RPM Online Album Of The Year

Well, we’ve reached that time of year again where the writers of RPM were forced into the voting both given a blunt pencil and forced to vote for their album of the year.  Unlike a certain General Election result this time I don’t think people were too disappointed with the final result and by a landslide rock and Roll won.


Interestingly this years winner didn’t win any single writers vote but featured very heavily throughout the writers lists more than any other artist or artists so its a fair cop guv and, to be honest, had the live show count been anything to go by it was a landslide and another good year all around. With writers coming from several continents and five different countries there might be a few miles between us but we all have some things in common and one of those is a love for Rock and Roll. I’m sure had it been a Top 20 people would have still had a headache as to what to put in.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s been a shit year for new music as there were plenty of records released and many of them reviewed on RPM Online and with over 50 albums getting a mention from the team of writers (that’s just their top 10!).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank not only all the artists who’ve released new records in 2019 and to all the excellent press departments and Labels especially the independent ones who’ve worked tirelessly to bring us the music and obviously to the songwriters and musicians whose work we’ve had many many hours of enjoyment listening to and raving about you know who you are many of whom it’s been a pleasure to get to know throughout the year.

What we’ll do is give the top ten a rundown in reverse order then each individual writers ten albums in no particular order so here goes.

Number 10

Duff McKagan – ‘Tenderness’ (UMC)



Number 9

Jim Jone & The Righteous Mind – ‘Collectiv’ (MaSonic Records)



Number 8

Jesse Malin – ‘Sunset Kids’ (Wicked Cool Records)



Number 7

Redd Kross – ‘Beyond The Door’ (Merge Records)



Number 6

Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It!…'(Glunk Records)



Number 5

Andy McCoy – ’21st Century Rocks’ (Ainoa Productions)




Number 4

Hunt Sales Memorial – ‘Get Your Shit Together’ ( Big Legal Mess Records)



Number 3 

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’ (several independent labels)



Number 2

The Wildhearts – ‘Renaissance Men’ (Graphite Records)



Number 1

Michael Monroe – ‘One Man Gang’ (Silver Lining Music)




So congratulations to all the bands who made the RPM Online top ten.  Especially Michael Monroe for taking top spot in the hotly contested category as well as all the ones that didn’t there were dozens and dozens of albums released in 2019 that we reviewed.  We managed to catch up with a few of the bands who made it onto the pages of RPM Online in 2019 to find out what made it onto their turntables this year and to find out any highlights they might have had.  Here is some beginning with Jeff from The Brothers Steve…


Jeff Whalen (Guitar /Vocals – The Brothers Steve)

“I don’t think I listened to any records that came out in 2019!  So I picked my top 5 records that were new to me in 2019!”

 Tiny TimGod Bless Tiny Tim
The BeaglesHere Come the Beagles
White ReaperThe World’s Best American Band
The SpeediesYou Need Pop
The MillenniumBegin
Rich Jones Guitarist (Michael Monroe/Black Halos)
Pup – Morbid Stuff
The Wildhearts – Renaissance Men
Jeff Rosenstock – Thanks, Sorry! / Sorry, Thanks!
Berlin Blackouts – Nastygram Sedition
The Menzingers – Hello Exile
BEST RE-ISSUE: The Replacements – Dead Man’s Pop
Duncan Reid – Duncan Reid & The Big Heads
Starcrawler – ‘Devour You’ (especially the track No More Pennies)
2 Albums which spoke to my Country Side:
The long Ryders – ‘Psychedelic Country Soul’ (especially Greenville)
Kim Lenz – S’lowly Speeding’
Not an album but the single ‘Fire Ready Aim’ by Green Day which was superb
And The Baby shakes  ‘Cause a Scene’  (especially the title track)
As for Highlights, there were Many highlights of 2019 especially Rebellion which went superbly for us and I’m really looking forward to the release of our new album early 2020 as well as playing the Kubix Festival.
Steve Coulter – (Drums) The Brothers Steve 
The Gold—T’he Gold’
The Armoires – ‘Zibaldone’
The Cutthroat Brothers – ‘Taste For Evil’
The Coolies – ‘Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies’
The New Pornographers – ‘In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights’
As for the highlights of 2019 it has to be making the Brothers Steve ‘#1’ & The Go All The Ways as well as writing about music ‘Go All The Way A Literary Appreciation Of Power Pop!

Lee Love (The Hip Priests)

Clowns – ‘Nature/Nurture’

TV Crime – ‘Metal Town’

Bitch Queens – ‘City Of Class’

The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’

Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’


Melchior Quitt (Bitch Queens)

Clowns – ‘Nature / Nature’

Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’

The Hip Priests – ‘Stand For Nothing’

Saint Agnes – ‘Welcome To Silvertown’

The Schizophonics – ‘People In The Sky’

As for the Highlight of 2019, There are several. Two for Bitch Queens were to put out our brand new album ‘City Of Class’ and to finish our new recording studio to keep on doin’ what we are doin’ far away from the big business.

The Best event this year was Sjock. “What could be better than hanging out with my boys from The Hip Priests and seeing the best Action Rock bands from all around the world! I am looking forward to touring with Bitch Queens in Europe next year and to record a shitload of new singles and split 7“ And of course, there are two of the probably best records 2020 in the pipeline – The Good, the Bad & the Zugly and Kvelertak. 2020 is gonna be good!

Mathius Engelbrekt Carlsson – “Demons”  – 
 All right. My top picks for 2019.
Jeff Dahl – ‘Electric Junk’
Guitar Wolf – ‘Love & Jett’
Amyl & The Sniffers – ‘Amyl & The Sniffers’
The Hip Priests – ‘Stand for Nothing’
Bitch Queens – ‘City of Class’
The Drippers – ‘Action Rock’
Dead Furies – ‘Stay Gold Ponyboy’
“One of few highlights of 2019 was getting ‘Kiss Off’ off the ground. This has been one of those years. For music it has been a great year though and especially for Rock’n’Roll.
Next year it’s the 25th anniversary for “DEMONS” and we hope that we can tour as much as possible starting with Japan in January. A new record will be out as well as some old stuff. Hopefully our first unreleased album and possibly a Demonology II. See you on the other side.”

What was originally a pledge campaign (but the less said about that the better I guess) from Jeff Whalen (yeah you know the guy from TSAR) what you never heard Tsar whatsamaddawivyou? C’mon people read the review then go do some interweb searching and go fill yer boots with some luscious power pop.

where were we? Oh yeah, Jeff Whalen.  Well, a bit of background Jeff was the singer/guitar player for Tsar they were great and you should buy their records.  Right, that’s the background on Jeff and now onto ‘Ten More Rock Superhits’. So we might have joined the party late seeing as this was out a few months ago but quite how we missed this through all the Pledge fiasco is beyond me and we can only apologise besides its better to be late than never and this record needs to be brought to the masses and that’s you the good readers of RPM you of impecable taste (why else would you be here?)

’10 More Rock Superhits’ begins with a round of applause and then bang straight in with the cloudburst of powerpop goodness.  Huge hooks dampened guitar power chords did I mention big big No BIG melody that’s pretty much ‘Goofing Around’ damn its even got Handclaps blips and whirls and xylophone clanks or is that champagne glasses?  Who knows its a great big sky sized blast of rock and roll to warm the coldest heart.

Jeff leans on an impeccable catalogue of power pop for inspiration.  Cheap Trick, Plimsouls, Big Star, Sweet n T Rex and about a bazillion other rock n pop dandys who ever picked up a guitar and rocked out with a pop song. ‘Ground Game For Worm’ I dunno what it’s about but does it matter.  Its got a backbeat and a big chorus and it sounds like these songs were written driving around a coastal road looking for a beach party with Jeff in the back with the roof down and a guitar for company.

Oh shit that sounded like a flute on the intro of ‘Kung Fu Criminal’ but not in a prog way more like the flute used in HR Puffnstuff.  Its the beachboys played by Cheap Trick.  It makes you a bit sick that a guy can seemingly knock out near perfect power pop at will and finding a couple of gems is a difficult task but to hit the spot ten times in a row is either the biggest fluke or genius (now I love Tsar and I know how many tunes they had Soooo for me it just has to be the latter)

‘Man Of Devotion’ is laid back and with a softer tone on the vocals makes for an excellent track then to follow it up with a step up in pace that is the more aggressive ‘The Alien Lanes’ (No I’m not gonna try and work out what it all means) With Gerald reviewing the Brothers Steve it looks like we’re being spoilt with great power pop records from some of the finest writers and there’s the new Redd Kross album to come as well.

‘Shanghai Surprise’ is unashamedly pop from the skiffle of the banjo and kazoo with the barroom piano rolling round the back is light relief where ‘Don’t Give It Up’ steals the show for me. If we could get serious for a second as ‘Soylent Blue’ is a melancholy four minutes of piano-driven big balladry with strings ‘n’ layered vocals which only leaves the title track to sign off what is a wonderful and light album full of great tunes written and played by a totally committed pop writing superstar.  You might never have heard of him or anything he’s ever done before but that’s ok we all have to start somewhere and ’10 More Rock Super Hits’ is a pretty decent place to start. Buy it

USA people buy the album Here

UK/Europe peeps buy it Here