Chris Brach - Founder/Webmaster
This isn’t a critic’s Top Album list. You won’t find shout outs to the Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie in this Top Ten. This is a Rock Fan’s list of the Top Albums of 2011. So buckle in and get ready for what I felt were the ten Rock records that made my year.
Once you've made your way through the list, follow the link at the bottom to Spotify where we've got all of these songs queued up in a playlist waiting for you and your speakers!
The Last Royals - Self Titled EP - It’s fun, it’s catchy, and it’s as light hearted of an EP that your going to find.
DON’T MISS: “Crystal Vases”
Seether “Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray” - While I didn’t hold a high expectation for Seether’s latest effort, they are usually good for a hit or two on each album. At first run through I found the album to be likeable, but far from a must have. However, after a few spins I really started getting into it far more than I ever did with their previous efforts. I think what threw me off initially were the radio singles they chose. Based on what they had to draw from, the two singles they sent the direction of the radio were the wrong picks. “Country Song” is just OK and “Tonight” is lyrically awkward. Had they gone with “No Resolution” and “Fur Cue” I think they would have reeled in considerably more buzz. If you’ve got a good set of subs, the bass on the final mix of “Fade Out” makes the album well worth a listen. It punches hard.
DON’T MISS: “Fade Out”, “Fur Cue”, “Down”
Rise Against “End Game” - Yes they’re political and as straight edge as they come, but “End Game” is a HELL of an album. Especially if you need something motivational to get your ass moving. Cover to cover it is a fantastic Rock album that rolls through at a pace that leaves your head spinning.
DON’T MISS: “Satellite”, “Architects”, “Help is On the Way”
Silversun Pickups - “Seasick” EP - There are few things on the horizon in the music world that I am looking forward to more than the next Silversun Pickups album. While it’s not due out until late 2012, the band released an EP with three songs that didn’t make the cut on their critically acclaimed 2009 release “Swoon”. All three head a slightly different direction than the songs that make up “Swoon”, so it’s not a surprise they didn’t make the cut. However, as an EP, they are three great tracks. Silversun has hinted that the next album might be a bit darker, and these songs seem to be a slight peek into that world.
DON’T MISS: “Broken Bottles”, “Seasick”
Chevelle “Hats Off to the Bull” - A late entry into this year’s list based on the December 6th drop date, but it was a serious contender right out of the gate. If you like the hard driving sound that Chevelle has put out in the past, you will love “Hats Off to the Bull”. If that sound isn’t for you, maybe get your head checked.
DON’T MISS: “Face to the Floor”, “The Meddler”, and “Hats Off to the Bull”
City and Colour “Little Hell” - Everyone needs a mellow record to occasionally wash down this plethora of rock, and City and Colour’s “Little Hell” fit the part perfectly. This album found its way to me thanks to my Milwaukee connection Kaylen Moore (Thanks!) and it couldn’t have been more of a surprise. The guitar melodies and vocals are beautiful, the lyrics are deep, and there's a great soulfulness about this bluesy album.
DON’T MISS: “Fragile Bird”, “Northern Wind”, “Weightless”
Black Stone Cherry “Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea” - Nothing got more play on Spotify for me than Black Stone Cherry’s “Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea”. Black Stone Cherry is pure Southern Rock, a genre that is pretty thin on talent over the last few decades. While the album comes desperately close to the country genre on a track or two, the majority of it is a guitar fueled, good ole’ boy master piece. I had the pleasure of seeing them roll through Chicago last May, the only way to describe it is an energy filled, drum stick massacre. DO NOT miss BSC if they happen to come upon your town! Their stage presence is amazing, their lead singer looks like Jack Black, and their drummer hits the skins harder than anyone you’ve ever seen.
DON’T MISS: “In My Blood”, “Such a Shame”, “Fade Away”
Mindset Evolution - “Prelude” - Mindset Evolution stepped up their game big time in 2011. They shared the stage with some big names, shot a sweet video, and released a fantastic follow up album in “Prelude”. From the soaring guitar of “Hope Alone” to the aggressive riffs of “Relevant”, “Prelude” can only be described as a siren alerting the world of a band on the rise.......BIG TIME. Want to hear more about "Prelude", read our review by clicking here!
DON’T MISS: “Ghosts”, “Relevant”, “Lullaby”
Jettison Never - “Waiting for Apparations” - I’ve already told you all the reasons why we loved this album ( Click here), but overall it’s the unique musical blend that pegged Jettison Never at the number two spot on this year’s list. Now for the bad news, after two fantastic albums the band is taking a hiatus. While this would be a great high note to go out on, here’s to hoping this isn’t their swan song. For now lead singer Josh Gilbert’s solo efforts will have to fill the void of Jettison Never.
DON’T MISS: “Signs”, “Chain Reaction”, “Secrets”
Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” - The Foo Fighters have remained more than relevant since their first self titled debut, they’ve pushed their creativity in different directions as their band dynamic and personnel changed (Perhaps a bit too far on a few occasions). But in the analog, garage recorded “Wasting Light”, the Foo Fighters found the energy and creative balance that have been missing since their 1995 debut. “Wasting Light” dabbles in a lot of places including the borderline screamo tune ‘White Limo”, the emotional “I Should Have Known”, and the high energy world of both “Rope” and “Walk”. The impressive part of “Wasting Light” is that the Foo managed to meld all of these different flavors into an unmistakable Foo Fighters sound. The Foo Fighters always manage to crank out a few Top 40 hits from every album, but this entire album is a Top 40 hit and it’s exactly what the Rock world needed this year. They also wrapped up a fantastic rockumentary around the same time they finished this record, if you haven't seen "Back and Forth" yet, click here to get our take on it!
DON’T MISS: “Rope”, “These Days”, “I Should Have Known”