This list will not be THAT surprising.

I'm going to tell you straight up that my year was dominated by Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, and Weezer.

My tastes vary from year to year, and yours probably do, too. Looking at my list, it wasn't that hard of a rockin' year. I'm still a big fan of Slipknot (in my truck's CD player right now), Korn and Mudvayne, as well as off-the-beaten-path bands like The Bloody Hammers. Truth be told, much of my 2021 listening was dominated by the 2020 album The Symbol Remains by my teenage favorites (and first concert) Blue Oyster Cut.

I started dipping into Weezer's first album of the year, which had an amazing single but wasn't that strong as an album. When Van Weezer dropped, I wore that sucker out. I then get bowled over by the new Greta Van Fleet, which landed two tracks on my list. Truth be told, the final track on the album is the best, but too long for radio plays.

It's a mystery to me why more singles haven't been released from the new Offspring album because it is solid. Rise Against kicked out a solid radio anthem and the new Jack White is so amazingly different that my mind is blown. Lastly, as far as the list goes, Wolfgang's salute to his dad just had to be on the last.

I supposed I should give props to The Pretty Reckless, but they are so thoroughly dominating things right now that I couldn't single out one song. I also haven't had a chance to dive into the new Volbeat, while another favorite, Korn, has not dropped a new album yet.

Enjoy the list below. I have more notes with each song.

 

  • 1

    Giovannie & The Hired Guns

    "Ramon Ayala"

    You will never convince me that this wasn't the best song of the year. It's a recent release and truth be told, it's struggling against some heavy competition, but this song rules.

  • 2

    Greta Van Fleet

    "My Way Soon"

    This track was released on the cusp of 2021, so it qualifies. It certainly lasted through the year. The album is really, really special.

  • 3

    The Offspring

    "Let The Bad Times Roll"

    It's easy to get burnt on a song like this. It's so incredibly hooky and catchy that you "get it" immediately. Then it morphs into an earworm that you find yourself singing even if you don't want to. Trust me, you'll circle back around on this track.

  • 4

    Greta Van Fleet

    "Heat Above"

    This song is brilliantly weird. I HATED it the first time I heard it. The second time I heard it I listened to it about ten times back to back.

  • 5

    Rise Against

    "Nowhere Generation"

    This is definitely one of those tracks that defines an era. I have a feeling that this one will be around for a long time.

  • 6

    Weezer

    "Hero"

    Okay technically this is a 2020 release, but it came out on a 2021 album. Time if weird during a pandemic. The album Van Weezer is solid but tracks were sprinkled throughout the two years and it kind of confused people.

  • 7

    Mammoth WVH

    "Distance"

    Released in November 2020, the song stuck through most of 2021 and I have a feeling it's going to stick with us through the rest of our lives. The song is beautiful and heartfelt and I have a feeling it will be played at a lots of funerals.

  • 8

    Jack White

    "Taking Me Back"

    What the hell is even going on here? There are so many cool tones and textures to this track that you feel like you're listening to future music. It's amazing.

  • 9

    A Day to Remember

    "We Got Everything We Need"

    I don't know why some songs get big and some don't. This one just kind of bubbled under and it just proves that life and the music business are not fair. We should all be sippin' whiskey by a fire and singing this song.

  • 10

    Weezer

    "All My Favorite Songs"

    So Weezer released a bunch of music from Van Weezer, then pivoted and released an entire album that was not Van Weezer called O.K. Human. This was the lead track, and it really hit home for me. The album did really answer the question, "what would Weezer sound like with an orchestra?" The answer is "dang good."