The 34 Best Albums Of 2016

2016 was definitely a tale of the good, the bad and the ugly and that even includes the world of music. As 2016 is coming to a close, a lot of people tend to reflect on things that have happened to them throughout the year. Here at I’m Music Magazine, we like to look back on some of the awesome music that we crossed paths with over the course of the last twelve months. In doing so, we have compiled our 34 Best Albums of 2016. Our list is comprised of some pretty awesome albums and EPs that we fell in love with and hopefully we managed to turn some of you onto these awesome releases as well. These are in no particular order because each one played an important part in our year in music. Shall we begin?

Alter Bridge: The Last Hero: Once thought of as “Creed with a different lead singer,” Alter Bridge has definitely shattered that preconceived notion of themselves. The Last Hero is a bombastic musical assault that finds the band firing on all cylinders and refusing to let up. It’s the band’s longest album to date and their first Top 10 album since their debut One Day Remains in 2004. The guys manage to stick to the elements of Alter Bridge that have made so many fans fall in love with them worldwide, but they also manage to try a few new tricks on here as well. The band used multiple new tunings on this album (which comes as a delight for the guitar techs while the band is out on the road) and lead singer Myles Kennedy pre-planned his guitar solos instead of making them up on the spot. All killer and no filler with this new album!

Silvertung – Out Of The Box: The latest release from the Maryland Music Award winners of the 2016 Breakout Artist and Best Heavy Metal Artist finds the band tapping into a wealth of creativity both lyrically and sonically. I can’t say for certain what it is, but I do think it is in part due to working with producer Stephen Wright. He’s managed to get the guys to tap into this wealth of musical confidence that finds the band pushing the musical envelope like they never have before. I also think that another part of it is the addition of guitarist Codey to the fold who has been a perfect fit for the band. He’s helped the band to think……..wait for it……wait for it……out of the box and push their musical boundaries like never before. The first single “Face The Music” saw the band return to the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream Rock chart. It’s been a pretty stellar year for the band that has included the release of this album, signing with Pavement Entertainment, winning two Maryland Music Awards and taking part in the Hit The Pavement Tour with Vajra and Via.

Lesley Barth – Good Like This: Today’s music industry is flooded with so many bands sounding like the third or fourth version of (insert band/artist name) or as if they are following a formula that they think will guarantee them success. Where’s the originality and authenticity that is severely lacking in this day and age of disposable music? Then, along comes this quirky young lady who is so refreshing and intriguing that it gives you hope that all hasn’t been lost in our musical world. She’s like a delightful mix of Carole King and Natalie Merchant with a style that is a throwback to some of the greats of the 70s, yet it’s updated in a way that keeps it fresh and relevant. Her DIY (Do-It-Yourself) approach to her music videos is very appealing in a simplistic and authentic way while other artists overspend their budget thinking bigger and flashier is better. We fell in love with her when we heard “Oh Andy” for the very first time and we’ve been hooked ever since. 2017 will bring her full length album debut and we’re pretty sure that we’ll be back here at the end of 2017 talking about it as well.

The Lovely Days – The Lovely Days: These guys are one of my favorite musical finds of 2016 and I just can’t get enough of their self-titled debut EP. You know that incredible feeling that you get when you put a coat on and find money in one of the coat pockets that you didn’t know about? You almost feel as if you’ve just won the lottery or hit the jackpot! That’s the kind of feeling that I got when I listen to the The Lovely Days self-titled EP release. It’s a five song EP filled with an incredible amount of musical excitement. The songs are infectious and fun with top notch musicianship and killer harmonies. I dare you to try and sit still while listening to this EP because the music just resonates from your ears all the way into your soul and makes you move.

Audrey Spillman – Thornbird: If Patsy Cline and Amy Winehouse had a love child, it would be Audrey Spillman. This young lady possesses one of the coolest voices that we’ve heard in a long time and she never ceases to amaze us. Her Thornbird has so many layers to it and just when you feel as if you have Spillman figured out, another layer is peeled back exposing another aspect to this talented young lady. Have you ever had a good friend that you don’t get to see very often, but every time that you do everything just falls right back into place with them like you never missed a beat? That’s a great feeling, right? How about that warm and comfy feeling you get from slipping on your favorite sweatshirt after a long, tough day? Spillman’s voice is rich and comforting in those ways and is delivered in a way where you can feel the emotion that she is conveying in the lyrics.

James Durbin – Riot on Sunset: James Durbin brought rock and metal to American Idol and went on to finish fourth on his season and since then he’s given us two studio albums as well as a Christmas EP. Although those releases were really good, I always felt like they fell a little short of my expectations because I felt like Durbin had so much more to offer. Was he holding back or were my expectations false hopes that I had built up around him? Fast forward to 2016; Durbin got his release from his record label that he wanted and he released a new album done independently. It was done free of a label, free of the puppet strings, free of the suits and the powers that be who think they know what’s best for an artist. I remember putting on my headphones and anxiously pressing play on my advance copy of his new album Riot on Sunset. The album ended almost an hour later and I realized that I had just heard something really special. It made me laugh, it gave me goosebumps, it made me bang my head and play air guitar and it even brought tears to my eyes. This is the album that his fans have been waiting for and he delivers it in a major way.

The Qemists – Warrior Sound: The Brighton-based quintet The Qemists is one of the most unique and intriguing bands to come across our musical radar in some time. If you think you know what a specific genre is “supposed” to sound like, these guys have taken that pre-conceived notion and have flipped the script to create something that really stands out in a sea of music that can become easily stagnant because of lack of creativity and passion. The band released their latest album Warrior Sound this year which is their first album since expanding from a three piece to a five piece. We try to keep it real as much as possible here at I’m Music Magazine, so trust us when we tell you that you really need to give this genre fusing album a listen because it’s that damn good. Just don’t come fussing at us when you’re so addicted to it that your other music is jealous because you don’t listen to them anymore.

Queen V – Bridges: In The Lion King, Rafiki told Simba that “change is good” to which Simba replied, “but it’s not easy.” In the world of music, artistic growth is a must to stay alive in the music industry. I mean, not every band or artist can pull off an AC/DC and sound the same for 40 plus years. Don’t start hating on me people because I love AC/DC! People are creatures of habit and are somewhat reluctant to change. I think that’s why some fans get upset when their favorite band or singer strays from what they are used to hearing from them. Queen V has been rocking out for well over a decade now and fans may be a bit surprised by her latest EP entitled Bridges. Her rocker chick layer has been peeled back to expose a softer side that’s a bit more mellow than such past tracks as “Cry Your Eyes Out” or “Good Girl Gone.” This new EP does offer us another side of this truly dynamic artist and, although a bit different, fans seem to be very happy with what they are hearing. Although we love every track on the new EP, our favorites include “Summer’s Gone,” “Not the Only One” and “Better.”

Citrine – April: When one door closes, another one opens and that saying can apply to so many different things in life including bands. The Baltimore dream-pop trio Citrine is the product of the band Kindlewood ending and members Kelci and Galen Smith continuing on, but forging in a different musical direction. The enlisting of Beau Cole for a one-off show turned into some pretty tasty musical chemistry and the decided to move forward with this new project. The result is a raw and honest work of introductory art with the influences of Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush and The Talking Heads wrapped around the dreamy vocals of frontwoman Kelci Smith. Although short in quantity, the quality more than makes up for that as these three tracks are outstanding.

Crossing Rubicon – No Less Than Everything: It’s so rewarding as a music fan to come across a band that’s very genuine and passionate about what they’re doing. You can watch them and tell that they’re not in it for the immediate return and instant shot to stardom that too many bands fall victim to. Crossing Rubicon got our attention when heard their single “Unhinged” for the very first time. We anxiously awaited the release of their album No Less Than Everything and it proved to be well worth the wait. The band has taken elements of 80s and 90s metal and fused them together, then added a healthy dose of modern rock to keep it fresh and not sounding dated. The band is solid and tight and they’re pounding out songs that are of substance with something to say which is definitely a rarity in rock and metal today. A bonus element of bad-assery is the fact that former All That Remains bassist Jeanne Sagan is a part of the band’s dynamic rhythm section. Add to the mix Scotty Anarchy, a dynamic front man with crazy vocal abilities and you have one helluva combination.

Dee Snider – We Are The Ones: One thing you won’t ever catch Dee Snider doing is being complacent. “I’ve never been about living in the past,” Snider says. “The past is wonderful to reflect on and enjoy, but for me, I’d rather show you the latest thing I’ve been working on. I’m all about looking ahead, and this new record is very much about me moving forward.” So, what do you do after fronting the iconic Twisted Sister for 40 years? I’m not saying he has reinvented himself because it’s more of a peeling back of his layers to expose some musical aspects of himself that will surprise some people. We Are The Ones is an eclectic mix that includes a synth driven song, a song with a string section and an acoustic reworking of the Twisted Sister classic “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” It’s big, it’s bold and in some ways shocking, but it’s a damn good album from beginning to end.

Cavo – Bridges: Have you ever had a band on your iPod or on one of your playlists and then stop and wonder where the hell they disappeared to? Well, that seemed to happen to quite a few Cavo fans not too long ago. What had happened to the band that gave us “Champagne,” “Let It Go” and “Thick as Thieves?” Were they abducted by aliens or part of an FBI relocation program? A chance meeting with lead singer Casey Walker at 2015’s Carolina Rebellion festival in Charlotte, North Carolina gave us a more optimistic view as to where the band went and what was going on. Fast forward to 2016 and the band released a brand new album entitled Bridges. It’s the first new material from the guys since 2012’s Thick As Thieves and a sort of rebirth for a band who just wasn’t feeling the fun anymore. This new album may have taken quite a few people by surprise and the band’s ok with that because it’s probably the truest release that they’ve ever delivered. It’s an artistic statement created by four talented guys without all of the suits trying to mold their art into what they think the band should sound like.

Death Valley Dreams – Lust in the Modern World: The guys from Death Valley Dreams were brought together out of a need to cut through the bullshit going on with so many other bands today and just create music that was real and music that was good, which do not always go hand in hand. The result of the union of former Drama Club members Nick Coyle (vox/guitar/keys) and Jon Nova (guitar/vox) with Ryan Dougherty (bass/vox) and Matt Rutkoski (drums/samples) has produced two of our favorite releases this year in their self-titled five track EP and their full length album debut Lust in the Modern World. Three fifths of the EP is including in their full length debut, so we’re going to go with that one for our Best Of list. It’s an intriguing hybrid of punk, alt-rock and a bit of new wave flare from the 80s. If David Bowie and The Cure had a love child who loved to crank up its guitars, then you’d have Death Valley Dreams. Catchy and infectious tunes, great vocals, great musicianship…….what else do you need?

Great American Canyon Band – Only You Remain: There is an endless supply of music in the world and it’s impossible to hear it all. There are times when we discover new music on our own and then there are times where I believe that the universe has a way of making sure that the music finds us. Great American Canyon Band is one of those times that the universe found us and made us pay attention. The band is fronted by Paul and Kris Masson and the band’s full length debut album Only You Remain was released in April of this year on Six Degrees Records. It’s a pretty amazing and emotional journey with many layers to peel back and enjoy. Paul and Kris invite you into their world and allow you to take an intimate, somewhat voyeuristic look into their lives. The album is quite beautiful and poetic and has become one of our favorite “go to” albums after a long and difficult day. We light a few candles, cut off the lights, grab a tasty beverage, put on our headphones and escape to the sounds of this album. Dear universe, thank you for finding us.

Lady Gaga – Joanne: We’ve been fans of this lady for quite some time now and I think that with this album it’s almost as if she’s wiped the slate clean and started over. I think we are finally seeing more Lady and less Gaga, if you know what I mean. The album is stripped down, simpler, more organic and the most real thing that she has done to date. It’s like she musically matured after the release of Artpop and her album collaboration with Tony Bennett. If you witnessed her performance of “The Sound of Music” at the Oscars or her National Anthem performance at the Super Bowl earlier this year, then you were witnessing the rebirth of this artist. People were finally seeing past the extravagant outfits and realizing that she could actually sing. This new album is freeing and even revitalizing with its diversity in songs such as the funky “A-Yo” to the sax heavy “Come to Mama” to the emotionally powerful “Million Reason.” Joanne is a bold album by a bold artist and the industry needs more gutsy moves like this one.

Luna Aura – Madhouse: We fell in love with Luna Aura after our first listen to her Supernova EP that was released last year. There was a very unique and creative quality to her music the resonated all throughout the five song EP. Fast forward to September of this year and the charismatic artist released another new EP entitled Madhouse that took our musical addiction to her to a whole new plateau. She’s a very compelling artist both musically and visually as her music videos pull you in and demand countless replays. There are many artists fighting for your attention in the pop field and it takes a very special quality to make you stand out in a musical sea that is oversaturated. Some call it having the “x-factor” while some refer to it as having “it,” but regardless of how you may wish to label it, Luna Aura is a very special artist that you need to keep your eyes and ears on. This new EP is catchy, infectious and so much fun; we dare you to try and sit still while listening to this EP.

JW Sargent – In Retrograde: We all reach a point in our lives where we have spread our wings and fly off in a new direction. It’s part of a growing process and it happens to all sorts of people including musicians. It can be because of artistic differences or maybe you just want to venture out to see what happens on your own as a solo artist. After years of playing in regionally renowned bands (Oh! The Story), JW Sargent has decided to take that leap of faith and venture into the waters of being a solo artist. His debut EP entitled In Retrograde was released in November. With influences ranging from Bon Iver to The Japanese House & Copeland, Sargent’s music combines indie and alternative styles. Throughout In Retrograde, he aims to expose the light from the darkness and find resolution at the end of the journey. In an industry oversaturated with fluff artists who are here today, gone today because they lack substance, it’s refreshing to have an artist like JW Sargent release something that’s real and substantial.

Blue October – Home: Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld is definitely in a much better place these days than he was several years back and it shows both visually and sonically. Whether you are a fan of this band or not (shame on you if you’re not), you can definitely pick up on it when if you listen to their music. Home could be viewed as a happy ending to some of the darker roads that we have travelled down following this band through the years. The songs are positive and the lyrics are very rich and introspective in their content. They are also diverse in composition ranging from “Coal Makes Diamonds” with its piano hook and distorted bass lines to the poppy title track to the gritty space rock of “Time Changes Everything.”

Mother Feather – Mother Feather: Songs this big warrant larger than life characters delivering them and front woman Ann Courtney and sidekick Elizabeth Carena definitely fit the bill. They are pop cock rock queens whose live performance takes these catchy songs to a whole different level. Ann Courtney is a dynamic front person who commands your attention both visually and sonically as she can quickly prove that she has a strong set of pipes. Their self-titled album is a bit weird, but rest assured that these ladies (as well as the rest of the band) are no pre-manufactured flavors of the week from the music industry. There is an incredible amount of talent there on many levels and I think we have only scratched the surface of what they have to offer us. May I suggest that if you don’t “get it” on the first listen, give it another try and give it another chance to sink in. I think you will be thanking me somewhere down the road if you do.

The Struts – Everybody Wants: Yes, this is the US reissue of the band’s UK debut from 2014, but it has several five additional tracks not found on that UK release, so it qualifies for our wrap-up. The Derbyshire rockers have been quickly making a name for themselves around the world and have been described as “unabashedly over the top retro-fetishist classic rock.” You know, with a description like that, I knew I had to check these guys out. The four piece band is led by the very charismatic front man Luke Spiller and there’s something magical about that guy that many front people, regardless of genre or sex, wish that they had. It’s a certain “x-factor” that you either have or you don’t and it’s not something that can be taught. “Kiss This” and “Put Your Money On Me” are just a couple of the upbeat fun tracks found on here, but there are also great ballads as well in “Only Just a Call Away” and “Mary Go Round.” This album is loaded from beginning to end; it’s fun and funky and very infectious.

Sting – 57th & 9th: Sting’s new album is named after the location of the Manhattan studio in which it was recorded and it’s his first rock album in years. Songs like “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and the reflective “50,000” have an 80s-ish throwback to them while Sting still manages to touch on current events with his song Inshallah which touches on the refugee crisis and the Syrian civil war. It may not be the return to rock album that some of us were expecting from Sting, but after an eclectic number of releases including his Tony-nominated musical (2013’s The Last Ship), classical reinterpretations of his greatest hits (2010’s Symphonicities), traditional holiday music (2009’s If on a Winter’s Night…), and his infamous batch of lute songs (2006’s Songs from the Labyrinth), it’s really cool to see/hear him return to his rock roots and prove to everyone that he hasn’t lost a beat.

Anthrax – For All Kings: Some may say that Anthrax has experienced a rebirth of sorts ever since 2011’s Worship Music release. The guys followed that critically and fan praised studio album this year with the release of For All Kings. Before I get attacked by the fans, they did have a covers EP released in 2013 called Anthems. Their latest studio album For All Kings and instead of driving in the same lane as before, this album shows band evolve even more. Yes, it’s the sound that you expect and love from Anthrax, but they continue to push the envelope. “You Gotta Believe” has elements of classical, rock and thrash. “Blood Eagle Wings” is dark and moody while “Evil Twin” sounds straight out of their 80s work. A nod to Jon Donais who delivers some exceptional guitar work on his first studio album with the band since joining them in 2013.

David Bowie – Blackstar: On our first listen to Blackstar when it was released back in January of this year, we knew that this was a very special album. What we didn’t know was that the artistic genius that we’ve come to know and love over the years was dying of liver cancer and knew it as he was creating this beautiful piece of art. The epic nine minute title track really sets the tone for the album and you may even say that is kind of weird, but isn’t that what we love about Bowie? What a great move in his so unpredictable career to deliver an album like this to us. His vocals seem stronger than they have in years and his backing band compliment those vocals in a very compelling way. Isn’t it funny how although he was this massive rock star, he didn’t play the cooperate game anymore and play by their rules? He didn’t do interviews, he really didn’t promote his new albums like most artists do and he didn’t tour the world playing his hits (although we wished he would have). We miss you today more than ever Mr. Bowie. The world of music just isn’t the same without you here keeping us on our toes and guessing.

Otherwise – From The Roots: The Brothers Patrick (Adrian and Ryan) have had to overcome quite a few hurdles along their musical journey. Yet, every time that they’ve been knocked down, they have managed to get back up and be even stronger than ever. As the guys are preparing their third studio album, they released a six song EP in October entitled From the Roots Vol. 1. It features acoustic versions of songs from their two studio albums True Love Never Dies and Peace At All Costs. By stripping these tunes down acoustically, it gives them more of a soulful vibe flowing throughout them which is pretty cool. This EP is to tide us all over while waiting on that new studio album and I have to admit that I do not mind putting this EP on repeat and just kicking back and enjoying the ride. (Editor’s Note: The band hasn’t posted any promo clips from the new EP, so we thought we would share this cool acoustic performance by the Brothers Patrick from earlier this year.)

Idlewar – Impulse: We were hooked on the band Idlewar last year with one listen to their song “Chunk of Me” and it’s been a bombastic musical bromance ever since. This year, the band followed up last year’s Dig In EP with their full length debut album entitled Impulse. If you are familiar with Dig In or any of the band’s music, then you will love Impulse. They took everything that made us fall in love with them and cranked it from 11 to close to 20! As unbelievable as it seems, there are only three guys responsible for the sheer, raw power that’s on this album. This entire album demands to be heard at maximum volume and although we love every track, if you make us choose favorites then we will go with “Soul,” “All That I’ve Got” and “On Our Knees.”

Drowning Pool – Hellelujah: Drowning Pool has been down a musical journey that’s seen more than its fair share of proverbial bumps in the road. The band’s experienced death, musical differences and personnel changes which has resulted in current front man Jasen Moreno being the band’s fourth lead vocalist since its formation in 1996. I know quite a few bands who would have thrown in the towel given all of those obstacles, but that’s not the attitude of Drowning Pool. The band released its sixth studio album entitled Hellelujah earlier this year and I went on record as saying it’s the heaviest album since the band’s debut album Sinner in 2001. My words pissed quite a few Drowning Pool fans off and I really don’t mind because the band shares my sentiment about the album. To me, it seems that the band’s really found their groove on this album and Jasen Moreno has more than solidified his place as the singer of this band. “All Saints Day” and “By the Blood” are just two of the many great tracks on this album that demands to be played at maximum volume!

The Monkees – Good Times: The first new studio album from The Monkees in twenty years has many saying it one of their all-time best. The three surviving Monkees were aided on this album by some pretty ambitious musical fans of the band including Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Andy Partridge (XTC), Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and Paul Weller (The Jam). The late Davy Jones even makes an appearance on a track entitled “Love to Love.” “She Makes Me Laugh,” “You Bring the Summer” and “Me & Magdalena” are just a few of the stand-out tracks on this remarkable album.

Lucid Fly – Building Castles In Air: The LA prog band Lucid Fly released their highly anticipated new album Building Castles in Air which was produced by the band themselves throughout studios in Southern California and Oregon and mixed in Australia by ARIA award winning engineer Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, Twelve Foot Ninja, etc.). The band raised the bar on this new release, challenging themselves more, both musically and emotionally, than they had previously. Here’s another trio in our year-end wrap-up that you don’t want to underestimate by their size. This album is so rich in content and I suggest that you give it a few listens before you offer up an opinion or observation because you are going to miss things on your initial listen. “Paperthin,” “Ribbons” and “Follow Through” are just a few tracks that we tend to gravitate towards. Lead vocalist Nikki Layne has a unique vocal styling that is as intoxicating as it can get.

Kyng – Breathe in the Water: Burn the Serum was one of my favorite albums of 2014 and I still listen to it on a regular basis. So, when I heard that Kyng was releasing a new album this year, I was excited but it was going to be tough to top that last album. One of the coolest things about this band, and there are many to choose from, is that they can rock out with the heaviest of the heavyweights and then mellow out to this slow, grooving vibe with relative ease. Also, how the hell do three guys produce so much f’n energy? Their intensity with just three members blows away many other bands with way more members. “Closer To The End,” “Not Enough” and “Show Me Your Love” are a few of our favorites on the album that you may want to sample first if you haven’t heard it yet. Tony Castaneda continues to blow us away with his much underrated bass skills, lead vocalist Eddie Velez absolutely soars on this album and Pepe Clarke is a thunder god and beats his drumkit into submission.

Erick Baker – Dear Amanda: Erick Baker has always been an artist who pours his heart and soul into every performance, but I think he really raised his own personal musical bar with this release. Dear Amanda is his first new studio album since 2012’s Goodbye June. If you’re not familiar with Erick Baker, then you have been missing out on one of the most passionate singer/songwriters that you will ever encounter. When he sings, you can feel the emotion coming through your speakers and if you ever get to see him perform live, it takes his music to a whole new level. Baker is poetry set to music and an emotional journey that will make laugh, cry and even reflect on your own life. You see, Baker was out on the road 200+ days a year providing for his family, but his family was paying the price. He decided to make some changes in his life and he stopped touring as much, stayed at home more and focused on his family. When he did start making music again, something very special happened as his addressed things he had experienced and his own personal demons. “You Get What You Give” and “1200 Days” are two of many that really tug on our hearts.

Metallica – Hard Wired….to Self-Destruct: Yes, this album is on a lot of year end lists and for good reason. For whatever reasons, it took the band eight years to finally deliver us a new studio album. Some were happy with the results and some were not, but there’s no way of pleasing everyone. Is this album an attempt to revisit their earlier, pre-black album days? As with Death Magnetic, you can make that argument, but the guys will never truly return to those days, but we do like and appreciate the attempt. I liked Death Magnetic and I like this new album as much if not more. “Atlas, Rise!,” “Hardwired” and “Now That We’re Dead” are prime examples of how great this album is and there’s an abundance more of it on this massive collection. Almost 40 years into their career and these guys still know how to school the up and coming bands on how it’s done.

Crobot – Welcome to Fat City: I don’t know when, but somehow Crobot found time to record and release a new album this year. It seems like the guys have been on the road non-stop since releasing Something Supernatural in 2014. This new album is full of those bluesy melodies, amazing vocals, fuzzy guitars and one of the most underrated rhythm sections in music today in Jake and Paul Figueroa. Props to lead guitarist Bishop for continuing to come up with some of the most unique sounds to come out of a guitar while too many others continue to follow a formula and give us the same thing over and over again. “Blood on the Snow” and “Right Between the Eyes” are just two of the killer tracks on this new album that is quite solid from beginning to end.

Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky: Today’s music industry makes us scratch our heads and wonder what the hell is going on almost on a daily basis. If you were a mad scientist in your laboratory and creating the ultimate rock band, then you would take ingredients like great songs, great musicianship, great vocals, passion, authenticity, charisma, integrity, drive, heart and soul and mix them all together. Black Stone Cherry has all of those elements and more and why they aren’t HUGE in this industry continues to baffle us. Oh yeah, seeing these guys live will make you question it even more because they are amazing. Their fifth album Kentucky finds the guys leaning less towards a country type flavor and more into a darker, more rock based sound. There’s so much great stuff on this album to touch on, but I will pick just a couple of them. Please check out “Soul Machine” with its big guitars that blend so well with the female backing vocals on this song. “Hangman” contains some sick, fuzzy guitar tones while “In Our Dreams” is probably our fave track. The guitars are big and fuzzy and very dark at times, but the guys do slow it down on the acoustic closer “The Rambler” which is a beautiful track.

Purson – Desire’s Magic Theatre: Purson delivered in a major way with its highly anticipated sophomore release Desire’s Magic Theatre. They have a very unique blend of classic, psychedelic and prog rock and have mixed in a few elements of glam rock on this new album. We were instantly hooked with one listen to “Electric Landlady,” but this album is full of great moments. “The Bitter Sweet” and “The Sky Parade” are two of our other faves on the album that we highly suggest you check out. Lead vocalist Rosalie Cunningham is quite a captivating individual on many levels with her distinct and strong vocals leading the way.


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