BEST OF 2021 – BOB BANNISTER (Radio DJ)

BEST OF 2021 – BOB BANNISTER

You can find the Collective List as well as all our Best of 2021 content including contributors’ individual lists, podcasts and radio DJ shows here: CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)

BEST OF 2021

BOB BANNISTER 🇨🇦

(Radio DJ)

Bob Bannister, host of the Between the Stacks radio show on CGCM Rock Radio delivers his ten favourite albums of the year list!

DEAD DAISIES 🇺🇸

Holy Ground

Ok, seriously, who hasn’t been a member of this “supergroup”?  No, seriously!  Just google this band the list of former members is as long as the list of touring musicians some bands have taken on the road with them, a la Pink Floyd.  But am I complaining?  Hell no!   This entire album is like that comfortable old pair of jeans or flannel shirt that everyone has in their closet, it is just too good and full of nostalgia to pass up.  But, this album seriously rocks, I had to include it in this list even if it just made it.   Full of lots of crunch and enough 80’s/90’s vibe that makes it feel familiar even on the first listen.  My ONLY complaint is that this album is LONG and if you’re only half-listening all of the songs start to sound alike.  I do recommend that if you buy this album, buy it on vinyl, your ears will thank you.

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MARTY FRIEDMAN 🇺🇸

Tokyo Jukebox 3

Yes, I selected another instrumental album, but there is a damn good reason.  I have been a fan of instrumental albums ever since I first heard Joe SatrianiSurfing With The Alien.  That album blew my mind, and the fact that there are two instrumental albums in my top 10 (see #6) is amazing.  Marty Friedman stands alone in rock and heavy metal with the singular distinction as the foremost bridge between western metal and Japanese culture. While many will recognize him as the virtuosic lead guitarist of the most successful Megadeth records, Japan knows Friedman-san as a linguistically fluent, full-time Japanese resident and star of both stage and television, look up on YouTube Rock Fujiyama with him and Paul Gilbert, you’ll love it.

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IRON MAIDEN 🇬🇧

Senjutsu

Senjutsu is the seventeenth studio album by Iron Maiden, and their second studio double album, and their first album in almost six years.  Is it my favourite album of 2021, no.  Is it my favourite album from Iron Maiden, again, no.  Then why, you ask, is it on my list?  Simple.  It is Iron Maiden.  I have been a fan for as long as I can remember, and I do enjoy everything they have done.  Well… that and their Trooper Beer sponsorship of CGCM… All kidding aside, It was a toss-up between this and the Smith/Kotzen offering from this year, but Senjutsu wins by the slimmest of margins.

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ROB ZOMBIE 🇺🇸

The Lunar Injection Kool-Aid Eclipse Conspiracy

And the award for the most interesting, creative and weird album title goes to… But what else would you expect from Rob Zombie, this is after all the man who wrote a song about Grandpa Munster’s car (“Dragula“).  I love 99% of this album.  I say 99% because of the one song I don’t think fits and that is the country twinged “18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One Way Ticket on the Ghost Train“, even then I almost think that John 5 had a heavy hand in writing that one.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of John 5 and his latest album, Sinner, almost made this list but it is too eclectic.  Back to the topic at hand… Rob Zombie continues to produce amazing stuff and, as long as he continues to do this, I will be a fan.

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PAUL GILBERT 🇺🇸

Werewolves of Portland

If it seems like this guy has been around forever, in a way he has. From his start in Racer X way back in ’85 through Mr. Big and his MANY solo projects, Gilbert has been voted fourth-best on GuitarOne magazine’s “Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time“.  He has also ranked in Guitar World‘s “50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time” list.  Werewolves of Portland is his 16th solo album and one of his best.  Honestly, I think he and Marty Friedman (see #9) have a friendly competition to see who can out-do the other and it is refreshing.

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TREMONTI 🇺🇸

Marching in Time

Founded and fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Tremonti, best known as the lead guitarist of rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge.  Honestly, I can say that I had not heard of them until I heard that “Eddie’s kid” was the bassist in the band.  Then I took notice.  Originally a Mark Tremonti solo project evolved into a fully-fledged band that has released five studio albums.  Marching in Time landed in September of this year and really it is amazing, a welcome departure from Mark Tremonti‘s main bands, with more of a speed metal influence.

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BLACK LABEL SOCIETY 🇺🇸

Doom Crew Inc.

Doom Crew Inc. a fitting album title and tribute to the fans who have stuck with Zakk Wylde from the get-go.  Be it his fans like myself who have been with him since his debut with Ozzy, through Pride and Glory and Book of Shadows and eventually Black Label Society.  Though some may argue that he crams as many notes into a single solo as most guitarists fit into an entire song, that for me is part of the appeal.  A Zakk Wylde solo should “melt your face off.”  Doom Crew Inc. is no different in that aspect, there are plenty of face-melting solos, but it is also an exemplary example of masterful songwriting.  A solid offering from BLS, but a little ballad heavy to go beyond #3 for Me.

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DIRTY HONEY 🇺🇸

Dirty Honey

Dirty Honey’s self-titled album is another very strong release.  Though not their debut, that belongs to their self-titled and self-released E.P. from 2019.  This band from Los Angeles has impressed me from the start, so, it is no wonder that I was looking forward to a full-length album, which eventually was released on April 23.  2022 looks like another big year for them as they embark on the co-headlining Young Guns Tour with Mammoth WVH.

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DANKO JONES 🇨🇦

Power Trio

The sole Canadian band on this list… OK, I know, but there have been extremely few Canadian bands that have impressed me the way that Danko Jones has.  I read a review comparing them to The Stooges and Captain Beefheart and I have to agree.  This trio has hit on a formula that works and has since their inception in ’96, they could be rightly deemed a throwback of sorts. Then again, such labels don’t really seem to be on the radar of the guitarist/frontman who lent his name to the project, and each album put out under the Danko Jones name has been an exercise in rocking hard while being largely oblivious to the trends of the day.

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MAMMOTH WVH 🇺🇸

Mammoth WVH

The debut album from Wolfgang Van Halen, Mammoth WVH, for me is THE album of 2021.  As a lifelong Van Halen fanatic, you would think this would have been a given, but I was skeptical.  I was figuring the kid was riding on Daddy’s coattails and cashing in on the family name.  Besides it is one thing to play in a band as a sideman, (Van Halen, Tremonti) but another to strike out on your own, but he did it, he did it extremely well and played all the instruments to prove it.

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BOB BANNISTER

Don’t forget to take a look at all our Best of 2021 content including the COLLECTIVE BEST ALBUMS LIST (culminated via the ratings in the individual lists), all our contributors’ individual best lists, podcast episodes and Radio DJ shows CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)