December 3 2013 – As the flame fades for yet another year we reflect on the Top Rock Albums of 2013. This is the third time we offer this list and just as a recap our top album of 2012 was Rush’s Clockwork Angels and our top album of 2011 was My Morning Jacket’s Circuital. With a plethora of offerings to chose from we draw on our love of classic riff fueled rock and have come up with T-Mak World’s Top 10 Rock Albums of 2013.
Any time there is a Top 10 list remember it is all based on personal preference and these lists should be taken just for what they are – someones preferences for the year. For us we present the list simply in the hopes that our readers can discover an overlooked gem and that by listening to it can expand their appreciation of what was offered this year. Here is what we have:
10. Various Artists – Metal On Ice
The “various artists” are Lee Aaron, Darby Mills of The Headpins, Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch, Brian Volmer of Helix, Russ Dwarf of Killer Dwarfs and Nick Walsh of Slik Toxik. In other words a big bad pack of Canadian rockers from the good old years of hard rock. This EP features redone version of their band’s classic hits plus a new tune to boot. The music is wicked and the production top notch but perhaps the most important contribution this album gives to rock fans is that it offers a surreal trip down memory lane of 1983(ish) in a 2013 Mustang. We are huge fans of all the bands on this album and they are part of our childhood memories. Get this EP and support Canadian rock!
The world thought Bowie was retired or escaping the rock limelight but the bugger was off in a studio for a while recording his surprise new album. And it is surprisingly good. Bowie is not a real rocker but more of a pop rocker who fascinated the world with his unique theatrical personas but as a senior citizen he delivers a polished catchy album that wont have the impact of Spiders of Mars or even Let’s Dance but it is a plain good album.
8. Rush – Clockwork Angels Tour
The soundtrack to Rush’s Clockwork Angels tour. First half is a bunch of old Rush tunes mostly circa their synth days of the 80’s and the second half is Clockwork Angels in full with a string instrument orchestra joining our three hometown gods. Anytime Rush will have a new release it will most certainly have a home on T-Mak World’s Top 10 list and this is the third year in a row Rush appears on our list. What more can we say its RUSH and its LIVE! drool….
7. Dream Theater – Dream Theater
No surprises here from the heavy prog rock dudes. Highly complex music (which far outshine the vocals) based on prog themes for the geek stoner crowd. Kinda like Rush on Ozzy’s quaaludes. The atmospheric ride through the cosmos is exactly what Dream Theater is best at, and they delivered with a kick ass album yet again.
6. Queens Of The Stone Age – Like Clockwork
A 6 year gap is no big deal for a guy like Josh Homme who is back to one of his many projects. If I Had A Tail is possibly influenced by his time with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones during the break. The album is not as fast as one would expect and has a Pink Floyd feel to it during its extended hypnotic instrumental parts that you an on Interstellar Overdrive in their own way.
5. Monster Truck – Furiosity
Canadian hard rock at its best. Monster Truck are one of the clear frontrunners to become the next big Canadian rock band and thank god they play real rock (unlike the pop formula crap of Nickelback). Favorite song Oh Lord is a fantastic introspect of the band and their Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin doused tunes are exactly what our Canadian hard rock blood needs in loud and large doses. Fantastic album from a wicked band.
The Kings of Leons exploded onto the arena scene and made it their bitch. Then they kinda sizzled with personal issues but here they come blazing back in fine form. Mechanical Bull is a perfect name for an album that takes you on a wild ride and you have to hold on tight for to get through it all. You will want to stand up and headbang and sing at the top of your lungs. This is beautiful rock and we have gotton on the bull many times for a ride this year.
3. The Temperance Movement – The Temperance Movement
Chances are this is the only band you have not heard of on our Top 10 Rock Albums of 2013 list and for good reason. This British band is relatively new, but Jimmy Page was at their last London show so you know you can expect good things. The Temperance Movement is a seductive blues infused band that can be easiest summed up as The Black Crowes from England. Very refreshing record and one that gives us hope that good old rock and roll has found new torchbearers (along with record label mates The Rival Sons). If there is one band we implore you to discover in 2013 it is without a doubt The Temperance Movement.
2. Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
Pearl Jam contine to deliver the good as only they can. The album has a variety of styles from the hard rocking grunge punk rockers you would expect to Vedder magical melodies with slower rock ballads such as found in Sirens. Damn we miss Pearl Jam and their domination of arenas but they are now back in fine form.
1. Black Sabbath – 13
Welcome home Ozzy. Not only is this a masterpiece of hard rock this is probably the best classic hard rock album not released in the 70’s. The past few years proved tough to nail down the number one album of the year, not so this year. 13 is unbelievably good and stands a good chance at being our best album of the decade right now. End of the Beginning, Age of Reason and Methademic are essential songs of the album. Note there are two versions of this album, the plain one and the deluxe one – screw record company games and make sure you get the deluxe one to get the three extra songs on it.
And there you have it folks our Top 10 Rock Albums of 2013!