60) Benesser – “Where Silence Prevails”
This is a recent add to my list and I can totally see it climbing higher if I ever revisit things a third time. The guitar work is so fascinating, especially that staticy intro and the way it bounces between the dirty riff and the clean shred. The vocals and phrasing is very prog, reminding me of another great band I discovered this year – Riverside – although these guys play it a little more straight up. The album is a definite grower.
59) Ed Kowalczyk – “Seven”
Live was always a one album band for me, never getting into anything of theirs that wasn’t off of Throwing Copper, so I was pretty surprised to find how much I enjoyed lead singer Ed Kowalczyk’s second solo album. This was the lead single and the song that forced me to take a closer look at his stuff.
58) Vitne – “Destroyer”
I’m not really sure what to do with this one. The guitar riff is pure 80’s hairdband, but the vocals do kind of a Billy Idol thing that’s been basted in this weird electronic gravy.
57) Pearl Jam – “Lightning Bolt”
Like many people I hopped on the Pearl Jam bandwagon with their debut album, Ten, and then lost interest with each progressive album. Lightning Bolt brought me back to the fold in a big way. This is one of many songs off the album that I really dig, I think in large part because the band sounds upbeat and positive, something they didn’t often do in the later years.
56) Riverside – “Celebrity Touch”
Heavy prog-rock from Poland. I don’t know what else you want me to say. (Tasty solo at about 4:45).
55) Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – “Some Kind Of Ghost”
Track number two of the excellent Specter At The Feast album to hit my chart, this one goes for a strange funeral march feel that I find works surprisingly well. Somewhere on the tip of my tongue is the name of another band and/or song that this reminds me off, but for the life of my I can’t get it to come out at the moment.
54) Zodiac – “Leave Me Blind”
This band of Germans came out of nowhere last year and delivered what was my second favorite album of the year and one of my top five songs (awesome chugger called “A Bit Of Devil”). I was shocked when they delivered the follow-up a scant twelve months later, but hey, I’m all for more of a good thing. The new album doesn’t quite measure up to my high expectation coming off the debut, but it still rocks. This track shows off their quieter/darker side.
53) Gloomball – “The Distance”
Modern hard rock from the post-grunge bucket. Reminds me of Otherwise, who kinda reminded me of a well-behaved Godsmack, who of course sound like Alice In Chains, as all bands of this genre eventually do. Meanwhile, I love the caged aggression of this song.
52) Impera – “Beast Within”
Big, bold, glorious 80’s hard rock ala-Dokken or the criminally overlooked Hardline. I used to wear out records like this in the days leading up to the great alternative takeover of 1992. I am so stoked that it made a comeback (at least in Europe) over the last 10 years so bands like this could keep putting out the music that I miss.
51) Eric Church – “The Outsiders”
A country song along the lines of Hank Williams, Jr., where it’s trying *really* hard to be a classic rock tune without completely severing its country ties. But hey, a good song is a good song. If we could just lose some of his twangy vocal ticks this song would completely crush. Maybe some rock band will do a cover someday.