Continuing with the 2021 Rock Sins End Of Year Awards installments, our latest round comes from Mr Rob Woodhouse. With excellent wide ranging tastes, Rob’s awards are likely to feature a wide array of bands, so without any further waffling from the RS Editorial Team, take it away Rob!
Album of The Year: The Wildhearts – 21st Century Love Songs
I bloody love The Wildhearts! However, while live performances since the classic line-up got back together have been incendiary, their comeback album was a little bit too nice and sugary for me.
Enter 21st Century Love Songs where the band take on a much heavier, punkier and grubbier persona and we’ve hit the jackpot for 2021. The album is rough around the edges but still filled with the all-important Wildhearts melodies and reminiscent of some of their finest work from the mid-nineties; Fishing For Luckies springs to mind.
Splitter, You Do You and the title track all pack a mighty punch and the album whizzes by in a cluster of riffs and catchy choruses.
Single of The Year: Gojira – Amazonia
There was a lot of hype behind Gojira’s Fortitude album leading up to release day. Rightly so, because it’s a banger! Nothing quite caught my attention like the single Amazonia. With the obvious nod to mid-nineties Sepultura, it just brought back the old memories of the anticipation of a big new album that I experienced back in those younger days.
I still remember 14-year-old me waiting impatiently for Roots to come out, and while real life has given me bigger anxieties these days, this was a little lightning bolt from simpler times.
Gig of The Year: Kreator – Bloodstock Open Air
Kreator was the biggest draw for me on the BOA bill in the weeks leading up the festival. I was never actually really sure they were going to make it. I always had this thing in the back of my mind that they’d be pulled and Massive Wagons would take over the headline slot…
A week or so in quarantine before playing one show was a monumental effort from the band and the BOA team, but that made it all the more victorious when they finally hit the stage on the Saturday night. A lesson in headbanging ensued and even Dani Filth couldn’t spoil a splendid show from the legendary German thrashers.
Festival of The Year: Bloodstock Open Air
My first taste of live music since the bloody plague hit was Bloodstock Festival. It took me an hour or so to get used to standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers but once I’d sunk a few ales and seen some great bands, it was like I’d never been away.
Hobgoblin, Kurokuma and a couple of Jager’s… I was in heaven once more!
Music Video of The Year: Crowbar – Chemical Godz
This one slipped in just before we bolted the door on the Rock Sins Awards. I must admit, music videos don’t really do a lot for me; most of the time they seem to take away more than they add to a song. This one has a decent loose story line, some interesting x-ray skeletons and the standard bands performance all nicely interlaced.
Just being able to see Kirk Windstein’s mega two-tone beard in HD is enough to make the video a winner.
The song is why we’re really here. Chemical Godz is a return to doomier things for Crowbar and that certainly wets the appetite for the upcoming album, next year.
YouTube age restrictions prevent us from including the Chemical Godz video in this post, so the link for it is here.
Most Disappointing Album of The Year: Stöner – Stoners Rule
A band is not always equal to the sum of its parts and this was a bad case of this. Churning out predictable and frankly poor stoner jams is not unusual to hear. There are bands doing this on a regular conveyor belt into my inbox. You don’t expect it from two big-hitters from Kyuss though; but that’s what was delivered!
Band/Heroes of The Year: Machine Head (Happy Hour Live Streams)
What started off in lockdown as just Robb Flynn and his acoustic guitar playing in front of his mobile phone has turned into one hell of a Friday night feast these days. The ‘Happy Hour Live’ streams on ‘FACEBOOK FACEBOOK FACEBOOK live” (as well as other streaming platforms) has grown into quite a big production.
An absolute saviour during the dark times of lockdown, this was something to actually get excited about at the end of the week. That Friday Feeling, if you will. Even now on a Friday, I try and get home from the pub to stream the shows live. And it takes quite a lot to get me home from the pub before it shuts, believe me…
Check out awards entries from some other members of the team: