Posts tagged Acoustic

Black Stone Cherry @ The HMV Forum


29 March 2012

The hype was aplenty, their name plastered all over most rock magazines over the course of the last 12 months or so (well the good ones at least) and 5 star reviews for their debut album, Rival Sons were here!

Their sound is heavily retro, like blasting out live rock and roll through primitive amps harking back to the 60’s hero’s Zep and company. They had two seriously impressive qualities. One, the astounding range of their vocalist who’s muscular pipes flex from wails to deep booms in the blink of an eye and Two, some seriously good rhythm guitar lines. Yet there were only a couple of tracks where they came together and really revved up the crowd.

Rival Sons

The issue I had is their retro’ness. I’m all for 60’s hard rock homage, but not to this extent! At first the sound is cool, but the middle of the set the soaked guitar noises start sounding recycled and by the end everything sounds the same. Yet there were flashes of brilliance, which is why I’ll be keeping a close eye on them come album #2.

The main event was up and Black Stone Cherry flew out of the blocks plying their hard hitting thunderous guitar riffs, all southern style. Their thirst and desire to have a good time show the world how to rock right coupled with their impeccable run of brilliant LP’s can only end in glory. Their run of huge support shows with Altar Bridge clearly have them stoked. Having seen them on a few previous occasions I can proclaim they have upped their game once again. Most notably with the arrangement of their tunes, playing about with the rigid recorded formats adding in live nuances like pauses, crowd rousing calls, building crescendo’s and plenty of guitar improvisations.

Black Stone Cherry

Usually a bands new tunes are nothing but fleeting blips, but these tonight went down a storm. Their deep south guitar muscle shone on Such A Shame, Killing Floor and the stars bled for ballads In My Blood and Stay whilst their star highlight single White Trash Millionaire was hard rock at it’s very finest. You’d be hard pressed to find a catchier Hard Rock tune this decade!

Mixing up the night the Black Stone boys put down their arsenal of electric guitars and picked up their acoustics as lead guitar/vocalist Chris Robertson led a merry english sing-a-long picking some choice UK favourites to cut and paste from. The Opening verses of Champagne Supernova, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep and Amy Winehouse’s Rehab were all huge crowd hits, plus their sombre Alice In Chains cover of Down In A Hole was sublime. To throw in something totally different they even attempted a genre smashing “30-seconds of (electro-acoustic) death metal”, interesting to say the least.

Another corking hard rock fun time anthem later in the shape of Blame It On The Boom-Boom and it was end of set time. Their encore short but hard hitting with the beautiful Peace Is Free and the moshmaniacal Lonely Train. All too quickly it was over for another time, on this performance this is a show which will run and run and run…




Albums of 2011: 10-1


It’s time to complete the countdown of DoesItRock.nets favourite albums of 2011…

10) Mastodon – The Hunter

Prog metal kings Mastodon’s latest LP is by far their most accessible, weaving a path of destruction though chunky heavy metal grooves, gorgeously powerful backdrops and infectious melodies. The mix of super smooth clean lyrics and snarling tongue lashings are superb as each track flips from lightning fast metal riffs to thunderous hard rock in an instant. Mixing up their sound with meandering prog-outs, straight laced rockers and metal assaults this album has much to offer all music lovers. Simply put, there was no better metal in 2011.

9) The Treatment – This Might Hurt

Ok, so technically this is a re-issue. But it is very rare that you get a chance to make amends for overlooking an album within its release year. Bolstered with a handful of brilliant bonus tracks, This Might Hurt screams like Aerosmith, drinks with Gun’s n’ Roses and parties like Motley Cru. Good old fashioned rock and roll is safe in their hands as they combine huge Marshall backed riffs with classic rock solo’s and catchy ass vocals. If you’re looking for a big time rock and roll album of head banging, balls to the wall and drunken debauched anthems. The Treatment are all the medicine you need!

8) Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones

Frank’s Turner esquire, punk poet laureate extraordinaire has focused his lyrical eye towards his homeland, producing a fine folk album with stadium ambitions. Slightly faded are his everyman tales, replaced with beautiful compositions and ever growing confidence to write bigger and better than the last. This album has shown his adept ability to write lyrics close to his heart, retaining his honest Englishness while his musical arrangements reach for the skies. There are no better melody maker alive, and no better man to lead a sing-a-long with his utterly impassioned delivery. England Keep My Bones signals a significant step up.

7) The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

A hugely underrated album which I keep on coming back to. Its graceful and beautiful in its soothing softness backed with folky nasal vocals which are oddly fitting to their sound. This is not a happy album by any imagination stretch, feelings of isolation, despair and mellowness are present throughout. Yet when they crank up the dials and start to unleash some energy with crashing percussion and thrusting guitars their outstanding melodies take centre stage. A delightful album of perfectly staged catchy tunes that are emotionally fraught and honest.

6) Maybeshewill – I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone

Strings and Guitars gleefully unite on the most stunningly beautiful album on this year’s countdown. This collection of instrumentals send soaring violins crashing into waves of guitar noise and sends fizzing electro keys flying into epic cymbal smashes. When these elements all collide in one huge melodic crescendo, there is simply no better sound of 2011. Sit back and bask in it’s magnificence!

5) …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao of The Dead

This year,… AYWKUBBTOTD have never ventured far from the play button. With repeat listens this album just gets better, revealing new melodies each time or a new favourite track dependent on my mood. Their ability to retain their melodic groove throughout some apocalyptically massive prog-outs of guitar noise is hugely enviable. Tao of the Dead, once you give it a fair shot, will mesmerize you too.

4) Black Spiders – Sons Of The North

UK’s new rock heroes finally dropped their debut album in february, and my word…it ROCKS! Tongue in cheek lyrics and a huge sense of fun only increase my love for this album, one that’s already steeped in humungous melodies and no-nonsense all out attack guitars. Every song is a winner, from bluesy swaggers, recklessly energetic romps to foot stomping plunderers. Black Spiders wear the Hard Rock crown of 2011!

3) Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

After a couple of rather dull albums of run of the mill pop rock, this years return from the Foo’s billed as a return to roots was a welcome addition to their catalogue. True to word, from the very first tune the guitars are cranked up, the vocals are in attack mode and the amps are set to 11. Taking the best of the Foo’s arsenal of pop rock melodies, memorable choruses and high octane rock power, Wasting Light sees the return to form we’d been dreaming of.

2) And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs

For the second year in a row, a debut album reaches #2 on the countdown with this offering from Northern Ireland’s Post-Rock saviors ASIWYFA. This album full of super tight instrumentals takes slices of metal, rock, prog, pop and post-rock and amalgamates them into a glorious storm of musical storytelling. Astounding guitar harmonies range from super technical metal to the ambient melodies, driving each and every tune. The lack of vocals doesn’t seem to matter as intricate instrumental interplay feeds this addiction. All that’s left is to sit back, be blown away by the often brutal, often beautiful but ever-infectious grooves of Gangs.

1) Fucked Up – David Comes To Life

David Comes To Life is such a brilliant rock record that it most definitely deserves it place at number 1 this year. Looking through a critical eye, it’s hard to fault this inventive concept album on its epic 80 min scope, unbridled energetic outbursts and for bringing hardcore punk back into fashion. For me this was an album which has some of the most infectious guitar melodies, choc a block with wall to wall riffs, thunderbolt drumming and angst tongued lyrics (matched beautifully by female clean vocals). Without lifting their foot off the pedal for David Comes To Life’s duration, who cares about the storyline when the soundtrack is this good! A rock and roll ride of stratospheric proportions.

Roll on 2012!

Honourable Mentions: Fair To Midland – Arrows And Anchors, You Animals – Crimes Creeps & Thrills, Turbowolf – Turbowolf,

Click here for the top 25 as a Spotify Paylist

>> DoesItRock Albums of 2011 <<

Albums of 2011: 25-11


Here begins the start of’s annual roundup of the greatest albums which have been stuck on our stereos in 2011.

Let the countdown commence!

25) Chickenfoot – III

If you have Joe Satriani as your Guitarist, Marc Anthony on bass and Sammy Hagar as your vocalist, you are bound to produce something special. Vast improvement on their debut, this is about as classic rock as classic rock gets. Big bluesy melodies, Satch wonder solos and this time around, tunes to back them up.

24) Johnny Foreigner – Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything

These brummy indie punks have varied up their tempo’s more willingly on their latest. Rawkus punk rockers mingle with sweet lullaby balladry all with the honest everyman JoFo songwriting that’s so alluring. Everything that’s great about the band on one disc!

23) Amaranthe – Amaranthe

Really…European Power Metal?? That’s was my initial reaction upon compiling this list, but it did not feel right placing it in the Honourable mentions section. This is probably the most addictive metal record of 2011, twin male growls and powerful female vocals line the mammoth avenues of electro-metal. Surprisingly brilliant!

22) Times of Grace – The Hymn Of A Broken Man

Guitarist of metal-core legends Killswitch Engage steps out into the spotlight and into moody melodic territory. This is a superb work of dark sweeping soundscapes, masterful metal riffing and equally beautiful emotive vocals.

21) Rise Against – Endgame

US Political punk torch bearers have yet again created a solid album packed with pop slanted rockers. Soaring chorus lines backed by flaring guitars light up the track list, which never loses its momentum.

20) The Computers – This Is The Computers

The Computers debut album comes hurtling at you like a Punked up Blues-mobile, making one hell of a racket in the process. Snarling, teeth baring punk rock vocals lash against the age old cliffs of blues rock, bringing life and aggression to an age old sound. Each song kicks and screams as it hurtles along with reckless abandon, providing catchy licks at every turn. These riffs and melodies have all been played before mind you, but never quite like this.

19) Twin Atlantic – Free

After their cracking mini album Vivarium, Twin Atlantic unleashed Free, and it’s even better than its predecessors. They write the kind of songs destined to be sung at stadiums across the globe. Their vocalist’s broad Scottish accent only enhances their signature sound, packed with impassioned rock, streaming with melody and kick ass guitars. Song after song of huge hooks and epic chorus lines proved impossible to overlook this year. Free is one of the best Greatest British albums of 2011.

18) Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Taking a vast sidestep from their heritage as leaders of the late 80’s early 90’s punk revolution, Social Distortion creates a cracking straight up American rock album that’s both full of drive and ambition, whilst being true to its roots. Their knack for addictive riffs hasn’t deserted them as this album delivers corking sing-a-longs and rock and roll rippers at every turn!

17) The Answer – Revival

What a fantastic return to form Revival proved for the hard rocking Irishmen. Crammed full of bluesy heritage riffing, stunning vocals and memorable melodies. This rollicking romp of a record became and instant  hit and has remained that way ever since. The Answer are still on the course walked by the rock greats!

16) Black Stone Cherry – Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea

Yes, its ballad heavy, yes they haven’t progressed much…but boy they know how to write a monstrous rock anthem. BTDATDBS shows this in force with wah-wah led White Trash Millionaire, deeply detuned chugger Killing Floor and the debauched party times of Blame It On The Boom Boom. Their softer side has fallen closer to the surface on this record. But through all the mid-tempo’ness there are heartfelt lyrics and brilliant banging choruses prevalent throughout. BSC are back and hitting harder than ever!

15) Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation

These ramshackle punks have finally put all what’s great about their DIY ethos, eclecticism, energy, passion and attitude together into one seamless collection of corking tunes. Flitting from noise rock, to reckless punk outrages, to surf-pop and sweet acoustic tales proves this album has so much to love. Although never ones to truly conform, their slightly poppier vocals this time out have eased their accessibility, thus hiking them up this list with double quick speed.

14) British India – Avalanche

With the UK’s current rock crop going off in all manner of directions (Arctic Monkeys-Snoozeland, Kasabian-Ambience, Kaiser Chiefs-Just Odd!) it was left to these Aussie boys to produce the best pop rocker of 11. This album fizzes and sparks with fuzzed up riffs, soaring chorus lines, thumping drums and ass kicking melodic anthems. A triumph of back to basics skuzzy rock with a true pop heart.

13) The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar

After impressing us early in the year, it was no surprise to see it firmly planted within this years round-up. Their swirling walls of guitar noise offset by the sugary sweet vocals of firecracker front woman Ritzy Bryan provide many beautifully riotous crescendos. With track after track of these huge melodies it’s easy to overlook to fact that there are so many hit singles effortlessly sprawled throughout the track list. Epic Indie Rock!

12) Karma To Burn – V

Although taking Karma To Burn away from their trademark Stoner rock instrumentals large enough to sedate a woolly mammoth, the arrival of Daniel Davies (Son of The Kinks, Dave Davies) has sparked new life into the formula. The addition of vocals, no matter how hazy and spectral have added that extra oomph the band needed to grab attention and never relent its torrid grip. Enormous melodies and some of the most powerful rock this side of ‘Disaster Area’. Prepared to be blown away!

11) Danananaykroyd – There Is A Way

A sad year for these fight poppers as they said farewell to music and parted each their seperate ways. But that doesn’t mean their final album doesn’t live up to the our expectations. Packed with pinging melodies, na na na na’s, intricate guitars and their exhilerating duelling vocal delivery resulted in a fine legacy to one of Britain’s finest live bands.

Stay tuned for the top 10!

Rise Against, The Nightwatchman @ Brixton Academy


9th November 2011

Set against the foreboding backdrop of social inequality, student protests. grave economic uncertainty & growing Occupy movements. Tonight’s Brixton Academy line-up was about as fitting as they come! Headliners Rise Against, themselves bastions of a free and just society, were mere pretenders when faced with the politically prosed legends due to support their good cause on stage tonight.

Polar Bear Club

Polar Bear Club despite not falling into this category, did remarkably well at packing the venue by a little after doors. They had the soaring melodies to pack a big punk punch, but the vocals were slightly too distorted from where I was standing. This assured performance was met with equal amounts of love and indifference (split down the age divide).

The Nightwatchman

No sooner than reports of his earlier exploits of playing impromptu songs on the steps of St. Pauls for the gathered Occupiers, were streaming off the Evening Standard printers. All round political warrior and guitar hero Tom Morello stepped out to a bulging Brixton crowd as his acoustic wielding alter-ego The Nightwatchman. Singing self proclaimed ‘World Wide Rebel Songs‘ Tom was an enigmatic presence towering over his pointed folk rock. The tunes themselves were as simple and catchy as campfire ditty’s with the crowd being given sing-a-long moments at a rapid fire pace.

Special Guest Billy Bragg

Tom even invited a few special guests to sing alongside him onstage. Both Tim & Zach of Rise Against and a man he was clearly overwhelmed by, British political punk poet legend Billy Bragg. With only a handful of morello signature guitar solos and a single taking from RATM’s Renegade’s (Ghost of Tom Joad) this was the Nightwatchman’s night.

Rise Against

Rise Against returned as a full compliment to almighty roars from the stoked up fans. Their punk rock left no room for seatbelts tonight. This was a full tilt exhilarating parade of powerful guitars, infectious chorus chants and sublime melodies. The sound inside the academy tonight was truly gigantic, often drowning out the husky throaty rasps of vocalist Tim McIlrath .

Picking the setlist from albums new to old in equal measure, they pleased every gathered face in abundance. Proving their hardcore roots, they threw in plenty of relentlessly paced circle pit igniters such as Heaven Knows and Survive alongside more recent pop glossed offerings Architects and Satellite.

To their credit Rise Against were not preachy, yet they spoke with gusto and a collective enigmatic spirit that filled the heart with pride and honour. This was none more evident than on the acoustic double header of Swing Life Away and the poignant anti-war anthem Hero of War. The latter sparked an almighty emotional crowd outpouring of voices, minds and love.

If only every crowd were as joyous, if every line-up as committed to the good fight, the world would be a much better place for all. Not to mention one that truly rocks!

Does It Rock? September Round-up


Summers over, time to put out this bumper Spotify Mix

Listen now on Spotify>>> – Sep 11 Mix

1) Maybeshewill – Critical Distance … An Epic classically backed instrumental rock that sparks ultimate euphoria!
2) Banquets – Forever Bender … Pop Punk leading lights have new rivals to contend with, energetic and massively enjoyable.
3) Fucked Up – Ship Of Fools … Punk has never sounded this good!
4) Blood Command – Summon The Arsonist … Scandenavian alt rockers mix up electronica, metal and punk with this frenzied, in your face track.
5) Bomb the Music Industry! – Can’t Complain … Sweet and melodic, a refreshing song from ever changing DIY punks
6) Dananananaykroyd – Muscle Memory … Fight Poppers return with this corking tune
7) Alkaline Trio – Calling All Skeltons … This classic punk track gets the acoustic makeover, still brilliant!
8) The Trews – Hope & Ruin … Canada’s unsung rock hero’s return with a brilliant new album, this is the corking title track.
9) Thrice – Yellow Belly … Epically brooding rock from the heavyweights of the US alternative rock community.
10) Arctic Monkeys – Library Pictures … The highest the fuzz counter gets on the latest Monkeys offering.
11) The Subways – Like I Love You … Chirpy and infectious pop rock tune from this british rock trio.
12) Laura Marling – The Beast … Superbly talented and so powerful with her beautiful vocals, the nu-folk superstar returns.
13) Black Tide – That Fire … The highlight of a disappointing foray into BFMV country, steering away from their trad heavy metal clout.
14) Hawthorne Heights – Is This What You Wanted? … Emotionally charged post-hardcore which demands attention.
15) Icon For Hire – Make A Move … The new Paramore perhaps? More focused on the rock but the pop sheen clear to see.
16) Opeth – Häxprocess … Steeped in the 70’s, prog rock hero’s are back (in time).
17) Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle … Delightfully different, BBC throw their latest curveball.
18) No Americana – Wax Poetic … Startlingly accomplished track from this brilliant new Brummy band.
19) Chickenfoot – Big Foot … Satch and Hagar are back to kick out asses with their hard hitting classic rock!
20) The Treatment – D***k, F**K,F***T … Rock and Roll chaos driven by baddass guitars, awesome vocals and a thumping melody.
21) Rose Hill Drive – Baby Doncha Know Your Man? … One of the best hard rock acts return with fuzz pedal workout.
22) The Brew – Immogen Molly … Dripping in retro style, the Brew’s latest album is a must for all blues fans.
23) The Kooks – Rosie … Jolly little pop ditty marks the return of the seaside boys latest dreamier album Junk of The Heart.
24) Zebrahead – Blackout … Rap and Punk Rock combine with finesse with this highly contagious tune.
25) Every Avenue – Whatever Happened To You … Pop Punk Anthem of the Month.Spotify Playlist

Spotify Playlist – Sep 11 Mix

Download Festival 2011: Classic Rock Friday


Day one of Download Festival, over recent years has definitely been moving towards the arena of the classic/hard rock, see previous headliners of Ac/Dc(2010), Def Leppard(2009) & Kiss(2008). Again in 2011 we find another cracking Friday lineup which I could not resist. I had to be here!


After the substantial journey up from London town, I took up the position I’d be in most of the day, down front on the main stage for the arrival of the skate born, alt-hard rock band CKY. A surprisingly large crowd had gathered and we were not disappointed, as they plundered out wah soaked hard rock riffs with graceful efficiency. The seeming endless barrage of melodies were both catchy and had most of the crowd leaping/banging head like there’s no tomorrow. The standout tune had to be the epic guitar riffed 96 Quite Bitter Beings which sparked the days first circle pit, bodies literally flew in all directions. A cracking opening to what was to be a legendary day.

Puddle Of Mudd

In a bit of a throwback to my younger days, Puddle of Mudd emerged to a much more youthful (and tightly packed) crowd. You would not have guessed they had been away from the UK shores for 10 years, support seems as eager as ever. Playing the best of their early album’s which had so much commercial success, lead singer Wes Scantlin let fly his nasally snarls led by some crunching post-grunge guitars. The biggest roars came with an Ac/Dc cover TNT and their love/hate ballad She Hates Me which had the biggest vocal backing of the afternoon thus far. Yet, they did not play Blurry, a song a lot of people had come to hear. Whether a timing issue was to blame, I dunno? But this soured the performance as they trundled off stage to an unsatisfied chorus of “blurry, blurry, blurry...”.

Young Guns

A short hike back up the arena I managed to catch the end of the Young Guns set on the second stage. They seemed very engaged with the crowd, trying to start a teenage riot with multiple calls of “I want you to go crazy to this one”. From the back It was hard to see what the fuss was about. Clean and scream vocals mixed up well in their post-hardcore melodies many of which were pretty cool, but nothing of distinction sets them apart. 10/10 for effort in pleasing the festival youth.

Duff McKagan

I returned to the main stage to catch the latter half of ex- Gun’s & Roses man Duff Mckagan and his band Loaded. It was clear nothing much had changed since the last time I saw them, still plugging away with sleazy punk slanted hard rock. Much of their original material was met with indifference despite a few catchy guitar and vocal hooks. The same cannot be said for their closing cover tune It’s So Easy. It’s always a pleasure to see a ex-Guns n’ Roses man playing classic material as if it was 1987 all over again.

Black Stone Cherry

Black Stone Cherry followed up next with a the set of the day so far! Full of southern Rock swagger and muscular guitar riffing so deep south it chills with the penguins. Set was comprised equally of from all three albums and mixed mid tempo rockers and all out hard hitting clout with effortless ease. Swinging from the latest  vocal wah (Sambora Stylie) driven single White Trash Millionaire to the  powerful chorus centric chanter Blind Man and the frenzied headbangers paradise on the Lonely Train. Despite these cracking tunes, there was an unexpected highlight…a cover version!

Heavy Metal Devil Horns out in force!

Taking a step aside from the usual hard rock covers they went all live lounge on our asses and pumped out a rocked up ‘Magic FM‘ listener friendly tune,, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. An uplifting and very popular choice which had many a black clad, leather bound macho man singing his lungs out…this alone, provided a classic Download moment! A superb performance from a band totally fulfilling their potential!

Alter Bridge

Somehow four more bands had to grace this stage. First to try were the ex-Creed associates plus one of my favourite vocalists Myles Kennedy, as Alter Bridge picked up where BSC left off! Soaring heavy rock anthems are what these guys do best, hence it was not long before they kicked into belters such as Find The Real and Ties That Bind which spark sing-a-longs and circle pits in equal measure. There are not many bands who write songs as big as Alter Bridge. Mark Tremonti as ever was a total genius with his guitar this afternoon firing off shredded solos, chugging metal riffs and harmonious sweep picked melodies at will. His arrangements are probably the most badass and technically accomplished of any hard rock band on the planet. The key to their success is his partner in crime Myles, who not only had one of the iconic rock voices of modern times, but boy he can play guitar too. An axe battle ensued towards the end of the set with both corners trading powerful knockout blows. A mesmerizing display of virtuosity from both men…I call it a tie! The crowd absolutely reveled in what was a terribly uplifting set that stuck the middle finger up towards the falling rains plans to scupper the show.

Thin Lizzy

Up next I am proud to have witnessed one of the legendary bands of rock. Innovators of the dueling guitar solo, performers of live shows that have gone down in history and true classic rock icons…Thin Lizzy are back! Albeit with a roughly cobbled together lineup of ex-members and newbies, yet with original members Brian Downey and Scott Gorham providing the core of the sound, this was probably the closest I would ever get to their 70’s magic.

Special Guest…Def Leppards Vivian Campbell

It was a set packed with nostalgia and legendary tunes such as The Cowboy Song, Whiskey In The Jar, Jailbreak…(I could list every song)…and of course The Boys Are Back In Town. New lead singer Ricky Warwick was most definitely not on par with Phil Lynott but he did a good job of belting out the chorus and getting the crowd onside. With such a huge chunk of the former lineup(s) missing it was never going to recreate the magic, but it was as good a set of rock and roll classics you will ever likely to hear!

The Darkness

After Wednesdays encounters with tonight’s Sub Headliners still fresh in the rss feed, I’ll be brief. The Darkness did exactly what they do best, entertain! A huge portion of the crowd you could feel were willing them to be rubbish. Those were soon won over by jaunty pop rock numbers and some good old fashion showmanship from the moustached Hawkins. By far the most spectacular set of the day. Comprising of all the usual glitz of confetti, streamers and fireworks, with the surprising addition of giant flame throwers. You can’t fault them for trying to keep the crowd on their toes! I was having a whale of a time, but then it is The Darkness, they only know how to make the good times roll!

Nothing like a naked flame to warm the cockles

It was an agonising wait in the ever plummeting temperatures and drizzling rain for tonight’s headliners Def Leppard (ring, ring…2009 called, says they want their headliner back)! Only 2 years since they last graced the Donington stage, they were back for more stadium sized rock. Their sound can only be described as gigantic. You really can feel with every beat of the drum skin, every hi-hat smash and every massive power chord. Yet it is so melodically balanced, making their pop rock classics sound great! To be honest I hadn’t been expecting much,  but with each passing intro I kept thinking…damn I know this!

Def Leppard

With an arsenal packed with livewire rockers and a bursting heart full of soppy ballads this was the finest show of pop metal outside 1984. Tunes such as Animal, Rocket, Two Steps Behind and Pour Some Sugar On Me ignited my Def Leppard flame which had long been extinguished. They turned in a superb performance, one absolutely worthy of their Headliner status.

Acoustic Time

With jubilation at what was one of the best days of rock I’ve seen and sadness that it was all over, I trekked back out the front gates and back down the M1…singing Def Leppard tunes all the way home at the top of my very weary lungs! May Round-Up


After a months absence, the new music round-up is back and available for your listenign pleasure on Spotify!

Listen now >>> – May 11 Mix

1) Black Stone Cherry – White Trash Millionaire … The vocal wah makes a welcome return on BSC’s latest single, hard rock greatness!
2) Halestorm – Bad Romance … GaGa just got an ass kickin from Lzzy Hale’s amazing vocals. Rocked up this pop tune sounds amazing!
3) Art Brut – Axl Rose … Art Brut gets the Frank Black make-over, jury’s out on whether it suits.
4) The Computers – Music Is Dead … The Blues has gone punk in the hands of The Computers. A Rockin’ Riot!
5) And So I Watch You from Afar – Search:Party:Animal … Epic instrumental from this excilleratingly talented band.
6) Twin Atlantic – Crash Land … Softer moment from impressive debut album, Free.
7) Frank Turner – Shut The Chicken … A DIY ethos on this joyous smiley ditty, couldn’t fail to brighten your day.
8) Eureka Machines – These Are The People Who Live In My House … UK Band’s latest poppy rock single is a euphoric singalong affair.
9) You Animals – Halfway To Heartbreak … British indie rock upstarts play a great breed of infections riff fuelled pop punk.
10) Panic! At The Disco – The Ballad Of Mona Lisa … Less urgency in their progressing years, but still have an ear for a soaring chorus anthem.
11) Manchester Orchestra – Pensacola … Calculated and brilliantly writen indie rock, catchy and intelligent.
12) Young Legionnaire – Twin Victory … Fuzzier than a bear in a washing machine, taken from their muscular placebo-esque debut!
13) Amaranthe – Hunger … Cliched electro fused heavy metal, female vocals amd insistant vocals keep it fresh.
14) Clutch – Mercury … Riffmeisters re-release this utter corker.
15) Skindred – Warning … Reggae Heavy Metal, say no more.
16) Protest The Hero – C’est la Vie … Super technical metal. Fret blazing madness!
17) Okkervil River – Rider … US folkie’s return with this nice little tune.
18) Silverstein – Sacrifice … US Post-hardcore mainstays mix up breezy melodies and clean vocals with throaty howls and chugging guitars.
19) Unwritten Law – Superbad … Blues riff driven tune from this power pop bands latest LP Swans
20) Yellowcard – The Sound Of You And Me … A welcome return to form from this violin wielding pop punk band

Spotify Playlist – May 11 Mix

Camden Crawl 2011: Day Two


1st May 2011

Well rested, showered and fuelled by ‘full English’ we set out for more exploits in Camden for day two of the crawl.

Kicking off today’s live music extravaganza was the ever reliable grunge revivalists Dinosaur Pile-Up. We have long been admirers of these boys performances and today was no exception. Their big dropped D riffs boomed out livening the early crowd and treating them to a dose of cheery nirvana-esque rock with plenty of catchy melodies and a tonne of chugging rhythm guitars. We were lucky to be treated to some older gems in the shape of Opposites Attract, new material which sounded great, as well their bigger numbers such as Traynor. A cracking start to yet another sunny day.

Dinosaur Pile-Up

From here we mooched over towards the Summer Sundae Special Edition event out on the sun soaked Roundhouse Terrace, only to find Dry The River limbering up. After fighting through a sea of promotional material being thrown our ways we settled and enjoyed what was a mellow laid back folk set. In the sunshine it sounded excellent, the violin especially making an impression. Yet with mellowness comes bliss, and with bliss comes sleep…which is not the greatest asset for a band. One for throwing on the stereo for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Dry The River

The mood swing between these and our next band was colossal. Somewhat strangely ,the crowd were packed in tight for the emergence of NYC’s latest hardcore punk exports Cerebral Ballzy. Their “I don’t give a flying F**k” brat attitude and a love of black flag et al seemed to cause more headaches than circle pits, with the non-receptive crowd. They missed about as much as they hit as their front man ran amok through the crowds inciting foul language and generally causing havoc. Musically this wasn’t a great performance even though there were a few decent hooks hidden in there. Their lifeblood is to make loud and supremely fast punk to get knotted to…on this count they succeeded greatly.

Cerebral Ballzy

Indeed the reason for the indifference was plain to see once Cerebral had left the stage. Currently riding a huge over inflated wave of hype are the hip hoppers Odd Future or OFWGKTA (I did wonder what young heavily made up teenage girls were doing at a hardcore punk gig). I departed, but Mr. Flowers stuck around…

Meanwhile…I continued my search for cool new music and found a jazz musician playing what looked like a carpenters saw. I promptly turned around and stumbled by chance into the Vox busking sessions to catch James Page. This young acoustic strummer had plenty of melody in his heart and honesty in his lyrics. Tales of london life and what else…girls, were lively and highly enjoyable. This was a tough/drunk crowd to perform for plus all the while having a multitude of technical difficulties, he showed his spirit and professionalism to battle through admirably.

James Page

After a huge trek out to Kentish Town, we were glad to find a band about to begin in the Bull & Gate, this was Five Working Days. A triumphantly jubilant set of rockabilly/ska pop later, we were smitten. It was lively and highly entertaining in this tiny pub corner. It’s a surprise they all managed to fit in really! Stuffed full of a good “cockney knee’s up”, we headed into the Forum for what turned out to be a rather costly mistake.

Five Working Days

Frankie & The Heartstrings failed to appear at their appropriate stage time, we consulted the schedule…yup this is right, we agreed! A quick foray into the twitterati revealed more disappointing news. Frankie & his Heartstrings were at home and were never scheduled to play the Sunday! Bad form Camden Crawl!

Still we had Benjamin Leftwich Francis to enjoy instead. After 10 minutes of boredom inducing folk crooning I departed, more than a bit saddened!

The Phantom Band

Heading back into Camden central (by bus this time), I found myself in an almighty queue to get into the Proud Galleries, for one of the big highlights of the festival. After the floodgates opened I somehow found myself down the front! Sporting a look of bewilderment and smugness, I settled down to watch The Phantom Band after a slightly awkward Q&A session from Radio Ones new music maestro Huw Stevens. A very eclectic set followed with plenty of blips and bops overlaying their already well stacked guitars and melancholic yet purposeful vocals. They made big powerful atmospheric indie rock with effortless ease, without really having to strain. Playing a wide variety of quirky instruments they managed to squeeze out melodies from all angles. Never losing track of the main melody was key to their success, as it was these that formed the heartbeat of their songs amongst their proggy sidesteps. A great little set of diverse rock!

Graham Coxon

The venue had long been full to capacity, turning away latecomers because next on stage was the true British guitar legend, ex-Blur guitarist and accomplished solo artist, Graham Coxon. Meekly shuffling onstage it was apparent he wasn’t here to mess around as he and his ample sized band quickly hooked up their huge effects pedal boards to their Marshall’s and begun to ring out crunching power chords galore to the delight of the fans.

Sporting his trademark stripy Tee and Glasses, Coxon & Co got quickly into their stride playing brilliant upbeat rock numbers from Love Travels at Illegal Speeds including Don’t Let Your Man Know, Standing On My Own Again & I Can’t Look At Your Skin each teeming with energy and pulse racing urgency. The business of getting the crowd onside was complete, thus the set spiraled into a swarm of new material, many of them debut’s including City Hall, The Truth & a cracking little punchy  number Running For Your Life. These new tunes were catchy and enjoyable pop-centric rockers, showing promise for his upcoming album.

He was joined on stage by Shingai of The Noisettes in a striking (and short) red dress, providing vocals for another new tune Billy Says. As Graham himself put it in the Q&A, “I get a lot of stick for my singing…It’s nice to hear my songs sung by a girl, gives it a different feel”. We agree. This bluesy number was ace and vocals were soulful and bright, adding a totally new slant to Coxon’s usual monotone fare. A few more newbie’s later the set was wound up with the euphoric rocker Freakin’ Out to end with a bang. This was a great intimate gig packed with classics and new tracks alike. A very rare opportunity to catch a legend doing what he does best!

Coxon and Shingai

We hightailed it to The Black Cap for our final band of this years Crawl, Johnny Foreigner. Opening with an A Cappella verse from the front pairing of this lively trio, they soon clattered their guitars and spliced riffs with rhythms forming a jubilant racket of insistent indie rock. Again new material took the forefront, but these tunes were like all JF tunes…exciting and exhilarating. The pairing of boy girl vocals is always at the heart of their shows and this was no exception. Highlights came in the shape What Drummer Get (from their latest EP sold as a Frisbee!!), Eyes Wide Terrified & the irrepressible Salt Pepper & Spinderella. Their onstage presence and artistic backdrop (courtesy of a mac, a projector and a white bed sheet) were great, as their bantered with the crowd and produced a livewire performance of the highest quality.

Johnny Foreigner

This year’s Crawl far outstripped last years in terms of quality acts, performances and thankfully…weather. Let’s hope they can maintain the trend for next year!

Tracks of 2010


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 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 October Round-up


October was a bumper month for cracking new releases. Here are some of our favourites we’ve heard over the last 30 days in a handy spotify playlist!

Listen now >>> – Oct 10 Mix

1) Foxy Shazam – Count Me Out … A crazy mix of Glam, Pop wrapped in alt rock . Creative, original and damn catchy!
2) Miyavi – What’s My Name? … This J-Rock hero gone solo seriously guy knows how to play guitar!
3) Ginger – Yeah Yeah YeahWildhearts driving force displays just why he is such a precious pop maestro
4) The Pineapple Thief – Nothing At Best … Mega catchy & utterly creative Prog Rock number
5) The Phantom Band – A Glamour … Indie swooning gives way to a beautiful thudding riff
6) The Jim Jones Revue – Elemental … Imagine Jerry Lee Lewis plugged into a Marshall stack, playing during a drunken bar room brawl…genius!
7) Kings Of Leon – Pony Up … One of few high points from lacklustre latest album.
8) Superchunk – Crossed Wires … Testing the punk element in their Pop-Punk formula
9) Calories – Habitations … Jangly, scratchy guitars and indieness in abundance on this rocky number
10) Kassidy – Take Another Ride … Three country tinged acoustics make sweet pop music
11) Dinosaur Pile-Up – Birds & Planes … Outstanding opening to their latest album
12) Tame Impala – The Bold Arrow Of Time … Psychedelia with fuzzed up riffing and general dreamy meanderings
13) Bad Religion – Only Rain … Back to basics high ocatane punk is back in the hands of the genre’s masters
14) Murderdolls – Summertime Suicide … Big chords and choruses dripping with the sleaze rock vibes
15) Volbeat – Heaven Nor Hell … Scandinavians produce amazing album full of anthemic hard rock!
16) Bring Me The Horizon – It Never Ends … UK kids wrestle with many metal genres and come out on top
17) Tweak Bird – Sky Ride … Fuzzy, Bluesy, Noisy, Epic, Heavy, etc…
18) Joe Satriani – Light Years Away … God of guitar returns with his best studio album in years, a more chilled affair!
19) Jimmy Eat World – My Best Theory … Godfathers of emo return with another solid single
20) Anberlin – Impossible … Pop Punk Anthem of the month is a cut above the usual genre fodder

Spotify Playlist – Oct 10 Mix

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