That’s right, this is a list about Sebastian Bach, former lead singer of the seminal 80s glam metal band, Skid Row. Why would I do a list about Sebastian Bach? A man who seemingly puts his music IQ on par with the best of the best Rock N Roll Jeopardy champions. Because Sebastian Bach kicks ass. Bach has one of the most unique rock voices of all time. It’s loud, timid, angry, emotional, bellowing, caustic, and ethereal all at the same time. It has the power to get you up in the morning and make you pancakes. It has the power to make any woman fall in love with you in just three notes. Bach’s voice is so powerful that it once traveled back in time and helped end World War II. If angels sang bad ass rock music, they’d sound like Bach. Though glam metal has all but fizzled away outside of the occasional Darkness release, Bach’s current music is still solidly on par with the strongest of the 80s releases. Twenty five years down the road, Bach still knows how to make an album and the guy deserves credit for proving that only the strong survive.
For anyone out there who obsessively listened to M83′s “Midnight City” to the point that you couldn’t crawl out of bed in the morning without it playing it before you poured yourself a cup of coffee, a new cure for that addiction is available. The “Midnight City” addiction will never go away but there’s a patch. Morgan Grace Kibby who sings on the habit-forming track has branched out on her own with her solo project The White Sea (not the first time – see The Romanovs). With vulgar lyrics sung so sweetly, you can’t help but fall in love with this album of summer serenades. The album features the lyric of the year: ”I’ll fuck you blind and make a run for it; screaming hey oh, hey oh, hey oh.” I mean, come on, who hasn’t thought that once in their life.
Braid is yet another band to make a comeback that only continues to confirm the musical genius of the ’90s. Born out of the so-called emo movement (that was as obtuse of a term for music as “alternative” was), the band’s fanbase has grown bigger and stronger during their 15-year hiatus than it did while they were a band. Bob Nanna tried to escape the pressure of the frothing Braid fans by feeding them scraps of his later projects, The City on Film and Hey Mercedes, but that was like feeding vegetables to a pack of lions. They ate it so they wouldn’t die…but they were starving inside. The Braid reunion tour was a good appetizer followed by the free EP starter plate…but what the fans truly wanted was a new album. Nanna is giving them what they wanted. Though, the new album won’t give Braid fans everything they want…but the only way to truly satisfy those rabid Braiders is fire up the Delorean and speed back to 1998.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Braid:
A Dozen Roses (Frame And Canvas)
First Day Back (Frame And Canvas)
Killing A Camera (Frame And Canvas)
Summer Salt (Frankie Welfare Boy Age Five)
The New Nathan Detroits (Frame And Canvas)
Nineteen 75 (The Age Of Octean)
Do Over (Closer To Closed)
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Movie Music Volume 2)
Jimmy Go Swimmer (The Age Of Octean)
Brass Knuckle Sandwich (Frankie Welfare Boy Age Five)
It’s been a weird year in music. There’s actually been a lot of great music…but nothing that has yet to stand above the rest. There’s been no real consensus on what albums are 2014′s calling card. From site to site, it seems there’s a lot more variety than most years. And my top 11 is no different. While there seems to some shared love for James Vincent McMorrow, Against Me!, Cloud Nothings, and The War On Drugs, my favorite album of the year (the infectious Broken Bells) is nowhere to be found on any list. The Jack White peaks into a couple lists but has been widely slammed, probably because the album was made for vinyl and listening to any other way takes it down a notch. Strangely, it happens to be my favorite non-White Stripes Jack White recording to date. I’ve seen Pure X and Conor Oberst get a couple mentions (albeit low on lists). White Sea and First Aid Kit are two budding artists hitting their strides, yet fail to get mentions. Last on my list is the addictive EP by the band Movement. Everyone’s raving about How To Dress Well (which is another good album) but I feel like Movement is doing the same thing but is already leaps and bounds ahead. But this is the great thing about music…there’s something for everyone to love.
Happy 4th! Enjoy songs from the albums below…plus a few other good tracks from this year.