It’s been an interesting year for rock music. Lots of excellent new music in the Indie and Alternative universe, but Active Rock seemed to be taken over by non-melodic screaming music which to me just isn’t music to my ears. So, as you will soon discover, this year’s list definitely leans to the Alternative side.
25. Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight: Brittany Howard’s vocals are kind of amazing, and the song is a passionate burner.
24. Coleman Hell – 2 Heads: A banjo-infused love song like you’ve never heard before, with slick vocals from Coleman.
23. Short Skirts – All Sliced Up: 2:15 seconds of breakneck, feel good rock ‘n roll bliss. It’s Iggy Pop meets Dick Dale.
22. Hy Brasil – Misanthropic: Combine a harp with tender guitars and you get this distinctive song with passionate lyrics.
21. Dave Hanson – Blind Faith: A catchy, smooth toe-tapping track from the talented ex-guitarist of The Dunwells
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20. The Offspring – Coming For You: A bit of a poppier feel, but it still feels like The Offspring, which is nice…
19. Vienna Ditto – Hammer and A Nail: Intoxicating quirky offering from this UK duo, that stuck in my head for weeks
18. Young Guns – Daylight: The UK rockers deliver a sweeping anthemic rocker with a distinctively positive vibe.
17. Asking Alexandria – I Won’t Give In: This debut for new singer Denis Shaforostov finds the metal rockers showing a more melodic side.
16. Dead Deads – Lemonade: An aural freakshow, smothered in catchy hooks that would make Marilyn Manson proud.
15. Elle King – Ex’s and Oh’s: This catchy song has a haunting, swampy, lo-fi feel coupled with creative lyrics – oh and it’s a great song title!
14. Rah Rah – Be Your Man: Sweet boy/girl harmonies from Canada, on a song that is intoxicatingly stylistic.
13. Black Veil Brides – Goodbye Agony: A catchy, slow rocker from these masters of Pop-Metalcore.
12. X Ambassadors – Renegades: This song is heard everywhere these days, and the fantastic vocals and creative music is still fresh as hell.
11. Marilyn Manson – Deep Six: Hard-edged, dance-driven glam rock at its best – and it comes with a fun video!
10. Mabel – Rachel: A raucous drum-driven rocker with an infectious chorus from a talented new Aussie band.
9. Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire: They’re back! And, this urgent rocker is such a welcome new offering.
8. Twenty One Pilots – Tear In My Heart: A multi-layered meandering treat that spotlights how much this band has grown.
7. Twenty One Pilots – Stressed Out: Another incredibly diverse song, and this one has poignant lyrics about their quick rise to fame.
6. Pop Evil – Footsteps: Michigan metal rockers are back showing off their pop tendencies in this addictive rocker.
5. Red Sun Rising – The Otherside: A huge stadium ready anthem that became their well-deserved first #1 single.
4. Chris Cornell – Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart: The former Soundgarden frontman dishing out a cool outlaw country vibe…
3. Struts – Could Have Been Me: Furious drums and slick guitar riffs, but vocalist Luke Spiller steals the show with his Freddie-esque vocals.
2. Houndmouth – Sedona: An Indie Rock masterpiece. This addictive song about Sedona, Arizona is an irresistible folksy rocker.
1. Nathaniel Rateliff – S.O.B.: The gritty vocals are killer, but the entire song is just a rare soulful masterpiece.
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