Happy New Year! Here’s to a kick ass 2013 to all of you! I continue with my countdown of my Top 50 tracks of 2012 with numbers 25 to 1. Thanks to all these great artists for all the music in 2012, and thanks to YOU for finding your way to Marshall of Rock in 2012. We all appreciate it!
25. Halestorm – Love Bites (So Do I) – Lzzy Hale and Halestorm have firmly established themselves as a major force in American rock. Lzzy is in my opinion, one of the most dynamic and relatable vocalists in rock! The band’s latest album ‘The Strange Case Of…’ is full of kick ass potential radio tracks, and the band is really a tight unit, hitting their full stride. 2012 kicked ass for the band, and 2013 looks to be even bigger for them!
24. Gary Clark Jr. – Ain’t Messin’ Around – This Austin, Texas guitarist is primed to take his cult following mainstream and become known as the next guitar legend. Playing shows with the Rolling Stones this year, being featured on ‘Austin City Limits’, and being part of the upcoming ‘Crossroads Guitar Festival’ again in 2013 with Eric Clapton and every other guitar legend imaginable will only add to his legend. Funky, bluesy and rocking, Gary Clark Jr. will be a name that has the potential to go down in history!
23. Adelitas Way – Criticize – These Las Vegas rockers had hit track after hit track from thier ‘Homeschool Valedictorian’ album, but this one had to be my favorite. Adelitas Way are a band who have done it right, with quality musicianship and songwriting, and the emotion delivering a track that grabbed me from the first listen. This band will continue on an upward arc!
22. Chevelle – Hats Off To The Bull – The second track on my Top 50 for 2012, ‘Hats Off To The Bull’ pulls no punches as it smacks you hard all the way through and never lets up. Chevelle had one hell of a 2012, and are primed to elevate their success in the future. What a kick ass track!
21. Rival Sons – Until The Sun Comes – The first entry into my Top 50 from Rival Sons, the Los Angeles based band that not many people realize are from L.A. ‘Until The Sun Comes’ is the second single from their second album ‘Head Down’ and continues the passionate retro rock vibe the band is already known for. ‘Head Down’ has already been released in Europe, and will soon be out in the U.S. Rival Sons have layed a solid base in the U.K. and Europe, and I know they are poised to duplicate that success in 2013 in the U.S., blowing away audiences and hopefully getting some radio airplay with their brand of rock.
20. Shinedown – Unity – The second Shinedown track on the Top 50, the vocals from Brent Smith on ‘Unity’ convey hope with an uplifing spirit. A great track from a great band!
19. The Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling – Another band with their second track on my Top 50, this to me is the definitive Black Keys track of 2012. As much acclaim as Black Keys received in 2012, if they can continue on this level, they potentially could one day be one of the few current bands worthy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration.
18. Heart – Fanatic – Speaking of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, here is one of the latest inductees: Heart! Their latest album ‘Fanatic’ is quality from start to finish and leads off with this rocking title track. Ann & Nancy Wilson haven’t lost anything vocally or musically over the years and this is proof. Looking forward to a 2013 of recognition for the great leaders of female rock! Heart rules!
17. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Standing In The Sun – The second single from the ‘Apocalyptic Love’ album from Slash and his band, it is probably my second favorite song from the album as well! Slash has always done it right and delivered musically in his post Guns N’ Roses career, but with Myles Kennedy on vocals and the other superior musicians in his latest band, he really has outdone himself. It’s good to know that this current band will be all getting together to do another album in the future!
16. Aerosmith – Lover Alot – The second Aero track from ‘Music From Another Dimension’, ‘Lover Alot’ harks back to the early days of Aerosmith. I really like the production on the track from Jack Douglas, it’s raw and gritty and I dig it!
15. Joe Bonamassa – Driving Toward The Daylight – My favorite Bonamassa track from his fantastic album with the same title. Joe continues to gain more and more fans every day, and for those that haven’t been exposed to the emotion and feeling that Joe brings in his guitar playing and vocals, once you hear it, you will be hooked. Kevin Shirley’s production work with Joe is a perfect combination.
14. Black Stone Cherry – Like I Roll – BSC have their second track in the Top 50 with ‘Like I Roll.’ Black Stone Cherry are true American Rock and Roll! Can’t wait to see what’s next for the band – they will be writing and getting ideas together for their next project in 2013.
13. Europe – Not Supposed To Sing The Blues – This isn’t the ‘Final Countdown’ Europe you may remember. When I mentioned to others how great the new Europe is, they always mention ‘Countown’, but after hearing this fantastic track, their image of the band has changed. This was another of the tracks in 2012 that when I first heard it, it blew me away. I had to listen to it over and over. Joey Tempest is one of the most appreciative and humblest frontmen in rock, and the band deserves all the success it has received. Europe was recently named the #3 all time band in their native Sweden. The band played some shows in Europe in 2012, but hopefully 2013 will bring Europe to America for a tour. I want to see this track played live!
12. Black Country Communion – Confessor – BCC do it old-school, cranking out albums in succession in minimal time and delivering every time. Their was some discord between band members this year, as Glenn Hughes really wanted to tour behind BCC’s latest album ‘Afterglow,’ even mentioning that if that didn’t happen, this could be the last release from the band. I hope not. Guitarist Joe Bonamassa is committed to his solo career, which I understand, but time must be made to play live with what in my opinion is one of the best band’s in the last 10 years. This is Rock!
11. Kill Devil Hill – Strange – The supergroup featuring drummer Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down), guitarist Mark Zavon and lead vocalist Dewey Bragg (former Pissing Razors), bring hard rock back in a big way. Named after the town of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, a location renowned from pirating days, they sound like hard rock pirates, attacking their music in a way few new band’s can. Kill Devil Hill’s self-titled debut album was released this past May, and I really felt they didn’t get the acclaim or recognition they deserved with it. It will happen with their second album, which hopefully we will hear in 2013.
10. The Rolling Stones – Doom and Gloom – One of the two new tracks from The Rolling Stones ‘Grrr!’ greatest hits release, ‘Doom and Gloom’ impacts immediately. It is completely relevant in both message and musically. I wish the Stones would put out an entire new album of material, as by all indications from this track it would be the right time for it. Great track from the musical legends!
9. Pop Evil – Bosses Daughter – The West Michigan rockers have had many ups and downs in their musical career, but they are definitely ending 2012 on a high note, rocking at a gig in Las Vegas where they are sure to play this track from the ‘War Of Angels’ album. Co-written with Mick Mars of Motley Crue, ‘Bosses Daughter’ is a high energy kick ass rocker with a video to go along with it. Not only is Mars featured prominently in the clip, so is Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton and other amazing beauties. This is the kind of video we really don’t see anymore. It reminded me of the old MTV Headbanger’s Ball days, where eye candy was a prerequisite for every clip. Thanks for bringing it back Pop Evil!
8. Chickenfoot – Different Devil – A cut from the Chickenfoot III album that garned a majority of its airplay in 2012, ‘Different Devil’ has feeling and emotion lyrically and musically. If you think there’s someone better: RUN AWAY…Into the arms of something new…YOU CAN STAY…If you think he’ll treat you better than I do…Turn around babe…I’ll be right here waiting for you. Chickenfoot will be on hiatis for 2013, with Chad Smith fully committed to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Satriani to solo gigs, but Sammy Hagar will be playing shows with the Wabos, and has talked of another possible project with bandmate and buddy Michael Anthony.
7. Foxy Shazam – I Like It – I went to ‘The Church of Rock and Roll’ and it was all good! This was another one of those ‘first listen’ cuts that you initially knew would do really well. These white boys obviously love big black asses, sing about it, and invite everyone else along for the party.
6. Redlight King – Comeback – An inspiring track with a message of redemption. Originally on the ‘Avengers’ soundtrack, this track is uplifting and gives hope, at least it did to me. I “Felt” this track this year. If you have had a bad 2012, don’t worry in 2013 you too will make a ‘Comeback.’ Thanks Redlight King
5. Rival Sons – Face Of Light – The second Rival Sons track in my Top 50. ‘Face Of Light’ is from the Rival Sons album “Pressure In Time’. With a multitude of emotion, Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Michael Miley (drums) and Robin Everhart (bass), bring music that takes you to a different place. Listen to the track with eyes closed first, then watch the video second. I can’t say how glad I am that Rival Sons are making music in 2012 and beyond.
4. Charm City Devils – Man Of Constant Sorrow – Baltimore, Maryland’s own Charm City Devils get the #4 spot on my Top 50 with their remake of the American folk song originally recorded by Dick Burnett. The song’s popularity was rekindled with the Soggy Bottom Boys version of it from the ‘O’ Brother Where Art Thou’ motion picture. Charm City Devils decided to record a rocked up version of the song, made it the first single from their ‘Sins’ album, and let the ass kicking begin! I can’t wait for the next album from these talented guys.
3. Van Halen – Stay Frosty – My favorite track from the ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’ album, ‘Stay Frosty’ sounds to me like it should have been blasting out of radios this summer. It’s a fun jam with awesome guitar licks from Eddie and the party filled vocals from David Lee Roth. There are many great tracks on ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’, but this one lands at #3 for me.
2. Rival Sons – Keep On Swinging – The first single from the ‘Head Down’ album, and the third track from Rival Sons in my Top 50. Labeled a Los Angeles band, they actual originate from Long Beach, California. Rival Sons bring a dynamic retro rock vibe without sounding dated or nostalgic! This nearly made it to #1, but three cuts in my Top 50 shows how legitimate Rival Sons are to me. They should be to you too!
1. Slash – You’re A Lie – My #1 track of the year goes to Rock and Roll and Hollywood Walk of Famer Slash. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are primed to take on the rest of this decade with fury and authority. When I first heard Myles Kennedy would be recording an entire album with Slash, I knew it would be great because of their previous collaborations. That continued with ‘You’re A Lie’, one kick ass track from a legend of rock and his great band! Congrats Slash!!