It seems like every year I put together a top list at Hard Rock Hideout, it becomes a harder task. In 2009, there was a crazy amount of excellent releases, and choosing the best ten was a daunting task to say the least. It was too hard to pick ten, so of course, I had to add some additional releases to my top list. The following releases are my top of 2009. All of these are worth picking up, and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase any of these a second time. Check them out and see what you think!
#13 Shake City – S/T
Eonian Records has released quite a few undiscovered gems in 2009. Their best release of 2009 is easily Shake City. Shake City features the original singer of Warrant, Adam Shore. I don’t know why Adam left Warrant, but the fates should have been kinder to his band Shake City. If this CD would have been released twenty years ago, this disc could have easily gone platinum. It is better than many of the hair metal releases of the late 80’s. It is a crime that this band didn’t get the mainstream success of their peers. If you are a hair metal fan, you need to find this CD now. You wont be disappointed.
#12 Papa Roach – Metamorphosis
Papa Roach started introducing songs from Metamorphosis into their live sets in 2008, and as a result, I was familiar with several of the tunes by the time this CD was released. In my opinion, this is the strongest Papa Roach CD to date, with several hit worthy tunes. A worthy pick up for the modern rock fans out there.
#11 Cheap Trick – The Latest
I must admit that I have never been the biggest Cheap Trick fan over the years, but I can not deny how good their latest CD, The Latest is. While this may not be the most rocking CD of 2009, it does have some fun rockers, and is quality music all the way through. Robin Zander still sounds great after all of these years. This is a must own CD for Cheap Trick fans, all others ought to give it a shot.
#10 Chickenfoot – S/T
This is another CD that I didn’t really know what to expect. Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have been playing together in Van Halen for years, but how would this new band work out with Joe Satriani and Chad Smith? Satriani’s playing on this CD is great, and when he does cut loose, he doesn’t over shadow the rest of the band. Overall, Chickenfoot is a supergroup that could have some legs. I hope these guys stick around for a few more releases. Van Halen’s other half still delivers.
#9 The Answer – Everyday Demons
The Answer’s debut CD Rise was one of my favorites of 2007. I had high expectations for their U.S. Debut, Everyday Demons. Luckily, it did not disappoint me in the least. Everyday Demons is powered by Zeppelin influenced rockers “Demon Eyes”, “On and On” “Walkin’ Mat”. The band couldn’t have asked for a bigger tour to be on in 2009. Opening up for AC/DC has gained them a ton of new fans. I can’t wait to see what the band has in store for us next. The only thing I didn’t like about Everyday Demons was cover art.
#8 Steel Panther – Feel the Steel
Steel Panther could be the greatest hair metal parody band of all time. Feel the Steel is packed full of tongue in cheek lyrics that many folks may find offensive. You can’t deny the stellar musicianship of these California rockers. I had the opportunity to see the band play at M3 earlier this year, and they did not disappoint. When is the U.S. Club tour guys?
#7 Charm City Devils – Let’s Rock N’ Roll
Who would have thought that drummer John Allen would front a new kick ass rock and roll band in 2009? I didn’t at all. I have been rockin’ with CCD’s debut CD since its release. This is quality hard rock all the way through. In case you missed it, Charm City Devils had a pretty big year with their opening slot on the 2009 Cruefest. I am still hopeful that they will do a club tour, (and break out some Child Play tunes in their set).
#6 KISS – Sonic Boom
Sonic Boom is the first KISS CD in a long time that I have been able to listen to, all the way through without skipping a song. While I don’t consider this CD their best, it is definitely in their top ten, if not top five CD’s of all time. I didn’t expect this CD to be much. Sonic Boom was one of 2009’s biggest surprises.
#5 Coldspell – Infinite Stargaze
When I first heard the demo tracks from Coldspell in 2008, I about crapped myself. I couldn’t wait to hear Coldspell’s debut CD. I have played this CD over and over again in 2009, and will continue to do so for years to come. This is melodic rock at its finest.
#4 Winger – Karma
Holy Crap?! I get the feeling that Kip Winger and Reb Beach were pissed off when they wrote this record. This is easily the heaviest Winger album to date. Reb Beach unleashes his fury on his six strings, and Karma shines as a result. The songs aren’t all heavy, but they are all top quality. I am hopeful that Kip and company will tour for this album in 2010. Great Stuff, and worthy to be in anyone’s collection.
#3 Black Robot – S/T
Black Robot – I had no expectations when I first heard Black Robot’s self titled effort. I figured any band with former Buckcherry members would probably rock, but I had no idea that I would enjoy this CD as much as I have. “Cocaine” is easily the best cover song I have heard in 2009. Black Robot
gets the nod for best new band of 2009. If you missed this CD when it was released earlier this year, you will have to wait to grab this in 2010. The original pressing is out of print, but Black Robot will be re-releasing this CD next year with bonus tracks !!
#2 Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson – United States
United States has been my feelgood CD of 2009. Paul Gilbert’s guitar work is quite impressive, and Freddie Nelson’s mimicry of Freddie Mercury is pretty incredible. Once I started playing this, I couldn’t stop. Absolutely fantastic music!
#1 The Last Vegas – Whatever Gets You Off
The Last Vegas has been rocking hard since 2003, but their 2009 CD, Whatever Gets You Off is easily their breakthrough release. It didn’t hurt that they had a little help from Nikki Sixx, and DJ Ashba who produced this disc. I still don’t understand why this band didn’t get the nod for Cruefest last summer. They seemed tailor made for that festival but the promoters didn’t ask for my advice. Whatever Gets You Off is crazy good. Apologize might be the biggest power ballad of this decade (no I am not kidding). This is another great party CD, and easily my favorite of 2009.
For more great top lists for 2009, please check out the following websites:
All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/
Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/
Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/
Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/
Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/
Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/
Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/
Metal Excess — http://metalexcess.com/
The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/ (Ray posted his list on 12/4)
Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/
Rock Of Ages — http://rockofages.wordpress.com/
The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
A CD that I have not mentioned soon enough at Hard Rock Hideout, is United States from the duo of Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson. This is some of the most inspired playing hat I have heard from Paul Gilbert in quite some time. Gilbert’s fretwork is nothing short of amazing on this CD. While United States could have fallen short with a bunch of mindless guitar noodling, it simply does not. Gilbert’s solos are absolute perfection, and are enhanced by the amazing vocals of Freddie Nelson.
I do not know where Paul Gilbert found Freddie Nelson, but this guy is the most incredible new singer I have heard in quite some time. There are times throughout United States where Nelson sounds a lot like Queen’s former front man, Freddie Mercury (R.I.P.). He doesn’t come out sounding like a complete Mercury clone. He has his own sound, and his vocals are nothing short of fantastic.
This CD has an interesting Yin and Yang factor to it. Paul Gilbert’s playing and Freddie Nelson vocals greatly complement each other. I don’t think this CD would work if either Gilbert or Nelson wasn’t on it. Either way, I hope this is a collaboration that continues down the road. This is some of Paul Gilbert’s finest work since his Mr. Big days.
United States is a one cool rockin’ CD. You will be hard pressed to find a bad tune on this one. I can’t imagine any rock fan not enjoying this CD. If you aren’t hooked by the opening cut, “The Last Rock and Roll Star”, you will be after “I’m Not Addicted”. Great vocals, and great musicianship equals a great CD.
Fans of Queen & Mr. Bigneed to check this CD out asap!. This will easily be one of my top CD’s of 2009. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars!! Buy this one now!! Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. The Last Rock and Roll Star
3. Waste of Time
4. Bad Times Good
5. Paris Hilton Look-Alike
6. The Answer
7. I’m Free
9. Girl From Omaha
10.I’m Not Addicted
Freddie Nelson – Vocals, acoustic guitar
Paul Gilbert – Guitars, bass and vocals
Emi Gilbert – Keyboards
Mike Szuter – Bass
Matt “Muck” Muckle – Drums