Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Playlist 2017 Week 4: Locust Grove, Body Count, Hellbound Glory, Alex Williams, White Wizzard

For the fourth week of favorite tunes from 2017, I look at a surprising cover, a repeat offender and a promising start to 2018, among others.

Locust Grove, "Monster" from the Monster EP. One of my favorite finds in recent years, and one of my greatest disappointments when they broke up less than a year after I discovered them was Oklahoma hard rockers Anti-Mortem. Guitarist Zain Smith is back on the hard rock scene now, though, with Locust Grove (where he also handles vocal duties). It's not quite Anti-Mortem, but definitely enjoyable and in the same vein.

Body Count, "Raining Blood/Post-Mortem" from Bloodlust. The new BC record has gotten a lot of praise, but for me, it was a bit lackluster. This very faithful Slayer cover, though, was definitely a high-point of the record and quite a surprise.

Hellbound Glory, "Vandalism Spree" from Pinball. Hellbound Glory makes a second appearance on my year-end list with another song that I just can't seem to hear enough. I've always had a great respect for Leroy Virgil as a songwriter, but this album convinces me that the man is a true poet with his ability to blend humor and hopelessness in an utterly compelling narrative.

Alex Williams, "A Little Too Stoned" from Better than Myself. Sticking with the country side of things for a minute, I move on to a song from a record I have very mixed feelings about. I heard a couple of tunes from it and ordered it, thinking I had another member of the new guard of old school country. There's some of that, for sure, but a little too much pop country influence for my taste on much of it. When he's on, though, he's on.

White Wizzard, "Storm the Shores" from Infernal Overdrive. I'll close this week with a song that gives me more hope for 2018. Vocalist Wyatt Anderson and guitarist James LaRue are back in the mix for White Wizzard, and this song is one of the best things I've heard from them in a long time. Here's hoping they can finally deliver the record that I've been waiting for since Over the Top. This is definitely a good start.

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