Rock and Roll is alive and most definitely alive and well heading into 2022. Here are five bands that your ears should wrap themselves around heading into the new year.
Kim Melville – Mr. My Man
Throwing herself fully into the ring after delivering choice covers of Larkin Poe and Led Zeppelin tunes, Paris-based chanteuse Kim Melville will be transforming herself from an under-the-radar artist to center stage in no time.
Dust Coda – Limbo Man
These Londoners deliver the swagger of The Struts and the riffage of Greta Van Fleet on a bed of ’80s sunset strip glam. Crank this one while driving.
Chris Catalyst – King Of Everything
If Pop-Rock is an actual genre, “King Of Everything” from the Eureka Machines frontman Chris Catalyst would be among the best of the lot. Festival ready call and response chorus, jangle pop guitar splendor, this Cheap Trick inspired cut has it all.
Sheepdogs – No Simple Thing
If you long for the days of Three Dog Night, Dr. Hook, and Fanny, to get your ’70s mojo going, jump on the Sheepdogs bandwagon post-haste.
Sweet Crisis – Ain’t Got Soul
Straight out of Cambridge, this epic starts out as a bond theme and quickly morphs into some sort of slinky Led Zeppelin by way of The Cult anthem that would make Rival Sons blush.
The Darkness – Motorheart
A perfect fit for one of those early Queen records, Justin Hawkins and The Darkness has his band kicking it on all cylinders. This one is like going to see Rush opening up for Queen at the Cow Palace back in the day.
There is a lot to love on the musical landscape this week with highly excellent new music from the T-Rex Mojo of the band GospelbeacH and their song “Albatross Baby”
The mellow Steely Dan inspired smoothness from Moon City Masters and their song “Where You Wanna Run To.”
And, Rock is the New Roll favorite rockers Starcrawlers treat the ears with a live song direct from The Roxy in L.A. with “You Dig Yours”
Along with all of the above goodness here are five albums we are digging this week.
The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs – One More Drink
Non-apologetic no holds barred Rock and Roll for the masses. Their first album in over 20 years after reuniting in 2014, this record is a cocktail of Power Pop, New Wave, Punk, and Heavy Metal served on the rocks with a dose of Cheap Trick thrown in for good measure, most notably on the title song that is a tribute to Dramarama’s “Last Cigarette.”
“We Are The Ones (We’ve Been Waiting For)” is as good as a Rock and Roll anthem can get. And, “Rumblin’ Down” is an off the rails don’t drive 55 scorcher.
Dr. Lonnie Smith – Breathe
With sublime vocal assistance from Iggy Pop on the Santana inspired opener “Why Can’t We Live Together” as well as an over the top-notch cover of “Sunshine Superman,” the king of the Hammond B-3 grooves his way through a set of tunes that would fit in quite nicely at Austin Powers’ bachelor party. Released on the Blue Note record label, Here, Smith has recaptured the energy of his early recordings in the capable hands of producer and Blue Note major-domo Don Was. The breezy “Bright Eyes” was recorded live at The Jazz Standard in New York City and with the snappy “Epistrophy” the organ maestro pays tribute to Thelonius Monk.
The Dust Coda – Mojo Skyline
This one might just be the Classic Rock-influenced album of the year, and it’s only March. Channeling Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, and Humble Pie in almost equal measures, “Dream Alright” has a down-home Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe, “Bourbon Pouring” could have easily been a Faces song, and the closer, “It’s A Jam” would have fit perfectly on any of the early Nazareth albums.
From the opening lick to the last riff if you are a fan of Rock in general and ’70s Rock in particular, Mojo Skyline is most definitely your jam and will be for the rest of the year.
Badfinger – No Matter What (Revisiting The Hits)
Having released the excellent album Be True To Yourself in 2020, Joey Molland, the last living member of Badfinger, is back with an immensely entertaining set of Badfinger songs. Calling in favors from his famous friends, every song sparkles, and even the deeper cuts such as “Love Is Gonna Come at Last” are brought to brilliant life courtesy of the side-men involved, Rick Springfield case in point on this one. Highlights are many, most notably Todd Rundgren’s turn on “Without You” a song that could have been written by the angels for Todd to sing, along with Matthew Sweet, of course, on the Power Pop masterpiece “Baby Blue.” Rick Wakeman lends some piano chords to “Come & Get It” and legendary slide-man Sonny Landreth completely owns “Suitcase.”
Do your ears a solid and check this record out. Then, go back and go back and listen to the original library from a band that may just be one of the most underrated of all time.
Brigitte DeMeyer – Seeker
Not new to the scene having relocated from Nashville to California after a series of personal travails, Brigitte DeMeer seems to have reinvented herself with her latest record, Seeker. With a vibe that brings to the ear, Rikki Lee Jones and Sheryl Crow, the songs are mostly low-key in all the best of ways with standouts “Wishbone” and the slow burn of “Louisiana” as must-hears. the over-arching thing of keeping the soul moving forward and overcoming obstacles is prevalent throughout most notably on the title track along “Roots and Wings and Bones,” a song that celebrates having the courage to make healthy changes in your life.
And yes, they certainly do. If Joan Jett fronted Guns ‘N’ Roses the resulting take no prisoners band would sound more than a little like this.
The Dust Coda – Rock N Roll
One of the hippest Rock and Roll bands we have run across in an awfully long time, these London blokes are certainly carrying the torch for the next wave of rock and rollers. Led Zeppelin with a touch of AC/DC is the order of the day.
The Texas Flood – Gambling Man
More Molly Hatchett than Stevie Ray Vaughan, this Dallas based band started out as an SRV tribute band and evolved themselves into a stomping blues-rock band in their own right.
Dangereens – Streets of Doom
If you’re into an all-boozing, party till you drop, rock and roll band like you used to dig back in the day, then Dangereens is your jam. These Canadian punkers are high octane with enough sleaze and debauchery to make Motley Crue blush. If the Stones and New York Dolls somehow mind-melded, the result would be Dangereens.
The Speedways – This Ain’t A Radio Sound
With a self-glossed sound of Ronettes Punk blending elements of Tom Petty, Phil Spector, and Exploding Hearts these Power Pop kings are your next perfect party band.