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…

DoesItRock.net 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 DiR.net 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…..an 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!

Albums of 2018: 10 – 1

Its Top 10 time…

10) The Vintage Caravan – Gateways

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Quick Fire Summary:Swagger is not something easily earned and this Icelandic (?) Classic Rock trio have more than mere mortals. Their huge groovy guitars plunder the blues, whether at a deep stoner plod, or with a rampaging riff. They take their queues from the 70’s hard rockers but are not bound by rules. Their styles are so dynamic with so many twists and tempo changes they are impossible to take your ears off them. Vocals a la Manic Street Preachers added to Deep Purply riffs and prog tendencies, this is homage of the highest order. The rock gods approve.

Top Track: Reset – A What a Thumping Riff! Like a precision uppercut a polished knockout blow that would lift most men off their feet. The vocal/guitar interplay is well balanced whereas the tempo shifts are totally off kilter. Not forgetting the frenzied solo which rises to a glorious crescendo. If you love hard rocking albums of stellar quality, look no further.

Watch: Reset

 

9) Beartooth – Disease

Genre: Hardcore Punk | Label: Red Bull Records

Quick Fire Summary: Probably the heaviest album on this year’s countdown comes from this Ohio Hardcore Punk come emotive hard rock band. Aggressive and in your face with brash thrashing and confrontational attitude. The counter-punch is that they have a unique knack for pop heavy hooks and soaring euphoric vocals. A hard and fast batch of edgy rock anthems for an angry generation.

Top Track: You Never Know – Showcasing the two poles of their conflicted sound. The pure, clean harmonious highs of the pop punk chorus are sandwiched by crushing metallic riffs and driven along with reckless punk abandon. Best of both worlds collide here.

Watch: You Never Know

8) Turbowolf – The Free Life

Genre: Rock/Prog/Punk | Label: So Recordings

Quick Fire Summary: Another Bristolian rock band, only this bunch of noiseniks add a electronic shot of psychedelia to their hard rock sound. Synths, Effects Pedals and gloriously fuzzy heavy blues make sure they sound huge despite being a trio. They are equally danceable as they are moshable, producing both outlandish and kaleidoscopic garage punk bangers. Thoroughly modern and magnificent.

Top Track: The Free Life – The title track kicks off right away with a dramatic fuzz fuelled riff which slow burns in a cloud of fuzzy amplification. This almost stoner-esque daydream is cruelly shattered by a killer wind-up crescendo and following military grade riffage that bombards all in its wake. Plenty of further madness ensues with squealing guitars, flaring high, and deep lulls all bound by a damn hooky chorus. A real power “trip!”.

Watch: The Free Life

 

7) Clutch – Book Of Bad Decisions

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Weathermaker Music

Quick Fire Summary: Clutch are one of those bands who do little wrong. Their recent resurgence starting with Earth Rocker have been nothing short of spectacular. Their latest can be added to this list. This has some all out attack blues punk aces alongside more refrained mid tempo groover’s and soulful sawyer’s.  The vocal interplay and unexpected lyrical content is what makes them work though, the gruffly drawled delivery backed with riff after fuzzy riff breathes vitality and life into every verse.

Top Track: Gimme The Keys – A spectacular opener which sets of on a course for destruction. Long drawn out power chord chops and spoken verse is all a decoy, for when the chorus kicks in, it’s throttle down punk energy and engulfing fuzzy riffs. Hard rock that takes absolutely no prisoners.

Watch: Gimme The Keys

 

6) Monster Truck – True Rockers

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Mascot Records

Quick Fire Summary: The title of Monster Truck’s 3rd full length album provides a succinct enough evaluation of their sound, ambition and lifestyle. To give them credit its a very accurate assessment, as it really is a True Rocker. It’s a no holds barred, blues fisticuff that also likes a throwback to rock’s glory days with plenty of organs and harmonica to boot. Its a straight up, no-nonsence, beer swilling, hard strutting roller that’s not the be trifled with.

Top Track: Young City Hearts – One of the more restrained efforts on the album, this tune flicks between piping organs, strutting basslines, a ripping melody and a the roaring chorus. Its effortlessly cool and flowing throughout. Yet it’s a expansion on their sound, they can rock hard still, but just doing it subtly.

Watch: Thundertruck

5) Hardcore Superstar – You Can’t Kill My Rock And Roll

Genre: Hard Rock/Glam | Label: GAIN

Quick Fire Summary: 11th Outing from HCSS see them finding their old jovial selves whilst pushing themselves forward. Looking back it encapsulates some of the most fun and glamtastic tracks in the discography, yet it showcased a more modern metallic side which is darker and heavier. The mix is addictive. As a sleazy hard rock band they yes have big, dumb, OTT songs and some pretty epic singalongs, but knowing (with half a tongue in cheek) that means they play to all their bombastic strengths.

Top Track: You Can’t Kill My Rock And Roll – “The Only Way Out Is All In” the quote which opens the video to this heart pounding, chest beating defiant roar of a song pretty much sums up its approach. There are no half measures here on this bonafide rock anthem that rocks 80’s style in a sleazy retelling of Kiss’ “God Gave Rock And Roll To You”. The chorus line however describes it better than I could, “Don’t Be A Whiny Bore, You Can’t Kill My Rock And Roll!”.

Watch: You Can’t Kill My Rock And Roll

4) Audrey Horne – Blackout

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Napalm Records

Quick Fire Summary: Scandinavia and modern interpretations of classic/retro rock have been intertwined for years (Volbeat, Dead Lord, Night Flight Orchestra etc…). The best of which balance both fantastic musicianship, virtuoso guitars and a single minded melodic focus at the core of their sound. As you’d expect all are present and correct on the latest from these Norse Hard Rock vikings. They bring their technical chops across from Black Metal beginnings to meld Iron Maiden dueling metal licks with Thin Lizzy pop hooks, that whilst supremely catchy, does not hold back on turning up their big classic rock amp dials.

Top Track: Rose Alley – Like turning on the radio and finding out you are actually back in 76′ and the Lizzy have just released their seminal Jailbreak. This unabashed homage to Lynott and co. (Rosalie or Rose Alley?) is stunning with a riff that is absolutely mesmerizing and a loud soft dynamic that underlines the simple by stellar chorus lines. The fact it would easily slot into the Jailbreak track list is the highest praise I could offer.

Watch: Audrevolution

3) Death By Unga Bunga – So Far, So Good, So Cool

Genre: (Garage) Rock | Label: Jansen Records

Quick Fire Summary: More Swedish goodness takes a podium finish, from the band with probably the silliest/coolest name in history. Whilst identifying as a Garage Rock, they are more rock and roll and closer to power pop acts such as Cheap Trick. Pop hooks are at the core of everything good they do and this sweet ear candy melodic nature pours out wave after wave as super Sticky McStick earworms. Its a damn fun album that doesn’t take itself too seriously as its too busy larking about. Despite this they weave some cracking guitar lines and big riffs all pumped through some nice vintage distortion which doesn’t sound to forced and is nicely compressed for that DIY rough round the edge sound.

Top Track: Soldier – It’s big, its damn catchy and it has probably the funniest, most camp and finest retro gaming Street Fighter II / Streets of Rage inspired music video you will ever likely to witness…

Watch: Soldier



2) Slash – Living The Dream

Genre: Rock | Label: Roadrunner

Quick Fire Summary: What happens when you put the finest vocalist of modern rock and the finest hat wearing guitar player? Living The Dream, that’s what! Its a combination made with true balance and chemistry that has unlimited potential. This album is a rockers delight which revels in the finest and most inventive bluesy inspired hard rocking melodies around. Top that off with stratospheric vocals and infectious lyrics and you have a Pop Rock album whose quality outshines almost all others in 2019.

Top Track: Call Of The Wild – Start as they mean to go on, this opening gambit lays all their aces down on the table. Slash providing the bluesy lick, stunning tone, crunching amps whilst Myles Kennedy’s voice heads skywards. Beating drums, an adrenaline fuelled urgent rhythmic cadence and all round party starter! Play it loud, hard and fast! 

Watch: Call Of The Wild

 

1) Tremonti – A Dying Machine

Genre: Metal/Hard Rock | Label: Napalm Records

Quick Fire Summary: Topping this years list is the other Alter Bridge guitar slinger, Mark Tremonti. He applies his full arsenal of carnage on this heavy (very heavy) solo outlet, plus his voice now sounds incredible. Its not all loudness and metal though. It tilts towards an expansive post-grunge tones which adds depth and mood to these intricate masterworks both on earnest ballads and face melting metallers. It’s a concept album, so top marks for creativity too. Its both brutally heavy and melodically beautiful, splashing the musical canvas with light and shade, aggression and hearty emotion in equal measure. Yet its the uncanny knack for the finest sing-a-long’s and soaring chorus’ which sets A Dying Machine apart from all others in 2018…the Rock Gods salute you!

Top Track: Take You With Me – From the opening bar, the accelerator is slammed to the floor as it carves up the land, obliterating everything in its path. Its unrelenting power chords and tough metal chugga chugga’s barely rest, only doing so to allow the towering determined vocals to fly. Inspiring passionate lyrics will soon have you standing in line next to the main protagonist ready to lay it all on the line. If ever there was a song to kick start an actual battle, this would be it.

Watch: Take You With Me

That’s all for 2018. Well done to you if you got this far! Rock (& Roll) on 2019.

Albums of 2018: 20-11

Maybe its having more time to enjoy, to delve, to engage and to envelop, but for me 2018 has been a really stellar year for great new albums which have primarily yet to break the mainstream. Whilst I can only see a handful ever breaking that barrier any time soon, it’s the struggle up rock mountain that’s getting tougher with each passing year. Yet with bands like these and those dedicated folk who live, breathe and sweat rock and roll, the dream will never die. It will never pass, it will merely evolve just waiting for the next misfit bunch to pick up the broken strings and wayward hope and carry on the good fight. So to my call to arms…get on down to the clubs, be in the crowds, down a few cold ones with your friends and you’ll see its a living breathing dragon of fury primed for flight every night. And to all those who think that rock and roll is actually dead, read on…if you dare!

DoesItRock.net Albums of 2018

20) Fragile Things – Echo Chambers (Blue Edition)

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Fragile Things

Quick Fire Summary: Always ones to champion “new” British rock talent, we start with a band fronted by the original Heaven’s Basement frontman Richie Hevanz (only with a lot less eyeliner). Its hard hitting rock with a modern twist and soaring vocals, immense chorus’ and striking lyrics that make this a contender for upcoming rising stars of the year. (Technically this was released in 2017 as an EP, the blue edition dropped in 2018 with a few more tracks.)

Top Track: Disappear – An extraordinary (not cheesy) power ballad about love lost and associated metal struggles. Its open hearted and empathic delivery stirs emotion, cutting through the truly huge wall of guitars and a flying vocal lines. How all ballads should be.

Watch: Disappear

 

19) Massive Wagons – Full Nelson

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Earache Records

Quick Fire Summary: Another rising British hard rock outfit have proven themselves on this stellar album of good old fashioned energetic rock and roll. It’s well polished production and huge chorus’ provides the pop hooks with the strutting guitars power the engine. Melds latter day Against Me! clean vocals with Weezer-esque quirkiness into a well rounded package which showcases plenty of variety and catchy earworms.

Top Track: Back To The Stack– A fitting tribute to the late Rick Parfitt, this three chord power chugger is flying high above the Status Quo with its “Maximum Attack, You know, You know, You know You know!”

Watch: Back To The Stack

 

18) The Dirty Nil – Master Volume

Genre: Rock | Label: Dine Alone

Quick Fire Summary: Rawkus, uncompromising, relentless pursuit of the rock and roll dream is well and truly alive in the hands of The Dirty Nil. Buzzsaw guitars, rasping vocals and plundering riffs race at punk pace with barely any self control. Yes, Its messy and mudded, but in between there are fantastic tracks and charging melodies during their brief life. Burning bright and rising fast these chaps.

Top Track: I Don’t Want That Phone Call – Probably the first rock tune with a overtly Anti-Drug message. A refreshing approach and has sadness and truth close to its evocative and passionate howled delivery from vocalist Luke Bentham.

Watch: I Don’t Want That Phone Call

17) Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Roadrunner Records

Quick Fire Summary: BSC brought back the the blues in 2018 and with it rejuvenated what was a fairly lacklustre streak dating back to 2012. Whats more they added newfound playfulness with a new funky groove which produces many of the albums best moments. It’s not afraid to be a little cheesy and certainly their riffs are back to their southern ass kickin’ best.

Top Track: Bad Habit – The obvious standout single features a doozy of a dual guitar lead lick that’s bluesy and soulful. The playful effect soaked bridge solo is a wonderful passage which ups the thump and drops the tempo ready for the final ho-ha back into the main rhythm.

Watch: Bad Habit

16) Joe Bonamassa – Redemption

Genre: Blues | Label: J&R Adventures

Quick Fire Summary: Welcome return number 2 of this years countdown comes from the modern king of the Blues, the living legend that is Joe Bonamassa. This his 13th album is a fine lively jaunt which displays his more playful side with upbeat rhythm and blues numbers alongside more traditional rootsy tracks and even the odd jazz inflection to boot. His warm vocals are as smooth as ever and his guitar playing is an astounding thing of beauty.

Top Track: King Bee Shakedown – A real swinger of a bluesy shuffle takes flight with full brass accompaniment providing the high notes on this fun dance hall number. Strong kicking tempo, nifty riffs and a might slide solo add variety and vitality.

WatchKing Bee Shakedown

15) Kit Trigg – Life

Genre: Blues Rock | Label: Kit Trigg & Nic Sleight

Quick Fire Summary: As a sucker for scrappy stoner fuzz, riffs,  blues and new homegrown talent, the debut LP from this Surrey duo ticks all these boxes. Its unrefined, it pays homage to the good old blues lick, the desert and likes nothing more to rock out as much noise as two men with 6 strings and 2 sticks can muster. Evanescent songs burn bright with barely two tunes clocking in at over 3 mins. Short sweet and sumptuous.

Top Track: I Gotta Red Strat – Ths blues rockin’ banger has a little bit of everything. A glossy clean power chord riff, thumping desert rock, punky attitude, head banging, addictive simplicity and a cool baby blues solo to offset the carnage. Oh and yes… He has a red Strat!

Watch: I Gotta Red Strat

 

14) IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Rebellion

Genre: Punk | Label: Partisan Records

Quick Fire Summary: A lot has been written and said about these Bristol punks who will stop at nothing until they have angrily railroaded their gruff political voice and dirty garage rock into every living room up and down the currently divided Isle of Great Britain. They have captured a feeling of unease and uncompromising anger via their shadowy blasts of raging emotion, modern punk at its rawkus best.

Top Track: Danny Nedalko – An anthem of unity from an unlikely source which is pro-immigration and anti-discrimination. All delivered through a rampaging full tilt garage punk rocker with a damn football chant style chorus which has us all howling Danny’s name at full volume.

WatchDanny Nedalko (Live)

 

 

13) Tusky – Rated Gnar

Genre: Punk | Label: V2 Records Benelux

Quick Fire Summary: I what’s probably a first for DiR.net, we have a Dutch Punk rock outfit in our EOY countdown. This is a record made from equal parts pop punk (under the california sun), technical post hardcore eccentricity, hardcore speed-slamming, hard rock riffing all ties together with a youthful and invigorated Foo Fighter vibe. Its dynamic, its varied and it keeps you on you toes dancing along for its less is more 30 mins of unexpected twists and turns.

Top Track: Going Out – I dare you not to want to jump out of your seat and throw stuff (metaphorically of course) when the opening rampage of power chords hit. Barely does the pumping energy let up throughout this sunny punk rocker that grips and doesn’t let go for a wild ride.

Watch: Going Out

12) Bullets And Octane – Waking Up Dead

Genre: Punk/Rock | Label:  Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records UK

One Line Summary: Returning sleazy rockers B&O have rekindled their spirits and are back partying hard and playing loud, living and breathing the lifestyle they dream of.  A raft of supermassive rock tunes on display, infused with punk urgency and electrifying melodies.

Top Track: When We Were Young – A thumping rock track which makes you believe that every night is a Friday night, every song must be sung and every chord must be amplified. Their fighting spirit and passion for performing is front and centre of this uplifting tune.

WatchWhen We Were Young

11) Coheed & Cambria – Unheavenly Creatures

Genre: Prog Rock | Label:Roadrunner

Quick Fire Summary:The 9th album emphatically rejuvenates C&C’s natural bombastic eccentricity and progressive tendencies. Pomp and over the top styling’s aplenty, it gloriously revels in throwbacks to their earlier day selves, with borrowed melodies and lyrics strewn across this sprawling space rock voyage. Grandeur really suits the huge classic rock ramparts they build with expert precision and heavy firepower.

Top Track: The Gutter – Epic tune which wistfully switches from tinkling keys, to razor sharp riffs and vocal delivery sweeping from aggressive urgency to fragility. This is all prelude to their gloriously dramatic, glamtastic guitar and exhilarating power balladry.

WatchThe Gutter

Roll on the top 10!

Albums of 2017: 10-1

Lets crash straight into the Top 10 on the road to find those who made it into the top ten albums of 2017 …

10) Andy James – Exodus

Genre: Instrumental Guitar | Label: Urban Yeti Records

Quick Fire Summary: Melody. Often overlooked by the wizards of guitar genius in favour of showboating technique and shred velocity. Andy James has put it front and centre of every track on Exodus, meaning each has a beautiful flow letting his 6 strings ‘sing’ astounding lead lines among a cacophony of metal madness. From all out diamond tipped rockers to soppy ballads this album is by far the best from a Guitar Virtuoso in seemingly forever!

Top Track: Made Of Stone – Simply stunning lead guitar work clearly weaves its own assertive voice throughout this melodic masterpiece of composition. The technical fretwork in itself is dazzling, but add in the rumbling double bass and atmospheric driving metal backing rhythms it shines like all outstanding instrumentals do.

Watch: Gone (The Ballad)

 

9) Alpha Male Tea Party – Health

 

Genre: Math Rock | Label: Big Scary Monsters

Quick Fire Summary: In their own words, this “F**king Loud Instrumental Band” hold back nothing on this, their third album of exquisite Math Rock. An intricately crafted set of tunes crammed full of madcap phrasing, bright melodies and optimistic guitars. Yet their progressive and technical guitar chops do not overshadow their desire to cut loose and rock out!

Top TrackBallerina – From song one, chord one, AMTP showcase all their strengths; big riffs, crashing cymbals, jarring tempo shifts, delicate lead lines and atmospheric interludes. A true taste of whats to come.

WatchSome Soldiers

 

8) War Cloud – War Cloud

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Ripple Music

Quick Fire Summary: 70’s Hard rock has blunderbuss’d back into the rock spheres this year and this debut is one of the finest examples of non nonsense, “we are going to blow your ears off” rock and roll. Its an unrelenting riff fest of 8 adrenaline fueled tracks that range from all out attack metal to lolloping bluesy stonerisms, all via their high, ‘Flying V’ powered melodic guitar slinging. Yet its their impressive abundance of melodic solo’s which set them apart. Nothing over the top, just overdriven, intertwining, pitch shifted, harmonic dueling lead blues lines which make my heart sing and inevitably, the head bang.

Top Track: Divide & Conquer – A scaly blues run kicks us into the chugging palm muted power chords that lumber huge stoner footprints across the desert. All the while lulling you along with the smooth but tough vocals into thinking this is just another rock song…wrong. The majestic solo, kicks you out of the smoky stupor as the double guitar leads trade riffing battle blows leaving a huge trail of melodic destruction in its path (no pedals required). The kind of which have rarely seen since the glory Lizzy pairing of Robertson and Gorham.

Watch: Vulture City (Live)

 

 

7) Black Star Riders – Heavy Fire

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast

Quick Fire Summary: Harder, Faster, Stronger. The sideline new music output branch of the (barely) original Thin Lizzy lineup show the rest of the “inspired by” crowd how to master melodic rock and roll. This time out they have written fun, catchy, energetic and unapologetic pop  songs that rock-out with the best. Despite being rooted in the 70’s heydays they have sharpened a modern sound. Whilst the rest reinvent and recreate…Black Star Riders clearly hold the patent.

Top Track: Who Rides The Tiger – Wailing wah wah bend verse riffs break out into full galloping stride on accelerated power blues chorus runs. Gloriously daft lyrics and a dreamy feelgood melodic guitar solo has all the Lizzy hallmarks of the grand masters seal of approval.

Watch: Testify Or Say Goodbye

 

6) Clowns – Lucid Again

Genre: Hardcore/Progressive Punk | Label: This Charming Man Records

Quick Fire Summary: Take the raw power and energy of hardcore punk, pop a few pills of psychadelia and you’ll be well on the way to capturing the heart of these Australian noisenik’s latest album. It has all the punk staples, choppy and high velocity chords, angry (yet melodic) vocal delivery and chaos breaking out at every turn. Yet intrigue is gathered most around the metamorphic stylistic shifts as it twists from tradition into effect heavy reverbed guitars melodies and back with effortless grace. It’s loud, it’s in your face, but also defiantly different and endlessly listenable.

Top Track: Like A Knife At A Gunfight – Simply put, this is the song i’ll still be playing years from now and think; wow that build up crescendo are epic, the false peaks are teasing, the acoustic touches are captivating, the vocals are stylistically perfect, the proggy meanders are mesmerizing and the insane speed of the deceptively clean power chords is totally and utterly bonkers!!! I’ll never tire of this tracks energy and carnage causing chaos.

Watch: Destroy The Evidence (Live)

 

5) Danko Jones – Wild Cat

Genre: Rock | Label: AFM Records

Quick Fire Summary: Another year, yet another appearance on our annual best of countdown for the most rock and roller of all rock and rollers, Danko Jones. This guy can do no wrong (in my eyes) with his positive enthusiasm for fist pumping, arms aloft, horns to the sky punk edged hard rock anthems. What’s persevered him to this (album number 8) is retaining a melodic swagger and knack of a an infectious chorus or 10. Whether or not he ever breaks UK mainstream consciousness is irrelevant, the rock underground loves Danko.

Top Track: My Little RnR – The poppiest track and clear lead single sticks with the basics of Danko’s craft. A simple little verse riff, those rough and ready muscular vocals, tough chugging rhythm guitars, melodic guitar lead lines and a damn catchy chorus designed to lift spirits and raise collective voices.

Watch: My Little RnR

 

4) Blood Command – Gang Signs

Genre: Punk | Label: Fysisk Format

Quick Fire Summary: The 3rd outing for these Norwegian Art Punks is their most outrageously heavy to date, yet still find plenty of room for new ideas and the bubbling undercurrent of catchy chorus’ lines. The upping of their electronic arsenal is their most dynamic addition that turns what could be stagnate punk, often into a crushing club bangerz. The balance between the clean chorus’ and visceral vocal punishment dished out by new vocalist Karina Ljone is one finely traversed. Where hardcore, pop and art collide, that’s where Blood Command will be.

Top Track: Ctrl + Art + Delete – A warning shot across the bows encapsulates their sound in 3 short minutes. A slowly taut and wound up crescendo laced with electronic dubby warp-warps finally explodes into full hardcore punk mode with fiery lacerating lyrics. Come the chorus however they come smooth and clean before the circling vortex of choppy guitars implode to unleash the carnage once more.

Watch: Quitters Don’t Smoke

 

3) Dead Lord – In Ignorance We Trust

Genre: Rock | Label: Century Media Records

Quick Fire Summary: “Rock. From Sweden.” Says their website, and that’s a pretty clear summation of this crack shooting band of tremendous musicians who know how to raise the roof in the homeland of retro-rock. Not for the first time on this countdown, the Lizzy influences are plain to see with many a duelling melodic solo that dance and dazzle throughout their entrancing interplay. The vocals, I admit are Marmite. But if you do love them, then there is no boundary to to glory of this anthemic, big mustache pouting slab of prime 70’s fun fueled rock and roll.

Top Track: Darker Times – I love a good juxtapose and that’s exactly what you get on the closing track. With one the most upbeat driving riffs on the album with an insistent pace, not even the discontented lyrics can stop the oozing of a fun filled 70’s party. If Cheers was ever resurrected in 2018, this is a dead cert to be the theme tune.

Watch: Too Late

 

2) Hunter & The Bear – Paper Heart

Genre: Rock | Label: Hunter & The Bear

Quick Fire Summary: Yes I’m still a sucker for anthemic joyous rock, and if judged on this alone, Hunter & The Bear would have lifted this year’s crown. Warm smooth and hearty vocals melt like butter on the backdrop of high gloss production that is firmly rooted in radio friendliness. Despite the pop qualities, there are most definitely a guitar band who love to rock out. Its uplifting, is packed with top drawer songwriting, soul soaring songs and chorus’s to sing till your vocal chords dry up. 9 (self) released singles (all with videos) certainly says something.

Top Track: Hologram – I could easily have picked every song on this album, but Hologram with a chorus so infectious it should have hazmat stamped on its cover gets the nod. Blending electronics among the clean yet rough power chords among the somber verses works well and leads into the euphoria of ‘that’ chorus. Honest heart on sleeve songwriting only adds to its captivating passage.

Watch: Who’s Gonna Hear You

 

1) Feral Ohms – Feral Ohms

Genre: Hard Rock/Punk | Label: Silver Current

Quick Fire Summary: Feral Ohms is an unhinged, searingly intense, sharpened fuzz fueled lo-fi garage rocker. Forged in the MC5 fires of no nonsense ear blasting powerful punk onslaughts, their amped up scuzziness is both muscular and raw. Dive beneath the wailing wall of guitar, thunderous bass and reckless drums however and you’ll also find some surprisingly melodic lines and super hard rock riffing too. This is one band destined for orchestrating mosh pit madness in sweaty basement bars to relentlessly pummel heads, hearts and minds with a bombardment of primitive rock and roll. A singularity of chaos reigns supreme in 2017…the Rock Gods salute you!

Top Track: Love Damage – A deranged riff monster goes on a rampage smashing noise rock guitars into a wall of cymbals clearing anything in its path, cranking the amp reverb up to sound like the coming of the apocalypse whilst a deranged ‘howl at the moon’ vocal fill the air. An intense and stupefying 3 minutes of punk energy.

 

That’s all for 2017. Well done to you if you got this far! Rock (& Roll) on 2018.

Albums of 2017: 20-11

Its January once more and with the cold dark evenings comes the annual ritual of constructing the Best of… post here at DoesItRock.net (I mean, no decent music is released in Jan anyway right?). We’ve had a markedly busier year on the gig and new music front in 2017 and so take to the task of rounding up the best of 2017’s albums of guitar greatness with renewed vigor and energy.

Its time to unleash to Albums of 2017…

20) King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard- Murder Of The Universe

Genre: Psychedelic Rock | Label: Heavenly Recordings

Quick Fire Summary: The 2nd of 5 albums released this year by the purveyors of the finest and most trippiest of triptastic psychedelic delusions from the land of Oz. Warped instrumentation, fantasy mythology and power packed guitar packs bind these cohesive meanders of the higher mind to create hazy, yet crazy masterpieces.

Top Track: Altered Beast – This 14+ min track in 4 movements is more akin to a fantasy rock opera on super strength acid, that links the album shifting forms into one metamorphic monster punky psy-rock, ermm…beast?

Watch: The Lord Of Lightning Vs Balrog

 

19) The Darkness – Pinewood Smile

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Canary Dwarf Records & Cooking Vinyl

Quick Fire Summary: Bias Alert: It wouldn’t be DoesItRock.net if the Darkness doesn’t appear! Latest from the spandex clad catsuit rockers sits between genius and ridicule, hilarity and parody so much so that It baffles and bemuses at every turn. Some stonkingly heavy riffs, fist pumping rockers and superb instrumentation but the often rude lyrics are borderline comedy act (which might have been what they were going for).

Top Track: Solid Gold – Whilst a long lost Ac/Dc riff powers this tongue-in-cheek romp, we’re sure they “Ain’t never gonna stop, Sh***ing out SOLID GOLD!”

 

18) The Bronx – V

Genre: Punk | Label: ATO Records

Quick Fire Summary: The fifth (go figure?) album from New Yorks finest Punk’s channel the citys fine heritage for short sharp three minute three chord outbursts of attitude. This sounds like punk should, brash, nasty, visceral and raw. Yet underneath the layers of noise is a perfectly formed riff chorus riff chorus cycle that emphasises melody over chaos and certainly the album to crank up loud to annoy the parents.

Top Track: Past Away – A clever little picked riff is front and centre of this simple but effective track that’s so contagious, you’ll be humming it for days.

Watch: Two Birds

 

17) In Search Of Sun – Virgin Funk Mother

Genre: Prog/Funk/Metal/Rock | Label: Spinefarm Records

Quick Fire Summary: Reinvention from promising metal-core and mill running djent’ers to lords of progressive funk is complete. Taking their underlying talent for melody and technical guitar work they have created a wonderfully groovy and diverse album which not only rips up the rule books, but boils them in a melting pot ready to be reborn as a huge new tomes of intricately crafted rock gospels.

Top Track: Motherfunk – Reverb heavy fretwork and acoustic strumming lay the foundations of this short sharp pulsating powerhouse.  Yet its the space in between that punctuates the kicking funky bass, pop vocals and those mesmerizing intricately woven melodies ready for the chorus of guitars to thunder in.

Watch: The World Is Yours

 

16) Goodbye June – Magic Valley

 

 

16) Goodbye June – Magic Valley

Genre: Rock | Label: Interscope

Quick Fire Summary: Debut LP from a trio of Nashville cousins who have a great ear for sprinkling magic melody dust on their radio friend rock anthems. Encrusted with blues and country flourishes this often hard rocking album is a bright and bursting bag of vitality powered by big guitars and laced with one of the most unique vocal performances of the year.

Top Track: Liberty Mother – Barnstormer? This blues strutting no hold barred rocker straps napalm to its forehead and blows the barn to oblivion!

WatchLiberty Mother

 

 15) Dave Hause – Bury Me In Philly

Genre: Singer/Songwriter | Label: Rise Records

Quick Fire Summary: Another former hardcore punk front man (a la Frank Turner) who fancies himself as a the modern storyteller in the vein of The Boss” himself. This warming album of un-apologetically american anthems is masterclass in melodic prowess to swell and puncture the heart. Packed with uplifting tunes and lyrics taking his soul to his sleeve, this is a great record to spin in the long summer evenings swigging a few cans as the sun goes down.

Top Track: Bury Me In Philly – A soaring slide of massively melodic Americana breeze, blown by the winds of rebellion against social media and a love for all things Philadelphia.

WatchThe Flinch

 

14) Mad Monkees – Mad Monkees

Genre: Stoner Rock | Label: Ressaca Records

Quick Fire Summary: From a random recommendation from Spotify Discovery to Stoner Rock album of the year, these Brazillian boys know how to infuse dirty desert guitars, gruff groovy vocals, hard rock ethos all with an insistent foot on the throttle. Their gritty lo-fi songs are more pop than you’d imagine via short, sweet, simple but entrancing offerings, focusing in on big choruses and equally big bluesy riffs.

Top Track: I Cannot Feel – Roaring drumming, fast fretting and uber riffing glides effortlessly over desolate peaks and valleys, yet slightly restrained in order to give way to sweet harmonious guest female vocals which adds a totally new genre dynamic which is infectious and hard hitting in its contrast.

Watch: Monkee Business

 

13) Death From Above (1979) – Outrage! Is Now

Genre: Rock | Label: Warner Bros/Last Gang Records

Quick Fire Summary: The second album of DFA1979’s welcome reunion, find them pouring petrol on their rekindled furnace of furious rock noise, only this time with a tonne more pop and production sophistication. Channeling their early recklessness and snarling punk attitude they have transported the riffs and energy and added nifty song craft with shifting tones, dynamics and some cool effects. Step aside Royal Blood, the originators are back with a bang, crash and a wallop!

Top Track: Caught Up – Slowing their usual unrelenting tempo this lumbering slow burner is melodic, infectious and riffy which makes the crescendo of triumphant explosive dance punk noise at 2:47 that much more satisfying.

Watch: Freeze Me

 

12) Brutus – Burst

Genre: <Insert Here> | Label: Hassle Records

One Line Summary: True uniqueness is hard to find in the overburdened music scenes, but its bubbling through this Belgian bands debut as constant as heartbeats. Elements of post-rock instrumentation, snarling (post?) hardcore punk attitude, mathy flourishes and darkened metal make this a wondrous discovery record of dizzying complexity. Yet it’s talismanic vocalist Stefanie Mannaerts’s seriously emotive, powerful pipes in both harsh and clean mode that makes it work. Not to mention she also plays drums too!

Top TrackAll Along – This chaotic and beautiful atmospheric track is ever shifting under your ears, with reverbing melodies launching like fireworks, shifting dynamics, skin smashing drums and those terrifying but equally hopeful vocals.

WatchAll Along

11) Mammoth Mammoth – Mount The Mountain

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Napalm Records

Quick Fire Summary: It’s beer-o-clock somewhere, and I’m sure that Mammoth Mammoth are already there having rode in on their bikes with their leather jackets hung behind the door. No nonsense, no cares, just straight up and down dumb hard rock that pummels powerful blues riffs, stoner rock overtones and fist pumping chorus’ till their dragged out at closing time. But what a night hey? Lemmy would be proud.

Top Track: Sleepwalker – Find a riff that rocks, repeat, add some voices, repeat, play it loud and bang your head, repeat some more…simple?

Stay tuned for the top 10!

Albums of 2016: 10-1

The competition is hotting up as we hit the top 10 Albums which rocked 2016’s socks off…as decided by me!

10) The Shrine – Rare Breed

 

Genre: Stoner Metal/Hard Rock | Label: Century Media Records

One Line Summary: Get your biker jackets and set course to headbang alley with this 70’s inspired stoner metal band that have the hair, the riffs and aren’t afraid to crank up the tempo and ride full throttle to adrenaline heaven.

Top Track: Coming Down Quick – A menacing gargantuan opening riffs plods along before being blasted skywards by a barrage of thumping power chords.

Watch: Coming Down Quick

 

9) Black Pistol Fire – Don’t Wake The Riot

Genre: Blues/Rock | Label: Modern Outsider

One Line Summary: Unsung heroes of vintage bluesy pop rock homages play with an dirtied fuzz fueled sound that boogies and swaggers out of the Deep South nodding to BB on their way to the crossroads.

Top Track: Fleet Foot – Foot stomping country barn dance number that showcases their authentic sound and knack for reinvigorating the humble blues riff.

Watch: Bad Blood

 

8) Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast

One Line Summary: A* pupils of the new school of classic rock get top marks for rocking like it’s 1975 with groovy hip shaking blues power and impressive rangy vocals time traveling back to the good old days of rock’n’roll debauchery and excess.

Top Track: Reapers Danse – High energy set to 11 rocker which blasts through riffs like a Gatling gun packaged with those powerful vocals and lively keys for backup.

Watch: Reapers Danse

7) Valley Of The Sun – Volume Rock

Genre: Stoner Rock | Label: Fuzzorama Records

One Line Summary: If you like your rock loud, proud, fast, packed with melody, guitar solos, energy and towering strength this Stoner come Hard rock adrenaline shot, it is about as good as it gets!

Top Track: The Hunt– A stampeding juggernaut of stoner rock that you must grip tight and to hold on for a thundering ride.

Watch: The Hunt

 

6) Weezer – Weezer (The White Album)

 

Genre: Rock | Label: Atlantic

One Line Summary:Rejuvenated 90’s rockers continue to hit new career highs with this upbeat and sun soaked record to spin on those long endless summer evenings, playful melodies, full keyboard workouts, captivating lyrics and as always plenty of inimitable ooooh-aaaaahs and crunchy rock chords.

Top Track: Thank God For Girls – Bright keys gently jaunt through this beautiful mesh of loud chorus chant vs. low key verbose lyrical verses that are sprinkled with sparkling wordplay.

Watch: Thank God For Girls

 

5) Crobot – Welcome To Fat City

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast

One Line Summary: 2015’s Album of The Year makers return full of that warm fuzzy groovy guitar riffing which makes their stratospheric version of bluesy hard rock totally irresistible and stonkingly addictive.

Top Track: Not For Sale  – Superstar vocals surround the pounding rhythms over a simple but god darnit superstar riff makes for a stunning song which rocks the ground beneath it rolls, but watch out for the epic rock-out crescendo topped with a feedback effect thats so damn cool it hurts.

Watch: Not For Sale

 

4) Royal Republic – Weekend Man

Genre: Rock | Label: Capitol Records

One Line Summary: Take some jaggedly strutting riffs, chop and add some funky beats, mix well with The Hives style and melody-centric garage rock and add the whimsical essence of Electric Six, crank up the tempo and you’ll create the most smile inducing, infectiously playful rock and roll record of 2016.

Top Track: Baby – The perfect execution of pop simplicity, a damn catchy stomping melody and a swaggering vocal performance with plenty of b..b..b..ba..be..be..b..ba..by’s!

Watch: Baby

 

3) Volbeat – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie

 

Genre: Rock | Label: Universal

One Line Summary: Danish Rock royalty once again deliver a first class set of stratospheric snow capped anthems that can only be Volbeat, oddly indecipherable lyrics, jaunty rhythms and their gritty but overtly commercial sound that has you singing from the mountain tops.

Top TrackBlack Rose (Ft. Danko Jones)  – Superstar Scando-Canadian Combo is a riotous clash of styles which punches out rapid fire lyrics, thudding power chords, tempo shifts and epic melodic moments not to be missed.


Watch: Seal The Deal

 

2) Förtress – Ambrosia

 

Genre: Hard Rock/Metal | Label: Triassic Recordings

One Line Summary: Enthralling and entrancing psychedelia infused heaviness treading a careful line between Hard Rock and melodic Heavy Metal, swinging and swaying through thunderous groovetastic guitar lines delivered by the higher rock gods, pivoting their intricate tempo shifting melodies across funky/bluesy/proggy styles with both grace and power.

Top Track: Bitch Demon – Trad heavy metal opener has its foot firmly on the accelerator as it piles through overdriven riffs, only making way for the true track highlight of a funk filled head boppin’, toe tappin reverb soaked guitar bridge/solo which just makes you want to move your feet.

Watch: Bitch Demon

 

1) Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy

 

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Dine Alone Music Inc.

One Line Summary: Canadian rockers bust down the door to greatness with this southern swingin’ record that has such depth of awesomely simple but effective big hitters that both loves to raise the fist and worship at the altar of rock and roll, whilst not forgetting stellar soaring choruses to get the people singing along.

Top Track: The Enforcer – Aggressive, dangerous, no nonsense highly volatile assault of a rock and roller wrapped in a tribute to the eponymous brutal hockey players with a less than average number of teeth, a song that screams don’t mess with me..or else you will get hurt!

(Rock &) Roll on 2017!

Albums of 2016: 20-11

Once more I take to my Best Of postings on DiR.net in the absence of any real gig activity. Well I say, “Best of…”. What I actually mean is I have listed out my favourite albums which I have sung my heart out to, rocked out playing air guitar in my kitchen and thumped the car stereo weekend drives in 2016. So by this measure, I’m free from the shackles of trendsetters, taste makers and a need for artistic credibility. I’m perfectly happy in my self bestowed position of Warden of the Rock, Overlord of Overdrive and Grandmeister of Guitars…

Without further ado, I let the 2016 DoesItRock.net Album of the Year countdown roar into action…

20) Raveneye – Nova

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Frontiers Music

One Line Summary: British Blues Protege Oli Brown, turns his attention to blistering hard rock and succeeds in transforming his bluesy sound into polished and powerful head thumping romps and his vocals into a true rock leading man’s whilst writing songs that ooze class and craft way beyond their years.

Top Track: Madeline – The guitars sound amazingly warm, fuzzy but all powerful as the mighty riffing breathlessly rises and falls to their ear blasting bluesy beats.

Watch: Madeline

 

19) Miyavi – Fire Bird

Genre: Rock/Dance | Label: Virgin Records

One Line Summary:

Japanese superstar guitar slinger ups his dance floor credentials with an album chocked full with his trademarked electrifying riffs double teamed with thumping beats making this one hell of a clubland banger!

Top Track: Dim It – Rolliking Riffing, punchy vocals and dreamy psychedelia blend to great effect for this breezy blues blaster.

 

18) Heavy Hearts – Bliss

Genre: Emo/Rock | Label: New Damage

One Line Summary: This years emo surprise is this super cool and styled rocker is both mopey and gallopy, heart swelling and anchoring, all within the same joyously rampaging track-list.

Top Track: Bliss – Floppy fringed punk energy and soaring vocals invade thie uplifting and melodic low strung rock number.

Watch: Bliss

 

17) Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not

Genre: Indie Rock | Label: Jagjaguwar

One Line Summary: Reinvigorated alt-rockers yet again showcase their scrappy yet enigmatic tones, songwriting class and pop sensibilities as these old boys, who despite the years ticking over, sound as relevant as ever on this Tight album of both attacking indie rock and breezy flights of crafted beauty.

Top Track: Tiny – Energetic and bright sounding indie/punk rock anthem with their hallmarked raw attack driven by the masterful guitar genius of J. Mascis.

Watch: Tiny

 

16) Switchfoot – Where The Light Shines Through

Genre: Rock | Label: Vanguard

One Line Summary: Switchfoot regain some of their early day focus (10 albums in) and produce some super pop rock anthems packed with memorable melodies, soaring vocals and somewhat wildly inconsistent but always entertaining variety.

Top Track: I Won’t Let You Go – Soppy, hopeful, heartwarming, uplifting etc… un-apologetically cheesy mainstream pop ballad that’s executed so beautifully…you cannot fault it.

Watch: I Won’t Let You Go (Live)

 

15) The New Roses – Dead Man’s Voice

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Napalm Records

One Line Summary: Good old fashioned rock and roll from these German hard rockers, who are not ashamed to flex a pop melody muscle or five within their high energy, Black Crows’y sophomore record that’s a springboard to bigger things.

Top Track: Thirsty – Thirsty – Roaring tune brimming with poppy melodies and an infectious singalong chorus.

Watch: Thirsty

 

14) Ignite – A War Against You

Genre: Punk | Label: Century Media Records

One Line Summary: Californian rockers come out punching with this fiery and throttle maxed whirlwind of a record which combines the attack of hardcore punk and the melodic sense of pop punk through a passionate and fist pumping channel of no holds barred power chord chopping.

Top Track: Nothing Can Stop Me – An all out attack, no man left behind spirit rampages through this fast and furious punk rocker with reckless abandon.

Watch: Nothing Can Stop Me

 

13) Palace Of The King – Valles Marineris

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Listenable Records

One Line Summary: A long search for a decent organ driven rock and roll band is finally over (Wolfmothers faded return excluded!), featuring epic blues power, soulful bombastic rhythms, spacey but purposeful psychedelic trips and some top bass riffing to boot.

Top Track: We Are The Vampires – Stonking bass riffing propels this electrified jaunty mesh of swaggerful vocals, blues busting guitar and auxiliary key slamming organs.


Watch: Beyond The Valley

12) Sons Of Icarus – Beyond The Sun

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Sons of Icarus Records

One Line Summary: Long overdue superior Hard Rock from UK upstarts, plenty of thunderous guitar work and soaring vocals which grab you by the ear and demand your attention.

Top Track: You Want It All – A Lolloping but epic riff kicks this track along letting the superstar vocals and melodic backing fretwork space to work their magic.

Watch: You Want It All

11) Alter Bridge – The Last Hero

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Napalm Records

One Line Summary: A stellar work of how to produce a truly gravity shifting phenomenal hard rock record to shake your bones to, trying out new ideas hit and miss equally, perhaps a little too grand for its own good this time out.

Top Track: Show Me A Leader – Unexpectedly structured clear lead single kicks off the record in epic style, Kennedy and Tremonti at their spirit rousing best.

Watch: Show Me A Leader

 

Stay tuned for the top 10!