A lot of zines and blogs emailed me this year to hand over a list of top records, bands, shows, etc.. for 2014. Sadley, I ignored most of them and I apologize my friends, next year I will create the lists for you and submit. Because I ignored them, I thought long and hard about my top ten records of 2014 or at least top ten of 2014. Here it is:
Musk – S/T Holy Mountain – Best Goddamned album of the year, hands down!
Golden Pelicans – S/T Total Punk – Best new punk in years
Off With Their Heads – Home Epitaph - I know it was released in 2013, but I didn’t listen till 2014
Fire Retarded – Scroggz Manor Big Neck Records – Love seeing Bobby Hussy getting into punk
Sonny Vincent & Spite – Super group of super Groups!
OBN III’s – Third Time to Harm Tic Tac Totally – if you love rock n roll, you must love this band
Pissed Jeans – Shallow (reissue SubPop) – Great reissue and very much needed
Bloodstains Across Buffalo V/A Extra Evidence – If you are from Buffalo you will love this record
Activations – Radio On/Attack Big Neck Records – Best new punk single in years! Dan Radiobeat kills it.
Sammy Hagar Birthday Bash in Las Vegas – Are you kidding? It’s Sammy Hagar and we were in a private tent drinking next to the stage! I know this is not a record it was just the best damn time that year.
Jameson Shot: 7” EP
Jameson whiskey goes down fine, and finer still are the X-Rays! of Nottingham for supporting neighboring Ireland’s economy. What isn’t fine is the way waking up to the aftertaste of whiskey has cross-wired my brain to think that whiskey actually tastes like hangovers. But that’s my problem. For the strong eared and stomached, every song on Jameson Shot will please, neat or with ice or water. G-Man’s guitar roars with bottom dollar distortion and Gary X-Ray’s weasely shouts are perfect on tracks like “Drinking for My Baby,” crafting gleefully shitty rock of the street punk feel, minus the aggression and double the cheese. I can just get through these three tracks before the X-Rays! liquor slap overwhelms my system, which needs some watery lager (tempo changes) mixed in with the hard stuff so I can stand on solid legs and flip the record, which comes on marbled vomit grey vinyl. –Jim Joyce (Big Neck)
Rich got around to opening some of the Big Neck Swag we sent him and reviewed a couple items. Here is the Fatal Figures Review:
Fatal Figures “Caterwaul” LP
Late Nineties Buffalo was actually a pretty happening spot in the garage scene, believe it or not. We were home to one of the best labels (Big Neck Records), the preeminent music fest of the day (Rust Belt Revolt), great record stores (Home of Hits and New World Records), great venues (and bookers) that made it easy for touring bands to stop (Sanctuary, Mohawk and others) and some of the finest bands of the era, the Blowtops being one of them. A dozen or so years later, all of those venues and stores are closed, Bart and Big Neck (along with the fest) were run out of town and relocated to Virginia and all the bands from that era have either left the city or broken up. (I should note we had another great run a couple of years ago, but that’s another story…). The Blowtops persevered through it all, closing up shop some five years ago after European and US tours, four or five full lengths and at least a dozen singles.
I remember when John Spencer Blues Explosion seemed to lead the way into something I didn’t know existed: the blown out, garage-soul, joke blues. Up until that point the blues was very serious, sad business from Robert Johnson and to combine it with wrestling ring ostentatiousness, distorted grooves and James Brown soul felt completely new. Hollywood, out of Baltimore, MD feel like an extension of that moment when you realize you don’t have to be in a band that’s trying so hard to be cool or serious or political…if you like to get drunk and listen to loud music while being a jackass, then you should do that. Just be your god damn self, that’s what’s going to work in the end. Hollywood are a bunch of jokers, blasting scuzzy distortion all over the stage and if you stop for half a second to listen to their lyrics then they’ll have you pissing your pants.