2022 has gone extremely quickly. With most people back at work in their offices and gigs being a regular occurrence, everything has felt far more like those old pre-2020 days. Almost as if to celebrate a shift back towards “normality” (though we’re no means out of the woods with regard to viruses) lots of our favourite bands went into overdrive, and a few of them even produced albums that are up their with their finest work.
Below, you’ll find Real Gone’s ten favourite releases of 2022, along with a few others that really stood out. It really has been a great year for music; some of the stuff we’ve not included was also of a very high standard, and it really felt like there was something new to explore every week.
The release this album in 2022 marks the end of a decade long silence from Boston rockers The Dirty Truckers. It’s not that the band members have been absent in that time, of course: frontman Tom Baker has released enjoyable works, both solo and with his other band, The Snakes (also featuring the Truckers’ John Brookhouse); guitarist Tad Overbaugh released a solo album in 2015, and drummer John Lynch released a truckload of material with his “other” band, Watts. In addition, an excellent digital compilation, ‘Second Dose’, also provided potential new fans with a handy recap. Whichever way you approach it, the Truckers left their fans with plenty to enjoy during the lengthy sabbatical.
It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.
The Rum Bar label has a lot of good stuff readied for release over the next couple of months. They’re bringing you the debut EP from The Shang Hi-Los, new material from Hayley & The Crushers and The Cheap Cassettes. That’s on top of an ongoing reissue programme for old Melted Records acts and the truckload of stuff they put out during the last quarter of 2020. The guys at the label have never been busier.
Boston’s Dirty Truckers have never been shy of showing a cheeky side and applying that to some good old-fashioned, trashy riffs. This has rarely been offered in such a direct way as on ‘Little Mine’, the lead single from their 2020 compilation disc ‘Second Dose’. It’s barely two lines in before frontman Tom Baker sings of someone in their “birthday suit” before applying that image to “a twinkle in your eye”. Granted, it’s merely saucy and certainly not on the same level as David Coverdale singing about leg-spreading less than a minute into the Whitesnake debut LP from ’78, but there’s something about this sexual memory that sort of sets the trashy tone for the following thirty minutes. In terms of music, there’s plenty within this tune’s Slim Dunlap meets Keef Richards schtick that’s classic Truckers. If anything, its combination of relentless pace and unfussy backing vocals makes everyone sound more energised than before: the riffs are ballsy; the lead vocals husky…and combined, the bar-room sound really flies. It sounds so much like classic Truckers, even a one line hook can’t hold it back. Sliding into ‘Hotel Highway View’ the disc effectively opens with a massive one-two suckerpunch. A number that highlights John Brookhouse’s sleazy guitar, the band deliver a three minute musical love letter to Johnny Thunders. It’s bread and butter stuff for them, but sounds great. If you love that grubby rock ‘n’ roll style, you’ll definitely find yourself being swept along by the band’s energy.