The Answer – Rise
A debut album from this Northern Irish group who have set the classic rock scene back on fire along with Roadstar in 2006. The Answer has undoubted talent and an eye for a crunching Led Zep riff or two and the lead singer is one of the finest rock vocalists i’ve heard for years. His voice is close to Robert Plant’s but in full flow has the power of a true stadium rocker. The melodys and riffs are fantastic on tracks such as “Into the Gutter”, “Come Follow Me”, “Never Too Late” and “No Questions Asked”. The lead track “Under The Sky” is a true blues rock classic! Stonking riff, great lyrics and a super chorus makes this track probably my favourite of 2006. The Answer also turn a deft hand to country influenced balladry as well. This is a superb debut and looking for massive things in the future! It also helps that they totally kick ass live!!!
Top Track: Under The Sky
Wolfmother – Wolfmother
The Classic Rock theme of this list continues into the top 3 with the self titled debut from Wolfmother. Not your ordinary blues rock band this time however, with influences seeming to range from countrymen Ac/Dc, Pink Floyd to the White Stripes. The trio produce a mammoth heavy sound on this album and these thundering riffs are backed up by organs and powerful vocals. Singer Andrew Stockdale is just as apt backing up the massive chorus’s as he is providing a eerie backdrop to less fiery tracks. Nostalgic rock takes a firm hold of the album straight from the opening crunching intro of “Colossal” and doesn’t loosen it’s grip till the final thashing power chord. If you like to rock, this is a cracker of an album, with enough intelligence and infectious melodys for the non rocker to gape at.
Top Track: Tales From the Forest Of Gnomes
The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
The latest offering from this awesome US band has taken the later half of this year by storm in the music critics world. This is their third album and definitley their best to date. The lyrics seem more aline with storylines and ramdom rambles but this is what makes the album so great. No astonishing vocals, just a american dude talking to his audience. Just lucky then that he is backed up by a superb band who produce bluesy guitar rushes as well as bittersweet melodys. Each song has its own blueprint mainly provided by the variety of the music and the story of the track, as in “Chips Ahoy” a song about a girl who could predict race winners. My favourite track shows off what happens when the band shows off and is back by great vocals, “Same Kooks” has a great organ breakdown followed by a stunning guitar solo. flipping the spectrum see’s “Citrus” showing off the singwriting talents of the band which is a melancholic masterpiece.
Top Track: Same Kooks