Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where Is The Good Rock Music in 2012?


I'd like to know where the great rock music of today is. When I grew up we had several classic rock bands in their prime. Late 70's there was Led Zeppelin, Boston, Cheap Trick, Heart, AC/DC... During the 80's there was Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Journey, Foreigner, AC/DC again, REO Speedwagon and at least 20 other great bands. That's why when I buy music now, it's mostly older music. I'm not be the only one either as Def Leppard and other classic 80's bands are still selling out arenas while most current artists play to half empty arenas.

This list will be updated at least a couple more times, here are 20 other great bands. Now all of these may not be "great" rock bands, but they all knew how to rock.

1) Poison
2) Whitesnake
3) Warrant
4) Hell I'll even include Tesla
5) U2
6) R.E.M.
7) Elton John

Then in the late 80's/ early 90's the hair metal scene exploded. Also Guns N' Roses exploded at the end of the 80's. Then Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots came in and swept out the hair metal bands. Grunge had a nice few years before fading quickly. All was good because all of it was great rock music. During the mid 90's hip hop started taking over to the detriment of music, then there was the rock/ hip hop hybrids like Limp Bizkit. But there were a few rock bands that still got through. There was still Nine Inch Nails and Living Color kicking butt. Also Sublime and Incubus had a few good moments.

Then came the early 2000's and that was the beginning of Creed and Nickelback. I know that many people don't like Creed but they had a few good songs. So did Nickelback for that matter. However with the dearth of great rock music they rose to be one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Are they so mediocre because they have almost no competition and aren't forced to raise their game? In the 80's Nickelback would have been the opening band on a 3 band concert. They would have been the band you purposely miss.

In the mid 2000's we had Hinder, Buckcherry, Three Days Grace and many other at least good rock bands. But over the last few years hip hop has remained a dominant force. Also listening to the radio lately there's a lot of over produced pop songs that's dominating the scene now. Honestly a lot of that is crap and was done a lot better in the 80's. I like Lady Gaga and her originality, but Ke$ha and her ilk are just Lady Gaga lite.

Now in 2012 what do we have? Who are the two biggest rock bands right now? Probably Nickelback and Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is now saying that rock will never die and that this time reminds him of the early 90's. You know right before his other band exploded. Thanks Dave, now can you and the rest of the Fighters slink away into the corner.

This is Billboard's latest Top 10 rock albums. Warning there will be a lot of sarcasm in the following.

1) Florence + The Machine: There is nothing wrong with them, but they aren't a rock band.

2) The Black Keys. With them being the rock band currently going they are filling up the vacuum that used to be rock music. Almost literally at this point they have no competition.

3) Coldplay, Please! If this is rock music, that would explain why it's dying.

4) Nickelback, oh hell kill me now.

5) Foster The People, not a rock band and they definitely don't have a rock band name.

6) Mumford & Sons, I saw them down the street moving my neighbors.

7) Daughtry, OK Black Keys you aren't the only relevant rock band right now.

8) "Twilight" soundtrack are you kidding.

9) Evanescence. Yes, they are a rock band. But after their electric debut, they haven't seem to have anything amazing. It's also hard to build a following when you only release a mediocre CD every five years.

10) Korn: Again this band even being on this list shows the dearth of good rock bands right now.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are trying to remain relevant, as my brother said they should have retired after "Blood Sugar Sex Magik".

Right now I would say that the best rock band is The Black Keys. I also like Daughtry and am glad that Paramore is about to release a new CD. These are three bands that show even amidst all the crap, real rock music can still climb out of the gutter. Thankfully there are a few bands out there that still rock. But when I was growing up there were 30 bands at any one time. Some may question how good all the bands were, but many of them were better than the mediocre baseline established by Nickelback now.

I've been checking out current rock music on Spotify today. Sixx A.M., since Nikki Sixx was Motley Crue's main songwriter, I had hope they would be good. Sad to say, very average. Egypt Central, a band I'd never heard of, isn't very good. Five Finger Death Punch, more blunt more trauma than rock music. Although I only listened to a couple of songs of each I did like most of what I heard from Maine and Redlight King.

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