Jim’s 2018 Top of the Pops…

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As I sit here typing this it’s less than forty-eight hours until it’s officially 2019. As is customary, everybody with an opinion is working up top ten lists for everything from cutest cat memes to Netflix original programming to, of course, music… Fuck it, I’m just going to make a list of my favorite albums of the year and it’s just gonna be whatever length I damn well want.

In order to prevent my brain from exploding trying to decide which album tops the rest I have placed them in alphabetical order. Just to be clear, I have listened to and enjoyed far more albums than appear on this list. I reserved my space for those that went above and beyond the norm to truly captivate me. There are far too many honorable mentions for me to possibly finish this list before midnight December 31st. That’s enough lollygagging, drum roll please. Jim Dodge

ASG – Survive Sunrise: stoner rock is a great and growing genre. The bands that fall into this category write songs that groove from beginning to end. I have only recently gotten into ASG but they have quickly become one of my favorite bands.

AxTxOxTx – To Be The Man: This short-lived punk band from the UK blazed bright and then disappeared, but not before dropping an album that surely deserves a legendary following. If you aren’t hooked by the Ric Flair Trilogy or Han Shot First, well middle fingers to you.

Avatar – Avatar Country: I met this band when they were touring for their Hail the Apocalypse album, opening for Mushroomhead. Dramatic, dynamic, and truly gracious to their fans, Avatar has quickly ascended to the next level of success with three concept albums their belt, as well as a few more traditional metal albums that preceded them.

Black Elephant – Cosmic Blues: More stoner rock, this band has managed to create tasty tracks that defy the odds of sameness. Utterly astonishing, this album has received a significant amount of airtime on my MP3 player.

Cancerslug – Beating a Dead Whore: There was no doubt that a Cancerslug album would land on my list of faves, as long as they released one during the last twelve months. Well, they have released more than one in 2018 but this one tops them all. Eighteen original tracks of furiously catchy music, all presenting ugly things in ugly ways. This is the second time that CS have threatened to disappear. The last time this happened they came back stronger than ever. Time will tell…

Dr. Demento – Covered in Punk: Dr. Demento has been spinning weird, funky, unusual music for longer than I have been alive. John Cafiero, frontman for Osaka Popstar, friend of The Misfits, The Ramones, and many more…put this two-disc delight together for music fans of all kinds. Punk bands cover fun songs and fun people cover punk songs, including performances by Weird Al Yankovic (playing Beat on the Brat by the Ramones) and William Shatner (covering Garbage Man by The Cramps). I wish every station had a DJ like Dr. Demento.

Greenleaf – Hear the Rivers: I know, I know, I keep making my way back to the stoner rockers. Considering I have never been a stoner this is probably what they call ironic. Fuck it, I love Greenleaf and they haven’t released a subpar album yet. All I need to soothe a troubled day is to play great music and Greenleaf is one of my go-to bands for exactly that.

The Jasons – Get Sued: Are you a fan of The Misfits? How about The Ramones? On this album The Jasons try to piss off both camps by playing Ramones/Misfits mashups without shame or good sense. I don’t know if they will, in fact, get sued, but if so they sure earned it.

The Ramonas – First World Problems: The Ramonas are the UK’s premiere (and maybe only) all-female Ramones tribute bands. Spoiler alert: First World Problems is an album of Ramonas originals! While they definitely take some tips from the Ramones song book, they also hit many other punk rock influences for a sound they can call their own.

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