Independent, Established Acts Alike Provided Impressive New EPs In 2022

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

The old year is getting ready to finish once again and make way for a new year that is already starting to see a handful of new releases scheduled.  New material from the likes of Anti-Flag and The Winery Dogs are already scheduled for release in January and February respectively.  Mercury Studios (formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment) also has new archived live recordings on the way from Marvin Gaye and Ella Fitzgerald.  Even the independent music community has lots of stuff planned for next year, including a new release from indie rock band Starcrazy in for them of its new album, Another Day, Another Squalor.  Of course lots more music is sure to be announced in the coming days and weeks, meaning it won’t be long before things already start picking up.

While critics’ new music calendars will start filling up very soon, their 2022 calendars are finally done now that the last days of the year are here.  One category of new music that doesn’t get enough attention from one year to the next is the smallest release, the EP.  That is why this critic has made it a point each year to focus on the recording, which for some acts is a way to test the waters before releasing their debut albums and for others a space filler, for its own year-ender list.

This year’s list of top new EPs touches on a variety of acts.  From independent acts to more established acts, lots of EPs have been released this year.  From Saint Asonia to The Rumjacks to Black Veil Brides and more, acts across the musical universe have released interesting new EPs.  Black Veil Brides’ new EP, The Mourning tops Phil’s Picks list of top new EPs this year.  As with every year past, this list features the top 10 new titles in the given category along with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 records.

Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2022 Top 10 New EPs.


  1. Black Veil Brides – The Mourning
  2. The Rumjacks – Brass For Gold
  3. Hyro The Hero – Kids Against The Monsters
  4. Saint Asonia – Extrovert
  5. Genghis Nash – The Odyssey
  6. Classless Act – Welcome to the Show
  7. Liar Thief Bandit – Diamonds
  8. Saint Asonia – Introvert
  9. Twisted Mind – From Slave to Prophet
  10. The Guitar & Whiskey Club – The Guitar & Whiskey Club
  11. Them Damn Kings – Rise Up
  12. A Vulture Wake – Kingdom
  13. The Corps – From Oblivion
  14. Los Saints – Welcome to Confusion
  15. Darko – Sparkle

That’s it for this category, but there are plenty more to go before the year ends, including tomorrow’s list of the year’s Top 10 New Rock Albums.  Stay tuned!

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‘The Odyssey’ Is A Strong Start For Independent Rock Band Genghis Nash

Courtesy: Golden Robot Records

It goes without saying that first impressions are everything, and for independent rock band Genghis Nash, the band’s recently released debut EP The Odyssey is a positive first impression from the band, which has been working at its craft for more than a dozen years.  That is proven through the musical and lyrical content alike featured throughout the five-song record.  The musical arrangements feature an interesting blend of stoner and southern rock that is sure to engage and entertain audiences.  The uplifting lyrical themes in each of the featured songs pair with the positive vibes of the record’s musical arrangements to make for even more appeal.  The record’s opening number, ‘The Swamp,’ is just one example of how the EP’s overall content comes together to make it appealing.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Who Am I To Feel Down,’ the EP’s penultimate entry, shows in its own way, how the record’s overall content joins to make for such appeal and will be examined a little later.  ‘What Will It Be & The Odyssey,’ which closes out The Odyssey is also of note and will also be examined later.  Each song noted is key in its own way to the whole of the presentation here.  When they are considered alongside the record’s two remaining songs, the whole makes The Odyssey easily one more of this year’s top new EPs.

The Odyssey, the debut EP from independent rock band Genghis Nash, is a successful first offering from the band, which has been honing its craft for at least the past 14 years.  That is proven through its featured musical and lyrical content alike, as is shown right from the EP’s outset in the opening number, ‘The Swamp.’  The raucous combination of the drums and guitar that opens the song is a strong start for the EP and the song.  As the song progresses, the fuzz of the guitars and distinct vocal effect, paired with the bass, immediately lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Clutch, Royal Blood, and other bands of that ilk.  The energy in the song’s arrangement pairs well with its equally uplifting lyrical theme to make for even more enjoyment.

According to information provided about the song, its lyrical theme focuses on the all too familiar topic of overcoming those deeply emotional times in life that can so easily sideline a person.  This is made clear in the song’s lead verse and chorus which state, “For days like this/I learned how to pray/The things that brought me comfort have gone away/No empathy/No quarter given…Hell has opened its gates/You can sit and cry/Or raise your sails and fly/You can either ride and die/Or let it break you and I.”  There is one small portion of that opening line that is difficult to decipher sans lyrics, but the overall noted theme is made clear, even despite that matter.  The theme is made just as clear in the song’s second verse, which states, “I don’t believe I have in me what it takes/This…starts rising when I try to escape/It’s holding down my ankles, knees and my waist/I need a sympathetic wavelength…”  Again, there are items that are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but even with that lack, the message remains as clear as ever.  This depicts someone battling that sense of self-doubt.  The refrain of the chorus serves once again as that reminder to the self to keep pushing on through that self-doubt.  IT is a message that even in this case, will resonate with a wide range of audiences.  When that refrain joins with the positive energy in the song’s arrangement, the whole makes the song overall a wonderful addition to the EP and just one example of how the record’s overall content makes it worth hearing.

Another example of what makes the EP worth hearing comes a little later in its run in the form of the song, ‘Who Am I To Feel Down.’  As with ‘The Swamp,’ this song tends to focus on that familiar theme of a person’s inner struggle.  That is made clear right from the song’s outset which states, “There many days when it feels impossible to see the light/Not many happy thoughts…But take a look at my clothes/Take a look at my life/Who am I to feel down?”  One could argue that to that extent, this is a continuation of the message presented in ‘The Swamp’ even though it is its own message.  The use of the horns and the keyboard give the song an even more positive vibe a la The Doobie Brothers, making for even more appeal.

‘What Will It Be & The Odyssey’ is yet another example of how The Odyssey’s overall content comes together to make the record engaging and entertaining.  In the case of this song, the musical arrangement is a unique blend of southern rock and stoner in one.  The subtle way in which the two genres are blended together here makes for so much enjoyment.  The bluesy jam session that makes up the song’s second half conjures thoughts, at times, of Pink Floyd, believe it or not.  It is such a soothing performance overall. 

According to the information provided, the song’s lyrics are meant to present a message of battling feelings of sadness and depression.  Specifically, the notes state of the theme, “The lyrics describe an anguish brought about from being inert.”  Interestingly enough, it seems to be sung from the vantage point of someone who is fed up with that person who is stuck in place, trying to remind that person that things will be better and to get out of that fun.  This is just this critic’s own interpretation, though.  Either way, the thoughtful theme and presentation thereof pairs with the infectious bass-driven arrangement of ‘What Will It Be’ to make that song stand on its own merits.  The equally moving instrumental ‘The Odyssey’ makes for its own appeal.  All things considered there, the two-part song is yet more proof of what makes The Odyssey in whole so appealing.  When this is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the record’s songs, the whole makes The EP a fully engaging and entertaining first outing for Genghis Nash.

The Odyssey, the debut EP from independent rock band Genghis Nash, is a strong first outing from the group.  That is especially considering how long the band has been out there working the stages leading up to this record’s release.  The musical and lyrical content alike featured in this record make that clear, as is evidenced in the songs examined here.  When those three songs are considered along with the rest of the record’s works, the whole makes The Odyssey one more of the year’s top new EPs.

The Odyssey is available now through Golden Robot Records.  More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at