Get An Earful: A ROCKing Start to the New Year

I made it my resolution to curate as many #GetAnEarful playlists as possible for A Journal of Musical Things in 2019. One full week into the new year, I’m as surprised as you all that I’ve been able to keep my promise (so far anyway). Now if only losing weight could be so easy.

Black Pistol Fire – Level
Texas-via-Toronto 2-piece Black Pistol Fire didn’t waste any time doling out a dose of ferocity in the form of “Level” that signals Messrs. Eric Owen and Kevin McKeown do not intend to take things easy following a breakthrough year. Don’t say the ROCKthusiast didn’t warn you!

Rival Sons – Feral Roots
If I were to put together a list of highly anticipated albums for 2019, Rival Sons would be near or even at the top of it. Their Feral Roots is assured to evoke an ancestry indebted to spacey blues rock birthed from surrogates such as Led Zeppelin and the Black Crowes.

Wolfmother – Joker & the Thief (Final Hour Mix)
I’m usually not one for remixes, but the “Final Hour Mix” of Wolfmother’s classic “Joker & the Thief” brought back nostalgic headbanging memories. Harbinger for new material? Frontman Andrew Stockdale’s 2018 Slipstream was good and all, but his Canis lupus needs to howl again.

The Growlers – Who Loves the Scum?
Wolves can growl sure, but what sound do self-proclaimed beach goths make? And with that, I think I have officially exceeded my limit of wild animal puns for the year, so just embrace the flotsam served up by California slack-rockers The Growlers. Who Loves the Scum? I know I do!

The C.I.A. – Pleasure Seeker
Ty Segall’s year was busy AF, releasing SIX albums of varying weirdnesses and being added to the otherwise ho-hum Coachella lineup to begin 2019. His most recent effort may actually be the strangest of all, an out there collaboration with wife Denée under the name The C.I.A..

Blood Red Shoes – Find My Own Remorse
If you don’t remember the UK’s Blood Red Shoes from the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World soundtrack, that’s OK – Their style seems to be evolving and taking a turn towards the electronic on “Find My Own Remorse”, the final teaser before fifth album Get Tragic comes out January 25th.

The Raconteurs – Sunday Driver
Jack White apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the word sabbatical, going from an extensive tour behind solo record Boarding House Reach to reconvening supergroup The Raconteurs with fellow songwriter Brendan Benson plus former Greenhornes Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler.

Deerhunter – Element
The latest auditory effort attributed to arty Atlantans Deerhunter has already leaked ahead of its January 19th street date. Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? is bursting with breezy layered multi-instrumentalism; better get on it before all the cool indie kids do.

Broken Bells – Shelter
With all the commotion that goes on during the holidays, it’s understandable how Broken Bells’ first single in three years may have flown under people’s radar. Ease into the new year and find a little solace from any leftover stress by chillaxing to the dialed-back “Shelter”.

900 Miles feat. The Kooks – Hold Tight (Acoustic)
I honestly have no idea who “900 Miles” are. (Is?) The only clue I was able to discover in Spotify are three credited songs, two of which feature The Kooks. Those who know my bygone Britpop tendencies may be surprised to learn I prefer the acoustic version of “Hold Tight”.

Meat Puppets – Warranty
Meat Puppets, or “the Brothers Meat” as Kurt Cobain infamously coined Curt and Cris Kirkwood, have been influencing artists since the ’80s through their lassoing of punk, country and psychedelia. With the impending release of album #16 Dusty Notes, that trend is sure to continue.

The Regrettes – Don’t Stop Me Now
Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” was relegated to Bohemian Rhapsody’s end credits. If only The Regrettes had done their spiky, female-forward interpretation with Lydia Night’s spirited vocals earlier, it may have been showcased more prominently in the Golden Globes-winning movie.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

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