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THE BEST OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC 2017 – Part II: # 1 – 25

| 21 December 2017 | Reply

THE BEST OF THE BEST NEW MUSIC 2017 – Part II: # 1 – 25
By Shane Pinnegar

READ PART I HERE – Shane’s top new music picks of 2017 #26 – 50

As we continue our trawl through the year’s best music, it’s worth taking a moment to remember those who left us this year.

As with every year, we lost some iconic musicians in 2017, though thankfully not as many as the previous year.

In 2017 we farewelled the great Fats Domino, Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Johnny Hallyday, Pat NiZio of The Smithereens, David Cassidy, Celtic Frost & Hellhammer bassist Martin Eric Ain, Charles Bradley, Gordon Downie of The Tragically Hip, Grant Hart from Hüsker Dü, Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, Glen Campbell, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Greg Allman, Boston drummer Sib Hashian, Chuck Berry, James Brown’s drummer Clyde Stubblefield who also played a pivotal role in hip hop drum breaks, Al Jarreau, Black Sabbath keys player Geoff Nichols, Butch Trucks of The Allman Brothers, Rory O’Donoghue of Aunty Jack fame, and founder and rock solid rhythm guitarist of AC/DC, Malcolm Young. 

Rest In Peace, and thankyou all for the music.



1. Alice Cooper – Paranormal

Alice Cooper collaborated on new material with the surviving members of The Alice Cooper Band to make Paranormal his most vital album in years.

2. Robert Plant – Carry Fire

“With music as unique and engaging, soul-lifting and interesting and vital as this, why anyone still calls for a Led Zep reunion is beyond me. I’d rather listen to Plant’s solo work any day.” READ MORE

3. The Rich and Famous – EP

“The jewel in the crown is the middle track of this 5-track EP, Blast Off. Featuring a vital superhero riff that is equal parts punkish Thin Lizzy and hair metal glory, a melody that is both instantaneous and irresistible, dynamic in your face lyrics and bold, hyper-energetic performances, it’s an essential slice of rock which should be blasting out of radio speakers the world over if there was any justice in the music industry.” READ MORE

4. Dan Brodie – Lost Not Found

“This is a tough album to listen to in some respects – especially when confronting one’s own demons – but amongst all the ample melancholy and brooding regret on display, and despite the gloomy title, at the centre of it all beats a hopeful heart and a sense that by embracing the many lows in our lives, that we can then move on to better days… hopefully.” READ MORE

5. Julian Angel – The Death Of Cool

“The Teutonic Angel rips and tears through 11 songs about late nights, bad babes, hot rock and steamy trysts, and let’s face it: if this really WAS 1989, Angel would be touring the world with the likes of The Scorpions and Motley Crue.” READ MORE

6. Sarah McLeod – Rocky’s Diner

“The more you spin this, the more you’ll want to, and it will keep rewarding the listener with lyrics and melodies which wrap themselves familiarly around you. Simply great.” READ MORE

7. Artificial Agent – Programmed To Destroy

“It’s an album with killer riffs, great melodies and songs, and a bumper crop of rawk n’ roll, especially on Devil In The White Dress, the stadium-ready Attention Whore, the slower I’d Rather Be Blind, and closer Tonight You’re A Killer” READ MORE

8. Roadcase Royale – First Things First

“As guitarist of arena rock legends Heart, Nancy Wilson was as responsible for some of the mightiest ‘70s riff rockers as she was wistful folky ballads of surprising tenderness and big hair power ballads. Here, she teams up with the incredible Liv Warfield, formerly of Prince’s New Power Generation, who brings funk and soul – and fellow Prince protégé Ryan Waters on lead guitar – to add to Wilson’s folk n’ raunch.” READ MORE

9. Rifleman – Silver & Gold

“Assembled over period of three years after “a decade in the wilderness of normality,” it’s obviously a labour of love – and this is reflected by the music – music that, I cannot stress enough, you would once have heard all over the radio, fallen in love with (or to) and gone out to buy (or at least tape off your mate’s copy).” READ MORE

10. Nikki Lane – Highway Queen

“With a voice that boasts the wistful alt-dreaminess of Hope Sandoval and the earthy rootsyness of Emmylou Harris, Lane’s genuine blend of singer-songwriter attitude, feminist strength, and outlaw country soul is flecked with bluesy roots here, country twang there, folky earnestness all over, and an irresistible star quality from start to finish.” READ MORE

11. Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright

Eighteen albums in Cheap Trick sound remarkably vital on this hard-edged pop n’ roll record. More fuelled by Kinks and The Who than The Beatles for a change, they play to their strengths with young drummer Daxx Neilsen providing a turbo-boost since the departure/ousting of Bun E Carlos.

12. Aaron Keylock – Cut Against The Grain

“BOOM! Here it is – the first truly great new album of 2017, and one you’ll be seeing in a stack of annual ‘Best Of 2017’ roundups.” READ MORE

13. Black Stone Cherry – Black To Blues EP

“The southern foursome’s new EP features six blues classics given the full Kentucky-fried Cherry treatment, right down to their own special blend of riffs and roars.” READ MORE

14. Buckingham McVie – Buckingham McVie

“When is Fleetwood Mac not Fleetwood Mac? Perhaps it’s when it’s Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie recording a duo album – with legendary Mac rhythm section Mick Fleetwood and John McVie on board for the ride, as well.” READ MORE

15. Jon Stevens – Starlight

“Stevens imbues Starlight with passion and soul, moving effortlessly from balls out rock (Hold On, with both producer Dave Stewart and Richie Sambora’s guitars riding the song hard), to gospel (Oh Lord, with its wailing harmonica) and beyond.” READ MORE

16. Charlie Bonnet III – Sinner With A Song EP

“Here’s Charlie Bonnet III, ostensibly a country cat since the late 2000’s, all long hair, acoustic guitar and southern drawl, with this great new EP which successfully straddles rock and country far more authentically than Bret Michaels could even dream of doing.” READ MORE

17. Junkyard – High Water

“Texans Junkyard never really fitted in with the hordes of hair metal power balled spinners that Geffen lumped them in with back in the late ‘80s, their schtick always being more blues n’ booze-based than the slick cocaine-and-aquanet trend then dominating the charts.” READ MORE

18. The Volcanics – Oh Crash…

“The Volcanics’ 4th album finds the Perth quintet at the top of their game – though they always have been on fire, never having released a dud.” READ MORE

19. Thomas Wynn & the Believers – Wade Waist Deep

“When a rock n’ roll album opens with the breathy wonder of blues rock-meets Mezzanine-era Massive Attack opener Man Out Of Time, the rapturous near-gospel soul of title track Wade Waist Deep, and the alt-folk country of Heartbreak Alley, you know you’ve found something pretty unique and worth immersing deeply in.” READ MORE

20. Simo – Rise & Shine

“If SIMO’s second album was a retro rock tour de force, then album #3 goes one better, turning the funk and soul up to eleven and taking the experience and psychic bond forged over a year on the road, and applying that to make a hyper-intense record that can’t be tied by any genre descriptions.” READ MORE

21. Jesper Binzer – Dying Is Easy

“D-A-D frontman Jesper Binzer’s first solo album will, upon first listen, sound very much like the eleven records he’s made in his day job, and D-A-D’s admirers will have plenty to enjoy here. But upon repeat listening, Binzer and his new crew of heavy rockers have crafted a more layered album, perhaps using D-A-D’s Soft Dogs record has more of an initial reference point.”  READ MORE

22. Bootsy Collins – World Wide Funk

“He’s played with James Brown, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, released dozens of records under various permutations and band names, is a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, is mad as a box of cut eels and an irrepressible funk master, and according to Iggy Pop in the spoken word intro to this instant rump shaker of a record, “was born a long, long time ago in a subterranean cavern full of shining dinosaurs… munching on canapés of bad shit!” He is a legend. He is the Master of Funkology. He is Bootsy Collins. And he is hard-wired into the world wide funk matrix.”  READ MORE

23. Dave Warner’s From The Suburbs – When

“Australian society may have changed dramatically since Dave Warner’s Suburban Rock packed full houses every Bicton weekend, but Warner is as insightful and cutting as he continues his relentless study of Australian identity on When, his first album in 25 years, and From The Suburbs’ first in a massive 35 years.” READ MORE

24. The Chuck Norris Experiment – Chück Me

“This Gothenburg, Sweden quintet play the sort of high energy rock n’ roll that is at home in sleazy dives where your shoes stick to the floor thanks to litres of spilt alcohol, where the only thing meaner and uglier than the clientele are the barmaids, and where the band would be bottled for even thinking about an ABBA song.” READ MORE

25. Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want?

“Never one to write anything so facile as a silly love song, Roger Waters’ first new solo album in 24 years is a bile-laden tirade against all that is wrong with our modern world – and that is a lot. It may also be his finest – and most Floydian – solo album yet.”  READ MORE


READ PART I HERE – Shane’s top new music picks of 2017 #26 – 50

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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