Best 15 Rock Songs of 2015

 

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The year 2015 had a lot of amazing rock music moments. When I started to compile this list it was easier than it has ever been before!

Please take some time to appreciate the talented musicians featured here:

 

Number 15: In This Moment – “Sex Metal Barbie”

 

In This Moment have their own unique style and niche fan base. The song discusses the prejudice that women in the hard rock/metal music industry face. Maria Brink displays her flair and tenacity in this unique video.

 

Number 14: Apocalyptica – “Cold Blood”

 

Franky Perez joined Apocalyptica in 2014 as a touring member, but I think his voice compliments the band  perfectly. “Cold Blood” delivers a visual feast combined with excellent instrumentalists. A rock performance with class.

 

Number 13: Trivium – “Silence In The Snow”

 

Silence In The Snow hits the ground running and Matt Heafy’s vocal delivery on this track is impeccable not to mention the mesmerizing video the band released.

Number 12: Breaking Benjamin – “Angels Fall”

 

Breaking Benjamin released an enchanting ballad and personally a song that I don’t think many rock fans will tire of.

 

Number 11: We Are Harlot – “Dancing On Nails”

 

In 2015 the metal world lost a talented vocalist and the rock industry gained a fantastic new band “We Are Harlot” with charismatic vocalist Danny Worsnop. I had this video on repeat for weeks after I heard it for the first time. It is a great song to introduce the band to a new fan base and it makes you forget your inhibitions.

 

Number 10: The Fuel – “Revolution”

 

The Fuel got signed to Record Label Suburban Records on the 8th of December 2015. I love discovering new bands that are relatively unknown and delivers quality production and songs I can sink my teeth into. The Fuel is one of those bands and one of my greatest discoveries this year. “Revolution” is a fantastic song and I can’t help lip-syncing every time I hear it!

Check out their Band of the Month feature on The Rock Riff here: https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/band-of-the-month-the-fuel/

 

Number 9: Highly Suspect – “Lydia”

 

This song was nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and after the song peaked at Number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock Songs chart I think we all know that this song has made a major impact on 2015. A great rock song that builds anticipation with a unique arrangement and the vocalist’s voice becomes more urgent as the song progresses.

 

 

Number 8: Halestorm – “I Am The Fire”

I had a difficult decision to make when I wanted to make a choice between “Amen” and “I Am The Fire” by Halestorm. The reason I chose “I Am The Fire” is in part due to the escalating notes that Lzzy sings at 2:45 in the video. My jaw just dropped when I first heard that part. We all know that  Lzzy can sing, but she just took it to another level. The band creates a fantastic ebb and flow along with Lzzy’s vocals on this track.

 

Number 7: Bullet For My Valentine – “Venom”

The band’s new material took me by surprise, because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. A rock song that everyone can relate to about removing toxic people in your life and having no regrets.

 

 

 

Number 6: Nothing More – “Jenny”

This song didn’t strike me at first, but after I learned the story behind the song I was hooked. The song is very personal to lead vocalist Jonny Hawkins about his aunt “Jenny” who has schizophrenia and his sister Jenna who has bipolar disorder. The band partnered with many organisations to bring awareness to people suffering from mental illness. The band partnered with the following organisations:

To Write Love on Her Arms – http://twloha.com
The Jed Foundation – http://www.jedfoundation.org
Bring Change 2 Mind – http://bringchange2mind.org
International Bipolar Foundation – http://www.ibpf.org
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk

 

Number 5: Papa Roach – “Gravity” ft Maria Brink

The style and variety in this song is appealing. Jacoby depicts his vulnerability in the song’s lyrics. Having Maria Brink from In This Moment perform on this track adds another dimension to the song and I feel it makes the song more relatable. I’m in love with the music video, it matches the title of the song as it adds a surreal quality to the track.

 

Number 4: Pop Evil – “Footsteps (Go Higher)”

An inspiring and unique offering from Pop Evil for their fifth studio album. I love the pop art/comic book look of the video and it is executed flawlessly. A song that you will be singing for the rest of the day! 😀

 

Number 3: Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”

An epic stadium-sized rock song. I can just imagine the audience going crazy when this song is being performed live. An empowering, electronic lyrical force that will make you believe the sky’s the limit. Prepare to hit the replay button!

 

Number 2: Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence”

I was flabbergasted when I heard this song for the first time. I couldn’t believe that David Draiman was singing, I have never heard him sing like he did on this track. A cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” was the last cover that I expected Disturbed to do. This song will definitely gain Disturbed a new fan base. I have witnessed friends on Facebook share this song and I know they don’t listen to rock/metal music. The art direction for the music video is superb and the viewers can get ready for some serious goosebumps. Enjoy!

 

NUMBER 1: Shinedown – “Cut The Cord”

I was super excited when Shinedown finally made their come back after two years of near silence from the band. Their fifth album “Threat To Survival” made its arrival on the 18th of September 2015. The lead single from the album “Cut The Cord” released on the 29th of June 2015. The song not surprisingly reached No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The song has a positive message that encourages people to let go of whatever is holding them back and a reminder to all that we control our own destiny. This song pull no punches and the video reiterates that sentiment. The band’s performance allows the viewer to appreciate their chemistry and makes you feel as if you have stepped into their private rehearsal space.

 

Here is to 2016 and may there be many more quality rock moments!

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

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Artistic Rock Music Videos

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Artistic Rock Music Videos

Personally I am addicted to watching music videos, I can spend hours watching music videos from any genre of music. I’m always in search of music videos that impress, shock or inspires the viewer. Quality production and concept for a music video is key. I decided to share my passion with you by compiling a short list of recently released artistic music videos.

Three Days Grace – Human Race

This video depicts a controversial view on the daily struggles of humanity. It is a brutally honest way of depicting natural human behaviour and the different kinds of people that inhabit our planet.

Papa Roach – Gravity featuring Maria Brink

I love the honest introspective lyrics of the song and the dark theme of the video. The emotion in Jacoby and Maria’s performance adds another dimension to the video.

Amaranthe – Digital World

I like the clinical and modern take on this video. It depicts the power of technology and how it can create powerful imagery by simply focusing on a singular subject (the band).

In This Moment – Sex Metal Barbie

I love Maria’s fearlessness as a performer and In This Moment never disappoint when it comes down to visual artistry. Maria directed the video and in my opinion it is a sarcastic look at popular culture and how unrealistic/twisted these images can affect our perception of ourselves.

Apocalyptica – Cold Blood

Apocalyptica always deliver artistic-inspired videos with an unmatched flair. Their videos succeed in combining rock music, dark themes and classic images.

Shinedown – Cut The Cord

SHINEDOWN IS BACK! This video has made every Shinedown fan even more excited for their new album which is rumoured to be released in September. I believe that it takes an extremely talented director to make a performance-based music video entertaining which Darren Doane succeeded in doing. The video is an energetic performance by Shinedown, but it is shot in such a way that you feel part of the performance. I can’t wait to see what else Shinedown has in store for us.

Thank you.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

5 GREAT Cover Songs by Rock Musicians

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I love listening to great covers of great songs, but hearing it being performed by a rock band that I like is fantastic. Bands do cover songs for various reasons, to prove to their fans that they are versatile, for marketing purposes, to show their talent or to appeal to a different fan base. Whichever the reason I know I’m always interested to see what a band will be able to do with a popular song or a song that is in another genre. It lets the fans see the band in a new light and it captivates fans of other genres of music.

In no particular order here are 5 of my favourite cover songs that I would like to share with my readers.

Number 1 : 30 Seconds To Mars – Where The Streets Have No Name orginally by U2

Jared Leto really impressed me with the quality of his voice on this song and the elegant way in which the band performed the song. I get goosebumps every time I listen to their version. One of my favourite cover songs for sure!

 

 

Number 2: Smith & Myers – Someone Like You originally by Adele

Smith & Myers, vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Shinedown did a variety of cover songs for their fans that are available on iTunes, but this is my favourite one as I was wondering where they would go with a song as big as Adele’s Someone Like You. It’s really interesting to hear the male vocal on this song in particular and they made it their own which is quite difficult to do with such an iconic song.

 

 

Number 3: Halestorm – Get Lucky originally by Daft Punk

When such a radio-freindly mainstream song gets a makeover it is really refreshing.I love the rock version of Get Lucky. Its gives the song new life. Halestorm have released EPs featuring some great covers, but this one stood out to me, because it was in a genre far-removed from what the band normally does.

 

Number 4: Device ft Lzzy Hale – Close My Eyes Forever originally by Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford

What an intimidating song to cover, but no need to worry it was absolutely effortless for David Draiman and Lzzy Hale. They didn’t just do the song justice they dominated it. The combination of Lzzy and David’s voices are impeccable and so is the production of the song.

 

 

Number 5: Santana ft Chris Daughtry – Photograph originally by Def Leppard

In my opinion Chris injects some vigour into the song which some might consider as a classic song that is better left untouched. I truly enjoy the combination of Santana’s flawless guitar solos and Chris’s powerful, belting voice. To me this version catapulted the song into the 21st century.

 

Have your say below, which cover song featured here is your favourite?

 

Have a fantastic week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Band of the Month – Halestorm

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Lzzy Hale

Lzzy Hale from Halestorm taken by Rob Fenn

Today I would like to feature Halestorm in my blog post for Band of the Month. I predict that they are the next big thing to hit the rock world. They are a relativley new band since they have only released 2 studio albums and 1 live album. I first became aware of Halestorm through numerous tweets about Lzzy Hale from Brent Smith‘s Twitter account (Lead singer for Shinedown). They have become quite close I assume because they have toured together in the past and the fact that they share a record label. I decided to keep an eye out for them in the future.

So I surf the internet quite a lot and at the end of the month I scour Youtube in search of good music. I have watched numerous videos of Halestorm and slowly but surely I began to warm to their music. Their music is loud with no-holds-barred lyrics combined with a frenzy of drums performed by Lzzy’s brother Arejay.

Personally I feel Lzzy is a woman I can look up to, she is feisty and strong, she follows her own instincts and she isn’t afraid to say whatever she wants. Added to that she has a killer dress sense and can rock just as hard in the rain as she can in sky-high heels.

Both Lzzy and Arejay started learning to play piano at the young age of 5. Lzzy later progressed to keytar and Arejay to drums. Lzzy started to attend guitar lessons at the age of 16. Lzzy is 3 years Arejay’s senior. Guitarist Joe Hottinger joined in 2003. Originally Lzzy and Arejay’s father Roger played bass before Josh Smith joined the group in 2004.

Their self-titled debut album was released on April 28, 2009. Their first single ” I Get Off” is a rowdy, cheeky rock song that is a really solid introduction to the band and their style. They later on released 3 more singles off of their debut album and 4 music videos. After that they released ReAniMate:The Covers which featured covers of various genres including the impressive cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. You can listen to it here:

“Their second full length album, The Strange Case Of… was released on April 10, 2012 in the US,April 9 in the UK, and April 17 in Italy. In May 2012, Halestorm made history by becoming the first female-fronted band to top the active rock airplay chart with their song “Love Bites…(So Do I).” In the same month, Gibson Guitars created a signature series guitar for Lzzy Hale.” – Quote Obtained from Wikipedia.

In their quest for writing new material for their second album Halestorm wanted to add more depth and variety to their songs as well as to their lyrics. Halestorm started off by writing the fast, gritty and energetic Love Bites (So Do I) and after that Lzzy penned more fast, hard rock songs topped off with soaring vocals. After a personal setback Lzzy wrote a vulnerable and tender song and recorded it using her cellphone and sent it to the album’s producer, Howard Benson. He liked it and asked Lzzy to write more intimate songs. So after that the album had quite a few hard hitting songs and very soft, intimate songs which they soon realised sounded a little schizophrenic. Lzzy then wrote Mz. Hyde which tied the album together and became an expression of Lzzy’s split personality.

Halestorm has become well-known for their constant touring with a variety of bands including Disturbed, Shinedown, Godsmack, Stone Sour and more recently Evanescence to name a few. This has given Halestorm quite a lot of experience and the band is gelling better than they ever have before. I believe that there is no reason why Halestorm can’t move from strength to strength from here on out. Become acquainted with Halestorm, because they are here to stay!

Here is the official video for Love Bites (So Do I) from Halestorm’s Official Youtube Channel:

Halestorm

Halestorm image obtained from Halestorm’s Official Website

Lzzy Hale taken at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

Lzzy Hale on the cover of Revolver Magazine.
Image obtained from Revolver Magazine’s Official Facebook page.

You can follow Halestorm on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Halestorm

You can follow Lzzy Hale on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/LZZYHALE

You can follow Arejay Hale on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ArejayHale

You can follow Josh Smith on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Jodowa

You can follow Joe Hottinger on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheJoeStorm

Enjoy!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Phenomenal Rock Concert Photographer: Rob Fenn

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Image

I became aware of Rob Fenn’s photography when I saw some photos he took of Shinedown which was posted by Shinedowns Nation’s blog (http://wp.me/1Gy1Q). I was impressed by his skills, but never really saw any of Rob’s other photos that he took of other rock bands. Eventually I saw a competition that was advertised by Shinedowns Nation on Facebook. You could enter to win 1 of 10 Limited Edition Frames of Brent Smith plus some other Shinedown goodies. Its still running if you’re interested: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MusicThroughTheLens/app_403359706360567

I took a peek through all 10 photos and I was dumbfounded. All 10 of those photos capture Brent’s passion for music and his intensity on stage. I realised I had to find out more about this fantastic photographer.

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“Rob Fenn’s photography career started in 2009 when he borrowed a camera from his friend to shoot Avenged Sevenfold in concert. After experiencing the rush of a live show, Rob was hooked and ready to make concert photography his life’s passion. Two years later, Rob was on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival tour with Avenged Sevenfold capturing their live show.” -Quote from Rob Fenn’s LinkedIn profile.
“Rob founded a book project titled ‘On The Road…Where MUSIC Lives’ after realising that his daughter’s idea of a record store was purchasing music from iTunes. Rob’s daughter was given the opportunity to buy one album a week of her choosing. The only rule is it has to be a full album from a store. This has turned into a great bond between them, and let them both discover new music together.” Quote taken from http://www.facebook.com/#!/MusicThroughTheLens/info

Rob Fenn has a passion for continuing the tradition of purchasing physical albums and for people to go to a record store to purchase their favourite music. Later this year Rob will be releasing a 376 page hard cover photo book that will be for sale in record stores ONLY with part of the proceeds going to charity to fund music programs in public schools. I really admire Rob’s passion for the music industry and his concern for the future of music. Rob is using his experiences on the road to motivate people to appreciate music more, to admire the musicians and their talent. Through his new endeavour he is aiming to make music an experience and not something you purchase just to fulfil an immediate need which will later be discarded after the fad has passed.

Rob is currently attending the Carnival of Madness and is on tour with Halestorm.

Below are examples of Rob’s work, I do not claim ownership of any of these photos.

Copyright by Rob Fenn.

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I absolutely love this photo of Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm by Rob Fenn.

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This is such an epic photo of Brent Smith from Shinedown by Rob Fenn. This is such a strong pose from Brent, wow!

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Great photo of Chris Traynor from Bush, such a graceful capture from Rob Fenn.

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Obviously this collection wouldn’t be complete without the talented Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators by Rob Fenn.

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So I couldn’t leave out Slash in my Rob Fenn Highlight Reel. Do you know another man who can pull off wearing a belly ring and silver hoop earrings? I don’t, so pictured here is Mr Cool and Calm himself, Slash performing with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm by Rob Fenn.

This concludes my Rob Fenn Highlight Reel, if you are looking for some more fantastic photos, which I’m sure you are, then you can Like this page which should provide sufficient eye candy for any rock music fan. http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=110841208993424#!/MusicThroughTheLens

You can follow Rob Fenn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rob_Fenn

Visit Rob’s website here: http://musicthroughthelens.com/

I hope you enjoy my recommendation and support Rob Fenn’s various projects.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Music Video Premiere

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http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/world-premiere-shinedown-enemies-video-553175

Shinedown

Behind the Scenes at the Enemies Video Shoot

The premiere of Shinedown’s latest music video Enemies is today! I love it, very convincing and funny at times.
Check it out, you won’t regret it.

While we are on the topic of Shinedown I have added a poll to the blog where you can share what your favourite Shinedown single has been thus far.

Enjoy!

Rock Regards,

Lauren

Band of the Month – Shinedown

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Shinedown

Shinedown Band Members

I recently received Shinedown’s Amaryllis as a gift from my sister overseas. I listened to the album about 3 times a day for more than a week. Brent Smith’s vocals are incomparable, his voice is so strong and powerful.

“Shinedown is an American rock band from Jacksonville Florida, formed in 2002 and founded by members Brent Smith (vocals), Brad Stewart (bass), Jasin Todd (guitar), and Barry Kerch (drums). A few line-up changes followed, and the band’s current line-up consists of Smith and Kerch, the band’s only two remaining original members, with guitarist Zach Myers and bassist and pianist Eric Bass.” (Insert from Wkipedia)

The album Amaryllis is loud in your face and holds nothing back. It kicks off with the fast-paced Adrenaline, then into the powerful Bully a song that is meant to uplift victims of bullies, Amaryllis is next which is a touching and emotional song about that something/someone special in your life. Unity is about empathy for your fellow human beings and helping others as best you can. Enemies in my mind is about selfish people who never think of others and that there are consequences for their actions. I’m Not Alright is such a beatifully twisted song, the lyrics are dark, yet the start of the song sounds almost like a ballad. The meaning of the song to me is that everyone has quirks and weird habits and that you should be content with that.

Nowhere Kids is about the materialistic society we currently live in and how there is an emptiness beneath the glamour and the glitz. Miracle is about a person that is always there for you and a person who believes in you. I’ll Follow You is certainly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, its about unconditional love and how you will do anything for someone you love. It is such a powerful song and touches me deeply whenever I listen to it. For My Sake is about someone in your life having a negative impact on your well-being and in order to protect yourself you have to distance yourself from that person. My Name (Wearing Me Out) is about someone always putting you down and how you should rise above that hate and ignore them. Through The Ghost is about about rediscovering yourself and getting your life back on track.

Shinedown is one of my favourite rock bands and individually they are solid, charismatic and decent people. Brent Smith has battled drug addiction and recently he lost weight as well. I really look up to him as a role model and I admire him a lot.

Shinedown is currently on tour and might be on their way to your home country, so keep a lookout for their tour dates that are posted on their official website. http://www.shinedown.com/

You can follow Shinedown’s Fanpage on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ShinedownsNationII) or on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/Shinedown_Fans) and their blog on WordPress (http://shinedownsnation.com/)for updates, news and photographs.

Shinedown Amaryllis Album Cover

Shinedown’s 4th Studio Album Amaryllis

If you’re interested in connecting with the band members on Twitter, here are their individual accounts:

https://twitter.com/#!/ZMyersOfficial

https://twitter.com/#!/ebassprod

https://twitter.com/#!/BKerchofficial

https://twitter.com/#!/TheBrentSmith

and here is Shinedown’s official Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/#!/Shinedown

Rock Regards,

Lauren K