It took me ages to put this post together so you better fucking get the most of it. I don't have a lot of time left in this life to be putting lists like this together. I'm old, ya know.
I was going to embed the links to all the music within the post, but quickly realized this would become one of the most massive posts in internet history. Instead, just select the music you want to check out and enjoy.
Be brave, too. Don't prejudge anything. If I can get one of you to experience and enjoy some new music, then I've done my job.
Clutch - Earth Rocker: Down and dirty blues rock that is my most listened to album of 2013. More like this, please.
For your consideration: What should be the theme song for the last two minutes of every NFL game.
Russian Circles - Memorial: The inventive, instrumental band totally outdoes itself with their most beautiful music to date. There is literally no bounds left for this band. Evey time I think they've topped themselves they do it again.
For you consideration: The stunning 'Cheyenne'.
Future of the Left - How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident: Another quirky, hilarious yet totally accessible release from one of my favorite bands ever.
For your consideration: An apparently stream of conscious, lyrical hodge podge called 'Singing Of The Bonesaws'.
A Day to Remember - Common Courtesy: Slightly over produced and poppier than anything they're released before. So why can't I stop listening to it?
For your consideration: A hilarious video to 'Right Back At It Again'
Also, amongst the mayhem we find this little gem which makes me want to hear an all acoustic album of their current material.
Alter Bridge - Fortress: Iron Maiden for the new generation.
For your consideration: The official video for 'Addicted to Pain'. As an added bonus here is an acoustic version performed for LiveWire.
Stone Sour - House of Gold and Bones Parts 1 and 2: Yes, they were released separately, but these may have well been a double album. If you want evidence against the argument that hard rock is dying, you can do no better than this group. Getting stronger every time out.
Btw, I heard Corey Taylor wrote a novel that follows the story the albums follow.
For your consideration: From Part 1 here is the double combo 'Gone Sovereign' and 'Absolute Zero' which is one of my favorite songs of the year.
From Part 2 here is a live version of 'Do Me A Favor'. Not safe for work, btw, and proof positive these guys kick ass.
The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation: Punk pop combined with Springsteen's blue collar lyrical sensibilities. Another band that seems to be getting better with every release.
For your consideration: An acoustic version of 'Dismantling Summer'. You can start this at the 1:09 mark if you want to fore go all the chatter.
The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law: Once or twice a year a friend will forward me an album recommendation that is prefaced with 'It's pop, so not sure if you'd like it'. As I've stated before, pop is great when done correctly and it doesn't get any more correct that this one. A bit Metro-ish so if you like that band, you'll enjoy these folks.
For your consideration: A full live set from Seattle. My little gift to you for the holidays.
Queens of the Stone Age - ....Like Clockwork: Another stellar release from Josh and his gang of misfits. Here's hoping he and Grohl are working on a new Them Crooked Vultures release for 2014.
For your consideration: 'I Sat By The Ocean' from Letterman.
Arctic Monkeys - AM: Adding some classic sounds to their traditional Brit rock, these guys produce yet another quality album without sounding tired.
For your consideration: 'Snap Out Of It' from the Jools Holland show.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band - Lickety Split: Probably the closest a studio recording has come to catching the energy and joy of their live shows.
For your consideration: The best workout/party song ever written.
Deafheaven - Sunbather: While there are moments of beauty here, this is not for the faint of heart. I sort of wish they released this as an instrumental album as the screaming is indecipherable and gets in the way at times. This is the 'listen to it on your headphones' release of the year.
For your consideration: Immerse yourself in DreamHouse
Rival Sons - Head Down: Continuing on their mission to resurrect classic rock for a new generation.
For your consideration: The video for 'Keep On Swinging'
Alice In Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here: Apparently they never got the memo that grunge is dead. Good for us.
For your consideration: 'Voices'. A video that created more business for neon signs than all the Seattle bars combined.
Fuzz - Fuzz: Do you want epic guitar solos amid Sabbath-like rock? Your wish is their command.
For your consideration: Loose Sutures which might as well have been written by Tommy Iommi.
BIGGEST IDENTITY CRISIS
Kings Of Leon - Mechanical Bull: Trying not to alienate what remains of their original fan base while also trying to swim in the mainstream. Song really good songs here, but can't shake the feeling even they don't know which way they want to go.
For your consideration: Old school Kings flashback - 'Don't Matter'. Should it mean anything that they didn't play this song on SNL and instead had Caleb dress in a pink sweater and play two songs that sound exactly like 'Use Somebody'?
HONORABLE MENTIONS (without comment, but links to a song I enjoy)
Alkaline Trio - My Shame is True
Palms - Palms
The National - Trouble Will Find Me
Obits - Moody, Standard and Poor
Killswitch Engage - Disarm the Descent
Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We're Missing
BoySetsFire - While a Nation Sleeps
As always, I'm sure I'll immediately remember something I've left off this list and have to add it in the comments.
Feel free to suggest your favorites and I'll check them out.
Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous (but don't let it change you) 2014!