A Dozen Fantastic Rock Songs
Adelitas Way does it again with this catchy single off their recently released album Stuck. "Dog on a Leash" uses a Southern rock-reminiscent guitar sound that meshes perfectly with lead singer Rick DeJesus' smoky voice.
Not only does this song feature '70s throwback instrumentals, it also boasts phenomenal lyrics that tell the story of a religious figure who preaches lies to his congregation, only to face his downfall when he is outed for his sanctimonious words.
A phenomenal opening scream of "FIIIIRRRRREEEEEEE!" leads the way into some of AFFIANCE's most admirable work as a band yet. More cohesive than ever before, the skills of each member have been put to use in raising each other up to a whole new level of musical performance. Enjoy Tvrdik's operatic vocals as they soar over envy-worthy metalcore drumming and interwoven guitar lines in this amazing new addition to AFFIANCE's repertoire.
The Funeral Portrait has been my newest small-band discovery, and I am 100% convinced that they will be famous someday. "Casanova (C'est La Vie)" is the opening song off their debut EP For the Dearly Departed, and a music-writing masterpiece. Style changes, unique vocals, and fantastic musicianship ranks this band as one of the best of its genre.
This song opens up with a melodic and catchy guitar riff that--once I hear it--it stays in my head for days afterward. When it comes to musical ability and all-around talent, Blackmore stands at the top of the list. The band is indeed young, but their musicianship argues otherwise.
Of La Dispute's songs, I wouldn't argue that this is the best. However, this love song captures the eye and ear with its romantic lyrics: a man is watching his lover at her everyday activities, and realizes how every little thing she does affects him, all the "tiny dots on an endless timeline." He says, "The smallest sounds leave the clearest echoes," talking about "all the motions of ordinary love." As my father puts it, this song is very accessible for people who generally can't handle Dreyer's voice.
*Written by Dan Adler*
In the same way that Jordan Dreyer can deliver a deeply felt song about human emotions and love, Tim McIlrath can describe the pains of our political world like no one since the '60s. "People Live Here" is The Black Market's ballad masterpiece. McIlrath describes so clearly how confusing and senseless the world's great battles over religion seem to be, pleading with God, if he is watching, hey, "people live here!" I also appreciate how he deals with the senselessness of gun violence by talking about the Newtown shootings and also addressing the hardening of our political and religious discourse in our own country: "are your hands so clean?" Every new Rise Against album is so much more than a collection of songs. This song, however, is the most powerful on the album.
I know this song is a little outside of what I normally write about, but the lyrics and musicality win it a place on any great songs list, no matter what the genre. Martinez discusses the struggles of a not-so-perfect family by comparing it to a dollhouse. She says, "Plastic. Go back to being plastic," saying that when other people return, the family goes back to its fake, picture-perfect facade, when in reality, the father is cheating, the mother is a heavy drinker, and the son is a stoner. Just like dolls in a dollhouse, who are rumored to get up and walk around when nobody is looking, the family falls apart when there's nobody around to see.
Isolate and Medicate, Seether's new release, is by far their best album ever, and the entire album is about drugs: falling off the wagon, rehab, etc. "Words as Weapons" is the most distinct and creative song Seether has ever written, and my favorite of the album. Starting out with a sort of spoken-word chant, "All I really want is something beautiful to say," the song slides into minor chords played on violins before everything stops and it is just the vocalist's clear voice singing. A gorgeous song, and one that gets stuck in your head, "Words as Weapons" is absolutely fantastic.
Nothing More released their self-titled album early this year, and turned the entire rock 'n' roll world on its head. By far the best album released this year, and arguably the best since Endgame by Rise Against, Nothing More by Nothing More is a musical masterpiece. "This is the Time (Ballast)" has been ranking number one on SiriusXM Octane Radio for weeks, and has stunned everyone with its lyrical, emotional, and instrumental genius. Energy fills every angsty note lead singer Johnny Hawkins sings, and the air is buzzing with electricity every time this song is played.
Yes, yes, I know. Another Nothing More song. But seriously, this band is fricking genius! "Jenny" explores a very popular subject among bands: drugs. However, Hawkins takes a very personal approach by singing about his sister who struggled with addiction for years, never realizing that her whole family was waiting for her to just reach out and ask for help. Hawkins sings, "See your mother here? [It's] her last painful year. I wish you only knew she stuck around for you." The song shakes the listener emotionally, and every time I listen to it, I end up in tears.
Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.
Dan Adler was raised in Southern California to a mom and dad, one of whom appreciated Creedence and left wing anti-war politics. By the teenage years, Dan became obsessed with Black Sabbath, listening to the same seven albums repeatedly for 5 years. During this time, his favorite concert experience was seeing Metallica open for a bunch of bands that no longer exist and winning the 1st ever Santa Cruz Air Guitar contest. After several years in Africa listening and dancing to Chimurenga music, Dan returned to have the two best children in the world, one of whom spends a lot of time at concerts with him. What a lucky dad!