This is list #5, take TWO! That means there are only two lists remaining: The Hard Rock Top 30 and the Metal Top 30!
This one is the Modern Rock/Punk Top 20. This is essentially all the types of bands that you would hear on Modern Rock radio stations, only with bands that most stations wouldn’t have the balls to play. (Aside from the normal pop punk stuff here)
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20) Green Day – Revolution Radio
19) Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
18) Bayside – Vacancy
17) Nonpoint – The Poison Red
16) P.J. Farley – Boutique Sound Frames
The bassist of Trixter and RA clocks in here with his first solo record that’s more in the vein of RA than Trixter. It’s a solid set of tunes that proves that he is fully capable of handling the vocal side of things.
15) Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
14) Candlebox – Disappearing in Airports
13) JoanovARC – Ride
I discovered this all female English quartet a few years back upon the release of the single, “Say Sayonara.” This is their full length debut and it’s a rocker from start to finish. It’s a set of songs that Joan Jett, Halestorm, and Girlschool fans will love!
12) Bowling For Soup – Drunk Dynasty
Anyone that knows what this band does knows exactly what to expect here. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel nor do they need to. It’s them writing super catchy, fun songs that just drip with sarcasm and venom. “Don’t Be a Dick” and “Shit To Do” are perfect examples.
11) Thadeus Gonzalez – Thadeus Gonzalez
These Oakland based rockers return with their sophomore record and it’s a rocker from beginning to end. Playing the same kind of big, bombastic style as the Foo Fighters only with a great punk edge added for good measure.
10) From Ashes To New – Day One
This is the band that Linkin Park WISHES they could be. Coupling a great electronic edge with super smart rapping, the bands creates a sound that sets them apart in a genre that often is stale at best.
9) Sonic Syndicate – Confessions
I don’t think any band made quite the same impact in the music world this year as Sonic Syndicate did with their total change in direction in musical style. I was skeptical at first if it would work but after hearing the finished product, I was blown away just how much it DID work. Imagine if Depeche Mode woke up one day and decided to record a metal CD and you’ll be in the general ballpark for this one.
8) Another Lost Year – Alien Architect
7) Blink 182 – California
I’ve never been a fan of this band so when I heard they had a new CD coming, I wasn’t exactly blown away. When I heard that Matt Skiba had taken over as vocalist and guitarist, I was intrigued. The finished CD is the best that this band has ever done and really rocks! Here’s to hoping that Matt sticks around to create lots more music with Travis and Mark.
6) Lethal Injektion – Sex Money Power
In a genre where bands are often not that great, Lethal Injektion are like an electric shock to the brain. Combining ripping guitars, thunderous grooves, and the razor sharp rapping of The Raskel, they create a sound that is just made for bass systems everywhere.
5) Darke Complex – Point Oblivion
This one came in as a submission and immediately struck a nerve with their crazy mix of electronic rave style beats, thrashing guitars, and Slipknot style vocals. These guys have created a unique style for themselves to work with and it’s only their debut. I expect to hear tons from them in the near future.
4) SIXX AM – Prayers For The Damned, Vol 1
As the first of two CD’s that the band released this year, this was one monster sounding record with heavy grooves, superb vocals, and guitar playing by DJ Ashba that is just ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve heard DJ play with such fire since the first Beautiful Creatures release.
3) Blue October – Home
Having watched the singer, Justin Furstenfeld, transform his life over the past few year, it was great seeing the band come in with a record that was downright happy compared to their normal fare. It’s been amazing watching Justin go from such a dark place to where he is now. Here’s to hoping we get lots more of this from them!
2) SIXX AM – Prayers For The Blessed, Vol 2
After hearing the first part of this collection, I was convinced that Nikki and crew would have an impossible task of following it up. I can say with all honesty though that this makes the first almost tame in comparison. Guitarist DJ Ashba plays like his ass is on fire here and his guitar tone is absolutely ferocious sounding. The production is once again monstrous and the overall record is just huge sounding.
And now, I give you THE NUMBER ONE MODERN ROCK CD of 2016:
1) Small Town Titans – Reflection
No record got MORE playing time this year than this one did. I knew the moment I heard it the first time that it likely was going to be my number one CD of the year for this category. This is one of those CD’s that only comes along every few years. From in your face rockers like “Rowdy and Reckless” to ballads like “Doorbell”, this CD doesn’t have a bad note on it. It all closes out with the almost 8 minute rocker, “Devil’s Choir” that really reminds one of Tool.
I had the pleasure of interviewing guitarist Ben Guiles earlier this year and we chatted all about this CD and where the songs came from. Small Town Titans is a three piece band also featuring vocalist Phil Freeman and drummer Johnny Ross. Phil is also a well known vocal coach so if any of you wanna be singers out there want to learn how to do it correctly, contact him, I’m sure he’d love the challenge!