Top 20 Rock Albums, March 2014
This month's rock roundup contains a fantastic selection of jams. Our golden boy Elton leads the way with a Super Deluxe treatment of 1973's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Listening to the rarities- and outtakes-packed box set would surely gobble up an entire afternoon, though it would be time well spent considering this is one of the great pop albums of the '70s. Fans of classic rock also should explore the recently remastered version of Life, Thin Lizzy's searing live set originally released in 1983, as well as Little Feat's Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971 to 1990. Yet another sprawling box set, Rad Gumbo contains all the band's best albums, including their underrated country rock debut from 1971.
As for modern sounds, fellow Georgia residents Drive-By Truckers and Black Lips both return with full-lengths, English Oceans and Underneath the Rainbow, respectively. Significantly more sassy is Going to Hell, the sexed-up sophomore effort from the always provocative Taylor Momsen and her riff-obsessed outfit The Pretty Reckless. Also emerging from the hard-rock zone is Deap Vally's Sistrionix. Granted, the record has been kicking around since late last year, but the female duo's brand of foot-stomping blues rock (think The Black Keys all beefed up on 'roids) is garnering more and more buzz due to their sweaty live performances. So if you dig the heavy stuff, don't sleep on Deap Vally. Yet another sleeper I felt behooved to spotlight is J. Roddy Walston & The Business' Essential Tremors. Another tough-ass rock record quietly released late last year, yet only recently has it been receiving the attention it deserves. Now get listening!