Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Best of 2015

This past year was a strange one for me musically. While there were a few albums that I’d consider outstanding, I had a very hard time finding new music that connected with me. Some highly anticipated records disappointed me, and an album for which I really had no expectations stunned me and rose to the top of my Best of 2015 list.

Rather than culling from a big list as usual, I had to stretch a little to get it to 10 entries, and the bands on the list are all pretty well-established acts. It’s certainly not the strongest top 10 that I’ve ever turned in, but those few records at the top would be there in any year.

Here’s hoping for a more fruitful musical search in 2016 …

10. PRO-PAIN – THE VOICE OF REBELLION: This is the first of a few surprises on the Best of 2015 list for me. Though the veteran hardcore band has been popping out albums every year or two since their 1992 debut Foul Taste of Freedom, I haven’t really given them much thought since that record. I liked the debut but, as with most hardcore, the sound got old to me after a while. I gave this one a listen with somewhat fresh ears, and songs like the raging title track and the catchy “Age of Disgust” pulled me in.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lemmy Kilmister, 1945-2015

Despite his recent health problems, the news of Motorhead frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister’s death on Monday (Dec. 28) came as a bit of a shock. Like many other folks in the hard rock and metal world, I’m sure, I considered Lemmy one of those almost immortal guys — someone who would always be around. Sadly, cancer is not a fan of anyone.

I still remember the first time that I heard Motorhead. I was probably 11 or 12, already a metal fan, but only just beginning to move into the heavier stuff. Some friends played it for me. I don’t even remember which record it was, but I heard Lemmy’s gruff, shouted vocals and thought, “Who in the heck would listen to that? The guy can’t even sing.” Of course, as the years went by, my opinion changed drastically. In all honesty, I never became what I would consider a hardcore Motorhead fan, but I gained a great respect for what they did, and I certainly became a fan of Lemmy. It was almost impossible not to.