BravePicks 2022 - UGLY KID JOE's Rad Wings Of Destiny #24
December 8, 2022, 12 months ago
Where does the time go? 2022 can be called the comeback year of all time, with virtually every band on the planet getting back on track post-COVID. So it was one helluva year for heavy metal as the releases started to pour in and the bands started to hit your town after nearly three years of madness. It is time to unveil our annual BravePicks countdown, where the devout scribes at BraveWords cast their votes at the hits and misses of the year! So who will be our #1? You’ll find out as we count down the BravePick Of 2022 each day in December!
Everybody has an opinion and it’s time for ours! And stay tuned in January for the writers’ individual Top 20s (new studio albums ONLY), Top 5 Brave Embarrassments (a fan favorite!), What/Who Needs To Stop In 2022? and Metal Predictions For 2022. All will be showcased come the New Year!
First up, the best of the best for 2022 begins NOW! And we begin with the six releases bubbling under our top 30.
24) UGLY KID JOE - Rad Wings Of Destiny (Metalville / UKJ)
Still Ugly after all these years, Ugly Kid Joe still has the juice! Teaming up with producer Mark Dodson, the man responsible for UKJ’s multi-platinum debut America’s Least Wanted 30 years ago, the veteran rockers bring a fresh heap of ten tunes on Rad Wings Of Destiny that only Whitfield Crane and the rest of the guys could produce. Brimming with influences ranging from AC/DC to Gary Glitter; it keeps listeners on their toes – especially with the cover of The Kinks’ “Lola”.
An electrifying record, Rad Wings Of Destiny flies to #24.
BraveWords’ Aaron Small penned a feature story with the band; an excerpt below:
Looking back on the creation of Rad Wings Of Destiny, Whitfield reminisces, “It’s interesting, the pandemic sidelined everybody, including us on our quest. We made the girth of this in 2019 at a studio called Sonic Ranch, which is in El Paso, Texas. Then we sat on most of it, we sat on the album because of the pandemic. Rad Wings originally had eight songs on it. Then at the 11th hour – basically, during the pandemic I went and lived in Costa Rica for ten months. That was really good and I got super creative; more creative than I’ve ever been. Some of that creativity encompasses songwriting. Songs – nuts to bolts – done in my head, which is really interesting and weird and fantastical, and a bunch of other words to describe it. Anyway, at the 11th hour for Rad Wings, which was this last January, I went and hung out with (UKJ guitarist) Dave Fortman, and I had two songs in my head. One song was ‘Dead Friends Play’, the other one was ‘Up In The City’. And (drummer) Shannon Larkin lives in Fort Myers, Florida as well. At the last second you could stuff two more songs on the album, we did. And I’m really pleased with how those songs fill out the album. Obviously, we named it Rad Wings in honor of the mighty Judas Priest, our heroes.”
Judas Priest released Sad Wings Of Destiny in 1976. There’s no title track to that album. Priest never wrote a song called “Sad Wings Of Destiny”. Did Ugly Kid Joe try to write a “Rad Wings Of Destiny” song? “No, I hadn’t even thought about it until right now,” admits Whitfield. UKJ has quite the history with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. Not only have the two bands played together, but Halford sang backing vocals on the song “Goddamn Devil” on America’s Least Wanted. “That’s true, and that was awesome! It’s one big crazy thing,” affirms Whitfield. “Mark Dodson worked on Sin After Sin and Defenders Of The Faith. So, in ’92, I was dating Karen Duffy, the MTV veejay. She was in New York and Halford was rolling through with his solo stuff. And Mark Dodson knows Halford, for real. That was back when there was fax machines. Somehow, we got the word to Rob that we’d really love him to come down to the Studio Devonshire in Hollywood – and he did come down. He walked in the room, we put up the evil lyrics of ‘Goddamn Devil’. Halford really listened to it deeply, he’s a super pro. He looked up at us and goes, ‘I like the lyrics.’ We said, ‘Do you want to go sing on it?’ He said, ‘Yeah’ and went in there. At that time, I was really uncomfortable in the studio. We were always a great live band, and I’m really good at being in a live situation; that’s what I shine in. But the studio was so weird to me. I was able to basically produce Halford singing, and to watch that guy do his thing. Being at the soundboard, looking past the glass, Halford with his headphones on – the cans, as we call them. I watched the dude become… the term Metal God is appropriate. I watched the dude get possessed! It was so radical because I was like, ‘Wow! That’s how you would do it if you were the greatest at it.’ Not that I instantly mastered what he does, but I got closer to it through the years. It was important for me to witness that first person.”
BravePicks 2022 Top 30
25) TRIAL (SWE) - Feed The Fire (Metal Blade)
26) SABATON - The War To End All Wars (Nuclear Blast)
27) SCORPIONS - Rock Believer (Vertigo)
28) CORPSEGRINDER - Corpsegrinder (Perseverance)
29) SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS - 4 (Gibson / BMG)
30) NORDJEVEL - Gnavhòl (Indie)
31) WITCHERY – Nightside (Century Media)
32) ABBATH - Dread Reaver (Season of Mist)
33) AMON AMARTH - The Great Heathen Army (Metal Blade)
34) RECKLESS LOVE – Turbo Rider (AFM)
35) GOATWHORE – Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven (Metal Blade)
36) CAVE IN – Heavy Pendulum (Relapse)