The 13 Best Rock Songs Of 2013

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here:

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

The past year has been great for hard rock music and as a hard rock music lover, I will like to share my Top 13 best hard rock songs of 2013. Thank you for supporting The Rock Riff this past year and I hope we will share many more years together. My list will start at Number 13 and lead up to my Number 1 song of 2013.

13. Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll – Taxi Violence

I had the pleasure of seeing South African band Taxi Violence perform at Kirstenbosch this year supporting Seether on their semi-acoustic SA tour. I love the pureness and the groove of the song, it’s really refreshing.


12. Here’s To Us – Halestorm

Halestorm’s crowd-favourite, hard rock anthem comes in at Number 12, the band has had a bumper year with a promising future. They kicked off the year with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performed at the Bandit Rock Awards, Lzzy Hale sang a duet with David Draiman on Device’s cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”. They supported Alter Bridge on their UK and European tour, the highlight of Halestorm’s year was winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category.


11. Never Never – Korn

From their latest album The Paradigm Shift comes ” Never Never” a song about relationships and the feelings we as people experience when we have been hurt by loved ones. The video for this song was one of my favourite music videos of the year.


10. Adrenalize Me – In This Moment

The provocative and sexy single from In This Moment comes in at number 10. The dark, gritty guitars combined with Maria’s powerful vocals topped with a great chorus is a great combination. the music video for this song is creepy, sexy and very entertaining.


9. Live It Up – Airbourne

Everyone’s favourite Ozzie rockers delivered an adrenaline pumping track sure to tantalise and entertain their audience at any of their live shows. The band never cease to deliver some head-banging tracks and “Live It Up” was no exception.


8. Going To Hell – The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless returned in a big way last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their studio mid-recording, wiped out the majority of the band’s gear as well as a slew of demos and near-completed recordings for their new album. They had to rebuild, this song addresses the tragedy and how the band struggled to regain their footing.


7. Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp’s solo career continued in 2013 when he released his second solo album “Proof Of Life” on the 5th of November 2013. After reading Scott Stapp’s 2012 Memoir Sinner’s Creed, the listener understands the song and music video so much better. I really admire Scott for using his own life and experiences as a method of educating others who face the same challenges. The music video for the song depicts time periods in his own life and how he was saved by music and his family. It’s a powerful song and it has a powerful message to convey.


6. Conquistador – Thirty Seconds To Mars

An upbeat song of defiance and courage with an infectious beat underlined by the chill-inducing backing vocals of Knights of the White Shadow. Thirty Seconds To Mars are an innovative band and this song just seems to verify that. Despite not being released as a single the song has been featured in the “Become Immortal” trailer for the video game,WWE 2K14 & Need For Speed Rivals.


5. Vilify – Device

2013 saw the debut of a new industrial metal band named Device, fronted by David Draiman of Disturbed. “Vilify” was the first single released off of their self-titled album. The powerful and potent single was a great introduction to the album. The music video features David Draiman’s wife Lena as the android/robotic figure.


4. Adrenaline – Shinedown

Shinedown released Adrenaline as a single off of their 2012 album “Amaryllis” in 2013. The title for the song is self-explanatory and it is a straight-up hard rock song. Powerful, pounding drums and roaring guitars dominate the song and it does not disappoint.


3. Do Me A Favor – Stone Sour

Stone Sour released “Do Me a Favor” as a single on February 12th, 2013. The first time I heard the song I was hooked. I listened to it about 5 – 10 times the same night I heard it. It’s an aggressive song, but it has a really fantastic chorus which creates a nice contrast. “Do Me A Favor” comes from “House of Gold and Bones – Part 2”.


2. Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold released their sixth studio album Hail To The King on the 27th of August 2013. The title track and lead single off the album was released on the 15th of July 2013. The song has , in my opinion, one of the best intro’s I have ever heard, combining the guitars and drums in a sinister way. M.Shadows enters the song 1 minute and 10 seconds into it, with some powerful and threatening lyrics. The song has a unique dynamic and takes the listener on a medieval journey. The music video is one of the best videos I have seen this year. All in all a fantastic delivery from A7X. Enjoy!

NUMBER 1 : Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge

I suppose it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Myles Kennedy/Alter Bridge fan, so this might not surprise dedicated The Rock Riff readers. Although I’m well aware that this might make me seem biased, but I’m sure that almost everyone will agree that the Number 1 spot is well-deserved. Addicted To Pain gets in your face and doesn’t let up for 1 second. A fast-paced, aggressive song heightened by Myles Kennedy’s vocals. The song is about a person who is being used in a relationship and is too blind to realise it. The song is written from the perspective of the “witness” /friend who can see what is happening but has no power to stop it. Alter Bridge made a triumphant return from their 2010 album ABIII with the release of “Fortress”. They will continue their tour in support of “Fortress” in  2014, which will include Sweden, Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and the US.

Fortress has received critical acclaim. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating ‘universal acclaim'” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Thank you for reading and supporting The Rock Riff in 2013, I hope 2014 will be even better!


Lauren K


Band of the Month – Airbourne

Like The Rock Riff on Facebook

You can follow The Rock Riff on Twitter here:

Airbourne formed in 2003 as a hard rock band hailing from the Victorian town of Warrnambool, populated by 32,000 people. At a very early age Joel ‘O Keeffe’s main interest was listening to the albums that he had stolen from his uncle which included bands like Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, The Angels, Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs and Cold Chisel. By the tender age of 11 Joel had picked his first guitar trying to emulate his Oz-rock idols. Joel’s younger brother Ryan was paying close attention to Joel’s hobby and soon after he was under the same spell as his brother. Ryan started playing drums at the age of 11 and started rehearsing with his now 15-year-old brother much to the delight of their neighbours who was constantly calling the cops due to the noise. Joel met David Roads when the two worked at the Hotel Warrnambool. The pair brought their guitars back to work and started jamming after their shifts ended. Bassist Justin Street was recruited in 2003, whom Ryan met after stumbling home after a party one night. Turns out he was interested in moving to Melbourne with the band.

It would be another nine months before the band would make the permanent move to Melbourne, so in the meantime they had to drive to the capital to play shows as regularly as they could, often returning to Warrnambool as the sun was coming up with $25 to their name and a full day of school stretched out before them. They were exposed of the realities of what it would be like to be a working rock ‘n roll band in Australia. In early 2005 the band relocated to Melbourne. The band found a four-bedroom home and started playing gigs relentlessly. Ryan claims that they attacked Melbourne putting up a posters for every gig they were playing and if it got ripped off they will just replace it. They had to walk, because they couldn’t afford a car. In March 2004 the band won a state-wide band competition Push-On in Melbourne. The band recorded an eight-track extended play Ready To Rock which appeared in July 2004 as an independent self-funded release. In August, they signed a five album record deal with Capitol Records. According to Joel while the band were living in a shared house they threw a party and while listening to a Krokus CD a blown fuse resulted in a fire burning the back part of the house.

Gigs at Melbourne pubs became stadium shows and the band even supported The Rolling Stones and Motley Crϋe. Given that the band had only released one EP (Ready To Rock) it was an amazing feat. National tours with the likes of Dallas Crane, Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, You Am I and Magic Dirt helped further hone their rowdy live show. A main stage slot at the 2006 Big Day Out festival cemented the band’s role as one of the country’s fastest rising bands.

Airbourne always go on stage to try to prove to the public and their audience how good rock ‘n roll music is.

In 2006 Airbourne got their big break after they started to receive a lot of attention from international record labels. They relocated to the States to start working with legendary producer Bob Marlette.  His credits include albums by Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Shinedown. Airbourne started with a lengthy pre-production stint narrowing down 40 songs to only 11 songs which would eventually appear on “Runnin Wild“. The band enlisted Andy Wallace (Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Linkin Park, Slipknot) to mix the album to make sure that their immense live energy translated to CD. Runnin Wild released in Australia on the 23rd of June 2007. In February Capitol Records had cancelled their contract with the band, but their album was still issued in Australia through EMI. In 2007 Airbourne attracted the attention of Roadrunner Records’ A&R man Ron Burman in New York and secured a worldwide record deal in July. During late 2007 ,  the group toured the United States supporting Kid Rock and Korn. In September 2007, they issued a five-track live extended play “Live At The Playroom“.  Runnin’ Wild was issued in North America, Europe and Japan in January 2008, after which they relocated permanently to the US. The album reached the Top 100 on the UK albums chart and appeared on the Billboard 200. In November at the Astoria in London, Dan Hawkins (Stone Gods/The Darkness) joined Airbourne played the AC/DC song “Whole Lotta Rosie”, Hawkins played Joel’s guitar while Joel sang without any guitar.

One of Ryan’s ears blew out, because he had his headphones on too loud! So he recorded the album with the use of only one ear.

In January 2009 David Roads confirmed that Airbourne would enter the studio to start recording their second album No Guts. No Glory. The album was produced by Johnny K, mixed by Mike Fraser and was released on 8 March 2010 in the UK, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and released on the 20th of April in the US. The album reached the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and top 20 on albums charts in Austria, New Zealand, Finland, Greece, Sweden and Switzerland. In the UK the album peaked at No. 31, while on the US Billboard 200 it reached the top 100. The band went on a UK Tour supporting Iron Maiden on their Final Frontier World Tour from July to August 2011.

In November 2011 it was announced on the band’s official Facebook page that the band had started working on a new album mid-2011 and that updates were to follow soon. The album’s name Black Dog Barking was revealed in early February 2013 on their Facebook page. The album was released on the 21st of May 2013 via Roadrunner. The cover artwork was created by Australian artists The Sharp Brothers who also created the cover artwork for the No Guts. No Glory. album. According to David Roads , the idea behind the album title was to use the black dog as a metaphor for the bands’ ability to break the rules. At the end of 2013 the band toured Europe and supported, among others, Swedish band Corroded.

Airbourne’s music carries a distinct 80’s rock flavour which is really unique in today’s market. They are a passionate, determined band, which they convey through their energetic live performances. Airbourne draws inspiration from classic rock bands without being false. The band is keeping the spirit of classic rock alive in the 21st century.

You can follow Airbourne on Twitter here:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K