Albums of 2019: 10 – 1

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 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!

Watch: Anna-Leigh

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.

Albums of 2019: 20-11

Welcome to the annual retrospective of the 2019’s best albums as seen through the eyes of DoesItRock. It has been a year of great guitar rock, but one which has lacked a single standout album which towered over all others. As ever, there is plenty of variety on offer from punk to prog, metal to good old fashion rock ‘n roll.

The years big development however was the switch of streaming service. Goodbye Spotify. Hello Apple Music. Recent UI ‘like chasing’ changes were the final dismal straw in a long succession of eroding changes which have alienated those with specially curated libraries. It does mean iTunes is back (?!), but Apple Music, with its ever so smart playlists has been welcomed with open arms. The less said about its web embedding the better though…

Ramble done. Countdown start… Albums of 2019

20) Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Whatchamacallit

Genre: Psychedelic Hard Rock | Label: What Reality? Records

Quick Fire Summary: Like the most epic of trips, this is a total blast of a record which rocks as hard as it progs. Bridging the divide between the smoke filled haze of acid fuelled kaleidoscope visions, 60’s pop and earthshaking riffs full of bluster and bravado.

Top Track: Bill’s Mandolin – Floaty, Jaunty, Kazoo-esque Fuzzy pop with inescapable catchiness that needs its own trampoline park to bounce around in.

Watch: Bill’s Mandolin

19) Massive – Rebuild Destroy

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Off Ya Rocka Records

Quick Fire Summary: The tag line says it all…Beer Drinking, Foot Stomping, Hell Raining, Rock ‘n Roll. This Aussie hard rock outfit are keen on destruction. It’s got exuberance and a wild sleaziness which in the high moments evokes Guns’n’Roses stadium sound. No half measures in this Massive party of a record.

Top Track: Roses – A proper old school riff first nosedive into a mosh pit of hard rocking, machismo that’s not afraid to show its pop side.

18) Puppy – The Goat

Genre: Rock | Label: Spinefarm

Quick Fire Summary: Whilst maybe not the Greatest Of All Time as billed, but still a damn impressive major label debut from this London trio that isn’t afraid to pump out polished power chords. It’s melodic but sneakingly heavy pop leaning hard rock that has a Ghost like vocal quality to add that air of intrigue.

Top Track: Vengeance – Kicking drums, a pick scrape and big grungy riffs set the tone of this high flying alternative anthem full of reckless, but well dressed carnage.

Watch: Black Hole

17) Volbeat – Rewind, Replay, Rebound

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Vertigo Berlin

Quick Fire Summary: Arguably the biggest band on the countdown are still putting out top notch quality hard rock. Their boogie first, metal infused head banging pop anthems are knockouts. They have pushed both extremes here with more radio friendly pop ditties, countered by crushingly heavy thrash too. These Danish heavyweights are still a real knockout.

Top Track: Die To Live – A combination made in rock heaven, Clutch Frontman Neil Fallon lends his gravel toned pipes to a supercharged bluesy shuffle meets rock and roll classic! Let loose to the furious keys and punchy power chords!

Watch: Die To Live

16) Thank You Scientist – Terraformer

Genre: Prog/Post-Hardcore/Metal | Label: Evil Ink Records

Quick Fire Summary: Genre bending is always fun and Thank You Scientist has ripped up the rule book. Their extremely technical, intricate and dazzling guitar work is matched with extended orchestral compositional strength. All that remains are the trumpets, strings, jazz phrases, pop punk vocals and complex revelatory prog melodies.

Top Track: Fxmldr – An explosion of colourful complex guitar lines collide in a brassy kaleidoscope of wonder. It’s highly melodic and doesn’t overdo on technicality, balancing perfectly with a flying pop-punk chorus.

WatchFxmlder (Fox Mulder)

15) Airbourne – Boneshaker

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Spinefarm

Quick Fire Summary: Australia’s finest, beer drinking, hard rockin’ export is still firing on all cylinders on their latest firecracker album. The usual riffs and big chorus’ are here as standard. But it’s the superb production which give this a real energy and captures some of their live performance danger and drive.

Top Track: Backseat Boogie – Big riff, bluesy beats, tension building bridge, flaring solos, catchy vocals…it’s all Airbourne’s signatures in just over 3 minutes.

14) Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood

Genre: Rock | Label: Frontiers Records

Quick Fire Summary: 30+ years on from their heyday, nothing prepared us for how good the latest Whitesnake was. Far from the melodic AOR of old this is a rejuvenated, heavy and debaucherous banger. Could this really kickstart a new dawn for pop/hair metal?

Top Track: Trouble In Your Middle Name – Wailing sirens aptly opens this dangerous tune which crashes metallic riffs against a knockout hook heavy chorus whilst melodic solos’s fire in all directions. Sleazy and breezy!

Watch: Trouble Is Your Middle Name

15) Russian Girlfriends – In The Parlance Of Our Times

Genre: Punk/Rock | Label: A-F Records

Quick Fire Summary: New Mexico based rockers lay claim to the Pop Punk album of the year (vaguely). That’s despite flipping their sound from reckless visceral hardcore, to wild rock and roll all bound with a punk sense of impatience, a mouthful of verbose lyrics and a multipack can of melodic pop.

Top Track: The Antidote – Opening like the Pistols, this bright and restrained track has laser like melodic focus. Direct and urgent guitars beautifully counter balance the meander of the rapid lyrical flow.

Watch: The Antidote

12) Whiskey Myers – Whiskey Myers

Genre: Southern Rock | Label: Snakefarm

Quick Fire Summary: The 5th Album from these southern state stalwarts is a triumph of blues power, swingin’ country and soul. Showing their balance, one side has a strong muscular big rock tunes and the other slinks into softer and tender ballads. A fantastic radio friendly record with songcraft and silky but salty vocals.

Top Track: Gasoline – Blues riff make way for rough southern twanged lyrics, head banging guitars and even a stellar solo. A great chorus keeps it all rolling together as clearly ‘They need a bottle, a gun & gasoline”

Watch: Gasoline

11) Spidergawd – V

Genre: Rock | Label: Crispin Glover Records

One Line Summary: Another metronomic release from this Norwegian backwards glancing hard rockers. While it takes it cues from 70’s rock it crafts it’s own sonic path with unexpected twists, unintended crescendos, mystifying stellar chorus’s and best of all wait for it… amazing Saxophonist!

Top Track: Knights of C.G.D. – Not many rock tracks start with a blast from a sax, but this is no ordinary rock song. This moody intro is soon overtaken by a rapid 70’s groove whilst the raspy vocals kick in. It’s got real compact power and intent despite the undertones of prog seeping through the cracks.

Roll on the top 10!