Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Sludgelord Presents: The Best of the Beard 2014

Black Moon Circle - Black Moon Circle


One of the best psychedelic albums (bands) of the year. For a few months, it was never far from my turntable. Pure space rock!


Blood Farmers - Headless Eyes



 Such a balanced record, heavy…groovy… trippy. If Pink Floyd dug horror movies, this would be their “Wish You Were Here”


Blues Pills - Blues Pills



After a couple of EPs, this album sees Blues Pills reach their full potential. Fun all the way through, this is a great rock and roll record. Please just stop re-recording “Devil Man”.


BoneHawk - Albino Rhino



Strong, steady grooves, killer guitar harmonies, catchy vocal hooks. BoneHawk is almost what you wish QOTSA still were. One of the best independent releases of the year.


Brank Bjork - Black Power Flower:



The grooviest album (possibly ever), Brant Bjork is officially the hippest cat in the room. Prior to its release, I didn’t know what to expect and frankly, was pretty indifferent about the whole thing. Now I can’t stop listening. This album always puts a smile on my face and a shake to my strut. Can you dig it?


Child - Child


Look up the definition of “heavy blues” and here they are. Fucking brilliant throughout. Amongst a pretty transient rotation, it hasn’t left my iPhone all year.


Conan - Blood Eagle 


Conan's best work to date. Heavy as fuck and with plenty of riffs to keep things moving, this album is as brutal as it gets. The sound of violence.


Corrosion Of Conformity - IX 



Possibly the final chapter from the reformed “Animosity” lineup, as Pepper is said to be returning to the fold. As happy as I am about that, I’ve loved what COC has done over the last few years and this album is an excellent exclamation point to this riff-tastic era in the bands long history.


Electric Wizard - Time To Die



Love it… hate it… It’s the Wizard at their darkest and most depraved. Sometimes more noisescapes than outright riffage, I dig the shit out of it.


Foghound - Quick, Dirty & High



With killer, simplistic riffs and catchy-as-hell-sing-along hooks, Foghound has made a party album that is a breath of fresh air and a whole lot of fun. It amazes me that this band hasn’t been picked up by a label. Vanrock of the highest order!


The Golden Grass - The Golden Grass:



On the lighter side of the heavy psych spectrum, The Golden Grass just craft great rock tunes that sound straight off the 70’s AM dial. This album will be the summer jams for years to come.   

      
Hornss - No Blood, No Sympathy



Neanderthal sludge rock with enough weird to make a Melvins fan proud, this was a sleeper hit in my world and a very welcome surprise. It’s raw as hell and a damn good time. Break out the bongs and the battlejackets!


Mamont - The Valleys Below



What?!? The singer left? Killer EP of Swedish stoney grooves and bluesy licks, I hope they find a way to forge on.


Mars Red Sky - Stranded In Arcadia



Man, I don’t really know what to say about this album… It’s the sound of the moon reflecting off the glassy stillness of Lake Eerie on a cool summer night… on mushrooms.


Melvins - Hold It In



Maybe the most fun Melvins album ever! The Butthole injection (get it?) brought new life to the old Melvins formula. The heavy stuff is as heavy as ever and the noise is supreme, but there’s something different going on here. This album is as good as (and similar in it’s scope to) anything they released during the Atlantic years.


Monolord - Empress Rising



The heaviest album of the year. Riff worship at it’s finest. It was a classic the second the needle hit the wax. Easily RidingEasy Records best release to date.


Mothership - II


I saw them live last year and was blown away by how heavy they were, this album captures the essence of that experience. The road has done wonders for this band and they’ve delivered a jaw-breaking slab of heavy Texas riffage. Amazing job all around.


Mount Carmel - Get Pure



These cats just plain rule. “Real Women” is by far one of my favorite albums and although this is a bit of a 180 from that, it is just as good, if not better. And check the skills on these dudes! Chops for days…

Salem’s Pot - …Lurar ut dig på prärien



Those crazy kids just keep getting weirder and weirder, and I fuckin dig it! The heaviness subsides a bit to make room for a more psychedelic edge, but they’re still dark as hell and twisted up in knots. Hail Satan!


The Scimitar - Doomsayer



Darryl Shepard and Co. pick up right where Black Pyramid left off and deliver an excellent album full of thick, tasty riffs, articulate arrangements and rock solid doom. Throw in a top notch Motorhead cover for good measure, let’s party!


Slomatics - Estron



Yeah… just epic… fucking epic! If this album came out later in the year, it would be on the top of every list. Brilliant record in every way… also never left my iPhone.



Slow Season - Mountains



Huge fan of their debut and psyched to see this album get the proper vinyl treatment from RidingEasy Records. They are to Zeppelin what Orchid is to Sabbath, and that is a major compliment in my book. Absolutely slamming classic rock album, it will be a favorite for years to come.


Swamp Machine - Mondo Magic


These dudes just broke up, total bummer! Was looking forward to this album and loved it right off the bat. I always wondered why didn’t the band get more attention? I thought this album was incredible from day one. It’s what traveling through a collapsing star sounds like.

Wo Fat - The Conjuring


Wo Fat are the kings of heavy Texas fuzz! These dudes rule, this album rules. Heavy psych… blues… jams… fucking riffs!!!! They’ve mastered the sound, it’s unlike anything else…. IT’S FUCKING WO FAT, MAN!


Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend



This list has been arranged alphabetically because I don’t really believe in ranking releases in a “Best Of” order. Besides, my choices would change almost daily…. Except for Yob. “Clearing The Path To Ascend” is the album of the year and “Marrow” is the song of the year (decade?). Admittedly a novice when it comes to Yob’s catalogue, at first listen it was hard to escape hyperbole. After a few listens, it became clear. With “Marrow” being the emotional and musical apex, “Clearing The Path To Ascend” is an extremely important album that transcends classification of genre and reaches beyond the limits of my vocabulary. It’s just too goddamn good for words.


Listen to Electric Beard Of Doom: Episode 40 – The Best Of The Beard: 2014 on Saturday, December 27th at:

10am EST on Core Of Destruction Radio (www.coreofdestructionradio.com)
5pm EST on Grip Of Delusion Radio (www.gripofdelusion.com)


Or listen to any episode… anytime… anywhere at: http://www.mixcloud.com/ElectricBeardOfDoom/

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