"Weathered Homes," Six Star General
75orLess Records founder and Six Star General bassist/singer Mark "Slick" MacDougall, along with drummer Dan Ulmschneider and fellow Warren High alum Kyle Jackson, have a knack for knocking out top-rate rock albums on a yearly basis. Studio album No. 6 (titled Six) includes a couple of scorching psych-rock instrumentals ("Guns N' Moses," "George Brett's Pine Tar"), alt-pop blasts ("Hi Five Lo Five"), and stoner-friendly jams ("Satellite Off the Axis and Engulfed in Flames," "Messenger"), but it was the murky slow cooker "Weathered Homes" that stood out as a Song of the Year nominee. Lyrically, MacDougall only offers, "Talk about the weather, while throwing stones/We talked about whether . . . you're coming home," while riding a sturdy bassline groove, before the threesome take to the stratosphere for the final 2.5 minutes.
2. Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, "Ambulances"
3. Pistol Shot Gypsy, "Luv Junky" [write-in]
4. Broadcaster, "La Brea"