MMM Staff Picks: Padraig Mara’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2022
The year is now 2022, electric boogaloo. 2k double deuce, ice-cold apple juice. Etcetera. The following are five albums to be released that I genuinely look forward to hearing (mostly), and five groups I wished would drop something during this year for which we have such high hopes.
Guns N’ Roses – Hard Skool, to be released: February 25th
Photo Credit: Katarina Benzova
First, some personal context. Appetite for Destruction came out in 1987 and I asked my Uncle Steve to get me the vinyl for Christmas and he did. I was 9-years-old. The music sounded like a crime to me and the album artwork was definitely not something I should have been exposed to. I was entranced. I bought two GnR pins and put them on the pockets of my Eisenhower jacket (look it up) and tried and failed to look like the bassist. I loved that band. For a minute. Guns n’ Roses aged like milk, in the parlance of our times. Every album following Appetite was increasingly overblown, overproduced, and just corny. This year, after firings, rehirings, rehab trips, and various nonsense, Guns, featuring almost all of the original members, is releasing a joint called Hard Skool. Hard Skool, that is what they decided to call it and I hope to Christ it’s meant to be funny because it definitely is.
Lee “Scratch” Perry – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: Paul Bergen / Redferns
The Upsetter, as he was called, will not be dropping an album this year, next year, and not ever again, sadly, as he died in August of last year. Lee was a DJ, a producer, a technician, a magician, a songwriter, a politician, a trickster, and an arsonist. He made hip-hop possible. He gave punk-rock the only rhythm it ever needed. He invented reggae and then dubbed it out when the lames were getting comfortable. He smoked more than Snoop and he was cooler than Fonzie. Lord a’ mercy.
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia, to be released: April 22nd
Photo Credit: Filmawi
Dublin’s post-punk pack is dropping their 3rd studio album this spring. Fontaine’s sound is very 1979-ish, definitely, but there is a joyfulness to their driving jangle. I look forward to copping this and you should too.
Blitz – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: Press photo via Facebook
Blitz was on Oi! band that formed in Derbyshire, England in 1980. I bought the All Out Attack EP from a record shop called Piers Platters in Hoboken, New Jersey sometime in the ’90s. I dropped the needle on the record and damn near broke my neck. Their intensity was notable in a genre where the intensity was the norm and their sound went on to grow and challenge what “street punk” meant or could mean. I miss them.
Crowbar – Zero and Below, to be released: March 4th
Photo Credit: Zack Smith
Mention New Orleans and most people think of Bourbon Street buffoonery and Mardi Gras, but if you go there and walk around, there is a definite sense of menace. The seedier side of the city was and is a perfect breeding ground for a certain type of heavy, sweaty sound. Crowbar makes this noise better than any other band, in my opinion.
Dead Moon – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: Willem Kolvoort
Dead Moon, founded in 1987 by singer and guitarist Fred Cole, his wife Kathleen “Toody” Cole on bass, and drummer Andrew Loomis were a phenomenon. When punk rock was getting either thrashy and metallic or jangly and introverted, Dead Moon went primitive. Mixing blues, garage, and punk, Dead Moon made music that sounded dirty somehow; not muddy. Like it had been buried in a rainy field in the middle of the night. Their songs sound like Halloween and with 2/3rds of the band now deceased, we will never hear new spooky sounds from them again. More’s the pity.
22 years after Ghost released the classic Supreme Clientele, we are getting the second edition. Ghostface is a lyrical genius, funny dude, and grew up in the city next to mine.
The Hookers – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: The Hookers
Made up of members of the seminal Seattle punk band Murder City Devils, The Hookers released an EP once in 2003. It was dope, and I play it once a week still. And I wish they would put out another one.
Björk – Yet to be titled, release: TBA
Photo Credit: Santiago Felipe
I’m based in Bjork’s hometown and it just isn’t possible to overstate the effect she has had on every cultural aspect of this nation. She is a genius and I have no doubt her next album will be worthy of our attention.
The Stone Roses – *Wishlist*
Photo Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty
This band was formed in 1983, in Manchester, England and their sound is the archetype for what would later be dubbed the Madchester Movement. Drugs, drums, love, more drugs, and bass. The Stone Roses helped to reduce violence throughout England (seriously) with grooves serious enough to soothe the savage beast. We could use some of that right about now.