Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Sludgelord Presents: Marc Gaffney's Top 10 Records of 2014

This year was an interesting year in music for me. In my listening of many different albums, I found I was taken more by the sheer emotional power of what was being pumped out of my sound system. With the power came some very different vocal and lyrical identities that had not shown their faces yet and I am glad they let you into see what lay behind the mask.
Here we go
10) Witch Mountain- Mobile of Angels

A remarkable vocal experience by what I would call one of the best female voices to have hit the air ways in years, Uta Plotkin. The way in which this album is mixed is so right on. Every instrument really has a place in the layout and that is why it sits at that level of taking over and putting you on auto pilot.
9) Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable – Leave Me Alone

This album was a piece of excitement for me as I really had no idea what to expect. Personally I found I enjoyed this album more than his former band mates release. The rock was let to roll in his latest output of rock, punk, swagger to the bank bag of tunes. With exceptional guest experiences, this piece of wax was a sheer delight and is still a delight each time I put it on.
8) Fu Manchu- Gigantoid

One of my favorite bands of all time come back with a guitar album that is drenched in the Creepy Fingers fuzz assault of Bob Balch, for whom I would call one of the most influential guitarist of an era. Packed with a foundation so elite from their bass playing guru (also the chef behind of Creepy Fingers effects Brad Davis) and drumming to a vocalist that has it all, this album harkened back to the days of ‘King of the Road’ and ‘In Search of’.
7) Lo Pan- Colossus

Having heard some of these songs live before they had come out was a nice light into what would be their remarkable display of power, rights of rifftacularity and vocal hierarchy from my man Jeff Martin. To say I am not a fan of these 4 gentleman would be an understatement as they do it like no one else in the business right now and they’re on their way to being a huge name after their trip overseas in April.
6) Karma to Burn- Arch Stanton

This album has a raw feeling like you just wrestled a bear and fucked the bear up beyond belief. Tones for days, with such a display of percussion, that drummers should have to listen this and be able to play this work until they are let out into the world. I found myself doing 80mph in a 30mph while this barn burner was blasting through my speakers, like it was testifying to why Rock n Roll is not dead by any means.
5) Pallbearer- Foundations of Burden

Having played a show with this band in Boston, was my first insight into what they were all about. Then when upon hearing their latest release, I was completely hooked. Packed with a sheer melodic guitar attack and a pounding bass, a superb foundation was laid out. Now, throw in a masterful drummer, Mark Lierly, one of my favorites in the game, and the groove elevates the performance and the music to another worldly jaunt.
4) Brant Bjork- Black Flower Power

I truly feel that this is the best album Brant has put out. It is an essential groove outlet powered by straight up riffs and lyrics from an Iconic artist. The sense of plugging in and playing rings from speaker to speaker in what has become a go to album when you need to feel the heartbeat of a Saturday night. Every song on this work is a fresh and new musical outlet, one in which you need to plug into.
3) YOB-Clearing the Path to Ascend

This Portland 3 piece has been a stalwart on the scene and this album has simply put them into a different atmosphere. To be able to convey such feelings in an emotional whirlwind is rather amazing, but this band is amazing and holds the key to the future in their musical endeavors which are nothing shorter than being labeled as remarkable.
2) Mastodon- Once More ‘Round the Sun

This piece has everything from intricacy to 4 on the 4 boogie. The maturation process with this quartet is a melting pot of so many musical influences that the band has truly given praise to what they dig and did not care if the popular vote had them homecoming kings, they let the music do the talking. Lyrically this album flows like a great story from your favorite author and leaves you wanting the next saga to come out in a hurry.
1) D’Angelo and the Vanguard- Black Messiah

I know this will not be a popular number 1, however, if you are a music fan, this album is the shit. I am into soul music, which means music that is for and made from the soul. Much like the 9 I have discussed, all of those I would term as soul music, as all of these albums come from the writer’s true soul. This piece of work was 14 years in the making and it blew me away from start to finish. From Pfunk to Marvin to Prince to Stevie, the artist, D’Angelo has taken from the Garden of musical Eden and made a fruit salad so funky that if you do not feel yourself needing to move your body, then, take care.