The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CDS 2013 www.therockpit.net

 

THE ROCKPIT'S FAVOURITE HARD ROCK ALBUMS OF 2012

VOTED ON BY THE ENTIRE TEAM

 

1

AEROSMITH

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION

2012

 

by Mark Diggins

OK first things first - anyone who expected this to be another 'Rocks' or 'Toys' take a look at your calender - it is after all 2012. The question is has Aerosmith managed to capyure the essence of what once made them to most dangerous band in the world or does this pick up where the disappointing 'Just Push Play' left off? READ MORE

2

ECLIPSE

BLEED AND SCREAM

FRONTIERS RECORDS

AUGUST 2012

Sometimes you get to hear an album that reaffirms why you love hard rock so much and which elicits a real emotional response in you that no other genre of music can. This is just that kind of album and it deserves to be heard. READ MORE

3

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION

AFTERGLOW

2012

by Leon Todd (of Ragdoll)

Black Country Communion’s second album was one of my albums of 2011; a big step up from their self titled debut that managed to fuse the best elements of their respective members past as well as charting new territory in the ‘classic hard rock’ genre. READ MORE

4

THE DOGS D'AMOUR

A GRAVEYARD OF EMPTY BOTTLES MMXII

www.justanenglishoutlaw

RELEASED 2012

This is an album not just for Dogs aficionados and fans; it’s a release that deserves to be heard by a wider audience. If you love a great song and a soulful lyric and have a taste for real music that can open your eyes and mind, and has a blatant disregard for the mainstream this pretty much has it all. READ MORE

5

HESS

LiVING IN YESTERDAY

2012

by Todd and Mark

What is it about AOR that drags me in EVERY time?  I guess it is just the listener friendly music, lyrics that mean something, and all around pleasant sound.  Harry Hess’ latest has all of these and more.  Hess throws another disc of radio friendly rock goodness at us in the form of 'Living In Yesterday'.  It doesn’t hurt that he has worked with my friends in My Darkest Days either! READ MORE

6

DYNAZTY

SULTANS OF SIN

RELEASED 2012

Dynazty's first release ‘Bring The Thunder’ was a great debut released in 2009, that for the most part, flew under the radar.  Their second offering, Knock You Down was just released last year, and was one of the best CDs of 2011.  So, is it possible for a band to release a quality CD less than a year after their previous release?  READ MORE

7

DOKKEN

BROKEN BONES

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

 

Dokken’s 11th album is the third release to feature John Levin on guitar, and after a couple of very decent releases in ‘Hell To Pay’ (2004) and particularly 2008’s ‘Lightning Strikes Again’ we get to hear what could very well be Dokken’s best new music, certainly since ‘Erase the Slate’ (way back in 1999) or possibly even further. READ THE REVIEW

8

THE DARKNESS

HOT CAKES

2012

ALBUM OF THE MONTH - AUGUST

Hot Cakes is here and it's magnificently tasty and piping hot. If you loved 'Permission to Land' and were desperate when these guys broke up then you'll be glad to know that they are back with a bang... READ MORE

9

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode. After hearing Ragdoll's fist EP (Ragdoll Rock) I thought that I had heard something that had a lot of promise, but hearing 'Here Today' I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia is destined for much, much bigger things. READ MORE

10

ZZ TOP

LA FUTURA

2012

The first new studio album from ZZ Top in nine years is a long time for anyone to be waiting for a bus, so when that bus finally arrives it better be a nice looking bus with comfortable seats and great sound system… READ MORE

11

SLASH

Apocalyptic Love

Sony

May 2012

5 stars SLASH!

Dirty Riffs, Melody, Shredding, Fist Pumping, Gang Vocals and of course one of the finest guitar sounds ever to grace the world’s ears! Slash is back with his second and newest release “Apocalyptic Love” but this time with the ever so incredible Myles Kennedy on vocals and a fully fledged band consisting of the finest musicians the world has ever seen! READ MORE

11

SISTER SIN

NOW AND FOREVER

2012

by Mark Diggins

Now if you want some unpretentious hard hitting Rock and Roll you've picked the right artist. Sister Sin has produced a couple of great albums on theway to this one - which could very well be their best yet. READ MORE

12

TYKETTO

DIG IN DEEP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

tyketto Dig In Deep - Therockpit.net review

Some albums you end up waiting twenty years for! But when you hear them all is forgiven! Check out our review of Tyketto's new album and Mark's interview with singer Danny Vaughn NEXT WEEK at The Rockpit.

For those that can't wait for the CD Review - CLICK HERE

13

T&N

SLAVE TO THE EMPIRE

RAT PACK RECORDS

2012

by Mark Diggins

We love this one, we love it a lot. Three quarters of Dokken reconvene to create new music that really does remind you of why Dokken was so essential back in the day and also comes as a timely reminder that these guys are still very much great musicians with plenty to say. READ MORE

14

MILLION $ RELOAD

A SINNER'S SAINT

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Gritty hard rock and roll that takes the classic AC/DC template as its basis but adds a whole host of other classic hard rock influences to the mix rather than auto-paints by numbers as many bands such as Airbourne are perhaps guilty of doing (albeit rather well). READ MORE

15

SUNSTORM

Emotional Fire

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

You mention Joe Lynn Turner and a disc instantly goes to four stars in my book. It has to be horrendous in my mind to get less than that. This disc simply builds on that rating. JLT once again surrounds himself with great musicians to produce an awesome disc. This third offering from the band is just as good, if not better than the last two offerings. READ MORE

16

GINGER WILDHEART

555%

April 2012

Ginger Wildheart took the unusual step of setting up a fan pledge request through Pledge Music to fund his next project. 555% is a triple album including contributions from past bandmates and friends. The pledge process received overwhelming support... READ MORE

17

UFO

SEVEN DEADLY

RELEASED 2012

UFO’s new CD Seven Deadly is their 20th studio album proper and while it may never be held in the same high esteem as their 70’s classics Force It, Obsession or Lights Out it is nonetheless a great solid disc of classy old school hard rock. READ MORE...

18

CLAUDE HAY

I LOVE HATE YOU

2012

by Mark Diggins

Claude Hay's soul is steeped in the blues but this latest album sees him harness Zeppelin-like groove and hard rock sensibilities that go together to make an absolute monster. This is an artist that is doing everything that Jack White is doing but better and in our own backyard! You must hear him.

19

LILLIAN AXE

XI - THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW

FEBRUARY 2012

When you read in the pre-publicity that a latest album has been described as the 'strongest record yet' you always wonder if the hype matches the product, but when the originator of the comment is Lillian Axe mainman Steve Blaze, you sit up and listen. This one is amazing believe me, and you can check out our interview with Steve next week. READ ON

20

LITTLE CAESAR

AMERICAN DREAM

2012

A new Little Caesar album is always a welcome addition to the year’s rock releases and after such a great return with 2009’s Redemption it’s great to see the guys back again. This just adds to the legend... READ MORE

21

THE EROTICS

BOULEVARD OF CHOKING SCREAMS EP

TRASHPIT RECORDS

MARCH 2012

It’s not often a band is as guilty of producing consistently great music as Mike Trash’s EROTICS is: so any new release is always a welcome addition to your sleazy catalogue. READ MORE

22

JETTBLACK

RAINING ROCK

MAY 2012

Raining Rock? The Cover looks more like Spitting Fire surely? OK I get it that doesn’t have the word ROCK in the title! We all need more rock… READ MORE

23

WHITE FLAME

COUGAR

2012

white flame cougar

by Mark Diggins

It's great to see these guys back three years after the release of the excellent 'Tour Bus Diaries' in 2009 which was our inaugural album of the year at The Rockpit. READ MORE

24

TREMONTI

ALL I WAS

2012

I wasn't sure what to think of this disc when my pal Kevin sent it my way.  I really liked Creed in the day, but I always thought they waited too long to try and recapture the glory and fame they had their first go around.  I have dug Alter Bridge since their inception, having been at their first show in the Detroit area years ago at Clutch Cargos in Pontiac.  READ MORE

25

HARDLINE

Danger Zone

May 2012

Do you miss the arena sound of great 80's rock? God knows I do. Luckily, I don't have to miss it too bad now that Hardline is back on the scene with their latest release, Danger Zone. Big guitars, bigger vocals, and killer choruses are all over this disc... READ MORE

26

EUROPE

BAG OF BONES

RELEASED MAY 2012

Europe has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years, producing a number of quality albums that have each bettered the previous. 'Bag of Bones' is a Europe with a soul full of blues, and it's very good indeed... READ MORE

27

GREAT WHITE

ELATION

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

Great White is back and this time there's a lot to prove without the voice of Jack Russell at the helm. After a couple of very good albums over recent years the question is can Terry Illous step into those shoes and can the band pick up where they left off in 2010? READ MORE

28

LAST AUTUMN's DREAM

NINE LIVES

2012

Last Autumns Dream

Last Autumn's Dream has to be up there with my favourite current bands. There's just something about these guys that strikes a chord, gloriously light, fun, singalong melodic rock with choruses that are sheer gold there's not a lot of bands today who can produce such instantly catchy tunes. READ MORE

29

HEAT

ADDRESS THE NATION

RELEASED 2012

HEAT is a band that makes you question the power of the Gods of Rock these days. A band that seems to put out quality release after quality release without getting either the attention or the breaks they deserve.

READ MORE...

30

BAND OF SKULLS

SWEET SOUR

RELEASED 2012

Band of Skulls

I'll be the first to admit that a lot of high-brow critics I wouldn't normally give the time of day are on the 'Band of Skulls' bandwagon and are riding it hard. But this IS just so damn good, driving primal rock and roll, that manages to sound both dangerous and vital at the same time. Listen to title track 'Sweet Sour' and those guitars.... man. READ MORE

31

LOVER UNDER COVER

SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

by Mark Diggins

I like this one a lot: Lover Under Cover are a brand new band from Sweden that combine lots of things we like here: there’s a big accent on melody, a great hard rock edge and the songs stack up very well against contemporary bands in the melodic genre. READ MORE

32

RIVAL SONS

HEAD DOWN

2012

by Mark

We love to champion new bands that manage to capture the essence of the golden age of rock and roll and add something new to it. So far in their career we've been more than impressed with RIVAL SONS. From opener 'Keep on Swinging' which empemplifies all that is good about 'retro rock' to the delicate closer 'True' it's clear that Rival Sons are more than just Zeppelin, Free and Hunble Pie wannabes...

33

SHINEDOWN

AMARYLLIS

Roadrunner

2012

Shinedown are one of the few bands that can release an album full of hit singles from top to bottom. Their last album, The Sound of Madness, has sold over a million copies and spawned six number 1 singles on active rock and 1 top 10 single on top 40. Simply put Shinedown have turned themselves into quite a musical juggernaut. READ MORE

34

TRIXTER

NEW AUDIO MACHINE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

Imagine the Trixter of their debut and ‘Hear!’ but better, bigger, bolder and slicker. This is some seriously good return to the arena...

READ MORE

35

Circus Maximus

Nine

2012

“Nine” is the third album from Norwegian prog-metal band Circus Maximus, who must have taken the same class in naming albums as Chickenfoot. It has been 5 years since their last release “Isolate,” and taking their time has certainly paid off. READ MORE

36

NUBIAN ROSE

MOUNTAIN

2012

by Jo Rockpit

This is a great album that probably will not get the attention it deserves, but it should. If you love your melodic rock geared towards the Hard Rock end of the street then it's hard to see how you could fail to love Nubian Rose. READ ON

37

SOUNDGARDEN

KING ANIMAL

2012

by Mark Diggins

After too long an absence they return with an album that seems a tad too self-consciously trying not to be another Superunknown: this isn't the muscular rock we expected and the quirky slower numbers aren't what they were. Like some others have said this feels more like contractual obligation than joy and that's the real shame. 'By Crooked Steps' the standout though is all class - oh what could have been!

38

BORUD

SAVE TOMORROW

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

by Tanya

I can honestly say that this album has totally blown me away and has already given me consideration of being in my top 10 albums for 2012. READ MORE

39

GUN

BREAK THE SILENCE

2012

Back in the day GUN was probably the best rock band in Scotland and put out some albums of real world class, but somehow they went under most people's radar. Now they're back and the question is are we going to see a return to the Glory days? READ MORE

40

JOE BONAMASSA

DRIVING TOWARDS THE DAYLIGHT

2012

by Mark Diggins

It should be pretty easy to criticise Joe Bonamassa, after all how many records does he put out a year? Surely a man this productive must have issues with quality control? The answer I'm glad to say is a resounding NO. Bonamassa is either a freak, a machine or an alien lifeforce (or maybe all of the above). This is the most immediate and enjoyable blues release of the year. All hail Joe Bonamassa.

41

GLAMOUR OF THE KILL

THE SUMMONING

2012

by Mark

Now here is a band that should grab your attention. Glamour of the Kill is hard to pin down if you are playing the ‘genre’ game but just sit back and listen and there’s a huge amount to like. Metal meets pop with an early eighties hard rock undercurrent anyone? READ MORE

42

LYNCH MOB

SOUND MOUNTAIN SESSIONS (EP)

2012

EP OF THE MONTH

Like I'm sure many readers have I've closely followed the career of George Lynch since Dokken days, and George's Lynch Mob have produced some fine music over the years.Here we see them emerging from their studio with something rather special... READ MORE

43

OCTOBER RAGE

OUTRAGE

SELF RELEASED

2011

I didn't expect this... From New South Wales' Central Coast comes a band that I expect will be making a few waves very soon. It's been a while since I've heard a debut album from a homegrown band that sounds this good. READ MORE

44

FURYON

GRAVITAS

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

A hard meal riff and an almost Soundgarden meets Alice In Chains  feel pervades opener ‘Disappear again’ it’s a storming way to kick off what proves to be a quality release from Furyon. If you like the best elements of grunge, crossed with a double-shot of modern metal and some great vocal and solid guitar work then these guys should be pretty near the top of your ‘bands to check out’ list. READ MORE

45

Psychonaut

Shock 'Em Dead

2012

Psychonaut dark overlord Mark DeVattimo and co have constructed a fantastical world which owes as much to Black Sabbath and Slayer as it does to Frank Zappa, Star Wars, horror movies... READ MORE

46

BOB MOULD

SILVER AGE

2012

by Mark Diggins

Bob Mould of course fronted the legendary Husker Du, who spawned so much that came later. Its great then to see him back on form with an album that both echoes his later work with that band as well as recapturing the sound he has with his sadly underappreciated SUGAR project. READ MORE

47

VAN HALEN

A Different Kind of Truth

Feb 2012

It’s finally here – the Van Halen brothers’ first album since 1998’s Van Halen III - and their first with Diamond Dave Lee Roth since 1984 - has finally landed and in less time than it takes to recite the names of all the guitarists to have contributed to the recording of “Chinese Democracy” we are acutely aware that this is old school Van Halen... READ MORE

48

BABYJANE

MAKE IT SICK

2012

Western Australia has more than it's fair share of great rock bands at the moment, and Babyjane is litterally just back from recording in the US with legendary producer Michael Wagener. The Rockpit got to sample things first: here's what we made of'Make It Sick'... READ MORE

49

CHAINSAW HOOKERS

Self Titled

Blood Rock Records

April 2012

Stepping out of a Tarantino/Zombie-esque desert hillbilly nightmare and onto the filthy stages of Australia’s most notorious dives are Chainsaw Hookers, a four piece that aurally emulate the explosive and destructive qualities of a thermite packed automatic shotgun. READ MORE

50

RICK SPRINGFIELD

SONGS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

2012

by Mark

OK I'll admist Rick has always been one of my guilty pleasures and after reading his bio I'll never quite look at him the same way again! This album is perhaps his most complete since 'Tao' days and pretty much every song is a winner. We love everything from 'Wide Awake' to the prefect melodies of 'One Way Street' - Rick is back to his best!

 

LOCAL RELEASES of 2012

VOTED ON BY THE ENTIRE TEAM

 

1

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode. After hearing Ragdoll's fist EP (Ragdoll Rock) I thought that I had heard something that had a lot of promise, but hearing 'Here Today' I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia is destined for much, much bigger things. MORE

2

CLAUDE HAY

I LOVE HATE YOU

2012

by Mark Diggins

Claude Hay's soul is steeped in the blues but this latest album sees him harness Zeppelin-like groove and hard rock sensibilities that go together to make an absolute monster. This is an artist that is doing everything that Jack White is doing but better and in our own backyard! You must hear him.

2

GRAPHIC FICTION HEROES

WHO WILL SAVE US NOW?

2012

by Mark Diggins

From the opening melodies and classic rock riff of opener ‘Too Highly Strung’ you know that this is on one level going to be a rewarding album and on another you instantly know that it’s not going to play by the rules. READ MORE

3

OCTOBER RAGE

OUTRAGE

SELF RELEASED

2011

I didn't expect this... From New South Wales' Central Coast comes a band that I expect will be making a few waves very soon. It's been a while since I've heard a debut album from a homegrown band that sounds this good. READ MORE

4

BABYJANE

MAKE IT SICK

2012

Western Australia has more than it's fair share of great rock bands at the moment, and Babyjane is litterally just back from recording in the US with legendary producer Michael Wagener. The Rockpit got to sample things first: here's what we made of'Make It Sick'... READ MORE

5

SISTERS DOLL

DOLLHOUSE

2012

What “Welcome To The Dollhouse” is, is an irresistible hook-filled slab of catchy glam rock that could have easily sat high in the charts at any point between 1986 and 1991, and pays a certain amount of homage to one of their primary influences... READ MORE

 

6

MY DYNAMITE

MY DYNAMITE

LISTENABLE RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

I love this CD from Melbourne's My Dynamite and please forgive me if I mention the Black Crowes even before I get to the review, but there's more than a hint off Atlanta's finest within these grooves. If you love well crafted songs with more than a spoonful of blues and a Southern slant you must check these guys out, you won't forgive yourself if you don't. READ MORE

7

CHAINSAW HOOKERS

Self Titled

April 2012

Stepping out of a Tarantino/Zombie-esque desert hillbilly nightmare and onto the filthy stages of Australia’s most notorious dives are Chainsaw Hookers, a four piece that aurally emulate the explosive and destructive qualities of a thermite packed automatic shotgun. READ MORE

8

MIA DYSON

THE MOMENT

2012

by Mark

You hear a lot of good music over the course of the year and occasionally you come across something very special indeed. Mia Dyson’s new release, her fourth in all: ‘The Moment’ is just such an album. READ MORE

9

HYTE

EP

2012

On the eve of their EP launch we got a chance to have a sneak peak at HYTE's first EP and I must say I am mightily impressed, though at seven tracks it's hard to see Hyte's debut as a mere EP. This is music you have to hear, it demands your attention and keeps it... READ MORE

10

BLACK FOX

LINE OF SIGHT

2012

by Mark Diggins

We always talk about local talent at The Rockpit and we feel pretty lucky that we have so much of it down under. Black Fox is another band that we can see big things ahead for them. Taking a jumping off point as UK eighties alternative rock the guys from Black Fox have something about them that you can’t quite put your finger on. READ MORE

11

Gerry Quigley & the Nomadic Druids

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow EP

2012

Gerry Quigley - Irish by birth, childhood friend to not only Phil Lynott, but also Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher, Perth blues legend and much more – has delivered a tender, touching and intriguing EP in Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. READ MORE

12

HAILMARY

CHOICE . PATH. CONSEQUENCE. SOLUTION

2012

by Mark Diggins

Hailmary sonically are firmly post-grunge sound and with production from Jeff Tomei ( Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrel, Matchbox 20 and Smashing Pumpkins to name but a few) if anything they effectively pigeon-hole themselves. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing these days as there are plenty of people still searching for their hit of the early nineties rock. READ MORE

13

SUNSET RIOT

UPRISING EP

Feb 2012

After releasing a magnificent EP in 2010 and touring non-stop last year, Sunset Riot is back with their latest studio effort “Uprising.” With a more matured sound and a greatly evolved band since the last record, I was eagerly awaiting this 6 track EP and they definitely didn’t disappoint! With world renowned producer Mark Opitz onboard as well as stellar artwork from Joshua Marc... READ MORE

14

DEvine ELECTRIC

SWEET TEMPTATION EP

2012

by Jo Rockpit

Just when you think it’s late in the year and you can’t possibly hear any more great music another high class locally produced EP wings your way.  We were big fans of Devine Electric’s last release and the good news for us all is that this latest offering ups to ante and further develops their sound. READ MORE

15

Psychonaut

Shock 'Em Dead

2012

Psychonaut dark overlord Mark DeVattimo and co have constructed a fantastical world which owes as much to Black Sabbath and Slayer as it does to Frank Zappa, Star Wars, horror movies... READ MORE

16

DIAMOND SINS

DEATH PUNK BABY

RELEASED 2011

 

I was first introduced to Adelaide’s finest Death Punk band last year when they came up as one of the supports for Sweden’s Crashdiet in Melbourne, and a thoroughly enjoyable set of Misfits-infused madness it was too. READ MORE...

 

17

GASOLINE INC

THE WANTED ONE

February 2012

Gasoline Inc The Wanted Man EP

The Rockpit

Having relocated to Melbourne from Perth in 2011, streamlined their lineup to a tight four-piece, and picked up new management, Gasoline Inc return with a very impressive EP which is guaranteed to win new fans and open doors for them READ MORE

18

NOSTICS

AWAKEN

2012

From South Australia comes a band that you realy should check out - Nostics take something old and vital and mix it with some far more contemporary influences and come up with something a little bit special... READ MORE

19

NATASHA STUART

LIGHT THIS FUSE

RELEASED 2012

Australia has a wealth of fine talent and there are some great vocalists out there with considerable gifts. If only it were just a question of setting those voices off against a great musical backdrop! Natasha Stuart has produced an album with a lot of depth that is well worth exploration READ MORE

 

20

De La Cruz

Self Titled EP

Self Released

2011

Remember Roxus and Boss – late 80’s radio bothering, big haired Aussies who played a riffy AOR style of bubbly hard rock? Well Brisbane’s De La Cruz may well be their descendants – serving up a debut 6 track EP chock full of polished, hook-filled pop metal classics. READ MORE

21

SERIAL KILLER SMILE

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM EP

2012

Taking a phrase that has become increasingly in the news in the last year or so, but which was actually coined back in the 50’s to describe something huge and obvious that you really shouldn’t ignore SKS has created an EP that is a bit like that elephant in that it’s something that you really shouldn’t be able to ignore. READ MORE...

 

MARK'S FAVOURITES OF 2012

 

1

THE DOGS D'AMOUR

A GRAVEYARD OF EMPTY BOTTLES MMXII

www.justanenglishoutlaw

RELEASED 2012

This is an album not just for Dogs aficionados and fans; it’s a release that deserves to be heard by a wider audience. If you love a great song and a soulful lyric and have a taste for real music that can open your eyes and mind, and has a blatant disregard for the mainstream this pretty much has it all. READ MORE

2

AEROSMITH

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION

SONY

2012

by Mark Diggins

OK first things first - anyone who expected this to be another 'Rocks' or 'Toys' take a look at your calender - it is after all 2012. The question is has Aerosmith managed to capyure the essence of what once made them to most dangerous band in the world or does this pick up where the disappointing 'Just Push Play' left off? READ MORE

3

CLAUDE HAY

I LOVE HATE YOU

2012

by Mark Diggins

Claude Hay's soul is steeped in the blues but this latest album sees him harness Zeppelin-like groove and hard rock sensibilities that go together to make an absolute monster. This is an artist that is doing everything that Jack White is doing but better and in our own backyard! You must hear him.

4

HESS

LiVING IN YESTERDAY

2012

by Todd

What is it about AOR that drags me in EVERY time?  I guess it is just the listener friendly music, lyrics that mean something, and all around pleasant sound.  Harry Hess’ latest has all of these and more.  Hess throws another disc of radio friendly rock goodness at us in the form of 'Living In Yesterday'. READ MORE

5

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode. After hearing Ragdoll's fist EP (Ragdoll Rock) I thought that I had heard something that had a lot of promise, but hearing 'Here Today' I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia is destined for much, much bigger things. READ MORE

6

TYKETTO

DIG IN DEEP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

tyketto Dig In Deep - Therockpit.net review

Some albums you end up waiting twenty years for! But when you hear them all is forgiven! Check out our review of Tyketto's new album and Mark's interview with singer Danny Vaughn NEXT WEEK at The Rockpit.

For those that can't wait for the CD Review - CLICK HERE

7

LILLIAN AXE

XI - THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW

FEBRUARY 2012

When you read in the pre-publicity that a latest album has been described as the 'strongest record yet' you always wonder if the hype matches the product, but when the originator of the comment is Lillian Axe mainman Steve Blaze, you sit up and listen. This one is amazing believe me, and you can check out our interview with Steve next week. READ ON

8

UFO

SEVEN DEADLY

RELEASED 2012

UFO’s new CD Seven Deadly is their 20th studio album proper and while it may never be held in the same high esteem as their 70’s classics Force It, Obsession or Lights Out it is nonetheless a great solid disc of classy old school hard rock. READ MORE...

9

IAN HUNTER AND THE RANT BAND

WHEN I'M PRESIDENT

2012

by Mark

Is there anyone out there who isn't aware of the legend that is Ian Hunter? Anyone that is unfamiliar with Mott The Hoople? If there is then the good news is that you have a massive and eclectic back catalogue to work your way through, but if you are a seasoned fan then the question is what is the 2012 vintage like? READ MORE

10

THE EROTICS

BOULEVARD OF CHOKING SCREAMS EP

TRASHPIT RECORDS

MARCH 2012

It’s not often a band is as guilty of producing consistently great music as Mike Trash’s EROTICS is: so any new release is always a welcome addition to your sleazy catalogue. READ MORE

11

THE DARKNESS

HOT CAKES

2012

ALBUM OF THE MONTH - AUGUST

Hot Cakes is here and it's magnificently tasty and piping hot. If you loved 'Permission to Land' and were desperate when these guys broke up then you'll be glad to know that they are back with a bang... READ MORE

12

LYNCH MOB

SOUND MOUNTAIN SESSIONS (EP)

2012

EP OF THE MONTH

Like I'm sure many readers have I've closely followed the career of George Lynch since Dokken days, and George's Lynch Mob have produced some fine music over the years.Here we see them emerging from their studio with something rather special... READ MORE

13

T&N

SLAVE TO THE EMPIRE

RAT PACK RECORDS

2012

by Mark Diggins

We love this one, we love it a lot. Three quarters of Dokken reconvene to create new music that really does remind you of why Dokken was so essential back in the day and also comes as a timely reminder that these guys are still very much great musicians with plenty to say. READ MORE

14

DYNAZTY

SULTANS OF SIN

RELEASED 2012

Dynazty's first release ‘Bring The Thunder’ was a great debut released in 2009, that for the most part, flew under the radar.  Their second offering, Knock You Down was just released last year, and was one of the best CDs of 2011.  So, is it possible for a band to release a quality CD less than a year after their previous release?  READ MORE

15

GLAMOUR OF THE KILL

THE SUMMONING

2012

by Mark

Now here is a band that should grab your attention. Glamour of the Kill is hard to pin down if you are playing the ‘genre’ game but just sit back and listen and there’s a huge amount to like. Metal meets pop with an early eighties hard rock undercurrent anyone? READ MORE

16

GINGER WILDHEART

555%

April 2012

Ginger Wildheart took the unusual step of setting up a fan pledge request through Pledge Music to fund his next project. 555% is a triple album including contributions from past bandmates and friends. The pledge process received overwhelming support... READ MORE

17

BOB MOULD

SILVER AGE

2012

by Mark Diggins

Bob Mould of course fronted the legendary Husker Du, who spawned so much that came later. Its great then to see him back on form with an album that both echoes his later work with that band as well as recapturing the sound he has with his sadly underappreciated SUGAR project. READ MORE

18

BAND OF HORSES

MIRAGE ROCK

2012

by Mark

I'm a fan of Band of Horses and their brand of soft reflective guitar music that traces its lineage from bands like CSN and America. 'Knock. Knock', 'Heartbreak on the 101', 'Slow Cruel Hands of Time' and 'Dumpster World' are immediate hits and the big searching ballad 'Long Vows' is sweet magic. Every generation needs a band like this to remind you of the simple pleasures of straight forward acoustic West Coast leaning rock.

19

TRIXTER

NEW AUDIO MACHINE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

Imagine the Trixter of their debut and ‘Hear!’ but better, bigger, bolder and slicker. This is some seriously good return to the arena...

READ MORE

20

GUN

BREAK THE SILENCE

2012

Back in the day GUN was probably the best rock band in Scotland and put out some albums of real world class, but somehow they went under most people's radar. Now they're back and the question is are we going to see a return to the Glory days? READ MORE

21

LITTLE CAESAR

AMERICAN DREAM

2012

A new Little Caesar album is always a welcome addition to the year’s rock releases and after such a great return with 2009’s Redemption it’s great to see the guys back again. This just adds to the legend... READ MORE

22

RIVAL SONS

HEAD DOWN

2012

by Mark

We love to champion new bands that manage to capture the essence of the golden age of rock and roll and add something new to it. So far in their career we've been more than impressed with RIVAL SONS. From opener 'Keep on Swinging' which empemplifies all that is good about 'retro rock' to the delicate closer 'True' it's clear that Rival Sons are more than just Zeppelin, Free and Hunble Pie wannabes...

23

TRIGGERMAN

HAIL TO THE RIVER GODS

2012

Triggerman's third slab of dirty heavy rock is probably their best yet...

READ MORE

24

DRIVE BY TRUCKERS

Go-GO BOOTS

2011

Drive By Truckers

By Mark Diggins

Whilst Hard rock will always be my mainstay I do have pretty borad listening tastes and over the years Patterson Hood's Drive By Truckers have produced some real quality. Go-Go boots is one of my favourite albums of last year and whilst I find the more traditional country elements a little hard to take tracks like 'Used to be a Cop' are sheer magic. Americana that opens your eyes and your ears...

25

BABYJANE

MAKE IT SICK

2012

Western Australia has more than it's fair share of great rock bands at the moment, and Babyjane is litterally just back from recording in the US with legendary producer Michael Wagener. The Rockpit got to sample things first: here's what we made of'Make It Sick'... READ MORE

26

ECLIPSE

BLEED AND SCREAM

FRONTIERS RECORDS

AUGUST 2012

Sometimes you get to hear an album that reaffirms why you love hard rock so much and which elicits a real emotional response in you that no other genre of music can. This is just that kind of album and it deserves to be heard. READ MORE

27

SOULICIT

PARKING LOT ROCKSTAR

2012

A band that really impressed me at Rocklahoma this year from the sidestages was Soulicit. But how do they translate on disc? READ MORE

28

SISTER SIN

NOW AND FOREVER

2012

by Mark Diggins

Now if you want some unpretentious hard hitting Rock and Roll you've picked the right artist. Sister Sin has produced a couple of great albums on theway to this one - which could very well be their best yet. READ MORE

29

Circus Maximus

Nine

2012

“Nine” is the third album from Norwegian prog-metal band Circus Maximus, who must have taken the same class in naming albums as Chickenfoot. It has been 5 years since their last release “Isolate,” and taking their time has certainly paid off. READ MORE

30

GREAT WHITE

ELATION

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

Great White is back and this time there's a lot to prove without the voice of Jack Russell at the helm. After a couple of very good albums over recent years the question is can Terry Illous step into those shoes and can the band pick up where they left off in 2010? READ MORE

31

DOKKEN

BROKEN BONES

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Dokken’s 11th album is the third release to feature John Levin on guitar, and after a couple of very decent releases in ‘Hell To Pay’ (2004) and particularly 2008’s ‘Lightning Strikes Again’ we get to hear what could very well be Dokken’s best new music, certainly since ‘Erase the Slate’ (way back in 1999) or possibly even further. READ THE REVIEW

32

JOE BONAMASSA

DRIVING TOWARDS THE DAYLIGHT

2012

by Mark Diggins

It should be pretty easy to criticise Joe Bonamassa, after all how many records does he put out a year? Surely a man this productive must have issues with quality control? The answer I'm glad to say is a resounding NO. Bonamassa is either a freak, a machine or an alien lifeforce (or maybe all of the above). This is the most immediate and enjoyable blues release of the year. All hail Joe Bonamassa.

33

ZZ TOP

LA FUTURA

2012

The first new studio album from ZZ Top in nine years is a long time for anyone to be waiting for a bus, so when that bus finally arrives it better be a nice looking bus with comfortable seats and great sound system… READ MORE

34

JETTBLACK

RAINING ROCK

MAY 2012

Raining Rock? The Cover looks more like Spitting Fire surely? OK I get it that doesn’t have the word ROCK in the title! We all need more rock… READ MORE

35

MILLION $ RELOAD

A SINNER'S SAINT

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Gritty hard rock and roll that takes the classic AC/DC template as its basis but adds a whole host of other classic hard rock influences to the mix rather than auto-paints by numbers as many bands such as Airbourne are perhaps guilty of doing (albeit rather well). READ MORE

36

CRAZY LIXX

RIOT AVENUE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

Some bands just have it; and back in the day would have stood head and shoulders with the best of them. Crazy Lixx is one of those select few - a band that has captured what made late eighties rock sound so great, but on this, their third release they have managed to stamp it with their own distinctive sound.... READ MORE

37

MIA DYSON

THE MOMENT

2012

by Mark

You hear a lot of good music over the course of the year and occasionally you come across something very special indeed. Mia Dyson’s new release, her fourth in all: ‘The Moment’ is just such an album. READ MORE

38

WAYLAND

WELCOME TO MY HEAD EP

2012

by Todd

Sometimes the very best things are right under your nose. I've had this Wayland EP for a couple of months now and I'm kicking myself that I haven't listened to it till I lifted up that pile of press releases the other day. Wayland on the promise shown here could well go on to be a very important band. - by Mark. Something we rarely do is repost reviews but this is worth it believe me! READ TODD's REVIEW

39

WHITE FLAME

COUGAR

2012

white flame cougar

by Mark Diggins

It's great to see these guys back three years after the release of the excellent 'Tour Bus Diaries' in 2009 which was our inaugural album of the year at The Rockpit. READ MORE

40

BAND OF SKULLS

SWEET SOUR

RELEASED 2012

Band of Skulls

I'll be the first to admit that a lot of high-brow critics I wouldn't normally give the time of day are on the 'Band of Skulls' bandwagon and are riding it hard. But this IS just so damn good, driving primal rock and roll, that manages to sound both dangerous and vital at the same time. Listen to title track 'Sweet Sour' and those guitars.... man. READ MORE

41

LOVER UNDER COVER

SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

by Mark Diggins

I like this one a lot: Lover Under Cover are a brand new band from Sweden that combine lots of things we like here: there’s a big accent on melody, a great hard rock edge and the songs stack up very well against contemporary bands in the melodic genre. READ MORE

42

DEREK DAVIS

Re-Volt

Released 2012

Derek Davis Re-Volt

Being a massive fan of Babylon AD back in the day, it's always great to see new releases from members of that band. A few years ago we had Ron Freschi's 'Syrym' project and now we have singer Derek Davis' solo album - Re-Volt. Believe me this is well-worth checking out! READ ON

43

Chris Robinson

Brotherhood

Big Moon Ritual

2012

One of my favourite bands The Black Crowes called it a day a while ago, and whilst the last few full length forays of theirs might not have been all that I had hoped for I was very curious to see what the older Robinson brother had been getting up to now... READ MORE

44

ADLER


BACK FROM THE DEAD

2012

by Mark Diggins

An apt title if ever there was as Guns and Roses iconic drummer gets on board with a new band and puts out his first full length album since his departure from that giant of a band. For a lot of us this has been a long time coming and a rebranding from Adler’s Appetite to Adler signals a change of direction. MORE

45

THE 69 EYES

X

2012

 

by Mark Diggins

10 albums in 69 Eyes are still a band I enjoy as much as I ever did. It’s not often you see a band that has been around for over 20 year still pushing itself and redefining it’s sound but again 69 Eyes are doing just that with X being far more melodic than it’s immediate predecessor the more Sunset Strip metallic sleaze of “Back In Blood”. READ MORE

46

CHAINSAW HOOKERS

Self Titled

Blood Rock Records

April 2012

Stepping out of a Tarantino/Zombie-esque desert hillbilly nightmare and onto the filthy stages of Australia’s most notorious dives are Chainsaw Hookers, a four piece that aurally emulate the explosive and destructive qualities of a thermite packed automatic shotgun. READ MORE

47

EUROPE

BAG OF BONES

RELEASED MAY 2012

Europe has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years, producing a number of quality albums that have each bettered the previous. 'Bag of Bones' is a Europe with a soul full of blues, and it's very good indeed... READ MORE

48

HEART

FANATIC

2012

by Mark

With a new book on the way Heart has been busy. In recent years the Wilson sisters have been through somewhat of a reiaisance and produced some great material as well as an essential definitive Heart compilation. The question is can 'Fanatic' build on the great work of 2010's 'Red Velvet Car'? READ MORE

49

CHARM CITY DEVILS

SINS

2012

Ths may well just be up there with the best you will hear this year. CCD's debut took the sleazy end of Sunset Strip as it's primary reference. Here they have managed to retain that same attitude whilst taking all the good parts from modern rock and discarding the debris. An important album for sure... READ MORE

50

OCTOBER RAGE

OUTRAGE

SELF RELEASED

2011

I didn't expect this... From New South Wales' Central Coast comes a band that I expect will be making a few waves very soon. It's been a while since I've heard a debut album from a homegrown band that sounds this good. READ MORE

50

JOECEPHUS AND THE GEORGE JONESTOWN MASSACRE

AROCKALYPSE NOW

2012

Sometimes you wait to listen to an album far too long. This is the case here. Arockalypse Now is a very special album indeed: a mix of metal, punk and country that shows an amazing bredth of imagination and showcases a great collection of diverse songs, and an enormous amount of talent, with a few special guests along the way. READ MORE

50

SHINEDOWN

AMARYLLIS

Roadrunner

2012

Shinedown are one of the few bands that can release an album full of hit singles from top to bottom. Their last album, The Sound of Madness, has sold over a million copies and spawned six number 1 singles on active rock and 1 top 10 single on top 40. Simply put Shinedown have turned themselves into quite a musical juggernaut. READ MORE

50

FOXY SHAZAM

Church Of Rock N' Roll

2012

Any band that grabs a tour with The Darkness is good in my book. When you couple that with their newest release, you have a band that is seemingly on top of the world. These guys embraced their roots but really took it to the next level and added very cool rock aspects to their disc, no doubt due to the production of Justin Hawkins. READ MORE

50

AFTER

EDGES OF THE WORLD EP

AFTERMUSIC

2012

After

It’s always great to hear a new band from LA that seems to have it all worked out. ‘After’ may not be a band that everyone out there is familiar with but on the basis of this EP that can surely only be a matter of time. READ MORE

50

DEMON'S ALLEY

DEAD END TRICKS

SELF RELEASED

2012

Sometimes you hear something as gloriously unadorned as ‘Dead End Tricks’ that sounds like it was found in the gutter somewhere in 1974 and then found again, a little worse for wear, in 1984. There’s the spirit within these grooves of some of the best punk-glam from New York Dolls to The Dead Boys to Hanoi and the Ramones and that to be honest excites me for one…READ MORE

 

LESLIE'S TOP 20 PICKS

 

1

FURYON

GRAVITAS

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

2

AUDIO PORN

AUDIO PORN

2012

 

3

LAST AUTUMN's DREAM

NINE LIVES

2012

Last Autumns Dream
4

WIGELIOUS

REINVENTIONS

FRONTIERS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

5

THIS BROKEN MACHINE

THE INHUMAN USE OF HUMAN BEINGS

2012

6

HARDLINE

Danger Zone

May 2012

7

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

8

GYPSYHAWK

Revelry & Resilience

METAL BLADE

2012

9

Circus Maximus

Nine

2012

10

GEOFF TATE

KING OF THIEVES

2012

11

JETTBLACK

RAINING ROCK

MAY 2012

12

L.A. GUNS

Hollywood Forever

Deadline Records

2012

13

TYKETTO

DIG IN DEEP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

tyketto Dig In Deep - Therockpit.net review
14

ICONIC TONIC

ROCK AND ROLL

2012

15

KILL RITUAL

THE SERPENTINE RITUAL

2012

16

LUCID FLY

THE ESCAPE STAGE EP

2009

17

EUROPE

BAG OF BONES

RELEASED MAY 2012

18

SUNSTORM

Emotional Fire

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

19

VAN HALEN

A Different Kind of Truth

Universal

Feb 2012

20

LITTLE CAESAR

AMERICAN DREAM

2012

 

JO ROCKPIT'S TOP 20 PICKS of 2012

 

1

ECLIPSE

BLEED AND SCREAM

FRONTIERS RECORDS

AUGUST 2012

2

DOKKEN

BROKEN BONES

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

3

HARDLINE

Danger Zone

May 2012

4

T&N

SLAVE TO THE EMPIRE

RAT PACK RECORDS

2012

5

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

6

BORUD

SAVE TOMORROW

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

7

TEN

HERESY AND CREED

FRONTIERS RECORDS

OCTOBER 2012

8

RUSH

CLOCKWORK ANGELS

Roadrunner

2012

9

GREAT WHITE

ELATION

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

10

TRIXTER

NEW AUDIO MACHINE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

11

LAST AUTUMN's DREAM

NINE LIVES

2012

Last Autumns Dream
12

CRAZY LIXX

RIOT AVENUE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

13

DYNAZTY

SULTANS OF SIN

RELEASED 2012

14

SUNSTORM

Emotional Fire

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

15

EUROPE

BAG OF BONES

RELEASED MAY 2012

16

AEROSMITH

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION

2012

 

17

TYKETTO

DIG IN DEEP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

tyketto Dig In Deep - Therockpit.net review
18

THE DOGS D'AMOUR

A GRAVEYARD OF EMPTY BOTTLES MMXII

www.justanenglishoutlaw

RELEASED 2012

19

SISTER SIN

NOW AND FOREVER

2012

20

ISSA

CAN'T STOP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

 

 

 

more review links

THE ROCKPIT'S BEST OF 2011 | THE ROCKPIT'S BEST OF 2010 | THE ROCKPIT'S BEST OF 2009

ROCKPIT'S 2011 CD REVIEWS | ROCKPIT'S 2010 CD REVIEWS | Rockpit's 2009 CD REVIEWS