Its Top 10 time…
10) Danko Jones – A Rock Supreme
Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Bad Taste Records
Quick Fire Summary: Mainstay of these pages and DiR.net favourite kicks off the top 10 with yet another album packed with bravado, riffs. There is definite pop focus this time out as chorus’s take centre stage. It’s groovy, it’s funky, it hits hard and most of all it’s Danko. Nobody does the Fists Up High rock smash better!
Top Track: Burn In Hell – Machine gun power chords and a damn tasty riff kick starts the rapid fire lyrical onslaught before the thumping chorus opens the throttle and drives straight down to hell…mind the cowbell though lads!
Watch: Burn In Hell
9) Rival Sons – Feral Roots
Genre: Blues/Rock | Label: Atlantic
Quick Fire Summary: Classy blues based hard rock from the now veterans of the retro scene. Not bowing to the popular riff/drum combo trend, Rival Sons have crafted a fully realised set of magnificent melodies, soulfully smooth vocals, colourful atmospheres, fuzzy feeling production, and surprising heaviness. This is the blues done big and with true homage to the greats.
Top Track: Too Bad – Showcasing their more delicate soulful side, this outstanding slow burner has plenty of raspy vocals, dizzying fuzziness, raging guitar prowess all tied up with a unifying hard hitting riff.
Watch: Too Bad
8) Marvel – Guilty Pleasures
Genre: Hard Rock | Label: So Recordings
Quick Fire Summary: Norway’s Marvel are intent in having a good time behind their superhero masks. Rollicking rock and roll done with perilous energy and expert precision this sublime ‘covers’ collection which has transformed the originals into high octane rockers will keep you bouncing off the walls till the neighbours come knockin’.
Top Track: Burning Love – Yes, Elvis owned this tune. But dang this makeover is a fun, fantastic slab of scrappy, enigmatic, galloping rock and roll.
Watch: Keep Pushin’
7) Spielbergs – This Is Not The End
Genre: Indie Rock | Label: By The Time It Gets Dark
Quick Fire Summary: A debut album from a last throw of the dice band which has come up with sixes. An enigmatic combination of tight piercing guitar licks, bombarding waves of layered noise and soaring vocal hooks all amid a deliberately Lo-Fi underdog production. Moreover it rocks hard and fast with barely controllable energy.
Top Track: We Are All Going To Die – A sprawling epic of indie which channels the supersized Trail Of Dead ethic, the utter chaos of Dananananaykroyd with the catchiness of Weezer. The closing minute crescendo of guitar onslaught is as good a moment as any in 2019!
6) Gygax – High Fantasy
Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Mascot Records
Quick Fire Summary: Time to dust off those 16 sided die ready for your next games night soundtrack. A D&D themed band who channels Thin Lizzy and Power Metal through a glorious melodic rock and roll guitar workout. Could be considered niche (?), if it wasn’t for it being so damn catchy!
Top Track: Hide Mind – A riff straight from Thin Lizzy’s trick bag and a galloping verse from the Iron Maiden vault which bludgeons you to oblivion’s with its incessant multi-melody muscle.
Listen: Hide Mind
5) Dinosaur Pile-Up – Celebrity Mansions
Genre: Rock| Label: Parlophone
Quick Fire Summary: Stepping up to a Major Label has clearly been taken in the Dino P-Up stride. The best sounding of their catalogue, it melts grunge and 00’s alt rock and throws plenty of pop and even heavier thrashes for good measure. A super fun and exuberant album of anthems that makes you want to rock out, or sing your heart out.
Top Track: Pouring Gasoline – All out punk attack dominates this hard rocking firecracker. The thumping riff has a dangerous ‘break stuff’ effect which will surely be a moshtastic addition to their live set.
Watch: Back Foot
4) The New Roses – Nothing But Wild
Genre: Hard Rock| Label: Napalm Records
Quick Fire Summary: Relatively under the radar, these German rockers have shout up from underdogs to title contenders with this album. It’s wall to wall packed with huge anthems which plough through huge riffs with a punky rebellion and don’t give a s**t mentality. Vocals are A-Class and just as dangerous. It’s hard to describe just how damn catchy these tracks are. Channeling Gun’s and Roses ambition with radio friendly 80’s hair metal they have created arguably the best Bon Jovi album for 20 years.
Top Track: Down By The River – Bright major chords and a sublime chorus line evoke that spirit of days gone by when nights were long, drinks flowed free and friendships were forged. It’s a huge nostalgia trip from start to finish and is begging for a Hollywood montage storyline. Stadium sized and a gigantic chorus, this is arguably the radio rock song of the decade!!!
Watch: Down By The River
3) Bokassa – Crimson Riders
Genre: Stoner/Punk/Rock/Metal | Label: Kings Of StonerPunk Records
Quick Fire Summary: Bokassa we’re onto something with their Stoner Punk outlook. Plucked from relative obscurity they have been beeping loud on every rock fans radar after being hand picked by Metallica to support their tour. For good reason too. They play fast and fuzzy, slow and crushing. Instead of lollop, they bound through stoner riffing and cap it all off with a gruff, but clean powerhouse vocal. One for the heavys…get ready to bang your head!
Top Track: Charmed & Extremely Treacherous – About as good a descriptive song title as there has ever been. It’s a breakneck speedway of an unrelenting riff fest. Sweetened with plenty of poppy wooaaahs and a danger zone call to arms chorus.
Watch: Charmed & Extremely Treacherous
2) Moon Tooth – Crux
Genre: Progressive Metal | Label: Moon Tooth
Quick Fire Summary: On Crux, Moon Tooth have pushed the boundaries and entry barriers of prog metal into new more accessible and inventive spheres. They take instrumentation seriously and the interwoven guitar riff centric methods craft carcophanies of melodic exuberance. It’s got bags of tempo tricks, mathy tilts, hard rocking headbangers, super technical fretwork, manic trash outs and emotive atmospheric vocals. It’s a wild ride of unexpected turns which flirts with darkness and light, beauty and the beast. Undoubtably creative and captivating at every spin.
Top Track: Awe At All Angles – The most out the box winner metal single of the year. It’s complex, exhilarating, off kilter, riff heavy, incessantly melodic and impossibly catchy. All that’s amazing about the band in 4 minutes of genre bashing fisticuffs.
Watch: Awe At All Angles
1) Royal Republic – Club Majesty
Genre: Rock | Label: Arising Empire
Quick Fire Summary: Sweden’s answer to tongue in cheek rock and roll out a new glamorous spin on their latest LP. Retaining cohesive angular punchy guitars, absurd lyrics and sense of humour whilst adding a playfully camp disco vibe that’s damn fun(ky). More pop results, which is a clear step up of their vocal game. A truly fun and euphoric party record which would fill and neon light-up dance floor across the world. In a year of political gloom, Royal Republic have brought the swagger and the sequins! I’ll finish on a lyrical except which sums up perfectly “You rock harder, We shine brighter. You go faster, we go high… and you can’t fight the disco”!
Top Track: Anna-Leigh – Flashdance back to the 80’s on this most dramatic departure from RR core sound. It still manages to perfectly skew their subtly great riffs into a pop-centric lusty party tune. When the chorus exploded with colour and synths (?!), you cant help but move your feet. Just blame it on the boogie!
That’s all for 2019. Well done to you if you got this far! A new decade awaits. Bring on the 20’s, after all it is much easier to say than the 10’s.