Sunday, December 18, 2016
Bandcamp Bonanza – Best Of Bonanza '16
Why not right? Everyone else is doing it. I actually look forward to compiling best of the year lists each and every year. Although I haven’t been as anal about them as I was a few years ago I still enjoy going back through the catalogue and organizing the albums that had a profound impact on me throughout the year. The problem is that each and every year I seem to be listening to more and more albums and the competition for making these lists is grueling. For those that have done this you know what I’m talking about. For this features sake I have ranked my “Best of Bonanza” according to albums specifically residing in my bandcamp collection and that were not available on vinyl or I did not yet have the time to purchase on vinyl. These albums had both repeated listens and all around excitement that put them just over the edge of some other well done albums. I’ll be putting together another separate list of my Favorite “Records” (vinyl) of the year so be patient. Without further ado, I present my picks for the best albums of bandcamp released in 2016.
“Best Al Yeti album yet! Dirty, smokey harmony layered with smooth catchy groove like baby butt cheeks covered with a grizzled beard!"
“Peace Killers murder the tranquility with a raspy Thin Lizzy meets marijuana cigarette sparked by proto-metal flame! Combining twin guitar finesse, throttling rhythm and groove a mile wide. The debut album provides rollicking blues based solos, infectious vocals, and at times aggressive chorus's that will have your blood boiling with delight.”
I didn’t actually purchase this one yet, as it was a late discovery and I am conserving funds for the holiday season, but had I found out sooner, this album might even be ranked higher. Think of a mellower version of the occult driven retro blues style of Graveyard. Very bluesy, very stoney, and ultra groovy. Check them out.
“Slightly reverberated and charismatic vocals set to an astonishing stoned out groove. Take a look to what the others had to say. It’s stirring up some dust in the stoner scene and makes for some high expectations of what more is to come.” I wrote this on their first EP. The Black Hole Space Wizard EP takes it to the next level.
“Heavy psychedelic blues blistering with dynamite vocals. This is the real deal.”
“Agile psychedelic stoner pop akin to the masters of classic 70's Rock jammed with arcane riffs mimicking a modern Woodstock in the spirit of Nashvillian Blues. A Walk in the Dark lights a fire so hot you'll be peddling laps into a tie-dyed western sunrise. Favorite track: A Walk in the Dark.”
“Low tuned bass meets high output fuzz in a well-orchestrated take on occult driven blues. Order of the Goat comes in hot on riffs and heavy in doomy groove”
“Stoner drenched riffs flashing with slag fueled metallic fury. Retro groove hot enough to melt the shadow of the witch beneath the dying sun.”
These Aussies are utterly spectacular. Prepare for a holocaust of punk fueled rock and roll riffs, with vocals verging on Danzig meets Motorhead. The band calls is Psychedelic hard rockin’, panty droppin’ sonic suicide. Can’t argue that!
“Roast burns us with 4 tracks of unadulterated heavy blues, caramelized with brain melting solos sautéed in proto-doom. The Zeppelin esque' squelch seers with Pentagram harmony on the debut EP steeping in Sabbath worship and smoldering with heavy psychedelic aroma. The young dudes from CA manage to concoct a flaming set of irresistible tunes. Mesmerizing artwork to boot! Wow! Big future ahead!”
“This is a truly massive album chalked full of filthy riffs, evocative groove, and noxious vocal tones.Long songs don't lose their welcome. Absolutely no droney boredom to be found whatsoever as can be typical in the doom arena. Heavy rock n' stoner blues with off the charts distorted fuzz.”
Why I haven’t ordered the vinyl of this is beyond me. Probably me being cheap as usual……
“They call it dancing doom in their description. I would have to agree that's apt. The dreamy psychedelic licks bake like rays of Sun scold a naked drunk and the cosmic riffs break like stone under dynamite. On my 4th straight listen and I don't have to stop. This is intense!Favorite track: Daggers Doom and Doubt.”
“From the strong, serenading Spanish vocal accents to the hypnotically driving riffs, Horizon eclipse the boundary of quintessential stoner rock. I so need this on wax. Hell, I still need the last one too. Somebody send me some money please!! Favorite track: El Padre.”
“Oozing with heavy blues and glistening with jaw dropping psych, Fuddge soothe the musical craving with a mind bending fuzz fest powdered with sensational atmospherics. Eat this shit up, it's all organic and loaded with lysergic groove. Favorite track: Lilith.”
This may be my EP of the year!
“What we have here folks is a fine demonstration of Greece taking the lead in the battle of heavy, gritty, and groovy stoner rawk. Sweden held the #1 spot for some time, but Stone Cream just made a statement. The riffs echo like steel cones crushing stone into cream, dried over rusted walls of whiskey soaked vocals. Stone Cream dela creme. Favorite track: Haunted train.”
“This is your homework Larry. The fucking Heathens Are Loose with a wildly melodic fuzz, pile driven with savage distortion and sensational groove.Favorite track: Whistleblowers.”
Seriously amazing proto-metal meets heavy blues. Great overall musicianship and classic metal vocal tones with a bluesy swagger off the charts. The album cover is exceptional and matches the overall vibe of the album.
“Smooth, heavy distorted grooves. Thick slabs of sabbath worship, coupled with fat hooks and bluesy solos. Yes, I dig this a lot! FDJ nailed the Freedom Hawk reference.”
“Slow burning stoner riffs with a hauntingly doom drive amplify like rock and roll spirits in a moonlit desert. The vocals veer in and out of sinister wales to melodic echoes as the creamy riffs blister with a groove-laden psych and the twisted melody rings over the heavy blues crusted atmosphere. Favorite track: Titos.”
This album seemed to have a lot of traction early on and then sort of dropped off the map. For me it got better late in the year and another one I should have grabbed on vinyl. Very good retro stoner blues meets classic doom. Well executed all around.
10 THE HAZYTONES - THE HAZYTONES
“FDJ mentioned Graveyard which is an apt comparison. The Hazytones bring a hazy as fuck Graveyard-esque tone to the table. The vocals have that eerie occult squelch, slightly reverberated, and the riffs just seer with tripped out groove. This is wicked shit. HIGHLY recommended.Favorite track: Day Of The Dead.”
9 CHILD - BLUESIDE
Wow, what an intense blues album. Distorted fuzz meets classic blues. This will be mine (on vinyl). Oh, yes, she will be mine!
8 ELBRUS – ELBRUS
“Thick, hypnotic, fuzz laced blues howl with a soulful vocal croon and ample distortion. Taking the heavy Aussie blues to the next level. On par with 'Child's latest monster just released on the same label.”
7 FIRE DOWN BELOW - VIPER VIXEN GODDESS SAINT
“I listened twice just like FDJ said and I was double drenched with super groovy, hard-hitting riffs backed by grunge-laced vocals and atmospheric psychedelics. Fire Down Below is hot in all the right places! I'll definitely be going in for third degree riff burns. Favorite track: The Mammoth.”
6 WHITE NAILS - FIRST TRIP
“White Nails take you on a groove induced ride chock full of hard rawk riffs, stoner glazed vocals, and bass heavy licks. Don't let First Trip be your last. This will have you tapping your toes daydreaming of nail polish. Favorite track: Silver linings.”
5 THREE LEG DOG -RED SUN
“I never pay this much for digital, but Three Leg Dog completely blew my mind with its stoner infused fuzzy blues soaking with psychedelic bliss. The price is high, but the bone chilling grooves are paramount. It’s as if Black Cowgirl merged with Youngblood Supercult for world domination. Favorite track: Red Sun.”
4 TURNIP - WINDOW KILLER
“The Evil Engineer nailed it with this find. It's got a little bit of everything from heavy psychedelic swampy blues, to foot stomping southern country rock n roll. Has its vocals firmly 'Plant'ed in the Zeppelin school of swoonage. Killer compositions with an evocative Americana meets Texas stoner-rawk atmosphere.Favorite track: Never to Bleed.”
3 FALL OF AN EMPIRE - CROWEATER: AN ECHO IN THE BONE
“Bone breaking riffs echo with soothing solos and clean, powerful vocals. This is some seriously good heavy rock n roll! Bluesy, psychedelic, metallic, and loaded with rhythmic groove.”
2 STONED COBRA - ARMED AND HAMMERED
“The cobra is not only stoned with heavy grooves galore, but it is armed with metallic riffs and hammered with bluesy solos trembling like a hallucinogenic fantasy. This is rock and roll for the modern metal militia loaded with enough ammo to supplement the hard rock revolution upon us now.”
1 MOUNTAIN DUST - NINE YEARS
“Mountain Dust clouds the air with craggy blues swirling with evocative groove while it's surly vocal chops darken the ozone with plumes of wicked riffage. Demented solos, beefy distortion and spooky harmonic undercurrents give Nine Years a superb debut album rating! Favorite track: Dead Queen.”
There you have it. Let us know what your favorite camp story was this year. Until next time we’ll keep the bandcamp fire stoked with more killer finds right here at Bucky’s Bonanza.