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!

2018 Half Year Retrospective

So with the first 6 months of 2018 over and the days already starting to get shorter (how is this possible!!), I thought it the right time to pull together a highlight playlist of my favourite jams of the year to date. With a re-ignition of activity here at DiR.net, its about time to do some more sharing, how modern of this aging dinosaur! We’ll see how many of these stick around until the traditional end of year retrospective.

DiR.net: Best of 2018 So Far…

As usual a huge mixed blend of guitar genres on offer covering

  • Sharp indie-rock (The Spielbergs)
  • Unhinged rock and roll (The Hawkins*)
  • 70’s Pop throwbacks with the best band name of recent times (Death By Unga Bunga)
  • Dutch manic Pop-Punk/Rock (Tusky)
  • Huge Southern Rockers (Black Stone Cherry)
  • Youthful diversity (YUNGBLUD, Dead!)
  • Scandinavian Melodic Hard Rock/Metal/Pop (Audrey Horne, Mustasch, Spiders, Heavy Tiger*,The Night Flight Orchestra*)
  • British Blues (Kris Barras Band)
  • Progressive Metal (Caligula’s Horse*)
  • Thumping Stoner Rock (Corrosion of Conformity, Black Rainbows)
  • Fresh and Modern UK Hard Rock (Fragile Things, Turbowolf, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Fire Red Empress*)
  • Hardcore & Post Punk (Turnstile, The Fever 333)
  • Essex Folk anti-hero (Beans On Toast)
  • …plus a few more to boot

* Whilst most of these are from 2018 releases I have snuck in a few that slipped my best of 2017 end of year net.

 

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!

Tracks of 2011: A Retrospective

Now our favourite albums of 2011 have been decided, that leaves only the small matter of the best songs. As I have been checking out vast swathes of new music it has become incredibly difficult to even begin to whittling the list of great tunes down to a reasonable number. Hence this year I’ve tried to chronicle the songs that have been top of my pops. Instead of the usual un-ordered list, here follows a vague timeline of awesome songs to keep you rockin’ through 2012. As usual though we have spotlighted those which shone brightest!

Spotify Playlist

>>DoesItRock Retrospective … 2011<<

Dananananaykroyd – Muscle Memory …Toning down their signature oddball sound ever so slightly they have created starkly addictive pop tune with singalong credentials, yet without relenting their indie sensibilities.

British India – Safari … All inhibitions are unleashed on this fuzz fuelled scorcher. Vigour, energy, two tiered passive/aggression, all over a punchy punk melody and wailing string bends. Short sweet and exhilarating.

Fair To Midland – Rikki Tiki Tavi … Imagine standing at the crossroads of epic progger’s Porcupine Tree when along rolls System of a Down’s complex guitar melodies with Disturbed vocals stacked in the back. Bold, beautiful an brazen all in one superb prog-metal classic.

Black Spiders – What Goods a Rock Without A Roll Rolling drums and spiralling guitars unleash in the build up for this hard rocking behemoth. Big riffing, mellowed bluesy interlude, expert wahhed melodies and the most badass lyric of the year (‘Eat thunder, Shit Lightning!’) combine in one heck of a rock and roll storm!

Heaven’s Basement – Unbreakable … This kick starts a new era with powerful unbridled energy and a youthful exuberance for pulsating hard rock! Massive melodies, huge riffs and a scorching solo drive this incessantly infectious tune. New album on the way, watch out!

Rose Hill Drive – Baby Doncha Know Your Man … Take a trip back to the fuzzy psychedelic days with Rose Hill Drive for a rocker soaked in retro charm.

Steel Panther – 17 Girls In A Row … No shame, balls out, lewd lyrics and 80’s hair…but man does it rock! Delightfully un-PC!

Times of Grace – Willing (Acoustic) … When metal-core gets a melodic makeover in the hands of Times of Grace you have beauty and beast entwined in a stunning grapple. This track sees the beauty win out, as complex riffs are beautifully ported to the acoustic guitar!

Crazy Arm – Bandalito … Bass thunders and the cannons roar to the red hot guitars of high octane Brit folk-punks Crazy Arm. Emphasis on vocals and a recklessly temperamental tempo makes this one of 2011’s unsung gems.

The View – Grace … The view create another smashing pop hit single. They have a knack for those simple catchy riffs that nag on your brain.

Frank Turner – Build Me Up Buttercup …Turner shows has the gift of creative reinterpretation with his cover of the four tops party classic. His version is despairing, and tortured, with his expressive vocals conveying the true meaning of the song. A classic reworked beautifully!

Set Your Goals – The last American Virgin … Rapid fire vocals, soaring chorus, fiery palm mute power chords, driving bass, melodic riffs…everything ticks my pop pink boxes! Pop Punk Anthem of 2011.

The entire playlist is available to listen via Spotify:

Spotify Playlist

>>DoesItRock Retrospective … 2011<<

Tracks of 2010

Now our favourite albums of 2010 have been decided, that leaves only the small matter of the best songs. It was a tough task, but we managed to whittle down an enourmous shortlist down to the top 100 tunes as recommended by us here at DoesItRock.net. It is rather unfair to order them as they are all brilliant in their own way, hence why the debates raged long into the night. In order that we could get some sleep, we have each picked out some of our personal favourites from 2010 which kept our spirits high and ears satisfied all year long.

The entire playlist is available to listen via Spotify:

DoesItRock Tracks of 2010 Spotify Playlist


Frank Turner – I Still Believe … Superb lyrics on this rousing anthem for all those who love music, “Who’d have though, something as simple as rock and roll would save us all”, absolute genius.
Slash – Doctor Alibi – featuring Lemmy Kilmister … What A Riff! 3 Chords of loosely played, gibson driven, marshall powered, mega catchy punk rock power chords. Backed with wailing classic, flashy blues guitar solos and Lemmy’s trademark growl bringing even more rock n’roll spirit to this cracking track! Utterly Irresistable!
Pulled Apart By Horses – High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive … Just 4 notes of a furiously fast blues lick seems unstoppable throughout PABH’s showcase single, demonstrating their crushing riffing, semi-scream vocals and high intensity guitar workouts.
Carpark North – Just Human … I thought electro-pop had become stale over the last few years. Fear not though…this euphoric dancefloor tune has epic synths and a killer chorus.
Birds of Tokyo – Wild At Heart … Progressive rock turned pop is a joyous meld of tinkling piano keys, soaring electro and rumbling guitars. What breaks this above the pack are the superb lyrics and excellent vocals!
Cee Lo Green – F**k You … Pop classic from the soul sensation which everyone is probably sick of by now. You cannot deny its greatness. Would be higher if “Forget You” did not exist.
Foxy Shazam – Count Me Out … Glamtastic Pop from the alt-rock oddballs and their electic brand of rock madness.
Kvelertak – Blodtørst … Bursts out of its cage with a ferocius energy and blows away all that stands in the way of its heavy melodic punk madness.
The Jim Jones Revue – Elemental … From the inital bluesy riff and the roughly screamed “ELEMENTAL!!” this rolling tune just keeps on electrifying as it goes, taking towns and small children with it. A rampant rock n’ roll classic, simple in execution, perfect in execution.
Danko Jones – Full Of Regret … With a video staring Lemmy, Elijah Wood & Selma Blair this pop tune is steeped in stardom with it’s killer riff.
The Thermals – I Don’t Believe You … Yet another three chord wonder from the Thermals. Nothing fancy just pure brilliance.
Interpol – Barricade … Indie gloomsters returned in 2010 and struck gold with this uptempo fizzing tune.
Ozzy Osbourne – Let Me Hear You Scream … Ozzy’s new guitarist Gus G proves he is up to the challenge of facing his predecessors.
Meat Loaf – Love Is Not Real … Rock royalty, Vai, May and Hawkings lend a helping hand for this epic classic rock tune.
Reckless Love – Beautiful Bomb … If you loved the 80’s, Reckless Love are set on bringing it back, impossible  to hate, so god damned catchy!
The Walkmen – Juveniles …  Jangly indie guitars, melancholic feelings, soaked in passion and sung with true heart.
Tweak Bird – Sky Ride … Fuzzed up guitars, sweet vocals and labouring rhytmns make for stoner rock greatness
Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride … Steeped in the 60’s classic rock era, this blasts off into retro land with no time to look back.
Sweetapple – Do You Remember … J Mascis stamps his authoritative riff all over this cathy little number!
Coheed and Cambria – Here We Are Juggernaut … Prog masters produced another stunning album, this time with a more industrial outlook.
The Black Keys – Tighten Up … The blues maestro’s are back to their souful best.
Les Savy Fav – Dirty Knails … Indie rockers found in fine riff hungry form, urgent and energetic!
The Glitterati – Fight Fight Fight … Leeds based hard rockers returned from the shadows with a cracking new album in 2010.
Bombay Bicycle Club – Ivy & Gold … Fragile acoustic track for kicking back on a sunday afternoon.
Violent Soho – Jesus Stole My Girlfriend … Grunge was back in abundance this year, this being the pick of such tunes!
Black Sunshine – Holy Gasoline … Stepping into the Southern Rock spotlight, these guys have some monster guitars and mega melodies.
Crime In Stereo – Drugwolf …  BListering track full of rise and fall, dramatic guitars and heartfelt vocals.
Wolf Parade – Palm Road … Breezy indie pop is perfect for that summer road trip.
Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em … Mashed up mayhen with these trend setting electroclashers.
Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss … Sit back and drift away to the dreamy, drung induced soundscapes of fuzz from this bright aussie band.

DoesItRock Tracks of 2010 Spotify Playlist