Year End Polls – Dr Rock’s Top 20 Albums of 2013

DrRock Top 20

Dr Rock’s Top 20

Welcome back folks, and all at BurningFist hope that you’ve had a great festive period and already, here we are, rocketing towards 2014.  So before that happens, we present to you the second in our series of year end polls and this time, its the turn of

Dr Rock from The Rock Surgery.

Strap yourself in… Here we go!

20. Haken – The Mountain:

Excellent third release by London based progsters A fine blend of both old school and modern day prog.

19. Robert Randolph & The Family Band – Lickety Split:

Rock pedal steel anyone? On this latest album Robert Randolph mixes it up even more than usual, blues, funk, R&B and New Orleans jazz all thrown in the melting pot. Throw in guest appearances by Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana and you have a sure fire winner.

18. Ghost – Infesstisumam:

Papa Emeritus II and his Nameless Ghouls’ sophomore album retains their obvious love of Blue Oyster Cult and once again mixes it with doom metal, psychedelic rock and both Roman Catholic and Black Mass. Weirdly delightful…amen!!

17. Krokus – Dirty Dynamite:

Good time AC/DC flavoured rock & roll and now with original guitarist Fernando Von Arb back in their ranks…It does exactly as the opening track states…Hallelujah Rock & Roll.

16. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories):

The modern day “prog master” returns with his third solo album and by far his best to date. There’s enough flute and sax on here to convince you that you’re listening to a long lost 70’s prog classic. Can this man do any wrong?

15. The Winery Dogs – S/T:

Power trio supergroups featuring, Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen. Exactly what you’d imagine an album made up of ex Dream Theater, Mr. Big & Poison members to sound like.

14. Spock’s Beard – Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep:

New album, new vocalist…same great results. 21st century prog at its very best. Somewhat always overshadowed by Dream Theater, this record sees them reverse the roles once and for all.

13. Heaven & Earth – Dig:

Hammond organ driven heavy rock, a must for fans of Rainbow, Purple and Joe Lynn Turner. This is just classic rock from start to finish.

12. Trucker Diablo – Songs Of Iron:

Sophomore album by Northern Ireland’s finest. A catchy, melodic, hook laden gem, Drive is one of my tracks of 2013.

11. FM – Rockville:

Melodic rock at its very best. Classic FM sound given a modern day tweak Personally, their best since the faultless “Tough It Out”.

10. The Cadillac Three- Tennessee Mojo:

Modern day southern rock, more Whiskey Myers than Skynyrd but still a must for all you rednecks out there.

09. Deep Purple – What Now?!:

Their best in many a year, Definitely the Morse and Airey show. They may all be close to retirement but they still show the young ‘uns how it’s done properly. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…no need when the magic is this good.

08. The Strypes – The Strypes:

Canvey Island…Cavan, Ireland, Dr. Feelgood came from the former, The Strypes the latter. The comparisons don’t end there. The teenage Northern Ireland four piece are Wilko & Brilleaux era Feelgood reborn…teenage kicks indeed!!!

07. Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King:

Yes, this sounds like several other, successful bands, but who cares? This is a damn fine rock record, melodic, catchy and a lorra lorra riffs…top stuff.

06. The Delta Saints – Death Letter Jubilee:

Dirty delta blues and probably the surprise package for yours truly. A real harmonica fest…love it.

05. Gov’t Mule – Shout:

Might come as a surprise to most of you that know me, a Mule album that isn’t No.1 or at least in the top three? Well, this took a lot of listening to for it to sink in and to convince me it should even be in the top 5. When this is good it’s great but there are a few tracks that sound like re-hashed older tracks from the past. The bonus disc of the same albnum featuring guest vocalists is hit and miss, some are exquisite, some are well, average at best. Still, it’s far better than a lot of stuff that’s come out this year and anything that has Warren Haynes on guitar will eventually always qualify for inclusion.

04. Tedeschi Trucks Band – Made Up Mind:

Second release by the husband and wife fronted 11 piece outfit. R&B, soul, blues, rock, funk, it’s all on display here. Trucks’ guitar playing is sublime as always and Susan Tedeschi’s vocals are just glorious, as per-usual. On it’s first listen, I had made up (my) mind that this would rank pretty highly in my 2013 poll. A joy folks…a joy.

03. Clutch – Earth Rocker:

A fabulous return to form for the Maryland groove posse after the quite abysmal “Strange Cousins From The West”.Fallon & co. Are thankfully firing on all cylinders again, groovy, funky and thankfully entertaining again. In the words of Mr. Fallon himself “If you’re gonna do it do it right or don’t do it at all….bluuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrgh”!!!!!

02. Riverside – Shrine Of The New Generation Slaves:

Fifth album by the Polish proggies and easily their best to date. Much mellower and dare I say it, more commercial than any of their previous albums. Lush vocal and guitar harmonies are eased along by trippy bass lines and subtle piano parts. When they do change gear, albeit not too often, it is usually courtesy of some fine Hammond organ accompaniment that pays homage to the genre in its 70’s heyday. Not to everyone’s taste but if you’re a fan of Hogarth era Marillion, Anathema, Porcupine Tree and bands of that ilk, then this is for you. Class from start to finish and could easily have been sitting in the top spot where it not for…

01. The Temperance Movement – The Temperance Movement:

No doubt about it, this was going to be number one in my poll this year. The “Pride” EP had buttered us up nicely for what was to come and even including all the tracks off that EP on this fabulous debut wasn’t going to change my mind. Maybe a strange decision to incorporate them on the album but probably done so due to their popularity and demand for an album in a year that has seen them rise from obscurity to being one of the most talked about bands in the rock scene this year. Retro in style due to the obvious love for bands like The Faces, Creedence Clearwater Revival etc but this record also manages to showcase their own sound. Foot tapping rockers blend perfectly alongside melancholic ballads and in Lovers & Fighters, they have penned my favourite song of the year. Bigger and even better times ahead…most definitely so.

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