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THE BEST OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC 2017 – Part I: #26 – 50

THE BEST OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC 2017 – Part I: #26 – 50
By Shane Pinnegar

What a year 2017 has been…

It was the year that Uber & UberEats, Netflix and BitCoin became ubiquitous, changing the way their businesses are done forever.

It was the year of Harvey Weinstein’s outing as a sex pest, the year of #metoo, and the legalisation of same sex marriages in Australia, resulting in a firm message finally being sent by us all that gender inequality, bullying and sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable. And it was a year of so much political turmoil that it would be far too depressing to even start going into it here.

Thankfully, as an antidote to the degenerating standard of living across the world, it was a year of so much great music, television, movies, books and theatre that we simply cannot soak it all up. We do our best – but the reality is that we all lead busy lives, and it’s healthy to switch off and go for a walk in the park with the dogs sometimes!

Consequently, our Best of the Best summaries are personal. I haven’t listened to every record released, or seen every movie, or read every book. I have a mountain of them all still on my desk which I will be unable to get to until 2018, if at all. But one thing is certain: those listed below are great, and if your taste is on a similar wavelength to mine, you’re gonna love ‘em.

26. Graphic Fiction Heroes – Dreams Of A Libertine EP

“Dreams Of A Libertine is another fine, world-class release from Gibbs and his Noise-A-Thon Records, and deserves international notice and recognition. Don’t take my word for it – listen and decide for yourselves.” READ MORE

27. Foo Fighters – Concrete & Gold

Dave Grohl and Co return from trekking down various celluloid and sonic highways with an album that plays to all their strengths, without treading much new ground. Relentlessly heavy, they make no concession for radio, but they’ll need new ideas for album #10.

28. Maverick – Firebird

“There’s something irrepressible about 1970’s U.S. raunch n’ roll, a la Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, George Thorogood & the Destroyers et al. All unkempt hair, tight muscle-bound riffs and unshakeable swagger, these are the acts who have drip fed the DNA of new Western Australian foursome Maverick.” READ MORE

29. Watts – The Black Heart Of Rock and Roll

“Strut (Like A Champ) could be their mission statement, while Up All Night, Fast & Loose, The B-Side and Bring On The Lights all stand testament to what they do, why they do it, and why it is so imperative that we’re listening.” READ MORE

30. The Dahmers – In The Dead Of Night

“The Dahmers hail from Sweden, and are enthralled by the marriage of horror and hard rock – not in an evil, church burning, black metal kind of way, though. No, this foursome of skeleton-adorned-onesie-clad damage cases play bouncy glam punk songs with sugary melodies and high energy attitude.” READ MORE

31. Chuck Berry – Chuck

Completed just before his death, and recorded around his 90th birthday, Chuck is Berry’s 20th studio album and his first in 38 years. Enlisting Gary Clarke Jr, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tom Morello and two of his own sons to contribute sure doesn’t hurt, but it’s Berry’s willingness to paint with such a broad palette that proves the biggest winner here.

32. The Professionals – What In The World

Steve Cook re-ignites The Professionals for a long-awaited follow-up to 1997’s self-titled second record, which itself arrived 16 years after their debut. Fellow ex-Pistol Steve Jones, The Cult’s Billy Duffy, Adam & the Ants’ Marco Pirroni, Phil Collen of Def Leppard and Cook’s other band Manraze, Duff McKagan and Mick Jones all feature on various tracks that blaze brightly with incendiary fury.

33. Neptune Power Federation – Neath A Shin Ei Sun

Part gonzo rock mayhem, part Hawkwindesque space rock epic, part prog rock masterpiece, The Neptune Power Federation never disappoint, and this third album kinda sounds like Hawkwind had Lemmy been in charge all along.

34. David Bowie – No Plan EP

Four leftovers from Bowie’s final album Blackstar, this EP reminded us all what a stunning talent he was, and left us greedily wanting so much more.

35. Vitne – Jupiter

“Jupiter comprises two digital EP releases from the past couple of years, remixed and repackaged, and it’s a darkly atmospheric and buoyantly melodic ride.” READ MORE

36. Chris Gibbs & The Transmission – News Of The Day EP

“Playing the two releases side by side – the very good Big Appetite, and this even better EP – only leaves us hungry for a full length, full band collaboration. Bring it on, Sir!” READ MORE

37. The Date – Master Date

“The heart of The Date lies in the unusual vocal style of solid as a rock bass playing singer David Moran, and the supreme skills of guitarist Rob Susanto. Together they gel seamlessly, achieving that incredibly rare feat of managing to seem completely laid back, whilst playing searing, compelling, resolutely engaging rock n’ roll.” READ MORE

38. Bible Bashers – Rise Hard EP

“The Bible Bashers are back – badder, broker and more belligerent than ever – to share their evangelical fervour for the righteous sounds of rock n’ fuckin’ roll, dick pills, bad cars, bad girls and bad assdom.” READ MORE

39. Lloyd Spiegel – This Time Tomorrow

“Lloyd Spiegel’s ninth studio album is arguably his best effort yet, and that’s really saying something. Full of slick, laid back, (mostly) acoustic blues, This Time Tomorrow is a superb collection that shows Spiegel to be peerless in his field.” READ MORE 

40. Torrential Thrill – Nothing As It Seems

“Weld together the high octane sex sleaze of prime era Motley Crue with the nuts and bolts arena pub sound of AC/DC, and detail this rawk machine with a hint of post grunge darkness, and you’ve got Torrential Thrill’s second album.” READ MORE

41. Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud

“Now, on album number 6, their sound is positively old school, finessed to a defining reference point, beloved of both dance and rock fans.” READ MORE

42. Dirtbag Republic – Downtown Eastside

“Vancouver ‘glunks’ (glam punks, I think – so that’s a thing now) Dirtbag Republic have… Faces rambunctiousness, Aerosmith groove, New York Dolls choruses, Stones-meets-Pistols swagger and surliness. Most endearing of all, they sound like they’re having a bloody great time of it, too.” READ MORE

43. Robbie Williams – Heavy Entertainment Show

“Robbie Williams packs all the punch he can manage into album #11, throwing every trick in the book (and a few new ones) PLUS the kitchen sink into this collection of 11 catchy and mostly entertaining tracks.” READ MORE

44. Deep Purple – Infinite

Deep Purple’s renaissance continues with another album that adds to their impressive legacy whilst never stooping to pay homage to their glory days.

45. Blondie – Pollinator

Debbie Harry & Chris Stein drafted in songwriting contributions from Sia, Nick Valensi, Johnny Marr & others to assemble an eleventh album that easily enhanced their impressive legacy. Joan Jett sings on Doom Or Destiny, and the environmental alarm bells in the lyrics are more important now than ever.

46. Rhino Bucket – The Last Real Rock n’ Roll

“Rhino Bucket were always amongst the best US bands to have taken the famous Alberts Studios Sound to heart – their self titled debut and follow-up Get Used To It remain favourites from the early 1990’s.” READ MORE

47. Ray Davies – Americana

Kinks frontman Davies explores his life-long fascination with American culture and music on his first new album in a decade, while country rockers The Jayhawks play backing band. 

48. Dan Sultan – Killer

“Possessing a voice as warm & rich as melted honey, Dan Sultan has proved a unique talent in modern Australian music over the past 20 years, and delivers the goods with this, his third album.” READ MORE

49. Shadowqueen – Living Madness

“This second album is a sonic assault that – whilst not prog rock, per se – approaches song structure with a different eye, resulting in songs that avoid the grind of sounding the same as every other hard rock band.” READ MORE

50. Neil Young – Hitchhiker

Recorded in one night in 1976 and promptly shelved, songs from Hitchhiker have appeared reworked over various releases since, but this is the first time the full record has been released in all it’s touching, raw and simple beauty.

 

CLICK HERE for Part II – #1 – 25 Best of the Best New Music 2017 ** COMING SOON!!

 

THE BEST OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC 2017 – Part I: #26 - 50

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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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