Todd Ward is the lead singer and guitarist for The GasTown Lamps and is also launching a new project in 2014 named Black The Buffalo that will be far different that the power blues approach of GTL. This is Ward’s second year contributing a list for Vocals On Top and he always digs out interesting music that makes me search the used CD and vinyl bins for the next year. Go check out the music of his band at the following website:
GTL Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GasTownLamps
Black The Buffalo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackthebuffalo
Todd Ward’s Top 10 of 2013
1. The Growlers – Hung at Heart: This band is my new favorite psych-rock band and this is their strongest collection of songs yet. Standout tracks: “Salt On A Slug” and “Burden Of The Captain”.
2. Night Beats – Sonic Bloom: I love the tone of this album; Lee Blackwell’s guitar playing sounds like a Bayou Country-era John Fogerty. Standout tracks: “Outta Mind” and “Love Ain’t Strange (Everything Else Is)”.
3. Temples – “Shelter Song”/”Prisms” (Single): This could be a double A-side. Both songs are strong. “Shelter Song” is one of my favorite songs of the year; it’s led by a riff that reminds me a lot of The Byrds.
4. King Tuff – Was Dead (Reissue): Kyle Thomas’s second album was one of my favorites of 2012, and this reissue of his first album as King Tuff is another strong set of songs. Standout tracks: “Sun Medallion” and “Dancing On You”.
5. Case Studies – This Is Another Life: Jesse Lortz has been one of my favorite songwriters since his debut with The Dutchess and the Duke. The sound on this album is both desperate and hopeful. Standout tracks: “Driving East, And Through Her”, “House of Silk, House of Stone”, and “Villain”.
6. Fuzz – Fuzz: Ty Segall’s side project reminds me of the best parts of Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, and Fraction. Standout tracks: “Loose Sutures” and “Earthen Gate”.
7. The Growlers – Gilded Pleasures (EP): The second release of the year by one of my favorite bands. They didn’t grow much on this EP, but continue to hone the sound they’ve become comfortable with. Standout tracks: “Humdrum Blues” and “Change In Your Veins”.
8. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork: Josh Homme is once again surrounded by yes-men. (Please come back, Nick!) But this is their strongest album since Songs For The Deaf. The sound of this album is sci-fi, forward-thinking yet mechanical dance rock. Standout tracks: “If I Had A Tail” and “Kalopsia”.
9. Temples – “Keep In The Dark”/”Jewel Of Mine Eye” (Single): The sound of “Keep in the Dark” reminds me of a good T. Rex song, while “Jewel Of Mine Eye” has a very cinematic feel to it. Temples debut album, Sun Structures, is one I’m really looking forward to in 2014.
10. Dead Ghosts – Can’t Get No: A solid debut of garage-psych. This album reminds me a lot of The People’s Temple and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Standout tracks: “Summer With Phil” and “Can’t Get No”.
Honorable Mentions: Bass Drum of Death – Bass Drum of Death, Kelley Stoltz – Double Exposure, Tijuana Panthers – Semi-sweet, Hanni El Khatib – Head In The Dirt, Pokey LaFarge – Pokey LaFarge