As much as I enjoy year-end lists, the getting older part of things is not recommended. Staring down the end of my early 40s has brought about some personal health scares, aging parents, and the realization that I’m no longer “down here” like The Goonies. Enjoy everything while you can!
This year brought about a lot of really good albums. Creating this list made me realize just how good of a year it was musically, as I was incorrectly thinking it was a bit of a down year. All of these albums listed are worth checking out on their linked Bandcamp page. My hope is that at least one of these bands resonates with you.
Here are my Top 10 Albums of 2022 (in alphabetical order):
Be Well – Hello Sun
Fast, melodic and catchy, I don’t think a smile left my face while listening to this 6 song EP. It brought me back to the late ’90s/early 2000s when there were plenty of great bands playing this style. This is pretty much everything I yearn for in a punk rock album.
Clutch – Sunrise at Slaughter Beach
Clutch are a great rock and roll band, and this might be them at their peak. The creative riffs are the driving force of the band. The musicianship is otherworldly, and the vocals tie everything together wonderfully. It’s nearly impossible to listen to Sunrise at Slaughter Beach without bobbing your head in a grooving manner.
Craig Finn – A Legacy of Rentals
I first listened to this album while dealing with a nasty illness that had me near bedridden for a couple of weeks. I would put this on between binge-watching movies and TV shows and let the relaxing tones and Finn’s soothing voice and stories drift me to sleep. This is the album I appreciate most because it got me through some absolute miserable moments.
Frank Turner – FTHC
To call this a directional pivot would be an understatement. Turner goes from intense punk hardcore to songs that would fit well in a Two Cow Garage album, all with his known musical charm. This album touches on many different styles, but everything fits like a glove (not mittens). FTHC is the most impressive album of his profound resume
The Hellacopters – Eyes of Oblivion
Rock ‘n’ roll royalty are back with one of their best albums to date. All styles are represented within these 10 songs. “The Pressure’s On” is one of the best songs of the year with spot-on lyrics.
Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One – Five Great Egrets
“Wow” is really the only thing I can say about this masterpiece. Every song is top-notch and full of melody, emotions, and grit. Not even Shakespeare in his prime could portray in words how good these songs are, so I’m just gonna say that this album demands a listen.
Snuff – Crepuscolo dorato della bruschetta borsetta calzetta cacchetta trombetta lambretta giallo ossido, ooooooh così Magnifico!
This album features nine songs that are impossible not to sing along with and one instrumental. Snuff race out of the gate and don’t even slow down until the end. The album title is a little bit lengthy, but the strength of these songs more than makes up for that minor annoyance.
Tim Barry – Spring Hill
These songs all have a somber feel, even the ones that are more upbeat or on the lighter side lyrically (“Dad’s Ipad”). This is definitely a mood album, with a comfort to the melancholy, though some songs that the right amount of “fun” to keep things from feeling too heavy. “Grace” is my favorite song released this year.
The Vansanders – Caught in the Light
I first checked them out because my band was asked to play with them. I immediately fell in love with the songs and have been a huge fan since. They sound like everything you’d expect in a band from New Jersey, and that’s a high compliment.
Vixen77 – Easy Access
Combining dirty rock ‘n’ roll with dirty street punk will always be a great idea, and Vixen77 pulls this off with ease. The songs are catchy gut punches that are full of attitude and energy. The 11 originals are high quality with “What I Like About You” being the icing on top.
Honorable Mentions that are Well Worth Your Time:
Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith
The Interrupters – In the Wild
Michael Kane and the Morning Afters – Broke but Not Broken
Screeching Weasel – The Awful Disclosures of Screeching Weasel