Wednesday, January 2, 2013


So, as we turn the calendar to 2013, Glitter2Gutter decided to take a look back at the best and worst of 2012.  It was an interesting year, to be sure, with several bands coming out of at least partial retirement, a few riding off into the sunset, and several new bands jumping into the musical mix.  The lists will, of course, probably be controversial, as I am sure that some people will completely disagree with the entirety of the lists, while others will wonder how one or two of their favorites either missed the "best of" list, or stumbled onto our "worst of" list.  As always, keep in mind that these are merely the opinions of Glitter2Gutter and no harm or disrespect is meant to any of the bands on the "worst list" nor to that band's's not our fault your taste in music is lacking!  (Kidding, of course...)  So, to kick of 2013, we will start with...


This was a difficult list to compile for me, as it really frustrated me to include some of the bands and albums that have found their way onto this list.  However, no matter how much a band may be loved by the multitudes, it always remains possible that a stinker will pop up from time to time.  Such was the case for a few classic bands in 2012.  Also, keep in mind that an album that ends up on this list is not necessarily a horrible album; it may be an instance where the hype was just too great to be lived up to, or the album was just disappointing, if not terribly executed.  Other times, I have no idea how the album found its way to my review desk and CD player as they have NOTHING of interest to most G2G readers, and so they find their way here simply because they have nothing to offer the typical visitor to this site.  And, of course, there are also the instances where the album just flat stinks in practically every way!  So, with these things in mind, in reverse order, I give you the Glitter2Gutter WORST and MOST DISAPPOINTING albums of 2012....

10.  Aerosmith "Music From Another Dimension" (Review to come)  After several years without releasing new material, Aerosmith managed to put aside their differences long enough to release Music From Another Dimension.  Disappointment is the main reason for the inclusion here, as this album is just a huge letdown for me.  There are a few really good songs, but nothing great, and far too many ballads for my tastes.  Also, it was a bit of a letdown to have Aerosmith tell everyone they were going to return to their 70's roots as far as sound goes, only to have it miss the mark almost completely.  Not the worst album of 2012 musically, but a definite disappointment nonetheless.
Much the same as the fate that befell Aerosmith here.  Hinder released a new album at the end of 2012 and inexplicably forgot to bring enough rock to the party.  Incredibly ballad-heavy, Welcome To The Freakshow is almost a lie as a a title, as there is very little of the "freak" that made All American Nightmare one of my favorite albums a couple years ago.  There are a couple of great tunes here, and the band is more diverse on this album than on previous efforts, but sometimes diversity means a band has altered course, which appears to be the case with much of this record.  Freakshow sounds like the relative lack of commercial success with Nightmare caused them to try to swerve back into the radio lane, rather than push forward in the rock aisle. 

8 and 7.  Dokken "Broken Bones" and T&N "Slave To The Empire".  I wanted SO MUCH to love one, or preferably both, of these albums.  Sadly, I merely like both of them, and even then, I don't like them enough to give either of them huge amounts of playtime despite the fact that both came out this year.  Dokken's album is the better of the two, in my opinion, as he remains true to what he has been doing for the past several years, and has more good NEW songs on his album.  T&N has tons of potential and a few good new songs as well, but the inclusion of the covers of Dokken songs left me wanting.  Here's hoping that both acts get a chance to improve upon these efforts, although, as most people probably have heard or read, Don Dokken has stated that this is to be the last Dokken album.  Too bad that he didn't go out closer to the top, but at least Broken Bones is nowhere near as bad as the awful Shadowlife or Dysfunctional.

6Jeff Keith "Country Music Friends EP"  To hear the frontman of Tesla not only tackle country music, but OLD SCHOOL country music, is a bit tough to handle even for someone who grew up with the genre.  Not horribly done but completely lacking in rock, this is simply not going to appeal to more than 2-3% of the readers of G2G.  I hope Tesla comes up with some new material for 2013 so that Keith can just leave this effort in the dust (although there are strong indications that he intends to release a full length album of country material in the near future).

5.Dr. Freak and Mr. 4 "Rock N Roll BrotherhoodThis album is a perfect example of the over-hype machine building something up to nearly impossible to match levels.  I had heard SO MUCH about how great these guys were, and I had heard enough of their main project, Superhorrorfuck, to be more than a bit curious.  Sadly, I was also more than a bit let down as this album not only didn't live up to the hype, it was barely what I would consider to be an average album with far more miss than hit to it.  I have been sent the new EP by Superhorrorfuck, so I am a bit guarded in my optimism, but I sincerely hope that it is better than this effort.

4.  Travis F. Warren "Beneath These Borrowed Skies" (Review to come)  I was never...I mean NEVER...a fan of Blind Melon in the 90's.  To this day, if I stumble across that video with the girl dressed up like a dancing bee for the song "No Rain", I instantly change channels, turn off the television, or leave the room.  I'm not sure what I expected from the new solo record from Blind Melon's lead singer, Travis F. Warren, but what I got is not something I will ever listen to again, I'm afraid.  Leaning heavily on acoustic music and some jangly rhythms, this effort twists together bits of Blind Melon, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan, into a dark, moody, brooding disc that, while haunting and very well played, leaves me more likely to swallow a hammer than ever play the disc again!  Rarely upbeat and never rocking, this is just not my thing and is not likely to do much for G2G readers, either.  Pass....   

3. Hyro Da Hero "Birth, School, Work, Death"  Now, THIS is a great example of an album that I am unsure how I ever got it.  Seriously, this is pretty much straight up modern hard rap, a la Hollywood Undead or Deuce, and completely not my style.  However, since it was sent to me for review, I did my due diligence and spun the disc a few times...then wandered off to a corner, curled up into a ball, and shuddered for a while before coming back to my senses enough to put on the newest efforts by Lynch Mob, The Last Vegas, Evans Blue, Liberty N Justice...anything that was real rock and not disguised rap.  In all fairness, the guy has talent and this is NOT the worst rap I have ever heard...some of it was even remotely catchy, especially when the hard-edged guitars were at full volume and working well.  But in the end, even if Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, and Xander Demos were on guitar on this album, it is still rap and not my thing at all, no matter how much hype I was dished about how great this disc was.

2.  Mongrel "Reclamation" Brutal...just brutal.  Nothing more to say than was already said in the review.  I can honestly say that I have not spun this more than twice since I finished the original review and I can state with equal honesty that I will not be spinning it again.  I still don't understand what all the buzz about this band is because I hear virtually nothing redemptive on this effort.  On a side note, I have read there have already been some line-up changes, so perhaps there will be some musical changes as well...but I'm not holding my breath.

1.  Great White "ElationThis album being number one should come as a surprise to no one who knows me, as Great White has long been my favorite band.  However, the album is bland and boring for the most part and the loss of Jack Russell has forever altered the band's sound and, apparently, their musical approach.  The teaming of Kendall and Russell was what made this band's musical magic, and it seems that without Jack the soul of the band is gone, as is it's signature smokey, bluesy sound.  Terry Ilous of XYZ does his best, no doubt, but he is in the horrible position of having to replace a legend, and it simply can't be done.  Again, nowhere near as bad as Mongrel musically, and not rap like Hyro Da Hero, but the disappointment with this album and this band firmly entrenches it as, if not the worst, definitely the most disappointing release of 2012 for me. 

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