(I’d like to be your guide on the rock & roll roller coaster keeping you updated with the latest buzz, news, and trends in the rock & roll world. The blog you are reading is fantastic especially for somebody like me who is into all genres of music: Pop, R&B, Easy Listening, Disco,Dance, 70’s, 80’s, etc. Mikey Heyliger has done an amazing job, and the sky’s the limit. Yet, we need more rock & roll, and I hope to be able to enlighten you with some fun stuff. You’ll still see random pieces from me about obscure tunes from the old days, but my focus will on the rock & roll world. Every week or so, this column will feature the movers and shakers in the hard rock genre! Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes!)
When it comes to discovering new hard rock bands, I’m very selective. I’m looking for something that represents the fun classic rock sounds of the 70’s like KISS or Aerosmith or something with a little tint of 80’s glam metal like Def Leppard or Dokken. Most of what I hear nowadays is just that angry grunge sound that has gotten way too repetitious for me. Although I will admit to liking some of the angrier bands like Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace, I can only tolerate them in small dosages. As for bands that purely scream and shred to a tune with no melody like Slipknot or Slayer, I got no tolerance whatsoever. I’m an upbeat kind of guy, or at least I try to be, and want more flavor. I don’t want menacing anger over distorted guitar riffs. I want cries of wanting to party, or for us to stand up for rock & roll and I’m okay with a few simple power chords.
Upon doing my daily search for some new bands (which I now have more time to do now that I’m on of the 10 million unemployed people out there), I’ve been able to find a few new bands that may have what I’m looking for and who I’d highly recommend for my fellow hard rock fans out there. Take a listen and let me know what you think.
Jet Black Stare
Single: Ready To Roll
Album: In This Life
Who they Sound like: a combination of Def Leppard, Nickelback, and Daughtry
Wow! I was impressed by not just the single, but also from snippets of all of the tracks on their new album. Of any of these bands, Jet Black Stare is the one that I was really impressed with, A nice polished sound, and no real songs of negativity. Okay, it sounds like Daughtry a bit, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Daughtry album upon first listen even before his first single It’s Not Over became overplayed so I’m okay with this. This music isn’t earth shattering, but who says it really ever needed to be? The band is from Vancouver and has gotten their music represented by WWE for their Summerslam PPV, and they have a tune included in EA SPorts Nascar ’08 video game. I see good things in their future.
Album: Light From Above
Who They Sound like: a combination of Slaughter, Motley Crue, and Judas Priest
If any band has emulated the 80’s sound, it’s these guys. Awesome guitar solos, fun little melodies, and just simple balls to the wall rock & roll. Will it translate to radio play on mainstream pop radio like Buckcherry? Probably not, but who really cares? The album has so far peaked at #73 on the Top 100 Albums chart, and the Shockwave single was their only single to hit the mainstream rock chart at #25. A brief history of the band indicates they are four piece band formed in Miami, and are all 21 years old or younger. They’ve gotten some buzz with music featured in Rock Band, an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, and a brief spot on the the Ozzfest tour last summer.
Album: The Silver Lining
Who they Sound like: A cross between Breaking Benjamin and Linkin Park
Okay, so there is one of those new-metal bands like Disturbed that I actually found kind of interesting. Nothing too original and a bit of whining vocals, but this band has sweet metal hooks and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them own the new-metal rock world soon. The single Misunderstood peaked at #39 on the mainstream rock charts, but they also released two prior albums which included four other songs that made the mainstream rock charts. Like most new rock and roll bands, they too had their music featured in video games such as Madden and MX vs ATV Unleashed. They have shared the stage with Kid Rock and Stone Temple Pilots, and their influences include classic hard rock bands like AC/DC and Metallica.
Road Runner Records
Single: Heroes Of Our Time
Album: Ultra Beatdown
Who they Sound like: A cross between Yngwie Malmsteen, Iron Maiden, Europe,and Danger Danger
A pure power metal group, these guys have a great sound. Although their earlier albums seem to be all shredding, the latest album features a more eclectic sound including keyboards and such. This is my kind of music, anthem metal. Heroes Of Our Time is a dynamo of a song. A little bit about the band: they have been around since 2003, but weren’t able to gain steam with their music featured in Guitar Hero III (hmm, isn’t this becoming a trend?). The result was a huge bump in sales and more notoriety. Dragonforce is unique in that each member of the band hails from a different country. Call them a salad bowl rock band. One guy is from France, one guy is from China, one guy is from Russia, so on and so on. They have been referred to as “Bon Jovi on speed” or Journey meets Slayer. Of all the bands I have indicated, they probably have the most worldwide recognition with their most recent album having success on the US, UK, France, Sweden and Japan charts. Me really, really like, and have to now pick up their albums. Although from a quick listen, I think the latest album is more polished.
The Parlor Mob
Single: Everything You’re Breathing For
Album: And You Were A Crow
Who they Sound like: a cross between The White Stripes, Wolfmother, and Led Zeppelin
So they aren’t a metal/hard rock band, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them. Nothing too original here, but good stuff. In fact, if I told you you were listening to another Jack White side project, you wouldn’t doubt me. This band has tremendous potential, but really the only song that is single material is actually the song they did release. Just a quick tidbit, David Rosen who is the lead guitarist for the band is my cousin, so I’m especially rooting for them. Although I haven’t seen him in awhile, I see his grandmother all of the time. Maybe he can throw some groupies my way when they become big. The Parlor Mob is another band from New Jersey whose roots are traced to Red Bank (also home of Jay And Silent Bob’s Secret Stash). Originally known as What About Frank? , they were briefly signed to Capitol Records, but dropped when Capitol and Virgin Records merged. They did what most new bands without label support did, they put their EP up for free download on-line, and did a great job of promoting themselves. They are now with Roadrunner and worked with the production team from Kings Of Leon and Modest Mouse’s previous albums. Reviews for them have been glowing. For example check out a review from Aquarian Weekly- “Basically, now is the time to go see them and say later on, ‘Yea, you know, I saw them back before they took over the world,’ because that’s the way things are heading.” Makes me very proud.
“Rock & Roll All Week long!”