Wall of Sound Presents: “2022 YEAR IN REVIEW” – By Writer Simon Valentine

2022 seemed to be a reawakening for most of us – the music world in particular, with new festivals testing the crowds and older festivals picking up from where they left off, as the industry slowly got back into a sense of normalcy.

While we’ve lost some legends over the last few years, I don’t think I’ll ever regret uttering the phrase ‘I’ll catch them next time they come down’ more than for passing up the surprise Foo Fighters show in Geelong (not for lack of trying – thanks Geelong hotels for jacking up your prices within moments of the show being announced.) I knew they would announce a proper tour later in the year (which they did) so I figured I’d catch them then.

Less than a month later we lost one of the greatest rock drummers of our time, Taylor Hawkins.

On a positive note, I managed to get to a few festivals this year and enjoyed a break in a great part of the world, Port Stephens, for my 40th birthday. And got bumped up the ladder in the day job, which was nice. Can’t wait to see where Browny takes the ship in 2023.

Alright, let’s get to my top picks of the year.

TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2022

10. Slipknot – The End, So Far
9. Trident – D-X
8. One OK Rock – Luxury Disease
7. No Quarter – Fear and Loathing On The Pacific Highway
6. Bowling For Soup – Pop Drunk Snot Bread

5. Machine Head – Of Kingdom And Crown
4. Devin Townsend – Lightwork
3. Parkway Drive – Darker Still
2. Band-Maid – Unleash
1. Scandal – Mirror

TOP 5 SONGS OF 2022

10. Spiderbait – ‘Riffer’
9. RedHook – ‘Jabberwocky’
8. Metallica – ‘Lux Aeterna’
7. Rehasher – ‘Open Roads’
6. One OK Rock – ‘Wonder’

5. Less Than Jake – ‘Fat Mikes On Drugs Again’
4. BabyMetal – ‘Monochrome’
3. Bowling For Soup – ‘Hello Anxiety’
2. Paramore – ‘This Is Why’
1. Nemophila – ‘徒花 -ADABANA-‘

TOP 5 MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2022

5. Dal Failure – ‘Distant Memory’

60 seconds of pure Punk from former Local Resident Failure frontman and current bass man for Frenzal Rhomb.

4. Slowly Slowly – ‘God’

Slowly Slowly only just came out with this classic this month, but a cameo from Tim Rogers and a song that will move you to tears made it too good not to include.

3. Tom Cardy – ‘Hey I Don’t Work Here’

An earworm from Australian musical comedian, Tom Cardy.

2. BAND-MAID – ‘Unleash’

BAND-MAID continue to dominate the planet, and their EP is eight tracks of blistering hard rock.

1. Foo Fighters – ‘Love Dies Young’

Cheating a little bit (the video came out late last year), but with good reason. I couldn’t tell you the future of the Foo Fighters, but if they ultimately decide to call it a day after losing their friend, the final track from Medicine At Midnight, ‘Love Dies Young,’ couldn’t be a better bookend to the band’s recording career. The song is the Fooies doing what they do best, and the video shows the humour that’s been their trademark since ‘Big Me’ in 1996.

BEST GIG YOU CAUGHT THIS YEAR?

Aussie Band

Caligula/The Porkers/Ratcat/COG/Frenzal Rhomb/Tumbleweed/Spiderbait/Grinspoon – Scene And Heard, Newcastle NSW

I caught some great Aussie acts at Good Things a few weeks back, but for local acts, the bill for Scene and Heard in Newcastle back in March was just top-notch. Featuring The Porkers playing to a home crowd, Frenzal Rhomb being…well…Frenzal Rhomb, Spiderbait putting on a killer set, and Grinspoon capping off just a bloody enjoyable day. A November date was pencilled in for an encore, but sadly didn’t eventuate. I hope Scene And Heard makes a return in 2023 (or just a few more rock festivals in Newy would be great.)

International Band

Millencolin/Sabaton/One OK Rock/Gojira/Deftones at Good Things Festival

Good Things was an awesome day – was great to catch some favourites like Millencolin, finally see TISM in all their unique, legendary form (I maintain you need to be from Victoria to get them,) and got blown away by Sabaton’s pyro and the face-melting Gojira. The highlight band for me would be One Ok Rock – you might have seen me get something in my eye for their closing song ‘Stand Out, Fit In.’ I’m kicking myself a bit for choosing Nofx over Soulfly, as the former were a bit underwhelming, but that’s how festivals go, I guess.

But can we move the Sydney stop to Homebush next year, please.

FAVOURITE CONTRIBUTION YOU PRODUCED?

I’ve done mostly album reviews this year – probably my favourite would have to be the review I did for Halestorm’s Back From The Dead. Hopefully, in 2023 I can get back to doing a bit more for the heavy music scene.

FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2022

According to Spotify, I heard 274 different artists this year, so I’m tipping there’d be a fair bit of new stuff to choose from. But to pick one – I’d go with Broken By The Scream, one of the many upcoming metalcore groups coming out of Japan at the moment.

NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2023

Full disclaimer – I had the joy of working in the radio world with the legendary RedHook frontwoman Emmy Mack until earlier this year.

I quietly watched with awe from my studio down the hall as she burned the candle both ends as Triple M newsreader in Breakfast, then various RedHook related activities in the evenings and weekends (also stepping into my voice booth occasionally for a Wacky Brekky Crew parody song.) Naturally, I was ecstatic for her when she finally decided to call time on the news gig earlier this year and go all in on her music gig full-time.

RedHook are a great band destined for bigger things in 2023, with their debut album on the way and no doubt a full schedule of tour dates on the calendar.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023

My live gig calendar was a bit barren for 2022, so next year I’d like to get out to some more shows, and already have Bad Religion, Everclear, The Superjesus and Knotfest in the diary. I also have a few ideas around a project dedicated the 90s, which may include releasing some songs.

All the best for 2023 folks!

Written by Simon Valentine (@SimonValentineAU)

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