Rock Tracks on the 2019 Radar

We want 2019 to rock, so here are a few of the latest rock tracks to wet your appetite properly!

Risen – Sevendust

This song is heavily driven by the impeccable drumming performed by Morgan Rose. The lyrics of the song deals with trusting someone enough in order to love again. The narrator is looking for someone to help make him/herself strong again after disappointment/heartbreak. Lajon’s vocals always tend to elevate a song, to create a good contrast with the heavy instrumentation.

 

Apologize – grandson

With “Apologize”, grandson is stating that he admits to all his mistakes and imperfections, but he refuses to apologise for who he is. The opening line “I lose a bit of myself with every selfie” could be a commentary on the world’s current obsession with social media. I think this song is empowering and a wake-up call to the world to take responsibility for their actions by becoming more self-aware. grandson really has a knack for creating a unique sound that has become his signature.

Come Around – Papa Roach

Papa Roach delivers a powerful message with the lyrics for “Come Around”. It is about being there for someone when they are going through a difficult time and sticking it out with them even when it becomes tough. People act differently when they are trying to cope with a difficult situation, even though they think they are hiding it well. Papa Roach created a lighter sound on this song, despite the heavy topic at hand. They are creating a sense of optimism by incorporating a stunning guitar solo towards the end.

Born For This – The Score

The Score has a talent for creating arena-worthy anthems. “Born for this” is definitely no exception. The lyrics serve as a motivation to deal with any difficulties that life may throw at you and being ready to face them head on. This song will be right at home at any sporting event, I imagine it being blasted to the audience at a stadium and them loving every minute of it. The Score are starting to make a name for themselves and they deserve every minute of it.

Hold Up A Light – Thrice

The chorus to this song is a headbanger of note. I love the build-up to the chorus and then singing along to it in my car as loud as I can and then I ask myself, “Can life get any better?”.

I can’t help but think that this song  has an apocalyptic feel to it. I’m sure the crowd will love it if the band decides to play this song live at some of their concerts. I think any rock fan will gravitate towards this song.

Medicine – Bring Me The Horizon

Bring Me The Horizon return with super honest lyrics. I’m always entertained by Oli’s blunt style of song writing. I love the style of the song and I won’t ever forget the opening verse “Some people are a lot like clouds, you know (Clouds, you know, clouds, you know) ‘Cause life’s so much brighter when they go”. I’m obsessed about the video for “Medicine”, it is artistic, fascinating and realistic. Although this song might seem a little more mainstream than fans expect, I have thoroughly enjoyed the album thus far.

Dying in a Hot Tub – Palaye Royale

Remington Leith delivers a song about a friend that is seemingly going through depression and addicted to drugs. He is trying to intervene through the lyrics and deliver the vocals with the necessary flair and sensitivity. This band is in a different league and produce their own flavour of 21st century glam rock.

Demons – Our Last Night

“Demons” is a reminder that all of us are capable of being brave and overcoming adversity. I love the how the electronics were incorporated in the song and the intro. There are certain guitar sections of “Demons” which mimic speed metal and I love the pace of the song. The brothers’ vocals blend beautifully and they take you on a sonic journey with so many elements being blended effortlessly.

A promise of great things to come this year!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)

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Best 18 Rock Songs of 2018

2018 has been another bumper year for rock music. I have discovered so many new bands and new music, it has been a privilege to experience it all.

I’m extremely passionate about music, as you know. It is something that is always there when you need it. It helps me process my feelings, it lifts my mood, it inspires me on a daily basis and it expresses what I’m feeling at any given time.

Music, to me is a magical force in my life and I’m grateful for its existence on a daily basis. My passion for rock music runs deep and people who know me well are reminded of this regularly. I’m open to experiencing other genres of music, but I tend to turn back to rock music every single time I need a crutch to lean on. 

My favourite post of the year entails reflecting on the music that featured in my life this past year.

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18. Three Days Grace – Infra-Red

This song off Three Days Grace ‘s “The Mountain” album describes the passion that two people have for one another and the connection that they have. This connection is described as something that only these two people share, so much so that they forget about the people around them. The guitar hook on this song is addictive and fast-paced, which suits the lyrics perfectly. You can feel the intensity of the passion these two people share.

 

 

17. Twenty One Pilots – My Blood

I’m so passionate about the lyrics of this song. It is a declaration of dedication and loyalty from one person to another. It can be towards a friend, significant other or family member. It describes unquestionable commitment, that some people can only dream to experience in their lifetime. 

The melody of the song is tender and it is delivered in a heartfelt way. The layered drums, electronics and background vocals create an ethereal experience like only Twenty One Pilots can deliver.

 

16. Amaranthe – Countdown

Amaranthe combines female and male clean vocals with unclean vocals effortlessly. A fast-paced song that serves as an introspective commentary on the person’s own well-being. The heavy drums and guitar just adds such an enjoyable melody to this song. The combination of all these elements become quite addictive. An adrenaline injection if you ever need one. Henrik shines on the unclean vocals, adding just enough grit to this already up-tempo song.

 

15. While She Sleeps – Haunt Me

The intro already tells you that this song is one to take note of. The song deals with the themes of regret and betrayal. The track is epic in scale, the drumming and rhythm guitar elevates it to the next level. The chorus is perfect for head banging, which isn’t surprising at all. The transitions happen quickly and it creates a unique sound from the band on this track.

 

14. Our Last Night – Soul Speak

I got to know more about OLN by listening to their cover songs, but they have really come into their own since they started. “Soul Speak” made my ears prick up. The guitars on this song stand out and the vocals are on point, as is to be expected. I can relate to the topic that is being dealt with lyrically. It speaks about trying to find your own voice, while being surrounded and overwhelmed by the people around you. It speaks to the frustration of trying to find yourself amidst all the chaos in your life. The narrator doesn’t want to be affected by other people’s opinions, but he feels like he is losing the battle.

 

13. Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Driving Rain

This song is in my opinion a true reflection of the band and embodies their signature sound. A groovy rock song that doesn’t shy away from utilising every instrument in the band’s arsenal. The lyrics describe a man’s determination to get to the love of his life, no matter which obstacles are in his way. This is a song to party or dance to and it has meaning to it. The combined guitar work on this track makes it shine.

 

12. Palaye Royale – Teenage Heartbreak Queen

I think this is one of the catchiest rock songs that I have heard in a while. The narrator is mourning his high school sweetheart. The theme of this song is somber, but this song always cheers me up due to its catchy melody. Slather some of Remington Leith’s grainy, passionate vocals on top of that and this is a recipe for success. 

 

 

11. Thrice – Only Us

This song deals with the fact that the human race are all connected, yet we continue to fight one another and despise one another’s differences when we are from the same species. We continue to wage wars, build walls and try to solve our problems with violence. The song poses the question….When will it be enough?

Dustin Kensrue‘s moody, subtly powerful vocals carry the importance of this message perfectly. The synth sounds create a nostalgic throwback to the 80s and the bass line leads the song throughout.

 

10. Beartooth – Afterall

The lyrics of this song are quite dark. It describes a person that has completely lost the will to live. It deals with the narrator’s despair and the feelings he or she is experiencing to such an extent that being alive has become a chore. The drumming from Connor Denis is impeccable on this track and sets the tone for the intense lyrics of the song.

 

9. Shinedown – The Human Radio

This song/video serves as a commentary on our society today. We continue living through our phones and social media, forever comparing ourselves with others. This video is about a person who breaks free from our modern societal life. The more time we spend on our phones, the less we live our own lives the way we should be. The backing vocals on this song makes it feel more epic in a sense. The chorus is memorable and I think this is an important topic in this day and age.

 

8. Tremonti – Take You With Me

This was a hard choice to make between “The First The Last” and “Take You With Me”. I have always loved the former, but “Take You With Me” got chosen due to the stellar drumming from Garrett Whitlock and the pace of the song. It has a really positive message in facing difficulties and adversity together with the person you love. Mark’s vocals have really evolved and if you ever wanted proof, here it is…

 

 

7. Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA

I think there are many ways to interpret this song. Oli said that the inspiration for this song came from a documentary he was watching on Netflix about a cult, called Wild Wild Country. As a society we tend to follow one another blindly. I find that the song and in turn the music video is quite eerie and it tends to creep in under your skin. Oli Sykes has also said that a romantic relationship can tend to act as a little two-man cult. You dedicate yourself to that person, you have to trust and love them unconditionally. This song demonstrates the development of the band and it has all the ingredients for a smash hit.

 

6. Disturbed – No More

First off, no one makes groovy heavy rock songs like Disturbed. David’s inspiration behind the lyrics are the fear-mongers that feed off people and they don’t care about collateral damage in return for profit. David makes it clear that this isn’t about a specific situation or system, but just the way the world operates. The guitar hook gels so well with the drumming that it has a seamless groove throughout. 

 

5. Hands Like Houses – Tilt

This band’s material has really grown on me and this is one of the first songs I heard from them. I heard that they were coming to perform in Cape Town next year, in support of Rhino Conservation and I decided to do some research on their sound. I was pleasantly surprised and felt like an idiot for not discovering them earlier. Tilt is about cycles and how we can go around breaking them. The future, the past and how we are in control of our circumstances to a certain extent. Trenton Woodley’s vocals are delivered with serious intent on this track and it demonstrates how versatile his vocal style can be.

 

4. Coheed and Cambria – The Gutter

Coheed and Cambria produced a concept album which combine the band’s love for comic books and music. I’ll leave it up to the listener to come up with theories regarding the band’s storyline from the album “Unheavenly Creatures”. The song is captivating in its entirety, it is theatrical and progresses to an anthemic tempo. Claudio delivers the story compellingly with his vocal range. The band builds the framework to be theatrically delivered with a beautiful guitar solo towards the end. This is just a masterpiece, to be honest.

 

3. Bad Wolves – Hear Me Now ft DIAMANTE

In my opinion, it is quite challenging to find a good duet nowadays and not to mention a good duet in the rock genre. Tommy kicks off the song with some tender vocals that he doesn’t get to show off on the band’s other tracks. 

The song describes a relationship between two people that escalate due to the emotion, passion and tension that exist between them. The opening lyrics from the male singer is asking the female singer, to help him up from the depths that he finds himself in. The male singer, doesn’t want his life to be meaningless and he wants the other singer to give him something to live for. He wants her to make him grow as a person.

This song describes the moment where a new romance is starting to develop and the implications or importance thereof.

 

2. Deaf Havana – Holy

I literally have not been able to shut up about this band since I discovered them. I can literally relate to each song  on their latest album “Rituals” and their music has been helping me through a tough time. I feel like the songwriter has been going through the same things that I have experienced recently.

James Veck-Gilodi kicks off this track with his honey soaked vocal style. The singer starts off admitting that he was a liar and that he was not as holy as he was claiming to be. He admits to running away from the way he wronged the person in his life. The lies he told haunts him and he finds it easy to hide away from it on his own. The singer finds it hard to break the cycle that he has created. He tends to reach out to this person whenever he needs him/her.

I find that the band is able to deliver heavy emotional topics in a palatable way, which makes the song enjoyable yet still has a powerful effect on the listener.

 

1. Myles Kennedy – The Great Beyond

I know what my loyal followers are thinking, of course I will choose Myles’ song as the number one track of the year. In my defense, there have been many reputable rock publications who named his album as one of the top deliveries of the year. 

This song has always stood out to me since the very first time I heard it. It depicts the type of musician Myles Kennedy is, all in one track. It is epic in its nature with the added instruments of the violin, cello and viola which is the only track on the album to feature this arrangement. It shows off the nature of Myles’ vocal range almost in its entirety. 

It kicks off with some moody drums and soars with the violin, followed by the intricate chords of the acoustic guitar. Myles follows with his soft vocals and soars into an incredibly high note literally into “The Great Beyond”.

The entire album is autobiographical in nature as Myles struggles to deal with the passing of his father at the age of four. Myles father was of the Christian Science religion and it argues that sickness is an illusion that can only be cured through prayer alone.

 

This has been another great year for rock music and I know that it will be the same for next year.

Thank you for reading.

See you in 2019!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)

 

 

 

Tantalising New Rock Tracks

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Beartooth – You Never Know

This band is intense, there is no doubt about that. I love the first verse to this song, with that wonderful bass line that entices the listener. The song escalates to a roaring chorus and takes the song to the next level, but at the same time it creates a great contrast.

 

Rival Sons – Do Your Worst

The Rival Sons are back and I couldn’t be more excited after listening to their latest track. It delivers a groovy rock song with their signature flavour sprinkled on top. The melody and timing of the song has an addictive quality to it and the drumming is tasty, indeed.

 

Thrice – Only Us

An electronic sound permeates this song and forms the melody which is supported with the electric guitar. Dustin Kensrue’s vocals are impeccable on this track and I’m in love with the grittier undertone that he possesses.

 

Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA

The video for MANTRA raises some interesting social questions regarding modern society and the images that we are presented with on a daily basis. The song feels very current and like it belongs in 2018. It is a commentary on our current societal norms and what we accept without question.

Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators – Mind Your Manners

The notes Myles hits in this song is basically superhuman and Todd’s backing vocals just adds to the magic. Slash’s guitar provides an undeniable rock ‘n roll groove that won’t allow you to forget this song anytime soon. The band’s latest album, “Living The Dream” released on the 21st of September 2018.

Make sure to check it out!

 

Asking Alexandria – Alone In A Room

This song’s lyrics resonate deeply with me and I’m surprised that the subject matter would mean so much to me. The song’s structure is different from the band’s other material. There are tender moments contrasted with a heavier chorus. I really love this song!

 

Smash Into Pieces – In Need Of Medicine

I find the composition of this song is what caught my attention. The genre of the song might be debatable if you wanted to get into that.  I found it easy to relate to the lyrics and the duet is refreshing as well.

Red Sun Rising – Stealing Life

Powerful subject matter is addressed in the music video for this song and I think the message is conveyed in a gentle manner. Mental illness is a very real, but rarely discussed subject in society and music has a way of addressing these issues in a powerful manner. I love Mike Protich’s vocals on this track, powerful yet subdued.

 

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Thumping Thursdays

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We are on the edge of another weekend, let the music fest commence.

See below…

Bring Me The Horizon – Doomed

Bring Me The Horizon combined with an orchestra, who would have thought? The combination is pure genius and I would definitely love to see the entire concert.

 

Papa Roach – HELP

The second single from Papa Roach’s unreleased album that has not been named yet. The release date is set for May 2017. Judging by what we have heard so far, it is set to be a cracker.

 

Beartooth – King of Anything

An introspective song lyrically and a different pace compared to the band’s other songs. I find it fascinating how the song builds up and the listener is not sure what to expect.

 

Seether – Let You Down

Seether is back!! The video for their latest song is amazing, the videography and direction plays like a very creepy short film. The crescendo of the guitars are thrilling. Definitely worth the watch!

 

While She Sleeps – Silence Speaks ft Oli Sykes

While She Sleeps is set to release their third full-length album “You Are We” independently. The video for the song “Silence Speaks” is intense and an adrenaline injection for sure. Oli’s presence takes this song to another level.

 

Have a smashing weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

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