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



As voted by our regular contributors


1. Crazy Lixx - New Religion


Shane says “Channelling the spirit of Def Leppard, sleaze and 1989, these Swedes made the catchiest and glammiest album of the year in New Religion.”


Crazy Lixx singer Danny Rexon says “Thrilled about it! These days it's really hard to get recognition for all your hard work and this just goes to show that you can affect people halfway across the globe with the stuff we're putting together over here. That's the fuel for the Crazy Lixx flame.”


Luke Rivano, bassist says "It feels pretty unreal looking at your own work on top of a chart, followed by giants like Slash and Iron Maiden. It's thrilling to get that kind of recognition from across the world!"


Lead guitarist Andy Dawson says "A lot of great albums have came out this year and it's really cool that you guys dig our music! It would be cool to spread it over in Australia soon! Any day now we will begin working on the next album and a good year, like the one we've just had, really sets mood
when we start writing!"


And from drummer Joey Cirera "Thanks to you guys for voting us album of the year! Hope to come and play for you soon!"



2. Slash – self titled


Shane says “The last true guitar hero standing roped in a bevy of very special guests for his first true solo album, including wild cards like Fergie and Nicole Scherzinger. The result was an album full of instant classics and a new lease of life for the top hat wearing ex Gunner.”


3. Rock Sugar - Reimaginator


Shane says “’Because pop rocks’ they boldly stated, mashing up hard and heavy rock tunes with pop hits of the eighties and rewriting the rule book along the way. A brilliantly innovative concept and a fantastic party album from start to finish. “


Rock Sugar’s Jess Harnell says “We are honoured to be on this list - thank you! If possible, we would LIVE in the Rockpit! Happy Holidays everybody!"


4. Armored Saint - La Raza


Mark says “My personal album of the year in a year of stiff competition when really any in my top ten could have claimed top spot. For an absolutely timeless hard rock sound and controlled ferocity this is destined to be looked back on in time as a great album. If you like it hard and heavy you will love this, but there’s so much more beneath the surface.”


Phil Sandoval of Armored Saint says "I really enjoyed making this record with all of my bandmates.... I think it is one of our best, certainly one of the easiest to make - everything went very smooth. But I also like the diversity and openess of the music. It's one of my favorites!!! Thanks so much!"

Jeff Duncan of Armored Saint says "Making "La Raza" was a pleasure. It was different to make than previous Armored Saint records in that the songs were already written and arranged by Joey Vera and John Bush. I absolutely love the songs and they made for an awesome canvas for me to create guitar solos on. Once again I am privileged and proud to be a part of another powerful offering that continues to be the legacy of Armored Saint. Much love and thanks to all of the fans and support worldwide."


5. Reckless Love – Self titled


Aaron says “If you’re looking for an album with big choruses, big guitar and dripping sex appeal, you can’t go wrong with this gem out of Finland. Olli Herman (ex-Crashdiet) & Reckless Love is helping make rock & roll fun again with infectious anthems like ‘Born to Rock’, ‘Romance’ and my personal fave, ‘Love Machine’.”


6. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier


Shane says “Maiden confirm their prog metal transformation whilst still retaining all the sonic elements we’ve loved since 1980, “The Final Frontier” is a modern metal classic.”


7. Hardcore Superstar - Split Your Lip


David says “Hardcore Superstar don't disappoint us with this album, full of memorable hard and fast singalong choruses and a couple of great ballads. If you looking for an album to get you pumped for a night out look no further than songs like ‘Sadistic Girls’, ‘Split Your Lip’ and ‘Bully’.”


8. Heart - Red Velvet Car


Mark says “This is Heart as they should sound. A wonderfully diverse and beautiful album and a real return to form.”


9. Crashdiet - Generation Wild


David says “First album with vocalist Simon Cruz and hopefully not the last, Crashdiet have given us a mix of “Animalize” and “Slave to the Grind” and updated their sound for 2010. Songs like ‘Armageddon’, ‘Generation Wild’ and ‘Rebel’ will have you hooked in no time.”


10. Scorpions - Sting In The Tail


Mark says “Who would have thought that the Scorpions would go out with an album that manages to recapture the sound and the quality of their glory days. I was lucky enough to see the guys a few times this year and meet them at Rock N America. I asked them there to give up this crazy talk of retirement. We need more!”


11. Jettblack - Get Your Hands Dirty


Todd says: “Finally new bands are learning to play their instruments again. Jettblack attacks with straight forward rock ‘n’ roll that makes the blood pump and the head bang. From openers ‘Slip It On’ and ‘Two Hot Girls’ and through the finale ‘Innocence Is Mine’ the band grabs you and takes you for a rocking ride that doesn’t let up.”


12. Babyjane - Are You Listening


Shane says “A world class album full of modern heavy rock anthems and head banging stompers from the band who are possibly the worthiest successor to the Guns n’ Roses crown in this new decade.”


Babyjane’s vocalist & rhythm guitarist Andy Smith says “Thanks to all at The Rockpit. We’re honoured to be rated amongst such quality artists and stoked at the positive feedback for the album. The support from The Rockpit is greatly appreciated and has definately helped to spread the Babyjane word. In a town where the local scene won’t support rock bands and the street press is no more than a fashion magazine, you are a breath of fresh air. Keep it up.”


13. The Union – self titled


Mark says “The quality you would expect from Luke Morley with a wonderful contribution from new guy Pete Shoulder. Check out the bonus DVD of their debut gig which accompanies some copies of this album – it looks like an amazing night!”


Pete says "Thanks to all at Rockpit. Glad you guys are enjoying the album. Hope to see you all in 2011!"

Luke says "It's great to know there's people on the other side of the world listening to the album. I really hope we can get down to Oz to play this year'


14. Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare


Todd says: “This talented “screamo” band was poised to rule the modern rock world when drummer Rev passed away. How do you continue on? You record the material written with that brother / band member and get his idol, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theatre) to play the tracks. The result is hands down the finest piece of music the band put out to date. This album brought the genre to light and for A7X there is no looking back.”


15. Ratt - Infestation


Todd says: “Like I told Blotz earlier this year – ‘You took us back to our youth by putting out an album that could be dropped right between 'Out Of The Cellar' and 'Invasion Of Your Privacy.’ No lie here – this album belongs in 1985. Ratt gave us the ‘Best of Me’ and ‘Eat Me Alive’ this year. Hopefully there is more to come, as we would all love to go ‘Back For More’ classic Ratt.”


16. Skin - Breaking The Silence


Mark says “Skin has always meant a lot to me and were undoubtedly one of the best rock bands the UK produced in the nineties. They reformed for Download last year and this December sees their final tour. If you are a fan of catchy well-written melodic rock with some balls and great vocals check out their final album before the curtain falls for the last time.”


17. Y&T - Facemelter


Aaron says "Y&T is back…well, they never really left. While constant touring & annual festival appearances are the norm for them, new music is something that has been sorely missing. "Facemelter" is their first studio album in over 13 years, and true to its title, Y&T have created a high-energy, headbanging classic as strong as any in their 35+ years in the industry. Dave Meniketti delivers a solid vocal performance, and his guitar work is like a fine wine – it just gets better with age. Y&T are first & foremost a live band and the songs here translate quite well to the stage – 'On with the Show' should open every gig for the rest of their career and 'Shine On' is an instant classic. Let’s hope they don’t wait so long next time."


18. Nelson - Lightning Strikes Twice


Todd says: "Most everybody’s guilty pleasure storms back with a vengeance and the sound that launched the Brothers Nelson into the spotlight in 1990. Two decades later, Gunnar and Matthew release the album that should have been the sophomore follow-up to After The Rain. This album takes you back to that time when things were simpler and music was fun.”


Gunnar Nelson says “Hey it’s great to hear we made the list. It’s great to hear you all enjoyed the album.”


19. Billy Thorpe - Tangier


Shane says “A stunning (and sadly posthumous) masterpiece from the Aussie rock legend, deftly mixing Moroccan melodies and rhythms and instruments with Thorpie’s Aztec-rock, and THAT voice.”


20. Jac Dalton - Icarus


Shane says “The finest melodic rock album of the year, Dalton and Aussie guitar hero Graham Greene tear it up over 11 scorching hot tracks.”


Jac says…”We're honored to receive such kind words, and proud to know that we've put something together that resonates with such discerning rock fans and listeners. After all, to be noticed in the rock arena 'ever' or 'at all' one must consider the company we find ourselves amidst and inspired by, and whose shoulders we presently stand upon - hoping that maybe one day we'll find ourselves alongside. To strike a similar chord, as have our heroes, it inspires us to reach ever higher and harder with all the projects that follow... and there's plenty more where ICARUS came from. Many, many thanks to The Rockpit for noticing."


21. Danko Jones – Below The Belt


Shane says ““Fuck you” says Danko, all swagger and arrogance as he rides astride this irresistibly rocking slab of great hard rock songs.”


22. Sister Sin – True Taste Of The Underground


Mark says “This is an album that will grab you by the balls and twist them ever so slightly increasing the pressure until you give in. Take the hardest of Skid row and a gallon of whisky add a female singer with an amazing voice then shake and pour over a set of killer sleazy rock songs and there you have it - the true taste of the underground.”


Liv Jagrell of Sister Sin says"it feels wonderful to hear that we made the 2010 list! Big thanx to all our fans out there that support us, 2011 will be a great year, I just know it!"


23. Hungryheart - One Ticket to Paradise


Mark says “This is a really fine album that I literally only just got to hear so it’s sneaked in. For me this is about as good as Melodic Rock / AOR gets. Memorable songs, beautifully written and a real step forward from what was a great debut.”


Mario Percudani of Hungryheart says "We are very proud to know that our music has been appreciated and it's great to see our album in the same list of all these great artists!"


24. Accept - Blood of the Nations


Metal Billy says "Welcome back is all we can say with new vocalist Mark Tornillo ( TT Quick ) adding grunt to the excellent riffing of Wolf Hoffman and the signature Accept chanted backing vocals with stand out tracks 'Beat the Bastards Down' , 'Teutonic Terror' , 'Blood of the Nations ' just to name a few in a very solid return 14 years since the band's last release. With Tornillo's throaty Brian Johnson-like vocals Accept are like a metal version of ACDC in a very good way. Produced by the main metal man Andy Sneap this album is a must have for all metal / hard rock fans. It's been a good year for the old school bands..."

Wolf Hoffman, Accept’s legendary guitarist, says “We have been hoping for recognition in AUSTRALIA all our ACCEPT LIFE long!!! So that is another dream come true - as the year 2010 has been totally overwhelming to us! And to make all this complete, we do hope we see you guys in AUSTRALIA soon! Thanks for voting for BLOOD OF THE NATIONS!”


25. Buckcherry - All Night Long


Todd says: “Buckcherry returns with another slice of greasy feel good rock that makes you want to party up with your best friends and get down-and-dirty with your favorite counterpart. Never a group to worry about the philosophical content of their lyrics, the band - Josh, Keith, Jimmy, Stevie, and Xavier – rocks out, chills out, and takes no prisoners on this party CD.”


Jimmy Ashurst of Buckcherry says “Hey Rockpit - THANKS for the top 30 nod! - #25 is better than #31 unless you're in line for an execution!! And thanks Shane for the "Average" rating too! - I'll be sure to ask your girlfriend to rate YOUR performance when we get over there."


26. Black Label Society - Order of the Black


Shane says "Zakk Wylde bounces back from his life changing sobriety and departure from the Ozzy Osbourne camp with his best album in many years including the one thing that's been missing on his recent releases - great songs!"


27. Vince Neil - Tattoos and Tequila


Shane says "Vince Neil released a book plus accompanying album of (mostly) covers in 2010. The book sucked, showing him to be a greedy, selfish, whiney little bitch. The album, however, rocked! Featuring a canny selection of rock classics and one new Nikki Sixx tune, "Tattoos and Tequila" is one of the best party albums of the year."


28. Pearl – Little Immaculate White Fox


TJ says “Meatloaf’s daughter brings the spirit of seventies legends like Ann Wilson & Pat Benatar up to date for 2010 with a hard hitting album for all upcoming rock chicks.”


Pearl herself had this to say “Thanks man, that really makes me smile, that makes me happy – I’m glad you like it.”


29. Gasoline Inc – Fuel The Sol EP


Shane says ”Some of the slickest and most engaging rock we’ve heard in recent years, Gasoline Inc have what it takes to go all the way and we can’t wait for their debut album.”


Gasoline Inc vocalist Gabriel O’Brien says “The Rockpit is one of those sites we constantly keep up to date with. The interviews and reports are always entertaining and informative - giving real insight into the world of rock n roll. Gasoline Inc value The Rockpit's opinion highly and as such we feel extremely honoured to be in their top 30 releases for 2010."


30. Bullet for My Valentine - Fever


Todd says: “Following up ‘Scream Aim Fire’ was not easy, but this Welsh band of rockers did it and came up spades. They made it cool to like metalcore and thrash metal with tracks such like ‘Fever’, ‘Your Betrayal’, and ‘Alone.’ Thank you BFMV for launching a new genre into the unsuspecting mainstream.”



We'd just like to thaNK... YOU!


A heartfelt thankyou goes out to all the artists we have been lucky enough to interview and review, to all the promoters, venue and artist managers, PR people and record company contacts who have been so generous and helpful in connecting us with the artists you've read about on The Rockpit this year.


Most of all, sincere thanks to all who have visited The Rockpit and especially to those who regularly return. Please join our Facebook page and suggest all your friends, and stay with us as we go from strength to strength into 2011!




Want more? You can read each of our contributor's personal favourite albums, highs and lows of 2010 and anticipations for 2011...


Read Mark Rockpit's 2010 Roundup here


Read Shane Rockpit's 2010 Roundup here


Read Todd Jolicouer and Aaron Delbono's 2010 Roundups here


Read Metal Billy & David Carruthers' 2010 Roundups here


Read Jo & TJ's 2010 Roundups here


Read Steve Warsap and Paul Haddlington's 2010 Roundups here