The Rock Riff Throwbacks!

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I thought sharing some of my favourite rock songs would be a neat idea, up until I started drafting this post…it is so daunting! I know that each rock fan’s list would look very different, but you never know you might find something here that tickles your fancy. That is the biggest payoff for me as a blogger, sharing great music with people who would never have heard it any other way.

Godsmack – “I Stand Alone”

When I was younger I wasn’t into rock music that much, but even I couldn’t deny the power that this song had. The build up to the chorus that hits you like a wave is undeniable. It is a song that defines a generation and what ultimately got me listening to the Godsmack.

Staind – “So Far Away”

This song has a way of creeping under your skin and making you listen. Aaron’s voice is mesmerizing, it grabs your attention and piques your curiosity. The song has an unassuming quality to it which is why I think it took the rock world by storm at the time.

Creed – “My Own Prison”

“My Own Prison” lyrically paints a picture and is incredibly introspective which is quite rare. I hold this song in high regard even though I discovered it when Creed had already disbanded. It has a slow progression, but I find it captivating with enough aggression added in the right places.

Seether – “Remedy”

“Remedy” can be described as gritty, entertaining and features the most head bang-inducing chorus ever! All of us knew a Seether song would feature on this list at some point and I had a lot of trouble deciding which one. If an up and coming rock band were looking for a rock song formula or inspiration, they can’t go wrong with this one.

We As Human – “Strike Back”

I discovered the band when I watched this music video for the first time. They released one of the most impressive debut albums I have ever heard. I need them to release new music as soon as possible! This song has a powerful rhythm, but is still quite heavy in certain sections and I find their style very refreshing.

Apocalyptica – “I’m Not Jesus” ft Corey Taylor

This song is very dark lyrically and the collaboration for this song is just too powerful to ignore. It addresses an important matter in our society and its a great way of getting the message across. The cellos, drums and Corey’s voice is an incredible combination.

Shinedown – “45”

The soft, acoustic intro on this song doesn’t give anything away, until Brent catapults his voice into the chorus with aggressive restraint which ends in reckless abandon. A fantastically crafted rock song that helped the band achieve the success that they have experienced up until this point.

Disturbed – ” Stricken”

I was fascinated by this song when I heard it for the first time. The lyrics, the melody and David’s voice layered on top of that is a winning formula. The song haunted me for weeks after that. I know that it is not their most famous or memorable song, but it struck a chord with me.

Nickelback – “Leader of Men”

Yes, you read that right I added a Nickelback song to the list, because they served as my gateway to rock music. Judge if you must, but this song has so much going for it you can’t deny its brilliance. A slow, steady intro that builds into a crescendo of guitars and Chad’s gritty voice creates a perfect combination for some good old grunge music.

Theory of a Deadman – “Invisible Man”

Tyler just captures your attention from the minute he opens his mouth. I think this band has been compared to so many others in their genre, but I feel with this song they have been able to make their mark. It was actually featured on the first Spiderman’s soundtrack. This song is from the band’s debut album, which says it all.

The more I learn about music, the more I realise how powerful nostalgia can be.

At first I planned to do this type of post as a once-off, but now I realise how many songs have had an influence on me when I was younger.

Feel free to comment with some suggestions!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Band of the Month – T.R.O.Y

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Credits to the photographer. Source:

Credits to the photographer.

T.R.O.Y (short for The Reality Of Yourself) is an American rock band that formed late 2004 in the small town of Pleasant Hope, MO. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Cord Bishop, bassist Kane Ransom, guitarist Kyle Girth and drummer Erik Malan. The original four members grew up together and attended the same school creating a strong bond between them.  T.R.O.Y’s moniker is inspired by the band’s musical perception and the philosophy that thought truly manifests into reality. The band has released two studio albums (“Effective Immediately” and “The Reality of Yourself”) to date and they are known for their gripping live shows, their energizing songwriting style and winning Ernie Ball’s National Battle Of The Bands.

The band has performed on the same stage with bands like Korn, Nothing More, Skillet, Three Days Grace, Red, Like A Storm, Godsmack, Pop Evil and Papa Roach to name a few. By winning Ernie Ball’s Battle of the Bands the band had the opportunity to tour and they received an endorsement deal through Ernie Ball Music Man. They have plans to release their new E.P. “Two Worlds” before their tour, with their single “Revolution” on the airwaves. Before the Rockstar Uproar tour the band planned a string of special events in their hometown, The Evolution of T.R.O.Y is a series of shows that celebrates the band’s past achievements and their future which is bright with potential.

I recently spent a lot of time listening to the band’s self-titled release on Soundcloud while I was surfing the web and I love the feeling you get as a listener when you realize that you are listening to a GREAT band that has not been established yet and have not signed to a major record label. The album “The Reality of Yourself” consists of a diverse choice of rock songs which vary from the smooth “Caught in the Fire” to the more heavy “Martyr of Deceit”. “Caught in the Fire” is my favourite track, so much so that after listening to it a few times I went and bought it on iTunes. This song in particular displays the mesmerizing voice of the band’s lead vocalist Cord Bishop. The lyrics of the song is raw and honest which probably drew me in to begin with. “Double-Edged Sword” is a fast paced song leaning more towards metal with the ferocious arrangement of the song and distorted vocals. “The Great Dying” is a dark, somber song with a hard rock edge to it, a song which contemplates the concept of freedom. “Into The Unknown” is a straight-up rock song which will satisfy any rock music fan’s appetite. “Divide” I can imagine would be a great track to see live and I would guarantee a lot of head-banging!

“Deadman”,  a single that the band released on the 17th of July 2014 on iTunes is a great rock song with a solid arrangement and some serious BASS! It is everything you would expect from a song with “Deadman” as the title. Another song that stood out to me is a single that the band released on the 21 May 2015 on iTunes titled “Revolution” which is a song that feels very current, it has the potential to satisfy fans of the band and drawing in a brand new audience. Their latest single “The Reckoning” is lyrically gripping and it starts with a soft, slower vocal introduction, before Cord rips into an aggressive chorus. A mature delivery from the band and I can definitely see this song making waves when it reaches the target audience.

I discovered T.R.O.Y when I was checking out my followers on Twitter, looking for a band to feature this month. I find it difficult to get into new music, because I have to invest a lot of my time to decide if I like a band’s music or not. I have to listen to a song about 5 times before I can decide if it appeals to my taste. This is a band I have become a fan of and for good reason, the talent, songwriting, musicianship and bond between the band members are all there and I can only see the band going from strength to strength. Their music has really grown on me and I am truly impressed by their level of talent.

Listen here:

Then buy on iTunes by searching therealityof yourself!

Follow the band on Twitter:

Follow Erik Malan on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Credits to the photographer. Source:

Credits to the photographer.

Credits to the photographer. Source:

Credits to the photographer.

TROYlogo TROY New album Two Worlds artwork

Top 14 Rock Songs of 2014

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2014 Highlights

2014 Highlights

So it’s that time of the year again where The Rock Riff choose the best rock songs of the year. I really like compiling the list of songs, because it is a nice way of reflecting on the year that has been. Last year I had difficulty choosing the last few entries on the list, but this year there was an abundance of choices. It was difficult to choose only 14 songs from the past year.

The list is as follows:

Number 14: Set Me On Fire – Flyleaf

Flyleaf has received some backlash regarding comparisons between the band’s ex-vocalist (Lacey Sturm) and current vocalist, Kristen May. This track proves that Kristen May is a very talented vocalist and I believe essentially the material is still representative of Flyleaf’s sound. Flyleaf’s latest album “Between The Stars” is a solid offering from the band.

Number 13: Painkiller – Three Days Grace

Another band who has had to replace their lead vocalist is Three Days Grace after Adam Gontier’s departure. No one could ever really replace Adam, but Matt Walst is a pretty decent replacement considering the success the band has experienced thus far. I had a difficult choice to make between “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine”. The band is still delivering hard-hitting material and they have not lost their momentum.

Number 12: Let The Night In – Prime Circle

I will probably never forget the moment that I heard this song live for the first time. It had a great impact on me and it was the opening track of the concert. Prime Circle hails from South Africa and has made a solid mark on the rock industry in their home country the past few years. Their latest album has a fresh feel to it and I think this song is the reason for the overall feel of the album.

Number 11: 1000hp – Godsmack

When Godsmack decides to do anything they go full-out. I really love the pace of this song and it really gets the adrenaline pumping! There are certain types of songs only this band can pull off properly and 1000hp is one of them.

Number 10: Would You Still Be There – Of Mice & Men

I was really pleasantly surprised by this song and video. Personally I’m not a fan of screaming, but this song combined both clean vocals by Aaron Pauley and screaming/unclean vocals by Austin Carlisle to a degree that I could really enjoy the song. I think this song proves that a band can be creative while still retaining credibility within the industry and with their fans.

Number 9: Words As Weapons – Seether

Seether seem to be one of the most consistent rock bands in recent history and they did not disappoint with their latest release “Isolate and Medicate”. Words As Weapons is an artistic take on deceit in our daily lives and it is one of those songs you will be humming along to in your head long after you have listened to it.

Number 8: Drown – Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman has really delivered a solid rock album with the release of “Savages” this year. The album offers a diverse range of songs that really proves that the band is not set in their ways. Production has improved and lyrically the content covers a vast array of topics.

Number 7: Heaven Knows – The Pretty Reckless

With a devil-may-care attitude Taylor Momsen serves up an in-your-face rock song with a chorus to match. Accompanied by a somewhat controversial music video, this band knows how to grab your attention. A stellar performance indeed.

Number 6: Dog on a Leash – Adelitas Way

A hard-hitting, edgy rock song, the first single from the band’s latest album “Stuck”. A visually appealing music video accompanied its release and Rick DeJesus vocals are spot-on as always.

Number 5: Million Miles An Hour – Nickelback

Nickelback has always been masters of storytelling and this song really takes the listener on a trip. 😉 The chord progression, guitars and drums combine to deliver a perfectly brewed rock song.

Number 4: Heart of Fire – Black Veil Brides

Believe it or not, but I only started listening or paying attention to this band this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the songs that I heard. The one that stood out to me, though is “Heart of Fire” the song has a really epic feel to it. The melody and chorus take it to another level. “Heart of Fire” would definitely fit in seamlessly on a movie soundtrack.

Number 3: F.E.A.R – Papa Roach

Papa Roach is back! F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise) is one of the singles released from their latest album of the same name. The production on this song is great and it delivers a good message in an aggressive manner which creates a unique contrast between the style of the song and it’s subject. The music video plays like a short film and it is fantastic, check it out below.

Number 2: Open My Eyes – Rival Sons

I had to feature this song, because it really took me by surprise this year. A friend mentioned the band on Facebook and I decided to give them a listen. This song was my favourite and it is a rare song to feature in today’s modern music industry. I really enjoyed listening to a different type of rock song. Scott Holiday’s guitar work is impeccable.

NUMBER 1: Avalon – Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

When “Avalon” grabs you it doesn’t let go! From Slash’s latest album “World on Fire”, this is one of Myles’s stand-out performances on the album (and that is saying something). The fast-pace of this song is infectious. This song automatically puts you in a great mood…FACT!

Thank you for sharing the countdown with us and may 2015 be an even better year for rock music.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Frontman of the week – Sully Erna

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Original picture can be viewed here:

Today I’m featuring the Godsmack frontman Sully Erna and I will be learning as much as my readers today about this rockstar, because I didn’t know a lot about him up until today. Sully Erna was born Salvatore Paul Erna he is an American vocalist and primary songwriter for the American heavy rock/metal band, Godsmack. Sully plays quite an array of  instruments which consists of guitar, drums, harmonica, percussion, keyboard and he plays the bongos during Godsmack’s live shows.

I first became aware of Godsmack when I heard their song off The Scorpion King soundtrack “I Stand Alone“, I was completely obsessed with the song and could listen to it all day. Godsmack was formed in 1995 and has released 5 albums thus far, namely:

Godsmack (1998), Awake (2000), Faceless (2003), IV (2006) and The Oracle (2010). During live shows a drumming duel known as Batalla de los Tambores between Sully Erna and drummer Shannon Larkin has become a highlight of the band’s live shows.

Sully released his first solo album Avalon on September 14, 2010, which he said was a departure from Godsmack’s hard rock sound. Sully embarked on this solo career, because he wrote a lot of songs that didn’t suit Godsmack’s sound. He wanted to record some of these songs and thats how Avalon was born. Sully has described Avalon as having a tribal feel/sound combined with a lot of hand-drumming and piano.

Sully Erna was approached to record a song called Sinner’s Prayer for 2010’s The Expendables, but the song ended up being cut when the scene it was to play in was re-edited, which I think is quite a shame, nothing suits a good action movie better than a hard rock song by a great band.

Sully Erna released a memoir entitled The Paths We Choose on his birthday, February 7th 2007 which describes the first 30 years of Sully’s life before Godsmack landed a record deal.

Early on in Godsmack’s career Sully was fueled by anger that stemmed from his childhood and bad things that people had done to him in the past. Sully’s anger fueled his music and his defiant attitude reverberated through his lyrics. Later on in his life he acquired a wife and daughter couple that with a solid band and stable career he suddenly didn’t feel so angry anymore. From there on out Sully embraced the changes in his life and approached his songwriting from a different perspective than before.

Something else that you might not know about Sully is that he is a practicing Wiccan, Sully only comments about his religion when asked about it during interviews.

Godsmack’s music is very riff-driven, dark, layered and combined with in-your-face powerful lyrics. Sully’s voice sounds metallic at times, gritty at other times and is accompanied with his signature snarl that you can hear when you listen closely.



Original picture can be viewed here:

Godsmack is currently performing at  Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival.

You can check out some amazing photos from the festival starring some of the artists that participated here:

Thank you for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K