Unbelievably so, the year is almost half over and there is no time like the present to lay out the best records we have listened to so far. The best according to the Falcon’s Nest staff that is.
The year is already a scorcher on the new album front with old reliable Americana Bands like The Old ’97s and Band of Heathens releasing more than solid efforts, Stellar Folk Rock stars in the making Brent Cobb and John Moreland showing real sustainability with their efforts this year, and even old school crows Blondie and Procol Harum showed up to make a guest appearance appearing in the new release rodeo.
In short, it has been a very good half-year, and the best is probably to come. Here are ten records we have chosen as the best so far. More to follow.
1.) The Weeks – Easy
From the same hotbed that brought you the Drive by Truckers, this one floats around between the Truckers, The Replacements, and The Bodeans. Fine company indeed.
2.) Justin Townes Earle – Kids in the Street
Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve, is back with the third installment of his Single Mothers/Absent Father/Kids in the Street trilogy.
3.) John Moreland – Big Bad Luv
This really quick follow-up to High on Tulsa Heat was a welcome surprise. His voice will remind you of Bruce, but his songrwriting stands on its own.
4.) Bash & Pop – Anything Could Happen
If The Replacements and The Old 97’s had a baby, it would be named Bash & Pop. Ex Replacement Tommy Stinson keeps the Power Pop fires burning.
5.) Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
Not a real surprise here since hers last record All or Nothin’ was a stellar release, what is cool is that this one is even better. Highway Queen and Jackpot will probably battle it out for Roots Rock song of the year.
6.) BNQT – Vol. 1
This Indie Supergroup features members of Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, and Grandaddy. If you like these bands, you will like this record that has touches of E.L.O., Poco, and CSN along with a dusting of Todd Rundgren. We do, and we do.
7.) Goldray – Rising
If the back of the barroom pipes of Leah Rasmussen don’t grab you, the late 60’s Psychedelic vibe will. Enhance your listening with a stimulant of your choice.
8.) White Reaper – The Worlds Best American Band
Truth in advertising, the jury is still out. But if you like your Rock a little on the Roll side, this one might be for you. The title track is great, and “Judy French” is infectious as hell.
9.) Coco Hames – Coco Hames
If Dusty Springfield fronted an Alt-Country band that was produced by Phil Spector, it probably would sound a lot like Coco Hames debut record. Vibes of Jenny Lewis and Belinda Carlisle are thrown in for good measure.
10. Sheer Mag – Compilation
A compilation of their first three E.P.s Sheer Mag channels all of your favorite 70’s bands including T Rex, Thin Lizzy, and the New York Dolls all on the shoulders of Rock Chick Tina Halliday.
11. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
A seductive, free flowing set that stands among the best of their career.
12. Biters – The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be
Bringing back the Glam to Rock and Roll. A Touch of T-Rex here, The Sweet there, and a lot of cool fun along the way. Gypsy Rose might be the “Rock and Roll” song of the year.
13. Colter Wall – Colter Wall
A throwback to the glory days of Outlaw Country, his debut record is as good as it gets. Colter Wall is the new Sturgill Simpson.