Out there, there is an alternate reality. We, as the individual or the collective come across the two roads that diverged in the yellow wood, but could not take both. So per chance the opposite reality still exists, in a parallel universe the road not taken leads on and it is to that road that today I will go…
There was a decision, by the Australian public, announced on Monday 26th January 2015, and the hottest 100 songs were known. But what if, but what if there was more to the countdown, instead of the reality that was a bulk of sensible electronica which dominated, there was the alternate which include a cultural shift in our musical landscape, a love for guitar built on the back of a rich and dynamic history of Australian punk, rock and metal which resulted in the deserved praise of the rich output of heavy music in 2014. Yes, I am talking of that other road. The High Road.
Here’s what that reality could have voted for.
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
I’m going to lay this out straight. Two of the most fucking punk albums of recent history were released this year. This is the only one of the two which featured guitars. The other (thankfully) made the countdown.
The story of Laura Jane Grace is incredible in itself, but if we’re just talking music, then this album has more anthems then a Springsteen Greatest Hits and the fact they are sung with vocals that could gargle gravel whilst wearing a pair of heels has trumped the whole life of Iggy Pop in one swift performance on Letterman. Ladies, Gentleman and those who subscribe to no label, the most punk lyrics of 2014;
You’ve got no cunt in your strut
You’ve got no hips to shake
And you know it’s obvious
But we can’t choose how we’re made
Royal Blood - Come On Over
I just don’t think I can name many albums with this greater output of excellent riffs. I’m very serious here, I’m concerned that if the next hard rock album that comes my way has less than a solid 9 guitar riffs, worthy of both an air guitar and head banging, then it probably isn’t a rock record but
another Foo Fighters record ambient pop. Also in my alternate reality, these guys play stadiums. Perhaps I’m just thinking ahead.
Dune Rats - Superman
Oh Straya, Dunnies are so perfect for you, stop fighting it. Just let it in. You’ve known this band since highschool, they’re your useless mate who keeps borrowing your band tees, only to return them unwashed, smelly and with concerning stains only found under a UV lens. They were turned away from the local pub, so they started a sick party on the foreshore. This is that band. Just fucking take it already.
Modern Baseball - Your Graduation
You know what my life misses these days? Youthful ignorance. Getting drunk on the beach. Staying up all night. Getting kicked out of places that clearly state “No trespassing”. My shit Blink 182 cover band. My hollywoodified idea of American youth which I never really had on NSW coastline of Australia. Or did I? I don’t remember. Either way this is that soundtrack. If you can’t relate to any of this then you were probably born at 50 like my father and just stayed that way. Also. THIS CLIP RULZ
The Bennies - Heavy Disco
It’s like Pacman found Jack Daniels, pot and a distortion pedal, then ran away from home to forever live on breaking eardrums at The Tote alongside a youthful Qan Yeoman and Kram. I’ve been sweaty to this. You want to be sweaty to this. Quite simply that’s all you need to know.
Mastodon - High Road
This band is too huge to even exist. What should have been the soundtrack to the bloodied fields of Valhalla was instead compressed to 54 minutes of grandeur. I don’t even think of this band as a band, but a hulking juggernaut of sound, hurtling towards an unknown enemy upon the horizon. It’s pretty much a jam session between Odin, Zues, Cthulhu and The Kraken. And you didn’t vote for it. Vengeance will be swift.
*Note. My thoughts are it should have been a countdown of exclusively heavy songs, this was the tip of a fuck off big iceberg
Related Story: My breakdown of the heavy stuff that did make the cut.