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)

 

 

 

Rock songs for the soul

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I know that there have been many controversies regarding music streaming services, but at the moment I can’t imagine my life without Spotify. That might sound a little dramatic, but it has given me the opportunity to discover bands that I never thought I would. I’m a huge advocate for the artists and that they should be properly remunerated for their material, but Spotify has given me so much to be excited about.

I have this innate need to share music that I love with people, therefore I would like to share some of my discoveries here.

 

Deaf Havana – “Sinner”

I never expected to like this song as much as I do. The lyrics and melody are contrasting and I tend to love that in a song. It delivers itself as a religious song, but the narrator is berating himself because he doesn’t believe that anyone or anything can save him from his sins. The lyrics paint a picture of someone who is asking for forgiveness, but he is not sure if he deserves it.

 

Deaf Havana – “Hell”

 

As you can tell, I’m obsessed with this band at the moment and their latest album “Rituals” is incredible. The reason I’m featuring this song, is because it really hit home for me. I can relate to each lyric in this song. The narrator admits that he did wrong by his significant other, he confesses that his behaviour hurt the person he was in a relationship with. He seems to want to shift the blame onto his significant other by telling him/her that they were blind to his faults and he never made any promises about his intentions.

 

Hands Like Houses – “Overthinking”

 

I think many of us can relate to the title alone! The narrator is beating himself/herself up for holding onto someone, even though they know better. The narrator is dealing with a lot of doubt and self-criticism instead of letting go of the situation/person that is causing all his/her distress.

 

You Me At Six – “Straight To My Head”

This song reminisces about the trials that two people have gone through and how the lyricist wouldn’t know how to replace the relationship if it ever had to end. It is a song about a strong bond between two people and the adventures they have shared together since they were young.

Normandie – “Dead”

The songwriter ponders death through his lyrics and marvels at what happens when we “leave”. He wonders what all the doubt and fear we experience during our lifetime means, in essence we leave them behind. A song that leaves you feeling a little empty afterwards, because the thoughts of the songwriter are transferred to you and you are just left wondering what life is about.

 

Daughtry – “Death of Me”

The songwriter is overwhelmed by a situation in his life and he can’t seem to cope or find his way through it. The storyteller would like to protect his heart from feeling anything, because if he gives in to this feeling he is afraid of what will happen. This situation is causing him immense anxiety, but in the end he believes that love will prove to be stronger than his doubt.

We all have our personal battles to deal with on a daily basis and this is mentioned in the song.

“Another day, another battle
We all have a cage to rattle”

 

Badflower – “Ghost”

This video/song deals with a very heavy topic. It deals with cutting (self-harm) and eventually suicide. The song starts out with the protagonist wanting to feel some sort of release and wanting someone to notice that he is in emotional pain. There is an extreme feeling of emptiness and despair from this character when he cuts himself again.

The protagonist is crying out for help at this point and the chorus indicates that he is capable of rational thought even though he is in distress.

“Take the blade away from me
I am a freak, I am afraid that
All the blood escaping me won’t end the pain
And I’ll be haunting all the lives that cared for me
I died to be the white ghost
Of the man who I was meant to be, yeah”

The protagonist cuts himself again and he went further than he meant to. He ends up regretting his actions which hurts even more.

He cut a little deeper and ended up passing away without leaving a letter behind. He expresses deep regret because of this and how he was never a good son to his Mother. He found his life overwhelming and he wasn’t able to cope with it.

This song is extremely powerful and reminds us to look after one another and not to be blind to what someone else is going through.

Please bear in mind that my interpretations of these songs are my personal opinions, based on my own experiences. Therefore feel free to interpret them in your own way.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

(MusicMonkey14)