We’re honored to start off this massive run of Personal Top 20‘s with the list sent in by… The honorable Bucky Brown! Sure, he took a step back from handling loads of Doom Charts stuff and he decided to quit almost all social media things, but he never left the Heavy Underground! Of course not, he is as addicted to the good and heavy as you and I. He kept listening, kept buying vinyl and delivering his lists of favorite albums whenever he could, delivered a blurb or two as the year went on and was audible on that amazing Doom Charts Countdown podcast he does together with Doomed & Stoned‘s Billy Goate and Vegas Rock Revolution‘s John Gist. And recently he has also started doing more… Indeed… He thought he was out! But the Heavy Underground pulled him right back in! He’s now doing things for the Doom Charts Twitter page; which has been hanging idle and just doing the auto-post thing for a very long time… So, if you are on Twitter, go follow the Doom Charts and Bucky Brown! He’s good people, and good people listen to good music! And here’s his list of the very best of all that good music!
Bucky’s Top 20 Records of 2022
“Before I dive into my picks, I’d like to extend a huge applause to Joop, Remi, and the rest of the new and old faces of the Doom Charts that continued doing a fantastic job carrying the torch forward in 2022. It was late in 2021 that I delegated the painstaking tasks of tallying, editing, and managing the blog and group of contributors, of which I had a blast doing for the past half-decade or so. It comes as no surprise that I did not listen to near as much music as a typical year, probably due to stepping back from most social media activity and focusing my attention on family and work life outside the scene the past couple years.
Going from listening/discovering 10+ new albums a day at times, to less than 10 per month, I was still able to put together a top 20 favorite albums from the year. It was no easier than prior years, but in a different way. I still made the attempt to add albums that I purchased on wax as a way to filter it down even further. Play count is always a major factor in reducing to a list of top albums. If I go back to listen again, it must be for a reason. I kept the list on the heavier side of things as those who know me know I listen to just as much genres outside the realm of the Doom Charts that would compete for my favorites of the year. Below are 20 of my favorite records of the year for 2022.”
Well I lied. I don’t own this one on vinyl. I promise it is the only one on the list that’s not hanging out in my vinyl dungeon. Fact is, there isn’t an option, yet. Locust Point bring that straight up Detroit Rawk n roll complete with twin guitars, vocal harmonies, and extreme hook. Very 70’s rock with that patented Thin Lizzy tone. Proto-metal in the most modern expression with some 80’s nostalgia thrown in the mix. Had to feature it as I played the shit out of this throughout the year.
I can still remember listening to this on a wintry spring day upon its initial release. Something enchanting about the entire album that landed Gypsybyrd into my top 20. Also, I noticed the Gold vinyl edition available which wasn’t an option upon the digital/CD release. I bought both the CD and just recently the vinyl. Soaring with mystical hymns and spiritual grit, Visions sees Gypsybyrd in full flight perching its prowess with aural Sabbathstry and subliminal hook.
What an absolute banger of an album. Proggy at times, metallic through and through, and the artwork is a frontrunner for album art of the year. I quickly pre-ordered this one blind when the notification went up early in the year based on the strong history of Ian Blurton and I was not disappointed.
Been raving about this band since their debut EP hit the shelves a few years back. As I described on the EP, “The proto-stoned power metal meets scuzzy biker blues will leave you begging for more.” The aptly named band got picked up by Salt of the Earth records for a vinyl and CD edition of this crushing debut full length. This was a December release which has the effect of either grabbing the attention and freshness to make these types of lists, or struggles due to inadequate time for exposure to make these lists. For me it is hot and fresh and deserving to feature with the best of the year.
Transport AC/DC and Thin Lizzy to a dive bar on the beach and you’ll expect a rock n roll extravaganza as heard on Limousine Beach’s debut self-titled album. Plenty of punkish hooks, hard rock glamour, and twin guitar harmony. Songs are short and sweet like you’d expect from the big label heydey.
First off the music is superb. Loaded with killer riffs, subliminal bass lines, crisp drums and subtle progressive elements. The vocals have a metallic sheen a la early The Sword as others have mentioned. Secondly, the vinyl is put out by one of the masters in the vinyl community Mr. StoneFly Record man himself. If you know what’s best for you, you’ll be adding that sick green disc to your discogs database pronto!!
BORT are back with a new wave of barn-burnt grit, powerhouse prog, and esoteric dirge. An aurally euphoric output, crushing on all accounts.
Merchants of Death summon the spirits of the proto-metal heyday, fixating on raw tone, brute blues, wicked harmonies, and balmy Texas groove. 1975 called and they’re standing outside your front window watching you rock the F out to the new Peth album.
As with several bands on the Teepee Records roster, I pick up every album I can on vinyl. Mirror Queen just have that it factor, combining just enough occult sensibility with the overwhelming metallurgic harmony. The riffs are spastic and catchy with songwriting flowing like a molten stream of ecstasy.
Dark Matter is a mystic brew of enchanting psychedelia with enough rock n roll groove to unite hippies and the metal heads alike. This is fresh and exciting new tunage, straight out of Norman, OK of all places.
Thank you Riding Easy for uncovering another magnificent slab of primo acid rock from the vaults of yesteryear. Pure, unadulterated thunderbolts of fuzz with raw solos, crooning vocals and songwriting in line with Physical Graffiti era Zep! My #1 pick for the August Doom Charts!
Another late release coming out the first week of December and another release in my top 20 released on Teepee Records. Salvation scratches the itch of punk, metal, and classic rock all at once. Think AC/DC meets the The Dead Milkmen or something, this one is a good time through and through with a high repeatability factor.
PARALYZED hammers out another slab of illicit vocals and powerhouse blues. Sure to be one of the years strongest albums in the heavy underworld. Banging hook, gritty charm and bar room doom. Devils Bride and the infamous “LA Woman” may very well be the same person in a parallel dimension.
Whether you’re in the mood for killer solos, vocal harmonies, menacing breakdowns or searing leads, Early Moods has you fulfilled. Everything about this is bad ass.
While it doesn’t have the stand out track Blast Off!! That kicked off the Venus Skytrip album, the tracks are consistently bangers and I feel like the album as a whole has progressed utilizing the bands style and tone. Hey, as a bonus when my vinyl arrived from PsychoWax, the hype sticker on the record was a quote from my bandcamp review of the Venus Skytrip album, “Swirling with ferocious fuzz and melted by molten waves of heavy psych” I’d say that applies to the band as a whole as well as Palo Verde. Shit is nasty!!!
Rumor has it that Rumours new album The Lower We Sink, The Less We Care is the hottest record out in the heavy underground for May 2022. The galloping display of retro doom meets progressive rock n roll summons the hairs on my neck with that instant gratification of pleasure with equal amount of room to grow. Some of the meatiest guitar riffs I’ve heard all year, coupled with adventurous songwriting and accessible groove. The rumors are true. This is fan-fucking tastic!
My most listened to album of 2022. Such a refreshing listen. Progressive psych with layers of punky fuzz. It’s hard not to sucked into the groove. I haven’t seen this mentioned on many other lists yet, if any, and like Rumours (above) a highly underrated album in the Doom Charts community.
These lads continue to trample the realm of progressive space rock with valiant hook and candor. This Sceptred Veil is astonishing all on fronts. Beautiful composition, innate groove, and inexplicable melody. One of the few bands whose catalog is stacked with 5-star albums top to bottom. Even their logo and cover art is top of the class in the heavy underground.
This album hit me like a ton of bricks. Had been familiar with the band for a while but just never took that deep enough plunge into listening to grasp the greatness. With a rather non-traditional stoner rock sound, especially being released on the one and only Small Stone Recordings, In The Dark combines enough progressive elements to a poppy structure in the tone of fuzz to keep your head bobbing and spine tingling throughout the entire album. Caught them live in Denver earlier in the fall and picked up the wax in person. I noted it would be in my top 2-3 on S8E24 of the Doomed and Stoned Doomcharts countdown show where I mentioned them being my #1 pick for the month of September.
Love this shit. From the album art, track titles, and grimy nature of the music to the sick vinyl options, what’s not to be ecstatic about? Instant vinyl pre-order upon initial discovery and endless playtime over the summer while I was busy doing a massive home improvement project. This type of shit is exactly what I would be looking for if I were to be running a hard rock label. You can hear the live show energy oozing through the speakers without even seeing them live, and from what I gather they live up to the hype of what you’d imagine their live show to exhibit. The lead off track is one of the most kick-ass tracks of the year, and the 2LP vinyl offerings are next level. It’s certainly not what you may think upon initial viewing of the band name and album art. It’s straight up insane heavy psychedelic rock n roll of the highest caliber and rightfully takes the throne for my album of the year based on all categories of songs, artwork, vinyl packaging, and the fact that it possesses that underdog aura. Could easily be labeled as most “underrated” album in the scene this year as I don’t recall seeing many other lists featuring it in the running for AOTY.