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)

 

 

 

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James Concert Review – Cape Town, 24.11.2018

It was a beautiful evening when I arrived at Kirstenbosch Gardens and the enthusiasm of the crowd was evident as the winding queue portrayed.

We entered the venue and managed to find a little spot atop the hill of the venue, with an incredible view of the city and the stage below us.

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Watershed started their set at 19:00 and it is always lovely to be able to watch a local staple perform at Kirstenbosch. It allows us to appreciate our local talent and show our support.

James is an English rock band from Manchester, which was formed in 1982. Lead singer Tim Booth departed from the band in 2001 and the band became inactive. In 2007, the band reunited and went on to produce six more albums.

Tim Booth is a very entertaining frontman, with a ton of energy, but with no tolerance for cellphones. He expressed his desire for the audience to “live in the moment” instead of taking videos/pictures to post on social media later on. He performed two songs amidst the crowd, but didn’t want to spend time with “one-armed people”. Considering the world we found ourselves in, it is refreshing to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around social media.

“Getting Away With It All (All Messed Up)” was a true crowd pleaser as it should be. It is an enigmatic song and one of the band’s most popular tracks.

“Say Something” was another hit with the audience and they were very happy to perform backing vocals to the entire song.

“What’s It All About” is a song from the band’s latest album, “Living in Extraordinary Times”. I love the vibe of this song, it deals with a serious topic, but the melody is extremely catchy.

“Hank” was another track that the band performed from their latest album and the drumming on this song in particular was impressive.

“Leviathan” is a compelling song about two people’s journeys coming together as one.

“Many Faces” closed the band’s set and it was a beautiful experience. As Tim ended off the song slowly, the crowd took over chanting the last verse;

“There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here
There’s only one human race
Many faces, everybody belongs here”

It was absolutely magical, while the full moon was high up in the sky, the audience came together as one in that single moment.

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I thoroughly enjoyed James’ performance and I can say that for the first time the studio albums don’t do the live performance of the band justice. I have never said that about a band’s material before, but I mean it as a massive compliment.

I will admit that I wasn’t familiar with the band’s material before, but I loved every second of their set. My friend and I were standing the entire time, which locals will know is not the norm for a show at Kirstenbosch Gardens. We were dancing the whole time!

Shout out to We Are Live! for the free tickets!

Thank you to James for a memorable night!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Daughtry Cape Town Concert Review – 25.10.2018

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I arrived at the venue 2 hours prior to the start of the show and going through the motions that is required by a dedicated music lover. This includes queuing for what seems like forever, standing for hours on end, feeling exhausted the following day and having body aches for the next 48 hours. It really sounds like I’m complaining a lot, but my point is, all of that is worth it through and through.

Jesse Clegg kicked off the evening with some favourite local tunes and it was the first time in two months that he has been back in South Africa. The venue means a lot to him, because of his father, Johnny Clegg’s history of performances at the Grand Arena.

Jesse proved that he could captivate the audience with the subtlety and honesty of his performance.

Jesse ended his set at 20:30 and the crowd waited with bated breath for Daughtry to take to the stage. In the meantime there was some entertainment in between sets which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. The audience members in the Golden Circle had no idea what was happening, but the seated crowd got entertained by a man who could not resist dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” which was blaring from the speakers. The crowd who could witness his smooth moves, couldn’t stop cheering for him.

 

Daughtry finally came on stage and by this time the anticipation had been palpitating. Unfortunately I’m not able to access the set list, so I will recall the songs that were performed from memory. The band kicked off with a song from their latest album titled “Just Found Heaven“. A very intimate song, which describes the narrator being so happy that he found a special relationship, that he doesn’t care what happens to him when he dies.

Feels Like Tonight” is about a person who made a mistake and has made a decision to make up for it at that moment.

I have to say that an unexpected highlight for me was Daughtry’s performance of “Battleship“. Chris delivered the vocals so passionately and with so much energy, I was completely mesmerised.

Crawling Back To You” seemed to be quite a hit with the crowd and it was amazing to hear it live. The band really shined on this track.

One of my favourite tracks from the band’s “Cage To Rattle” tour, has to be “Backbone” the lyrics hit home and the melody of the song is on point! The timing of the track feels different to the band’s other material and I find that the song makes quite an impact, which the listener can’t deny.

Deep End” is the band’s latest single off their new album, it is about taking a chance on love or a new relationship by going “all in”. Elvio shines on the keyboards on this track and it has a feel good quality to it.

 

After that, Chris moved on to an acoustic set, with just him and the guitar on stage. A classic Daughtry track “Life After You” kicked off the acoustic set and it feels as if you just heard the lyrics for the first time in your life, because of the way it is being delivered.

As You Are” is a track from the latest album and Chris revealed that his wife wrote this song with him. It is about true love, dedication and having to accept your significant other as they are in order to make it last. It is about appreciating the other person too.

Chris encouraged the audience to sing along with one of Daughtry’s first singles when they started out, “Home“. It was a beautiful moment as the crowd got out their phones to light up the arena. My phone was terribly confused as it kept going out of focus, but I think I captured the “feel” of the performance at least.

 

The band took it up a few notches after the acoustic set by performing “White Flag“, a hard-hitting, energetic rock song delivered with power and conviction. I loved every second of the band’s performance of this song.

Daughtry entertained the crowd with their performance of “It’s Not Over“, the song that catapulted the band into the charts. It’s not a Daughtry show, if this song is not on the set list.

 

Over You” followed after and the crowd got an opportunity to show off with Chris allowing us to fill in the blanks, so to speak. It is about the narrator getting over a tough breakup and coming out stronger on the other side of it.

The band left the stage after that and we cheered for an encore.

 

The audience members beside me in the Golden Circle had been anticipating the performance of “Waiting for Superman” the entire evening and the band finally performed it. I never realised how popular the song was among fans until now.

 

We provided the backup vocals for “No Surprise” and Chris layered his vocals over it, it sounded incredible.

September” was performed thereafter and the crowd lapped up every note of that song.

The best surprise was when Chris suddenly launched into a cover version of “Purple Rain“. It stunned the audience into silence for a few seconds, before that turned to screaming. Chris left the stage at one point and the band continued playing the song, when Chris suddenly returned much to my delight after having caught that moment on video. It was a surreal moment in the best way possible.

I watched Daughtry performing in Cape Town exactly 8 years ago, so it was really special to have the opportunity to see them again. Adding to that it was the first concert that I had ever been to. I really hope it won’t take another 8 years for them to return.

I have to say that I had the most pleasant Golden Circle experience ever. I had enough space to stretch my legs and no one pushing against me the whole time.

 

Chris’s vocal abilities are hard to compare to anyone else, he has a powerful set of pipes. That doesn’t mean I take anything away from the band’s performance. Josh Paul is always entertaining to watch on the bass guitar. Elvio Fernandes provides some impressive backup vocals and he is great on the keyboards. Josh Steely is on lead guitar, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar and together they make a great team. Brandon Maclin played his part on the drums and even provided us with a short drum solo.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Myles Kennedy, Cape Town Concert Review 6.03.2018

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MK

 

The event that I have been patiently waiting for, for the past 3 months had finally arrived. I was going to have the opportunity to meet and watch my favourite musician in the world launch his solo album tour here in my hometown. I honestly never thought this moment would come around.

I arrived at the venue four hours prior to the start of the show and went to check-in with the organisers of the meet and greet packages. On my way to the merchandise stand I saw some of  the fans that were going to join me in meeting Myles. While I was waiting at the merch stand, deciding how I was going to avoid spending all my money I met two other Myles’ fans and it was wonderful to meet like-minded people who adored the man as much as I did. We spent the rest of our time at the concert together and I really enjoyed their company.

Later on we got ushered into the venue, where we were allowed to watch Myles do a sound check. He seemed at ease and even joked around a little bit. He played “Haunted By Design” with Tim Tournier accompanying him on the acoustic guitar. A real treat was watching Myles tune and play the steel resonator guitar in a lap slide guitar style. Myles didn’t need to spend much time doing a sound check, as he would have if he was performing with his band. He seemed eager to wrap up sound check in order to meet us. Being even more eager, the fans started to line up for their chance to briefly chat to Myles.

I was feeling excited, but not nervous up until I stood face-to-face with him. I just thanked him for launching his solo album tour here in Cape Town and I told him that he was the only reason I went to watch “Kings of Chaos” in 2013. He seemed surprised that I held him in such high regard. What an honour…I will never forget that moment.

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There were two hours left before the show would start, which meant that we had a chance to absorb the experience we just had.

I made my way to my seat, which was perfectly positioned in the second row, right in line of the mic stand. Andy Mac introduced Myles to the audience, I felt quite emotional as he was speaking and had goosebumps the whole time.

Myles opened up the show with “Devil On The Wall”, the third song that has been released from his solo album “Year of the Tiger”. He entered with the haunting intro being played in the background, before he launched into the first verse of the song. I find the lyrics of this song very poignant and the guitar work is exceptional.

“Standing In The Sun” was a pleasant surprise, a song that comes off the first album with Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators’ “Apocalyptic Love”. The song suited the acoustic set, with Myles belting out the chorus, true to form.

“Before Tomorrow Comes” was a hit with the audience and a welcome addition to the set. A song with lyrics that have the ability to make you wonder what a difference you can make to the world around you. This song was originally released as part of Alter Bridge’s second album “Blackbird”.

“All Ends Well” has never been performed live by Alter Bridge, so this is the first time that this song has been played live by any of the band members. I love the fact that Myles played this song and I think that was part of the vision for this tour, for him to get the opportunity to play songs he wouldn’t get the chance to perform with Alter Bridge. This song comes from the band’s fourth studio album “Fortress”.

“Addicted To Pain” is one of my favourite “heavy” songs from Alter Bridge’s catalogue and its rare that a song like that translates to acoustic so well. The power and intensity of the song is still evident, even through the acoustic version. This song also appears on “Fortress”.

“Life Must Go On” a track off of ABIII, has only been performed by Alter Bridge twice. It is an inspirational track that has meant a lot to fans, but is one of the lesser known songs that hide in the shadow of the monster that is “Blackbird”, among others. You know you are being spoiled when the artist performs a rare track and it sweetens the experience.

“Starlight” on the other hand was not a surprising addition to the set list, because it has been a staple when Myles and Slash do their acoustic sets together, wherever they perform. Fans will know that Myles’ vocal abilities shine on this track and last night was no exception.

“Open Your Eyes” was a killer sing along song for the crowd and Myles gave the audience a chance to harmonize which went well up until those high notes, much to Myles’s delight. He threw his head back and laughed at our feeble vocals.

I was so happy when Myles started playing “Traveling Riverside Blues”, he is so adept at performing that Robert Johnson song and he has a creative way of playing it that suits the style of the song perfectly. I’m sorry to report that I was jamming so hard to this song, I neglected to film it, but I’m not sure if I should be apologising for that.

There were a few gems from the Mayfield Four era that Myles treated us to, namely “Eden”, “Mars Hotel”, “Lyla”. I have to say that I really enjoyed his performance of “Lyla”, the entire song has a great melody to it and it still manages to lyrically convey the story to the audience. “Mars Hotel” is another popular acoustic track that Myles has been known to perform on occassion.

Myles Kennedy even performed two cover songs for the crowd. He performed “Levon”, an Elton John cover and the highlight of the two was when he performed a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” which showcased his technical ability on the guitar.

“Haunted By Design” is one of the songs from Myles upcoming solo album, that will be released on the 9th of March 2018. The song was performed with guitarist Tim Tournier accompanying Myles to perform the song that sounds like it was meant to be performed acoustically.

The stellar “Year of the Tiger” met all of my expectations. I have loved the song from the moment I heard it and the crowd really got into it. Tim Tournier joined the performance once again, which added another dimension to the song.

The popular and highly regarded “Watch Over You” inevitably featured on the set list. Myles actually received a well-deserved standing ovation for that one. The song comes from Alter Bridge’s second studio album, “Blackbird”.

Myles left the stage and to my sheer delight returned for an encore which ended the night with “Rise Today”. An absolute Alter Bridge staple, that originated from their “Blackbird” album.

The entire night you could see that Myles was having fun, he became more and more at ease as the night went on with plenty of jokes and charisma to mesmerize the audience even further.

I want to thank Andy Mac and the team at AMP events that they made my dreams come true. I honestly thought I was lucky to see him when he came down with “Kings of Chaos” in 2013 , but I never knew I would have the honour to witness my idol playing solo on stage let alone being able to meet him.

Myles has been an inspiration to me and many others, he remains a humble human being despite his success and he keeps pursuing what he loves.

Thank you.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

 

Incubus, Cape Town Concert Review 28.02.2018

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Everyone here in South Africa have been excited for months about Incubus coming to visit us and what a privilege it was to welcome them in Cape Town.

I arrived just before the band would take to the stage and I was pleasantly surprised by the venue (Greenpoint Athletic Track). The weather was perfect, the audience was pretty well-behaved and extremely enthusiastic.

The band opened up with the groovy “Love in a Time of Surveillance” to set the tone for the epic set that was to follow. The massive screen behind the band was mesmerizing, but it added to the experience rather than taking anything away from the performance.

The second song of the set was “Warning”, one of those post-grunge classics.

“Nimble Bastard” was featured on The Rock Riff’s Best Rock Songs list last year, it is a really fun song and hearing it live gave me the impression of a classic track.

The intro to “Anna Molly” was met with absolute glee from  the crowd and the band seemed to enjoy playing it just as much. Mike Einzinger skills on the lead guitar is undeniable.

“Glitterbomb” is one of the standout songs from the band’s latest album “8” and it was surreal to hear it being played live. The band was on point the entire night. Jose Pasillas II shined with his skills on the drums the entire night.

See a snippet of their performance here:

A true mosh-pit starter, the band launched into “Megalomaniac”, which has now become my favourite song at the moment. The crowd really got into the performance of this track, I enjoyed that moment immensely! It was intense and it felt like that it was meant to be performed in front of a live audience.

“Paper Shoes” was performed after that which provided the crowd with a bit of a breather before the band launched into the fan favourite “Wish You Were Here”. It was everything it should be and more.

Another highlight on the band’s latest album was “State of the Art”, a song with a captivating chorus and powerful lyrics.

“Pardon Me” was another smash hit with the audience and undoubtedly one of the songs they were waiting for in anticipation.

“Circles”, “Echo” and “Pantomine” followed before the band started playing “Loneliest” which is a strangely soothing song and the visuals on screen served as a fitting backdrop. Chris Kilmore added another dimension to this song with his talent on the turntables and synthesizers.

The groovy guitar riff to “Sick Sad Little World” is instantly recognisable and the band played the song slightly faster than the studio version.

The band treated us to a cover of INXS’ “Need You Tonight” which was an unexpected treat of note!

“Talk Show On Mute” proceeded to further highlight Brandon Boyd’s impeccable vocal performance. “I Miss You” is an incredible ballad that I think all of us can relate to.

“No Fun” is one of my favourite songs from the band and it was incredible! It ended way too soon, I actually couldn’t believe it when the song ended.

“Nice to know you” another head-banger, especially after that breakdown that hits before the vocals and obviously during the chorus.

Incubus left the stage after that performance, only to return for an encore to put the cherry on top.

“Drive”, the song that everyone had been waiting for lived up to the hype.

See for yourself:

Thank you We Are Live and Incubus for making this experience possible!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Kicking off 2018!

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Welcome to 2018, people!

I think it is going to be a smashing year for rock music as I have seen a lot of exciting things happening already!

New Music

Bad Wolves – “Zombie”

First off I want to share a cover song with you that has captivated me for the past week. I have shared this song with everyone I know, because it pays homage to the original but the band solidified their stamp on it. The late Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries) was meant to lend her vocals to this cover, but then news broke that the singer had passed away before that could happen. The band released their version that Dolores had approved of as a tribute and all profits will benefit Dolores’ three children.

This song affects me in ways that I can’t explain and I could probably write essays about this cover. Vext’s vocals are a major highlight for me, every nuance is perfectly placed and that goes for the instrumentation as well.

Major respect go to “Bad Wolves” for this one.

Story of the Year – “Bang Bang”

An energetic offering from Story of the Year and I find their latest song seamlessly combine different genres within one song. It jumps from an electronic-like intro straight to screamo to punk rock over to a rock chorus. The band’s fans are delighted about their return after their hiatus. Their latest album titled “Wolves” was released in December 2017.

Red – “Gone”

The title track from the band’s latest album is a solid rock song with some electronic beats weaved throughout the song. The lyrics question the legacy that we leave behind and the quality of the impact we made, that stay behind when we pass away.

A valid point to ponder.

 

Black Veil Brides – “Wake Up”

Black Veil Brides have returned! A politically charged video and theme run through the band’s latest single with a delicious guitar solo thrown in for good measure. It is an anthem for the majority to stand up against what they believe to be unfair, corrupt or unjustified behaviour. A great message to share considering the power that politicians/leaders wield.

 

Marmozets – “Run With The Rhythm”

An interesting song that I would never have expected to hear from Marmozets. The intro almost has a folk/indie sound to it, up until the chorus kicks in. The video is captivating and the cinematography is amazing. An artistic release in every way.

Pop Evil – “Colors Bleed”

A great concept for a video which leaves the viewer with more questions than answers and a reflection of today’s society or a reality we might still face. I’m loving every second of the heavier direction Pop Evil has taken.

Three Days Grace – “The Mountain”

It is so good to hear Three Days Grace back on the scene again. The lyrics are inspiring and is the best way to get your year started. Three Days Grace’s latest album “Outsider” drops on the 9th of March 2018.

 

Paddy and the Rats – “Join The Riot”

The strangest and most entertaining discovery I have made in recent history. I wouldn’t have taken this band seriously if they weren’t signed by Napalm Records and if I didn’t listen to their other songs. Different, exciting, funny and a carnival to your ears, enjoy me matey!

 

Jonathan Davis – “What It Is”

Surprise, Jonathan Davis just went solo! I think this will be a very interesting venture for non-fans and fans alike. I’m excited to see what is to come from him in the near future. I liked this song from the first listen which is rare for me. Straight-up good, honest rock music.

 

Local Events

There are some exciting concerts heading to Cape Town’s shores.

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There will definitely, without any doubt be a blog post about Mr Myles Kennedy when I meet him on the 6th of March 2018.

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Have a smashing week and I hope everyone had a good start to their year so far!

If not…we will have to take it up a notch next month!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Best 17 Rock Songs of 2017

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Best Rock Songs of 2017

17: Imminence – Up

Imminence, a Swedish band which took me completely by surprise! The song starts out like any other modern rock song and then escalates, becoming more intense with each verse. The band’s material is diverse and their music often crosses over genre boundaries.

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16: Skarlett Riot – Warrior

A high-energy song that is enveloped by powerful female vocals and some truly impressive breakdowns that is enough to get you hooked on to the band’s material. The band incorporates hard rock mixed with a metal edge into their sound which creates a great experience for rock fans. This song stood out to me, because it has so much heart and the drumming creates a solid support base for the song.

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15: Avatar – A Statue Of The King

A truly theatrical experience, as we have come to expect from Avatar. A spectacle of metal perfection and phenomenal musicianship. Avatar is releasing their new album “Avatar Country” on the 12th of January 2018 and I’m salivating!

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14: I Prevail – Come and Get It

I don’t think the band could have compiled a better video to convey the amount of energy and passion they have for what they do. This live performance video montage conveys the raw energy that I Prevail possess. This song is incredible, because it is heavy but at the same time it has great rhythm to it. Throw me in the pit!!

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13: Papa Roach – Born for Greatness

A great arena rocker and a music video to match the energy of the song. Papa Roach delivers a solid crowd-pleaser with this song. An instant way to improve your mood!!

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12: Incubus – Nimble Bastard

Incubus deliver an undeniable groove with this song and lighthearted lyrical content. The video plays out like a meme and you can see the band members having a lot of fun with this one. A refreshing departure from the rock music genre’s heavier subject matter.

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11: While She Sleeps – Empire of Silence

The only way I can describe this song is by comparing it to a roller coaster, from the use of the strategic silences to the smashing drums combined with the switch between clean and unclean vocals. This song is a feast to any metal head’s  ears.

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10: Seether – Let You Down

The lyrics are melancholy and the hook tends to reel in the listener slowly but surely. I’m in love with the visuals of this video and it has been expertly crafted to be creepy while still leaving a lot to the imagination. Art house horror is the only way I feel I can describe the video.

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9: Escape The Fate – Empire

I made the mistake of reading some comments posted on YouTube below this video, which were very negative. I disagree with all of them. This song has grit, energy and fuels the need to head bang. It is a party song and can get you in the mood for the weekend from the first note. I don’t think fans should take it so seriously, it is not meant to be debated about. It is meant to be enjoyed.

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8: Asking Alexandria – Into The Fire

Asking Alexandria released a video for “Into The Fire” that plays out more like a scene straight from Sin City than a music video. I’m definitely not complaining, because I loved every second of it. The highlight of this song, in my opinion, is Danny’s vocals. The song really shows off his vocal range and versatility, not taking anything away from the band’s performance at all.

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7: In This Moment – Roots

The lyrics of the song is empowering and I can’t help but feel that this is an incredibly personal song to Maria Brink. A blistering chorus combined with verses that hypnotize the listener. A solid delivery by the band.

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6: Fozzy – Judas

A charismatic front man combined with an entertaining video supported by solid bass playing surrounded by flames and Marshall speakers, sounds like a recipe for success to me! This describes Fozzy’s latest music video in a nutshell.

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5: Marmozets – Major System Error

The Marmozets are back! A delicious bombardment of guitars, drums topped off with girl power in the form of Becca’s vocals. I can dance and head bang to this song, a rare combination. 😀

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4: Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger

I will start by admitting that I’m biased when it comes to Myles Kennedy. He has been working on his solo album since 2009!! It seems like his solo project will finally see the light of day. Year of the Tiger is different to any of Myles’ previous projects, but that was the goal. Myles loves blues and has incorporated that sound into his solo work. His debut album will be released on the 9th of March 2018. This song is refreshing and the lyrical content tells the deeply personal story of the emotions Myles went through as a child when he lost his father. I’m so proud to be a fan.

PS: Myles is launching his solo tour in my home town of Cape Town in 2018! I can hardly contain myself!

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3: Nothing More – Go To War

Grammy nominated rock song, just says it all, doesn’t it? The song is relevant to today’s current political climate and the chorus is incredibly powerful. Jonny Hawkins never holds back and you can definitely tell with this song, his vocal range is impressive as well. The band managed to nab 3 Grammy nominations and I couldn’t be prouder.

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2: Five Finger Death Punch – Gone Away

All of us are well aware of what Five Finger Death Punch are capable of, but I for one did not expect this. The band released a cover of Offspring’s song “Gone Away” and I’m in love with it. I was not aware that Ivan Moody’s voice was capable of the subtleties of this vocal performance. An immaculate performance by the entire band and an instant classic.

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1: Pop Evil – Waking Lions

I’m delighted with the approach that Pop Evil took with this song. The heavier sound compared to their previous album is a pleasant surprise. A soaring chorus framed by heavier verses is refreshing and I have to admit Hayley’s drumming is impeccable. Bottom line….we need more!

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Cheers to 2017!!

It has been a great year for rock music!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K