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Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2006!

Year End Top Ten
Like, Better late than never, right?

Top CDs of 2006, According to Me!

Black Stone Cherry Debut CD
#10. Black Stone Cherry

Initially, I was very resistant to the idea of Kentucky-based, Southern Rock Revivalists, Black Stone Cherry for two sharply pointed reasons. One being that unless a “Southern Rock” band is going to improve on Molly Hatchet’s “Flirting With Disaster” or Greg Allman’s “I’m No Angel,” why even bother? The other being that 99% of modern hard rock sounds like ass. But Black Stone Cherry come on like Soundgarden-meets-The Allman Brothers. My god, what a much needed gasp of fresh air in the vacuum! Not to mention, but you can see I am about to, their drummer, John Fred Young (check out the guy on the far left with that crazy mane of dark curly hair) is what we used to call in my day a stone solid fox. And having a little eye candy in the band never hurts.

Little Answers Earlymay
#9. Little Answers, Earlymay

Remember back when music that passed for adult contemporary rock actually had balls? Neither do I. But if I were programming the Adult Contemporary format at radio today I’d scrap the Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bolton and flood it with songs by amazing bands like The Verve Pipe and Earlymay. Little Answers comes highly recommended if you like U2 but wish Bono would just get over himself already.

Richard Butler Cover Art
#8. Richard Butler

I wasn’t much of a fan of LoveSpitLove, former Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler’s first post-Furs outting. But on Butler’s sublime debut solo excursion, he won me over with moody, soporific songs that sound like they were written by a less acid-damaged version of Julian Cope rather than a guy who was once married to notorious groupie Bebe Buell for about fifteen minutes. Downside: Abysmal cover art that makes him look like he has the plague, or something worse.

Blank Stares CR Cover
#7. All Blown Up, The Blank Stares

The Blank Stares are a band from San Francisco who contacted me through Myspace and asked if they could send me their CD. Now, I don’t want all you independent, undiscovered, unsigned, un-good bands out there to get any ideas, but if your shit sounds like The Beatles, feel free to look me up.

Hot One Cover Art
#6. Hot One

A Power-Quarter based in NYC that also features rock chick bass legend Emm Gryner, Hot One “observes the tradition of rock and roll as a medium for social protest, a la the Clash, Public Enemy, Psychic TV, Woody Guthrie, Minor Threat, the MC5.” I took that statement off their Myspace page. I love Hot One’s sexy glam rock/power pop amalgam (favorite cut, “Sexy Soldier”), but I also dig that they throw in a little George Bush hating on the side.

\Scott Reeder
#5. Tunnel Vision Brilliance, Scott Reeder

Is there a serious metal head alive who doesn’t/didn’t worship Kyuss? Because if there is I want to know who they are so I beat their faces in. Former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder is a fucking genius for making the best Pink Floyd album since Wish You Were Here. Heavy Mettle indeed.

Advantage Elf Titled
#4. Elf Titled, The Advantage

Six Words: “Nintendo Game Theme Song Cover Band.” Nothing more needs to be said. This CD is brilliant from start to finish. And I’ve never played Nintendo in my life.

Crash Kelly
#3. Electric Satisfaction, Crash Kelly

Canadian Rockers Crash Kelly excell at producing stellar Modern Glam Trash for people like me who go out of their way to live in the past.

#2. Yeah!, Def Leppard

Seriously, how can you possibly go wrong if you’re already Def Leppard — who are, without a doubt, a genius band — and you decide to make an album of covers that includes Badfinger’s “No Matter What” and Mott The Hoople’s “Golden Age of Rock & Roll”? How can you go wrong, I ask yez?

Sloan Never Hear The End of It
#1. Never Hear The End of It, Sloan

I have to thank n=my buddy Frank Griggs for sending me this Sloan album on the fly when he was doing their publicity last fall, because otherwise I never would have heard the BEST ALBUM OF 2006! No amount of clever compound adjectives can fully describe how awesome this CD is. Those tasteless dicks over at Rolling Stone only gave Never Hear The End Of It three-out-of-five stars, but here’s their review:

“For more than a decade, Sloan have been big in their native Canada without even reaching Guided by Voices-level fame stateside. With thirty, count-’em, thirty songs (several of which bleed together and clock in under two minutes), their eighth studio album is a power-pop record that flows like the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime — but with glam rock and acoustic balladry in the mix.”

So just go out and buy it already.

Honorable Mention

These are some genius discs that didn’t quite make into the Top Ten, mostly because I could only fit ten selections into a list of ten. Logistics, you know.

1. Benevento Russo Duo, Play, Pause, Stop
2. Dirty Royals, Obsessed America EP
3. David Gilmour, On An Island
4. Ambulance, New English EP
5. Gosling, Here Is…
6. Hellacopters, Rock & Roll is Dead
7. American Hearthbreak
8. Barrett Martin, Earthspeaker
9. Wired All Wrong, Break Out The Battle Tapes

10. (Guilty Pleasure) Taylor Hicks
Don’t even start with me on this one. I may be a self-confessed huge fan of American Idol, but nobody was more surprised than me when I fell in love with former spazz Taylor Hick’s fake Elvis swagger and his “Takin’ It To The Streets” mock-soul funk. This album is probably the best piece of commercial “product” that the big corporate machine has crapped out since I even listened to mainstream pop radio. And thank god someone got him to dye his hair.

Top Ten Reasons Why Today is a Great Day

Black Nike sneakers
Free Sneakers Are Good Sneakers

Here are my Top Ten reasons why this day Rocks:

1. Was able to sleep until 7:00 AM* before my Upststairs-Neighbors-from-Hell woke me with their incessant cacaphony of moving furniture and dropping bowling balls on the floor (*usually it starts closer to 5 or 6:00 AM)! Continue reading Top Ten Reasons Why Today is a Great Day

Sean Kelly, Guitar and Vocals for Crash Kelly

Gail has that elusive quality that seperates her writing from other critics… it's called "soul." Her writing comes out of a genuine love of music, rather than from some misguided attempt to impress with phony conconctions of hip references and obscure name dropping. You want proof? You'll see Gail up front at a great rock 'n' roll show dancing her ass off, while other critics are ruminating on whether or not their folded arms and bored expressions are giving off the proper amount of ennui. Gail is the real deal, and she rocks!

An Interview with Kevin Taylor of Crash Kelly

metal edge logo

Kevin Taylor had a steady gig playing drums with Canadian glam punk band, Robin Black when he started sitting in on drums for Crash Kelly; a group of dynamic, ‘70s-influenced rockers lead by his friend, guitarist Sean Kelly. “I played with Sean for about a year when Robin Black wasn’t on the road or recording,” the drummer explains. “Things got busy with Robin again, but I kept going to see Crash Kelly shows and I realized Sean had something really good going on.” Less than a year later, Kevin was back behind Crash Kelly’s drum kit fulltime.

As a drummer who’s passionate about 70s and 80s rock, Kevin feels Crash Kelly is the perfect band for him. “Robin Black’s music only needed very straightforward punk/pop drumming,” Kevin offers. “Joining Crash Kelly allowed me way more flexibility in my playing, because I wasn’t just laying down a straight 1-and-2-and-3-and-4 beat. There’s lots of room to do interesting things, which I really love.” Flaunting songs that pay homage to the finest aspects of the Alice Cooper Group’s vintage, gritty glam and Cheap Trick’s classic power pop, Crash Kelly have toured non-stop with kindred spirits like Backyard Babies, The Black Halos and The Illuminati in support of its critically acclaimed 2005 debut, Penny Pills. The band recently released its amazing sophomore CD, Electric Satisfaction, which was produced by former GNR axeman Gilby Clarke. Kevin talked drums with Metal Edge during much needed break from the road.

Metal Edge: In the studio, how did you approach your drum parts for Electric Satisfaction?

Kevin Taylor: Because of time and budget constraints, we couldn’t do any pre-production. What we did was choose the six songs we thought were the strongest and rehearse those to death. That way, those songs were very structured and everything was set when we went into the studio. Then we just banged them out with maybe a few minor changes. With the other six songs that we didn’t have a chance to work on, we learned their structure and, basically, when we got into the studio we just went with what felt good that day. I’d do two consecutive takes and end up with two completely different drumbeats. When I listened back to the tape, I realized it was a good idea to have done that because I came up with fresh, innovative ideas in the studio rather than having my parts already planned. From doing records in the past and listening to them two months later, I’ll often wish I had played something different than what made the record. This approach was great because it was a spur of the moment decision based on what felt right.

Metal Edge: How did Gilby Clarke influence you in the studio, if at all?

Kevin Taylor: We made some major drum part changes on two songs, thanks to Gilby: “Turn It Around” and “…Shock In My Rock & Roll.” The changes weren’t anything really complicated, but were just suggestions to make the songs more unique. In “Turn It Around” I originally had 8th notes on the hi-hat going through the verses. Gilby suggested I do the 8ths on the snare instead, which gives it that marching cadence you hear. I don’t have an ego and I’ve never been a producer. As soon as he said, “Let’s do this,” I was like, “you know better than I do.” He was in Guns ‘n’ Roses, so who am I to not trust his judgment (laughs)?

Metal Edge: When Crash Kelly toured with Alice Cooper, what did you think of Eric Singer’s playing?

Kevin Taylor: I knew Eric Singer from Badlands and the live Kiss DVD, but I had no idea that he was such good drummer until I saw him live with Alice Cooper. Every night that I watched him was just like a clinic; he’s solid but stylish and the tricks he has are so amazing. I always like a bit of showmanship in drumming, though never at the expense of playing. If you can pull it off live and do it well, then I say go for it. Eric was great.

Metal Edge: Crash Kelly has played with so many great new rock and roll bands that all share a kind of ‘70s rock or garage rock spirit. How does it feel to hear that kind of music enjoying a rebirth?

Kevin Taylor: The best thing is when I walk down the street and see a ten-year-old kid with long hair wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt. I just feel warm that kids get it. It goes to show you that a Led Zeppelin record is timeless, but in 30 years no one will even remember who Limp Bizkit was.

Kevin’s Gear:
Drums: Pearl BLX White four-piece
Sizes: 22” x 18” Kick, 12” x 10” Mounted Tom, 16” x 16” Floor Tom, 14” x 6.5” free floating Snare with metal shell.
Cymbals: Sabian
Heads: Remo ambassador coated heads on toms and snare, Remo pinstripe on kick.
Sticks: Rimshot 5A’s with wood tip

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crashkellymusic/

Kevin Taylor Crash Kelly

This article was originally written for Metal Edge Magazine as part of a monthly column by Gail Worley (under the pen name Jayne Rollins). With the magazines’ dissolution, the article has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.


Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2005!

Top Ten

As a special New Year’s treat, here’s a preview of my Top Ten Favorite CDs of the year, to be elaborated on in my upcoming 2005 Year End Rewind! Enjoy!

Crash Kelly Penny Pills

1. Crash Kelly, Penny Pills (Liquor & Poker)

When I got the advance of this album last winter, I predicted that Penny Pills would be my favorite CD of the year 2006 and, no surprise here, I was right. Embracing a full-on 70s sensibility of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out and T Rex at its most glam, Penny Pills is the only drug you need.

Lake Trout
2. Lake Trout, Not Them, You (PALM)

Baltimore’s Lake Trout bring us acid rock for the aughts and are one of the best live bands around. Continue reading Gail’s Top Ten CDs of 2005!