Five Cool Ones: Five (More) Reasons Why Rock Is Not Dead

Internal side. It is isolated on a black background.

Rock music is back and better than ever. look no further than the Mongolian Rock band The Hu or the fact that Wishbone Ash released a new album in 2020. We are in crazy times folks, and there is no time like the present to treat our ears to Rock and Roll the way it is supposed to be played, loud and proud. Here are five new Rock and Roll bands that are making the scene.

Gorilla Riot – Peach

Besides sporting a name that is one of the more kick-ass monikers in Rock and Roll, these guys are the real deal. If you consider a five-piece Dirty Blue Rock band from Manchester with a three-prong guitar attack to be the real deal that is. And, we certainly do. Part Grunge, part MC-5, turn the volume up on these guys and feel the noise.

The Claws – No Connection

These boys represent the best of the L.A. Rock Throw-back scene. The Stonesy riffs are front and center as is the subtle yet in-your-face Nicky  Hopkins piano. Just sit back and savor “Little Glimmer,” the opening track from their 2020 release No Connection and you will feel the vibe of a top album of 2020 album in the making.

Slander Tongue – Slander Tounge

The New York Dolls by way of the Stooges. These boys from Berlin spew out a massive sprawl of early ’70s Flintstone Rock with the late ’70s skinny-tie Pogo-Rock. Whatever happened before or since it doesn’t really matter.

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic

If there is such a thing, The Night Flight Orchestra is an immensely approachable  Progressive Rock and Roll band. Their orchestral arrangements put those early ELO records to shame, and this band continues to push the boundaries of Classic Rock.

Buffalo Summer – Isolation Blue

Pound for pound, Isolation Blue, The new record from Buffalo Summer is one of the most anticipated records of the year. For us, anyway. Some sort of freak hybrid of Bad Company, Free and Thin Lizzy, this one has our hair on fire.






Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (Mar 13, 2020)

This week we come to realize that everything is simply a placeholder while we wait for the new Jason Isbell record to be released in May. Here are five choice cuts that our ears are warming up to this week.

Rookie – Rookie

From the first couple of guitar chords that jump from the speakers on “Hold On Tight” the lead-off track from the band Rookie’s self-titled debut record, you can tell that you are in for a Rock and Roll swagger sort of listen. Part Slade infested Glam, Part Greg Kihn Band with a side order of The Replacements thrown into the milkshake, this Bloodshot Records release is spectacularly delicious.

Sam Doores – Sam Doores

With a moody atmospheric vibe that could very well be the soundtrack of some hipster New Orleans dirge after-hours party, Sam Doores uses strings, vintage organs, marimbas, vibraphones, and even an autoharp to create a moody, psychedelic vibe. This eclectic record also includes a stellar guest turn from Alynda Segarra from Hurray for the Riff Raff.

Early James – Singing For My Supper

It almost seems that we are contractually required to like any record that comes from Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound record company, but we have no problem with that. From Yola, Dee Smith, on to Kendell Marvel and beyond everything that they touch seems to turn into ear-pleasing gold. And the new one from Early James, Singing For My Supper, is certainly no exception. From the opener, “Blue Pill Blues” we are treated to a semi-lengthy instrumental solo before the song turns into some sort of 70’s inspired warp zone that floats somewhere between Jefferson Airplane and Jethro Tull. As it turns out, the opener simply opens the door to the time travel portal that is fully realized with “Gone as the Ghost” and beyond.

The Mahones – Unplugged

From the had us at hello moment when we discovered that a Canadian Celtic Punk band actually existed to our first listen of their latest record, Unplugged, we are pushing all of our chips to the center of the table and are going all-in on these guys. An overnight success 30 years in the making, they were formed on St. Patricks Day (of course) in 1990 and haven’t missed a beat yet. Comparisons to the Waterboys would be an obvious touchpoint here but on songs like “The Night Train To Paris,” “Cocktail Blue,” and “Will Ya Marry Me” the Americana paintbrush that makes them different is fully realized. “Stars,” a song that features Simon Townshend, sounds like a Drive-By Truckers song, and the band’s cover of the Johnny Cash cover “Hurt” is worth the price of admission alone.

Grouplove – Healer

If there ever was a band specifically made for an outdoor festival, that band would be Grouplove. Their 90’s influenced sound is as hook-laden as an episode of Dangerous Catch and every song seems to be more arena hand waving ready than the last. The Dance Anthem “Deleter” may be the first single out of the box, but it is on the more delicately subdued tunes like “Places” where the band really shines.