Best Of

2018 Half Year Retrospective

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So with the first 6 months of 2018 over and the days already starting to get shorter (how is this possible!!), I thought it the right time to pull together a highlight playlist of my favourite jams of the year to date. With a re-ignition of activity here at DiR.net, its about time to do some more sharing, how modern of this aging dinosaur! We’ll see how many of these stick around until the traditional end of year retrospective.

DiR.net: Best of 2018 So Far…

As usual a huge mixed blend of guitar genres on offer covering

  • Sharp indie-rock (The Spielbergs)
  • Unhinged rock and roll (The Hawkins*)
  • 70’s Pop throwbacks with the best band name of recent times (Death By Unga Bunga)
  • Dutch manic Pop-Punk/Rock (Tusky)
  • Huge Southern Rockers (Black Stone Cherry)
  • Youthful diversity (YUNGBLUD, Dead!)
  • Scandinavian Melodic Hard Rock/Metal/Pop (Audrey Horne, Mustasch, Spiders, Heavy Tiger*,The Night Flight Orchestra*)
  • British Blues (Kris Barras Band)
  • Progressive Metal (Caligula’s Horse*)
  • Thumping Stoner Rock (Corrosion of Conformity, Black Rainbows)
  • Fresh and Modern UK Hard Rock (Fragile Things, Turbowolf, Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Fire Red Empress*)
  • Hardcore & Post Punk (Turnstile, The Fever 333)
  • Essex Folk anti-hero (Beans On Toast)
  • …plus a few more to boot

* Whilst most of these are from 2018 releases I have snuck in a few that slipped my best of 2017 end of year net.

 

Albums of 2016: 10-1

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The competition is hotting up as we hit the top 10 Albums which rocked 2016’s socks off…as decided by me!

10) The Shrine – Rare Breed

 

Genre: Stoner Metal/Hard Rock | Label: Century Media Records

One Line Summary: Get your biker jackets and set course to headbang alley with this 70’s inspired stoner metal band that have the hair, the riffs and aren’t afraid to crank up the tempo and ride full throttle to adrenaline heaven.

Top Track: Coming Down Quick – A menacing gargantuan opening riffs plods along before being blasted skywards by a barrage of thumping power chords.

Watch: Coming Down Quick

 

9) Black Pistol Fire – Don’t Wake The Riot

Genre: Blues/Rock | Label: Modern Outsider

One Line Summary: Unsung heroes of vintage bluesy pop rock homages play with an dirtied fuzz fueled sound that boogies and swaggers out of the Deep South nodding to BB on their way to the crossroads.

Top Track: Fleet Foot – Foot stomping country barn dance number that showcases their authentic sound and knack for reinvigorating the humble blues riff.

Watch: Bad Blood

 

8) Scorpion Child – Acid Roulette

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast

One Line Summary: A* pupils of the new school of classic rock get top marks for rocking like it’s 1975 with groovy hip shaking blues power and impressive rangy vocals time traveling back to the good old days of rock’n’roll debauchery and excess.

Top Track: Reapers Danse – High energy set to 11 rocker which blasts through riffs like a Gatling gun packaged with those powerful vocals and lively keys for backup.

Watch: Reapers Danse

7) Valley Of The Sun – Volume Rock

Genre: Stoner Rock | Label: Fuzzorama Records

One Line Summary: If you like your rock loud, proud, fast, packed with melody, guitar solos, energy and towering strength this Stoner come Hard rock adrenaline shot, it is about as good as it gets!

Top Track: The Hunt– A stampeding juggernaut of stoner rock that you must grip tight and to hold on for a thundering ride.

Watch: The Hunt

 

6) Weezer – Weezer (The White Album)

 

Genre: Rock | Label: Atlantic

One Line Summary:Rejuvenated 90’s rockers continue to hit new career highs with this upbeat and sun soaked record to spin on those long endless summer evenings, playful melodies, full keyboard workouts, captivating lyrics and as always plenty of inimitable ooooh-aaaaahs and crunchy rock chords.

Top Track: Thank God For Girls – Bright keys gently jaunt through this beautiful mesh of loud chorus chant vs. low key verbose lyrical verses that are sprinkled with sparkling wordplay.

Watch: Thank God For Girls

 

5) Crobot – Welcome To Fat City

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Nuclear Blast

One Line Summary: 2015’s Album of The Year makers return full of that warm fuzzy groovy guitar riffing which makes their stratospheric version of bluesy hard rock totally irresistible and stonkingly addictive.

Top Track: Not For Sale  – Superstar vocals surround the pounding rhythms over a simple but god darnit superstar riff makes for a stunning song which rocks the ground beneath it rolls, but watch out for the epic rock-out crescendo topped with a feedback effect thats so damn cool it hurts.

Watch: Not For Sale

 

4) Royal Republic – Weekend Man

Genre: Rock | Label: Capitol Records

One Line Summary: Take some jaggedly strutting riffs, chop and add some funky beats, mix well with The Hives style and melody-centric garage rock and add the whimsical essence of Electric Six, crank up the tempo and you’ll create the most smile inducing, infectiously playful rock and roll record of 2016.

Top Track: Baby – The perfect execution of pop simplicity, a damn catchy stomping melody and a swaggering vocal performance with plenty of b..b..b..ba..be..be..b..ba..by’s!

Watch: Baby

 

3) Volbeat – Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie

 

Genre: Rock | Label: Universal

One Line Summary: Danish Rock royalty once again deliver a first class set of stratospheric snow capped anthems that can only be Volbeat, oddly indecipherable lyrics, jaunty rhythms and their gritty but overtly commercial sound that has you singing from the mountain tops.

Top TrackBlack Rose (Ft. Danko Jones)  – Superstar Scando-Canadian Combo is a riotous clash of styles which punches out rapid fire lyrics, thudding power chords, tempo shifts and epic melodic moments not to be missed.


Watch: Seal The Deal

 

2) Förtress – Ambrosia

 

Genre: Hard Rock/Metal | Label: Triassic Recordings

One Line Summary: Enthralling and entrancing psychedelia infused heaviness treading a careful line between Hard Rock and melodic Heavy Metal, swinging and swaying through thunderous groovetastic guitar lines delivered by the higher rock gods, pivoting their intricate tempo shifting melodies across funky/bluesy/proggy styles with both grace and power.

Top Track: Bitch Demon – Trad heavy metal opener has its foot firmly on the accelerator as it piles through overdriven riffs, only making way for the true track highlight of a funk filled head boppin’, toe tappin reverb soaked guitar bridge/solo which just makes you want to move your feet.

Watch: Bitch Demon

 

1) Monster Truck – Sittin’ Heavy

 

Genre: Hard Rock | Label: Dine Alone Music Inc.

One Line Summary: Canadian rockers bust down the door to greatness with this southern swingin’ record that has such depth of awesomely simple but effective big hitters that both loves to raise the fist and worship at the altar of rock and roll, whilst not forgetting stellar soaring choruses to get the people singing along.

Top Track: The Enforcer – Aggressive, dangerous, no nonsense highly volatile assault of a rock and roller wrapped in a tribute to the eponymous brutal hockey players with a less than average number of teeth, a song that screams don’t mess with me..or else you will get hurt!

(Rock &) Roll on 2017!

Tracks of 2011: A Retrospective

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Now our favourite albums of 2011 have been decided, that leaves only the small matter of the best songs. As I have been checking out vast swathes of new music it has become incredibly difficult to even begin to whittling the list of great tunes down to a reasonable number. Hence this year I’ve tried to chronicle the songs that have been top of my pops. Instead of the usual un-ordered list, here follows a vague timeline of awesome songs to keep you rockin’ through 2012. As usual though we have spotlighted those which shone brightest!

Spotify Playlist

>>DoesItRock Retrospective … 2011<<

Dananananaykroyd – Muscle Memory …Toning down their signature oddball sound ever so slightly they have created starkly addictive pop tune with singalong credentials, yet without relenting their indie sensibilities.

British India – Safari … All inhibitions are unleashed on this fuzz fuelled scorcher. Vigour, energy, two tiered passive/aggression, all over a punchy punk melody and wailing string bends. Short sweet and exhilarating.

Fair To Midland – Rikki Tiki Tavi … Imagine standing at the crossroads of epic progger’s Porcupine Tree when along rolls System of a Down’s complex guitar melodies with Disturbed vocals stacked in the back. Bold, beautiful an brazen all in one superb prog-metal classic.

Black Spiders – What Goods a Rock Without A Roll Rolling drums and spiralling guitars unleash in the build up for this hard rocking behemoth. Big riffing, mellowed bluesy interlude, expert wahhed melodies and the most badass lyric of the year (‘Eat thunder, Shit Lightning!’) combine in one heck of a rock and roll storm!

Heaven’s Basement – Unbreakable … This kick starts a new era with powerful unbridled energy and a youthful exuberance for pulsating hard rock! Massive melodies, huge riffs and a scorching solo drive this incessantly infectious tune. New album on the way, watch out!

Rose Hill Drive – Baby Doncha Know Your Man … Take a trip back to the fuzzy psychedelic days with Rose Hill Drive for a rocker soaked in retro charm.

Steel Panther – 17 Girls In A Row … No shame, balls out, lewd lyrics and 80’s hair…but man does it rock! Delightfully un-PC!

Times of Grace – Willing (Acoustic) … When metal-core gets a melodic makeover in the hands of Times of Grace you have beauty and beast entwined in a stunning grapple. This track sees the beauty win out, as complex riffs are beautifully ported to the acoustic guitar!

Crazy Arm – Bandalito … Bass thunders and the cannons roar to the red hot guitars of high octane Brit folk-punks Crazy Arm. Emphasis on vocals and a recklessly temperamental tempo makes this one of 2011’s unsung gems.

The View – Grace … The view create another smashing pop hit single. They have a knack for those simple catchy riffs that nag on your brain.

Frank Turner – Build Me Up Buttercup …Turner shows has the gift of creative reinterpretation with his cover of the four tops party classic. His version is despairing, and tortured, with his expressive vocals conveying the true meaning of the song. A classic reworked beautifully!

Set Your Goals – The last American Virgin … Rapid fire vocals, soaring chorus, fiery palm mute power chords, driving bass, melodic riffs…everything ticks my pop pink boxes! Pop Punk Anthem of 2011.

The entire playlist is available to listen via Spotify:

Spotify Playlist

>>DoesItRock Retrospective … 2011<<

Tracks of 2010

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Now our favourite albums of 2010 have been decided, that leaves only the small matter of the best songs. It was a tough task, but we managed to whittle down an enourmous shortlist down to the top 100 tunes as recommended by us here at DoesItRock.net. It is rather unfair to order them as they are all brilliant in their own way, hence why the debates raged long into the night. In order that we could get some sleep, we have each picked out some of our personal favourites from 2010 which kept our spirits high and ears satisfied all year long.

The entire playlist is available to listen via Spotify:

DoesItRock Tracks of 2010 Spotify Playlist


Frank Turner – I Still Believe … Superb lyrics on this rousing anthem for all those who love music, “Who’d have though, something as simple as rock and roll would save us all”, absolute genius.
Slash – Doctor Alibi – featuring Lemmy Kilmister … What A Riff! 3 Chords of loosely played, gibson driven, marshall powered, mega catchy punk rock power chords. Backed with wailing classic, flashy blues guitar solos and Lemmy’s trademark growl bringing even more rock n’roll spirit to this cracking track! Utterly Irresistable!
Pulled Apart By Horses – High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive … Just 4 notes of a furiously fast blues lick seems unstoppable throughout PABH’s showcase single, demonstrating their crushing riffing, semi-scream vocals and high intensity guitar workouts.
Carpark North – Just Human … I thought electro-pop had become stale over the last few years. Fear not though…this euphoric dancefloor tune has epic synths and a killer chorus.
Birds of Tokyo – Wild At Heart … Progressive rock turned pop is a joyous meld of tinkling piano keys, soaring electro and rumbling guitars. What breaks this above the pack are the superb lyrics and excellent vocals!
Cee Lo Green – F**k You … Pop classic from the soul sensation which everyone is probably sick of by now. You cannot deny its greatness. Would be higher if “Forget You” did not exist.
Foxy Shazam – Count Me Out … Glamtastic Pop from the alt-rock oddballs and their electic brand of rock madness.
Kvelertak – Blodtørst … Bursts out of its cage with a ferocius energy and blows away all that stands in the way of its heavy melodic punk madness.
The Jim Jones Revue – Elemental … From the inital bluesy riff and the roughly screamed “ELEMENTAL!!” this rolling tune just keeps on electrifying as it goes, taking towns and small children with it. A rampant rock n’ roll classic, simple in execution, perfect in execution.
Danko Jones – Full Of Regret … With a video staring Lemmy, Elijah Wood & Selma Blair this pop tune is steeped in stardom with it’s killer riff.
The Thermals – I Don’t Believe You … Yet another three chord wonder from the Thermals. Nothing fancy just pure brilliance.
Interpol – Barricade … Indie gloomsters returned in 2010 and struck gold with this uptempo fizzing tune.
Ozzy Osbourne – Let Me Hear You Scream … Ozzy’s new guitarist Gus G proves he is up to the challenge of facing his predecessors.
Meat Loaf – Love Is Not Real … Rock royalty, Vai, May and Hawkings lend a helping hand for this epic classic rock tune.
Reckless Love – Beautiful Bomb … If you loved the 80’s, Reckless Love are set on bringing it back, impossible  to hate, so god damned catchy!
The Walkmen – Juveniles …  Jangly indie guitars, melancholic feelings, soaked in passion and sung with true heart.
Tweak Bird – Sky Ride … Fuzzed up guitars, sweet vocals and labouring rhytmns make for stoner rock greatness
Black Mountain – Let Spirits Ride … Steeped in the 60’s classic rock era, this blasts off into retro land with no time to look back.
Sweetapple – Do You Remember … J Mascis stamps his authoritative riff all over this cathy little number!
Coheed and Cambria – Here We Are Juggernaut … Prog masters produced another stunning album, this time with a more industrial outlook.
The Black Keys – Tighten Up … The blues maestro’s are back to their souful best.
Les Savy Fav – Dirty Knails … Indie rockers found in fine riff hungry form, urgent and energetic!
The Glitterati – Fight Fight Fight … Leeds based hard rockers returned from the shadows with a cracking new album in 2010.
Bombay Bicycle Club – Ivy & Gold … Fragile acoustic track for kicking back on a sunday afternoon.
Violent Soho – Jesus Stole My Girlfriend … Grunge was back in abundance this year, this being the pick of such tunes!
Black Sunshine – Holy Gasoline … Stepping into the Southern Rock spotlight, these guys have some monster guitars and mega melodies.
Crime In Stereo – Drugwolf …  BListering track full of rise and fall, dramatic guitars and heartfelt vocals.
Wolf Parade – Palm Road … Breezy indie pop is perfect for that summer road trip.
Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em … Mashed up mayhen with these trend setting electroclashers.
Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss … Sit back and drift away to the dreamy, drung induced soundscapes of fuzz from this bright aussie band.

DoesItRock Tracks of 2010 Spotify Playlist

Greatest Riffs of the Decade

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A whole 10 years have past since the computers failed to crash and the world didn’t come to an end (surprisingly)! In that time we have also had our fair share of great music. The bands who have made the most impact in that time have to be Coldplay for the pop masses, Dave Grohl, becoming rock’s go-to guy, Kings of Leon alt-rocking the globe, LCD Soundsystem dominating electronic spheres, Muse stood proud for prog rock, Justin Hawkins  glammed up classic rock  while Jack White flew the flag for contemporary blues with Franz Ferdinand representing the independents.

The noughties have provided a huge abundance of classic tunes which are sure to stand the test of time. At the heart of what makes a lot of them great are the cracking riffs which we all love! In tribute to the greatest riff-meisters of the decade we have put together a quick spotlight of those infectious little melodies which are simply beyond compare.

Here’s some of our favourite riff highlights of the decade!

Listen to the full Spotify Playlist here:

DoesItRock.net – Riffs of the 00’s

The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love

From that huge opening powerchord the rock never stops on the greatest track of the past 10 years! Powerful glammed up hard rock does not come better than this!

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

Simplicity is key on this outstanding blues slide guitar riff! Inspires thousands of guitarist’s everyday!

Muse – Knights of Cydonia

Guitar hero of the decade Matt Bellamys crowning glory, a thumping thin lizzy-esque fret run sparking headbanging on a mammoth scale!

The Libertines – Don’t Look Back Into The Sun

Earlie 00’s indie hero’s classic hit with its ramshackle one stringed guitar riff bringing chaos wherever it lays it hat.

Feeder – Just A Day

Fist pumping vocally backed riff from the welsh trio which is the soundtrack to so many crazy rock out moments over the past decade! Do Do Do Do!

Wolfmother – Joker and the Thief

Superhuman tapping lick from Andrew Stockdale launches one of rocks dirtiest anthems!

Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Sure it sounds like Iggy Pop…but who cares! Relentless barre chord bashing throughout!

Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out

Crafty combination of hammer-ons and pull offs create the indie dancefloor anthem of a generation!

Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows

Heavy and lumbering beast of a riff, Josh Homme knows how to write a stunning riff while plundering his guitar.

Peter Bjohn and John – Young Folks

Quite possibly the only riff on this list not played on an instrument. A simple whistled melody peppers the song, so memorable it threatens to be annoying.

Otis Taylor – Ten Million Slaves

Launched into the conscience of movie-goers when it appeared on the trailer for Public Enemies, and then turned out to be the best part of the film. An up-tempo blue-sy riff played on an electric banjo.

Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

A beautiful piano progression that graduates to an army of stringed instruments during the course of the song. Destined to appear in uplifting scenes in movies and at the end of triumphant sports events for years to come.

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