My favourite track on this album is also the darkest: “Through The Dark” is an instrumental masterpiece, filled with sadness, sorrow, and deep shadows, but with a flicker of hope and warmth within. Greene’s guitar work is breathtaking here: tender and soft, and loaded with so much emotion that it actually brings me to tears when I listen to it. I’d rank it as one of Greene’s best tracks, ever.”

Graham Greene’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


4. TRUCKER DIABLO ‘Rise Above The Noise’

What I said: “Hold on to your cold beers and denim-covered butts, ladies and gents because Trucker Diablo is back and they are back in grand style. Almost exactly a year after the band took an indefinite hiatus for personal reasons, the guys (minus bass-player Glenn Harrison who decided not to step on board again) have released the Pledge-funded masterpiece Rise Above The Noise. Did I say masterpiece? Well, I only said that because I mean it. – – – Rise Above The Noise is a superb release from a band that I was afraid I’d never hear from again. All I can say after listening to this is: Please, guys – don’t go away again.”

Trucker Diablo’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


3. VINTAGE TROUBLE ‘1 Hopeful Rd.’

What I said: “What even is this album? Witchcraft, probably. Magic, certainly. Or maybe science fiction: some kind of timewarped version of the past, come back to tempt us with its lush, alluring sounds. All I know is that ‘1 Hopeful Road’ is a marvel, like listening in on an alternate, retro universe with Vintage Trouble skilfully and confidently blending together r&b, soul, and rock, pouring their own heat and passion into every track and lyric.”

Vintage Trouble’s official website / Facebook / Twitter


2. THE WANTON BISHOPS ‘Sleep With The Light On’

What I said: “It’s been one week since I first listened to The Wanton Bishop’s track ‘Sleep With The Lights On’, and I still can’t get it out of my head. I can’t stop listening to it, either. In fact, I can’t stop listening to this entire album. It’s the best kind of musical crack: the kind you can’t get enough of, the kind you don’t want to get enough of, the kind where the craving just gets stronger and deeper and more impossible to resist the more you listen.”

The Wanton Bishops official website / Facebook / Twitter


1. BLACK STAR RIDERS ‘The Killer Instinct’

What I said: “If you’re looking for an album and a band to fall in love with, you can’t go wrong with The Killer Instinctand Black Star Riders. Making the decision to shake off the Thin Lizzy mantle in 2012 was something the band members struggled with at the time, and obviously Black Star Riders still has Thin Lizzy embedded in its DNA, but this album makes it clear that they’ve come through it all with a strong sense of purpose and commitment to the new band. All Hell Breaks Loose was an impressive debut and I loved that album, but The Killer Instinct really ups the ante. It’s a confident, blazing hot, and deeply satisfying album that rocks hard from start to finish and literally left me smiling as I listened to it.”

Black Star Riders’ official website / Facebook / Twitter


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