Whether you enjoy classic, modern, or independent rock, 2013 was a great year for music. Several “best of” lists have been posted around the internet already, but it’s time for The Writer’s Journey to weigh in with our list and a brief sentence about each. And away we go…
10. Brandon Reeves – A Decent Melody. A fantastic independent release from a Georgia-based blues artist, Reeves’ album is much better than decent.
9. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt. The kings of the nineties rule again with a throwback to the seventies.
8. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2. Part 1 is good, but Part 2 will go down as a historically great record.
7. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay. The Yellow and Black Attack is back with soaring vocals and squealing guitar solos, a fantastic hair metal album.
6. J Roddy Walston & The Business – Essential Tremors. Another throwback rock band with hints of Aerosmith and the Black Crowes.
5. Black Sabbath – 13. Ozzy, Iommi, and Butler recaptured the magic of the band’s beginnings and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 charts.
4. Newsted – Heavy Metal Music. It’s heavy and it’s loud and it’s everything you would expect from a former member of Metallica.
3. Krokus – Dirty Dynamite. Full of catchy hooks, but the best song might be the Beatles cover “Help,” arranged as a hair metal ballad.
2. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel. Modern rock at its finest, and they really rock out with a ukulele on “House of Gold.”
1. Death On Two Wheels – Death On Two Wheels. Traditional hard rock sound with more authenticity than anyone else out there.
Here are some other “Best of 2013” lists around the web…
- Bring Back Glam! (contributor Brian Carvell)
- Bring Back Glam! (contributor Christian Graus)
- Loudwire (according to Megadeth)
- Loudwire (rock albums)
- Loudwire (metal albums)
- Matt Tauber
- Ultimate Classic Rock
- Vocals On Top
- Vocals On Top (contributor Danny R. Phillips)
- Vocals On Top (contributor Matthew Coman)
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
ATO Records, 2013
I had heard good things about J. Roddy Walston & The Business, but had never taken the time to listen to their music until Essential Tremors came across my desk a few weeks ago. The band delivers a gritty, authentic performance that is lacking in so many modern acts, regardless of genre. In this Baltimore quartet, you have musicians fighting for recognition while staying true to themselves and the result is genuine rock and roll.
Walston packs a punch on Essential Tremors with a heavy seventies vibe. “Black Light” and “Sweat Shock” both sound like they could have come from an Aerosmith Toys In The Attic session (albeit with a different singer), while “Same Days” has a more radio-friendly feel; “Tear Jerk” has all the makings of a greaser anthem.
Essential Tremors is a fantastic rock and roll album, certainly one of the top releases of the year.
Check out the band performing “Marigold” for Sirius XM below:
1. Heavy Bells
3. Take It As It Comes
4. Black Light
5. Sweat Shock
6. Nobody Knows
7. Hard Times
8. Boys Can Never Tell
9. Same Days
10. Tear Jerk
11. Midnight Cry