BEST OF 2019 - Wallygator (Best of 2019)

BEST OF 2019 – Wallygator

Welcome to the CGCM Podcast/Website. We are a group of music passionate folks from around the world. Although we began in Canada with only the podcast co-hosts, we now realize an entire team of staff from Canada, UK, USA and Sweden! Follow us at our website and/or social media for all our podcasts, album/concert reviews, interviews, photo galleries and more!

Check out all CGCMs BEST OF 2019 lists from each individual contributor. Enjoy listening to the Best of 2019 podcasts, featuring a ton of the music and hopefully you found some things that maybe you missed throughout the year. Feel free to share the lists and/or podcasts around and let us know what you were rocking to in 2019.

Keep an eye on our Upcoming Release page for all the info on the hottest releases throughout 2020. Every article we post has Amazon links (if available) so you can easily buy the album and support the artists. Here’s to 2020 🥂

BEST OF 2019 – Wallygator (Podcast Co-host/Writer) 🇨🇦

Here we are at the end of another year and the end of another decade. Another year of the mainstream virtually ignoring hard rock and heavy metal music. It has been mentioned time and again that rock is dead. To the masses who rely on radio to introduce them to new music, it appears to be true. Rock is a cold and rotting corpse.

For those that are willing to dig a little deeper, the truth is a glorious and splendid thing. In fact, I had to wade through dozens of amazing new albums released this year to nail down my top ten favourites. It is a testament to the podcast community that works tirelessly to find and share all of these amazing rock bands. Half of the bands that made my top ten this year, I would never have known had it not been for the various podcasts that continue to feed my rock n roll soul.

#10 – Deaf Rat – Ban The Light 🇸🇪

Ok, I will admit I laughed when I first heard the name of this band. I am well aware of Def Leppard and Ratt, but Deaf Rat? I was at work the first time I hit play on this release and to be honest it was simply some background noise while I went about my day. About halfway through I suddenly realized how much I was enjoying these songs. I doubled back to the iPod to ensure it was still playing Ban The Light and then I restarted from the beginning. Infectious riffs and strong vocals reeled me in and this album went right into regular rotation. Standout tracks: “Make You Suffer” and “Hail the End Of Days”.

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#9 – Crazy Lixx – Forever Wild 🇸🇪

I am not sure if the album cover for Forever Wild is ridiculously horrendous or incredibly cool. I do know that the music within completely knocked my dick in the dirt. Like a time machine to 1987’s Sunset Strip, Crazy Lixx delivers a glorious return to big hair, big hooks, great songs and most of all FUN. These are the kind of songs Bon Jovi wishes he could still write. The first Frontiers Records release to make my top ten this year, definitely not the last. Standout tracks: “Wicked” and “(She’s Wearing) Yesterday’s Face”.

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CGCM Album Review: Crazy Lixx – Forever Wild by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall

 

#8 – Down ‘n’ Outz  – This Is How We Roll 🇬🇧

A side project for Joe Elliot and members of The Quireboys, the Down ‘n’ Outz started as sort of a tribute to Mott the Hoople. They have since evolved into an original act with their third album This Is How We Roll. Far more organic sounding than Def Leppard but it works well with Joe‘s vocals and the piano is awesome. It feels Mott and sounds fantastic. Standout tracks: “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Another Man’s War”.

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#7 – Carl Dixon  – Unbroken 🇨🇦

The man, the myth, the legend, Carl Dixon has returned in 2019 with an incredible hard rock solo release. Unbroken was a surprise release for me as I had no idea a rock record was in the works. This was great news indeed! I make it a rule to catch Carl live whenever possible, his acoustic shows are always a blast but I will always prefer when he straps on the white Fender Strat and cranks it up loud. Unbroken did not disappoint. Eleven melodic rockers from one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. This album will be blasting through my speakers long into 2020. Standout tracks: “Every Step Of The Way” and “Drive Just Drive”.

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#6 – Tygers Of Pan Tang – Ritual 🇬🇧

I remember when I first started getting into hard rock music at the tender age of fourteen. I had my small stable of bands that I loved (Motley, Leppard, Ratt and WASP). We had met girl who was a few years older than us and she would invite us over to listen to records at her apartment. She was a big fan of Tygers of Pan Tang and she attempted to enlarge our musical horizons. We were probably more interested in partying than paying attention to this NWOBHM and I never took notice. Knew of them but never paid much attention. Until Ritual came across my radar. From the opening chunky riffs of “Worlds Apart” to the epic and beautiful “Sail On” this album smokes. Standout Tracks: All of them but “Raise Some Hell” and “Damn You!” are a couple for sure.

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CGCM Album Review: Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall

 

#5 – Treatment – Power Crazy 🇬🇧

Treatment is a band that came to my attention back when they opened for Motley Crue a number of years back. 2011’s debut album This Might Hurt was a great album and then they sort of fell off my radar. I realized that this was a horrible mistake on my part when I put on the headphones and the opening riffs of “Let’s Get Dirty” put a huge smile on my face. Power Crazy is right there alongside Crazy Lixx delivering dirty, fun rock n roll. Nothing makes me happier than loud, rude and aggressive hard rock, dripping with hooks and attitude! Released back in March, I didn’t give this a spin until early November. It skyrocketed to my top 5 before it finished playing. Standout tracks: The aforementioned perfect “Let’s Get Dirty” and “Hang em High”

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CGCM Album Review: The Treatment – Power Crazy by Rich “The Meister” Dillon

 

#4 – Texas Hippie Coalition-High In The Saddle 🇺🇸

Texas Hippie Coalition came onto my radar sometime after their debut album back in 2008. I remember playing “Pissed Off And Mad About It” and really digging this band. Unfortunately, I never took notice beyond that initial song. Fast forward to this year, I was reintroduced to THC via the Cobras and Fire Podcast. After the glowing recommendation and hearing a couple of tracks I added High In The Saddle to my album collection. If you like southern-fried metal, sticky BBQ and sipping moonshine from the jar, then you will love this album. I am Canadian but I feel the hot Texas sun warming my soul. Standout tracks: “Moonshine” and “Stevie Nicks”.

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#3 – Steel Prophet – The God Machine 🇺🇸

Back in March, I clearly remember receiving the advance copy of this juggernaut. Here is a case where you could absolutely judge a book by its cover. Steel Prophet‘s The God Machine is an absolute masterpiece of Priest/Maiden influenced classic heavy metal. So good, I knew it would make my top 5 hands down and that was back in March! It still maintains heavy rotation in the iPod. How this band avoided my radar for over a dozen albums is beyond me. Do yourself a favour, buckle your seatbelt and crank this one up loud! Standup tracks: “The God Machine” and “Dark Mask (Between Love and Hate)”.

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CGCM Album Review: Steel Prophet – The God Machine by Wally “Wallygator” Norton

CGCM Album Review: Steel Prophet – The God Machine by Trevor “Psychoone” McDougall

 

#2 – L.A. GUNS – The Devil You Know 🇺🇸

It seems only two years ago that L.A. Guns made it to the number 2 spot on my top 10 (or was that 12) of 2017 with the outstanding The Missing Peace album. Many close to me assumed that they were destined to top my list as I am admittedly a complete and utter fanboy. I was thrilled to learn that the Tracii/Phil reunion was not a one and done kind of thing and a second album The Devil You Know was being released in 2019. More raw and in your face than the previous, The Devil You Know delivers everything I love about this band. Frantic, punk-infused shredding metal with Phil‘s beautifully flawed vocals. Say what you will about this band, but for me, the Tracii/Phil chemistry is something beyond tangible. Standout tracks: “Loaded Bomb” and “Needle To The Bone”.

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#1 – Ron Keel Band – Fight Like a Band 🇺🇸

From heavy metal arenas to country honky-tonks to the DJ booth, Ron Keel is the quintessential musical journeyman. In 2014, Ron released the solo album Metal Cowboy. It was as if Ron finally found his niche. In the words of Donnie and Marie Osmond, he’s a little bit country and a little bit rock n roll. Elements of Keel and dashes of Iron Horse but all Ron Keel, Fight Like A Band is the perfect combination of Heavy Metal Country. As an unabashed Keeloholic, I was anxiously awaiting the debut of this new band. If you need some good songs to get you through the bad times than do yourself a favour and just go buy this record. Tell Ron the Canadian Geeks sent you! Standout tracks: “Long Way Down”, “Rock n Roll Guitar” and the title track

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