Articles RiseUp_MarchFourth_MB

Published on January 11th, 2012 | by JJ


Audiophillia: JJ’s Top Five For 2011

Greetings to you, the Doomed! (We have no informal nickname, so that will have to do for now) I am here to share with you my favorite albums of last year. I am going to jump right in it, but as I know that at least one of my choices came out in 2009, let me give this caveat. These are tunes that I discovered this year, so I associate them with this year. Got it? Cool. Let’s do this!

Rise Up- MarchFourth Marching Band

My girlfriend discovered these guys the way you should discover such bands, she was walking downtown and this huge marching band complete with stilt walkers and a whole carnival-like atmosphere surrounded them. There are aspects about Portland, Oregon that just make this place wonderful, and this is part of that local color. A really tight horn section makes for an energetic fun album. You cannot help but get a pep in your step when this is playing.

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2- Beastie Boys

I looked past this album when it came out. After all, we all know the Beasties are fun, but when was the last time they were really surprising? As it turns out, NOW. I that this is a fully realized album. It seems you can take sounds from everything since Paul’s Boutique and lay them out in a Hansel and Gretel like trail and it would lead you to this record. At this point, I think that the Beastie Boys have stopped being an interesting hip-hop trio, to being their own genre.

Speed of Darkness- Flogging Molly

Now we get to albums that in a different year, would have topped my list. With the last couple of releases, Flogging Molly has grown past the “Shamrock and Roll” slums and become a unique rock bands that has a blue collar streak that Springsteen and Mellencamp claimed to have, but never resonated with my ear. Somehow they manage to continue to put out songs of pain and hardship, and you don’t feel cheated as you tap your foot. Case in point, the broken economy anthem “Don’t Shut ‘em Down”, you can tilt the head back and sing from your bar stool, and yet find it unsettling as it hits a bit too close to home.

Worship Music- Anthrax

I recommended this a few months ago, because…I freakin’ love it! Eight years between albums and Anthrax came back renewed and hungry to rock. The return of Joey Belladonna as frontman was a return to form, yes, but it Anthrax also took the best of what they had become and expanded their sound astoundingly. Easily the best hard rock album I heard in the last few years. Most years an amazing album by my favorite band since Junior High would top my year’s best easily, however…

Psycho Jukebox- Jon Fratelli

Doom readers were alerted the to my “First Impression” of this album, but what I had no way of knowing is how much it was to play throughout the year. A catchy collection of riff heavy rock and roll. This was the soundtrack to 2011 for me and my girl and the frequency of listening has not diminished with time and familiarity. Just this weekend, Jon Fratelli provided the tunes we rocked out to as we took down the tree and faced the new year. I don’t know what else to say but it is a foot tapper and I love it. If I can find something in 2012 that I listen to even half as much, I will consider myself lucky.

And that was what I have been listening to. If you can think of something I should have heard please your suggestions in the comment section below. Hey, I love new music and I can’t find everything myself, right?

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