Good luck 2023. Following in the footsteps of a year as massive as 2022 is going to be a hard slog for you mate. But with new albums, festivals and tours popping up all over the joint, I’m sure you’ll be fine mate.
2022 could have gone for 15 months instead of 12 and I still would’ve struggled to jam it all in. I could’ve easily squeezed 25 albums into my top 10 and with New Music Friday giving me FOMO anxiety every damned week. I’ll be happy if no bastard releases a single bloody thing for the next few weeks. Christ, I’m still playing catch-up from last year.
Anyways, here’s my list of bullshit…
TOP 10 RELEASES OF 2022
10. Psycroptic – Divine Council
9. Malevolence – Malicious Intent
8. Disturbed – Divisive
7. Neptune Power Federation – Le Demon de L’amour
6. Lamb Of God – Omens
5. Megadeth – The Sick, the Dying…And The Dead
4. Soulfly – TOTEM
3. Kirk Hammett – Portals
2. The Hu – Rumble Of Thunder
1. Corpsegrinder – Corpsegrinder
Skid Row, RHCP, Dead Cross, Slash, Arch Enemy, Meshuggah, NOFX, Polyphia, BAEST, Bastardane, The Bobby Lees, Cancer Bats, Classless Act, Clutch, Dream Widow, Frankenbok, Ingested, Machine Head, Korn, Parkway Drive, Behemoth…I need a drink
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2022
10. Butrectomy, Filth – ‘Scorched Earth’
9. Red Bee – ‘Beautiful Wreck’
8. Decapitated/Jinjer – ‘Hello Death’
7. Metallica – ‘Lux Aaterna?’
6. Black Rheno – ‘Flea Ridden’
5. Blood Command – ‘A Villains Monologue’
4. Cancer Bats – ‘Lonely Bong’
3. Steel Panther- ‘1987’
2. Neptune Power Federation – ‘Weeping On The Morn’
1. Red Hot Chilli Peppers – ‘Black Summer’
Piss off, I’m not doing that again. It’s heaps. Just take my ducking word for it.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2022
1. Steel Panther – ‘1987’
This one kicked my nostalgia in the arse. Someone may have shed a single tear watching this.
BEST GIGS YOU CAUGHT THIS YEAR?
Aussie: Sick Fizz at The Moshpit Bar, Erskineville
It’s not often you get to see a band’s debut performance, so I made the trek from Bafferst to catch The Fox’s new mob tear up Moshpit Bar, a joint that looks like they drove a bus into a wall, said ‘leave it there, put a bar in with Bathurst Beer and let bands play up the back’.
International Band: The Hu at The Roundhouse.
This was the most I’d seen a Sydney crowd move in a long time, a sentiment that was seconded by an industry legend. A special return to Sydney for this Mongolian 8 piece who were forced to lock down in this very city at the outbreak of Covid.
FAVOURITE CONTRIBUTION YOU PRODUCED?
Shit, I dunno. I’ve interviewed some of my musical heroes this year, like Zakk Wylde, Frank Bello, Max Cavalera, Fletcher Dragge and the time I trod on my words when I asked Slash about his son London Hudson also being a ‘professional Museum’. I got to meet Mongolian legends The Hu and interviewing Satchel from Steel Panther in person was an all-time moment I’ll never forget.
My favourite piece would have to be the live review of Amy Shark in Bathurst. The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written by miles and despite Sharky being so far removed from what I usually listen to, the night was an enormous amount of fun. I think the review reflected that.
But my proudest moment was contributing to the second Digi-mag with the sea of WoS talent on offer. I used to read about Dino Cazares of Fear Factory in magazines when I was a teenager. Now I’m interviewing him in person, backstage at a festival and writing about the man for a magazine. A 30-year full-circle moment.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2022
I’m late to the party but lately, I’m all over Amyl and The Sniffers as well as Turnstile. Classless Act have had a fricken massive year and should blow up hard in the future. Paleface’s new album punched a hole in my stereo, as did Polyphia, The Bobby Lees and Ingested. So much new music. I can’t choose. I blame WoS staffer Tony Gorry.
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2023
SICK FIZZ is the brand new brainchild of Mike Foxall (Neptune Power Federation, Nancy Vandal). The 3-piece only recently debuted to the public at a packed Moshpit Bar in Erskineville the night before GNR played ‘November Rain’ in the pissing down November rain at Homebush stadium. If you haven’t made yourself familiar with the works of Mike Foxall, then do yourself a favour. In addition to pumping out some of the grooviest music of the last 25 years, he is also an insane artist who has produced shirts, posters, merchandise and animated film clips for some of Australia’s finest, including King Parrot, The Hard-Ons, Totally Unicorn, Flangipanis and a shed load more.
He’s a huge supporter of Support Act, having recently sold some of his original art for the cause. His periodical Speek Evil is available online (vol.6 out right now) and the man himself can be found peddling his wares at art shows across Sydney’s like the recent “30 years of Frenzal Rhomb Art Show”.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2023
I am itching for Knotfest. Covering that with Wall Of Sound is going to be EPIC!!!
Am keen on the new albums by Metallica, Steel Panther, Sick Fizz, Dying Fetus and maybe even Anthrax if the Frank Bello interview is anything to go by.
What I want most is for Pantera to announce an Aussie tour with Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax and Black Label Society, with Aussie supports King Parrot, Black Rheno, Lo! and Neptune Power Federation. It’ll happen. I pray to Lemmy every night for it to happen.
Personally, me and the family are moving from Bathurst back towards Sydney. I’ve been working at Skin Fantasy Tattoo in Bathurst for the last 13 years and it has been a dream. I started there in 2009 and the opportunities that arose on the back of my time there have been huge, including meeting WoS big kahuna Browny, when I tattooed his Marvel sleeve five hundred years ago.
Life is good. Got myself a gorgeous wife and a beautiful son. I get to tattoo legends, interview my musical heroes and write about music for a living. And it’s only going to get better. Maybe someone will pay me to eat pizza and drink beer while I play with Star Wars Lego. It’ll make my entire life a tax write-off. The thing is, I’ve been a fan of Wall Of Sound since before day 1. Browny used to talk about it when I was dragging a tattoo needle over his arm. To be on the team is an honour and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Written by Duane ‘Museum’ James. IG: @duanejamestattoo
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