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Best Rock Music Blog

It is almost impossible to imagine Western society without the influence of rock n roll; the artists that became renowned as (rock)gods, the aesthetic, the culture that so many live and breathe, and of course, the music that became the soundtrack to our lives. Many of the greatest artists of all time are of some rock inclination; whether that be Buddy Holly, Nirvana, or The Rolling Stones – the charts simply wouldn’t be the same without the unpredictable and volatile genre.

Rock started to emerge in the 1940s through the masterful rhythm of Chuck Berry and his contemporaries. Twenty years later, The Rolling Stones became the true face of rock n roll as they advocated for sex-positive youthful rebellion; this controversy became synonymous with rock which took the genre to brand-new cultural heights. By the 70s, artists started to push rock music into heavier, darker territories. At the same time, hard rock and metal were behind conceived; Pink Floyd gave rock trippier, more progressive tendencies with their seminal album, Dark Side of the Moon. Another major move in alternative music happened in the 70s as punk artists, such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols extrapolated rock elements and fused them into their punk sound.

The 80s was the era for sleaze rock, indie rock and college rock bands, while the 90s delivered the grunge movement with Nirvana, Hole, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam chomping at the aggressive discordant bit. Mainstream rock artists from across the globe became part and parcel of the music industry at the start of the 90s, but with the death of Kurt Cobain, the popularity of alternative music took a nosedive – despite the best efforts of Limp Bizkit, Staind, Puddle of Mudd and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

In any definitive guide of the best rock bands of all time, the rock artists that made their debut in the 21st-century are few and far between. But regardless of how much you want to pull the plug on the life support of rock, it isn’t quite dead – yet. For irrefutable proof, you only need to consider Black Midi, Yungblud, Greta Van Fleet, Highly Suspect, The Snuts, and Dirty Honey, who are all bringing in the new wave of classic rock – in their own way.

Contemporary rock may not sound like it used to, but that is one way in which rock has remained consistent over the past eight decades – it never has sounded like it used to. Each new generation of artists has found room for expressive and experimental manoeuvre.

Prisoner harnessed thunder in their hard rock hit, Skies Are Blackened

Prisoner

Prisoner brought the hard-rock hammer down once again with their latest single, Skies Are Blackened. Prepare for the colossal impact of their hell-hath-no-mercy riffs, tumultuously tight breakdowns, and lightning bolts of dynamic vocal energy that pull you right into the centre of the frenetic furore Prisoner is quickly becoming infamous for.

There are high-energy rock bands, and there are powerhouses who go sonically supernova. With Skies Are Blackened, the Canadian three-piece firmly planted themselves in the latter camp, which any fans of Metallica, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Iron Maiden will want to join them in.

Vocalist Murray Emery’s ability to keep the power surging through his mirthfully electrifying vocal lines in the higher register and the instrumentals being tighter than Mick Jagger’s jeans is enough to seal the trio a place in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. They’re not an outfit to underestimate. Watch this space as they tear it up with hedonically high-voltage hits.

Skies Are Blackened will be available to stream on all major platforms, including Apple Music, from June 19.

Discover more about the Prisoner via their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Stitcher Unchained a Relentless Sonic Onslaught with ‘Distant Mirage’

Stitcher opened a mystical portal to the unfiltered soul of rock n roll with their sophomore single, Distant Mirage, which rhythmically taps into Eastern esoterism to add an arcane Arabian aura to the speaker-ravaging hit lures you in with a dusky overture before the hellbent-for-distortion guitars bolster the track beneath Annabelle Piper’s siren-esque soaring-with-soul vox.

Her ferociously infallible vocal lines that burn red-hot throughout the release are enough to lead you to believe that the spirit of Medusa resides in her vocal cords. The monolithic middle eight allows you to tear away from her spell, but you won’t meet any mercy here, the alchemic brutality of the guitar solo hits hard enough to leave bruises. If you thought you knew the meaning of frenetic before listening to Distant Mirage, you’ll think again once your senses begin to function after the exhilarating rampage.

Distant Mirage first played on June 6th; stream the single on Spotify and follow Stitcher’s debauched rock n roll journey on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gothenburg’s Feral Mind Gave Rock Fans Nowhere to Hide From Their Eponymous Debut LP

If you’ve ever wondered what the Misfits might sound like if they swapped their horror punk theatrics for mature, unfiltered rock ‘n’ roll, look no further than Feral Mind’s seminal release, State of Mind. The standout single from their eponymous debut album has been igniting the global rock scene with its raw power and hints of psychobilly, reminiscent of the Koffin Kats and The Coffin Caddies.

Founded in Gothenburg in 2023, Feral Mind comprises seasoned rockers who have honed their craft both in the studio and on live stages; their uniquely whiskey-soaked sound is grounded in rock ‘n’ roll grooves, with influences spanning from 70s hard rock to funk and prog. Yet, unlike your run-of-the-mill assimilators, Feral Mind is delivering the future of rock, surpassing the banality of pastiche while inviting you into the psyche of one of the most promising acts creeping their way up from the European underground

State of Mind is a powerhouse of rolling rhythms, technical riffs, and seductively rugged croons, which prove that Feral Mind knows exactly how to bring the rough with the smooth.

We can’t wait to hear what follows this flawless LP.

Stream the debut LP on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Todd Hearon echoed arcane serenity through his folk-pop-meets-alt-country-reverie, Looking Glass

The warmth of 70s folk-pop radiates through the arcane aura of Todd Hearon’s latest alt-country serenade, Looking Glass, taken from his eagerly-anticipated forthcoming album, IMPOSSIBLE MAN. The rendered with holistic resolve release almost seems out of place in the modern era of music; rarely do new singles so organically pure in their sense-awakening and placating catharsis surface, making Hearon a diamond in the digitised rough.

Very few artists can match the rugged-with-emotion soul-exhilarating appeal of Cat Stevens, but the way the melodies in Looking Glass ascend until they touch nirvana gave the Texas-born, North Carolina-raised and New Hampshire-based singer-songwriter almost exclusive access to that affectingly sincere pantheon.

The lush-with-reverie production, with trippy psychedelic aesthetics in all the right places, pairs shimmering organs with evocative piano pop rock progressions, vintage-hued guitar chords and a vocal register so euphonic you can’t help but melt into it.

With the imminence of his third LP, IMPOSSIBLE MAN, due for release in August, you won’t want to tear your attention away from Todd Hearon for too long. Get a taste of what is to come by streaming Looking Glass on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview with ARCTISKY: Exploring Love, Sound Evolution, and Musical Heritage

This week, ARCTISKY sat down with A&R Factory to discuss his latest single, “Unreal Love,” a narrative about the complexity of chemical romance and the importance of self-awareness in relationships. In this interview, ARCTISKY delves into his creative process, the instrumental choices that evoke euphoria, and the evolution of his music since his debut. He also shares insights into his journey from the Maldives to Melbourne, the influences behind his genre-fluid sound, and his ultimate artistic goals.

ARCTISKY, welcome to A&R Factory! Thanks for sitting down with us to discuss your latest single, Unreal Love. What does the single, which narrates a tale of chemical romance, mean to you personally?

Thank you for having me! ‘Unreal Love’ happens to be a confusing tale about an intense romance being ignited while two people find love in a super-charged ‘situationship’. The message is like, “Make sure you both know there could be other factors driving the whole interaction.” It’s about being aware of yourself and taking time away from other influences before wasting anyone’s time.

How did you manage to capture the euphoria of love in the instrumentals and production? 

This track is one of those tracks that stayed in the cocoon stage until I was ready skill-wise to bring it up to speed. Ever since my last release, I really took the time to come up with a sound that truly captures all of my core musical influences. With this one, I believe the live upright piano sounds did the final bit of work in bringing this song to the finish line. Initially, I had a very thin-sounding piano sound, which was fine when I was just writing other instrumentation around it, but it still didn’t give that fuller feel I was looking for. So, later on, I decided to record an upright piano with a pair of AKG c414s, with the help of a couple of my peers. That was the final ingredient to this sound I’d say.

I had written the synth parts years ago, in the early stages of the song, so those spacey-arpeggiator sounds at the back were another factor in capturing that euphoric feeling. I tried to stay true to the sounds that evoked euphoria in me as well. It’s still got that core element of rock & roll, but then those influences from other areas weave through. So this song evolved through quite a few stages to achieve the sounds I was after. I’d say it also had a lot to do with being surrounded by the right people who helped nurture my craft.

How do you want your fans to feel when they hear the single and what do you want them to take away from the lyrics? 

Well, the song is kind of like an unspoken conversation between you and that person you found some sort of crazy love with in the heat of a moment. It doesn’t have to be anyone specific either. It’s just one of those tracks that will help people come to terms with the fact that it’s better to let go by connecting to a song, rather than trying to reach out to an old flame. Never a good idea!

It’s been a while since you made your debut with Losing My Control in 2022; how has the break influenced your music? 

I think I realised I had a bit of work to do to bring my writing to something I was happy with. So, for me, it was more about going back to the sounds that felt most natural to me. That’s actually the main reason why I named this album ‘Roots Vol. 1’ – due to it paying homage to my musical heritage, being the classic rock & roll I grew up with. Unreal Love is the first track from this album and showcases this new sound I’ve been working with the best.

All the songs that will be on this album are what I call “journal songs” – they’re songs that hold more to the lyrical content, and have something listeners can take away and project onto their own experiences. It’s nothing more than a bit of art you may or may not be able to relate to. This stuff is written for the introverted side of people. I know I’ve heard those songs, where I listened to it and the music just helped me come to terms with things I had no idea was bugging me in the first place. Music does such a good job of healing people. I wanted to write some music that could help my audience shed light on some of the things they may be dealing with.

This new sound, with the foundation of rock & roll and the blend of fresh sub-genres, is what I got out of my creative break. This project just feels very fun for me! I’m not taking myself too seriously I’d say. I put a lot of trust into giving this another go, knowing I’m writing and releasing music that I loved writing and enjoy listening to.

You gained a fair amount of notoriety in the Maldives, has establishing yourself in Melbourne been a daunting experience?

I’ve been very lucky to learn and work with some extremely cool people since moving to Melbourne in 2019. I got here and realised I had neglected a lot of important theory, growing up as a drummer, so I had a lot to catch up on. I wanted to make sure I understood music to a certain level before trying to enter the live scene here. I’ve certainly had a bit of work to do to polish my craft before starting live gigs. Melbourne’s already got such a vibrant live music scene, so I want to make sure that what I’m bringing to the table here is going to be something a bit different and adds value. I needed to know that if I were to do live gigs, there were no loose ends in the songs. I want my live performances to bring a high level of energy to the venues here, and I needed time to develop my live-act. Live gigs are something I’ve really had to physically and mentally prepare myself for.

How did your genre-fluid sonic signature come about? 

I grew up with brothers who loved rock music, so it was playing around the house most of the time as a kid. I always heard a lot of Bob Dylan, Santana, Bon Jovi, Bob Marley and all that. Then I discovered Pink Floyd around the age of 18. They have the kind of music that helps you open doors in the back of your mind. Around the time I started this project, I was listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and the ‘Exodus’ record by Bob Marley & the Wailers. They inspired me to get my own messages of love, peace and freedom out with my music – to the individual and to societies. Especially ever since the wars have become a lot more frequent on the news, I wanted to get my message out with these songs. It turned out that when I was writing these “journal songs”, I always wrote music that I felt reflected love, peace and togetherness – “Lead with love and respect,” being the core message. It’s come with trying to strike that chord which resonates with our innate instinct to come together, and to work together and learn from each other.

What is your ultimate goal as an artist? 

My ultimate goal as an artist is to bring my work and artistry to a stage where I can start collaborating with more artists, and to just keep writing and recording music I’m proud of. I want to have songs that my audience can listen to and connect deeply to. I feel like a lot of what I’m hoping to get out of this ‘Roots Vol. 1’ record is to find a true audience that I can take on a new musical journey away from my current sonic blend. Music is such a subjective experience just like any art form. I feel like creating the best art you can do with your abilities and putting it out there is necessary if you have a message that’s greater than what you want to achieve sound-wise. I feel like I’ve been fiddling around with this sound for a while now, but I’m happy knowing this blend was authentic to who I was throughout the writing and recording process. My goal is to story-tell and share some of my crazy experiences with my listeners so that they too can feel and experience those moments. I feel like all my music will have that unique element of ‘me’ in it.

My message is to stay true to yourself no matter what kind of inner demons you may be battling. If you’re still in the thick of that period of your life, I hope some of these tracks I’m putting out can lend a hand.

Listen to Unreal Love now on SoundCloud; find more ways to connect with ARCTISKY via his official website.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

ARCTISKY became the Chris Isaak of his Generation with ‘Unreal Love’

ARCTISKY

ARCTISKY’s latest single, Unreal Love, is the smoothest slice of rock-fervoured seduction your rhythmic pulses have ever wrapped around.

Impassioned in the same vein as The National’s Trouble Will Find Me LP, the single, prised from the Maldives-born, Melbourne-based troubadour of slick soul’s debut album, Roots Vol. 1, is a tapestry of lush tonality, stitched with edges of indie pop, the passion of RnB, funk grooves, and rock roots which puts the singer-songwriter in the same league as Chris Isaak.

Your heartbeat will become the second most important rhythm coursing through you as soon as you immerse yourself in the authenticated hit which exhibits ARCTISKY as one of the most sincere revolutionists on the airwaves. With vocal harmonies that pour as deliciously as the mellifluous melodies that unravel as a confluence of ornate piano keys, reverb-swathed synths and soaring guitar lines over the propulsive rhythm, Unreal Love is as close to heaven as you will get on the airwaves.

Unreal Love will be available to stream on all major platforms with Roots Vol 1, including Spotify, from June 14.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dance in the spectral shadows of GETNER’s Irish folk fable of moonshine madness, Poitín

After a killer debut single, which posited GETNER as one of the most promising Mancunian rock n roll acts since Oasis, the four-piece fully embraced their Irish roots with their intoxicating tour de force of a sophomore single, Poitín.

Following an intro that allows you to imagine joining Oscar Wilde in an opium-scented den of iniquity, folk rock rancour insidiously riles up as GETNER as the vocals seductively reverberate through the devilish fable which narrates a tale of an old man in Emerald Isle’s rocky hills brewing moonshine during the prohibition era, inhaling the fumes and succumbing to the eerie spectral manifestations of his inebriated with disillusion mind.

It’s a darkly debauched slice of arcane reverie which doesn’t stop short of portraying a mind-altered protagonist. Poitín ensnares you within the metaphysical atmosphere, enabling you to slip back in time and alter your own mind with the hallucinatory vapour which GETNER efficaciously sonically visualised.

After hearing Poitín, Devil Went Down to Georgia is never going to hit the same ever again.

Poitín was officially released on May 31; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jeffrey A. Meyer became the superlative savant of soul with his reggae-rock hit, L.O.V.E., featuring G. Love & Special Sauce

By merging talents with G. Love & Special Sauce, best known for his single, Rainbow, created in collaboration with the soulful one and only, Jack Johnson, the accomplished fusionist, Jeffrey A. Meyer, orchestrated the ultimate source of sonic serotonin with his funk-spliced, pop-hooked and reggae-wrapped roots rock hit, L.O.V.E.

The vibe-heavy sun-bleached hit keeps you ensnared with every chameleonic shift as Jeffrey A. Meyer exhibits his dynamic vocal talent and delivers everything from funked-up soul to evidence of his command over rhythm in the revved-up with rapture rap verses.

The North Dakota-born, Cali-based artist’s creative ambition with L.O.V.E paid off in spades; you can’t help but catch the self-love fever and forge a spiritual connection to the euphonically rugged in all the right places single that proves you’re never outside of love if you project adulation inwards.

Between the wind in the harmonica blows, the staccato rhythms pulsing through vintage tubes and the delicious grooves, L.O.V.E is as authentic as euphoric earworms come; each instrumental vividly paints the radiance of the track’s emotional underpinnings.

With more fresh, feel-good, funky jams ready to drop through Jeffrey A. Meyer’s sophomore album in 2024, there has never been a better time to affix the orchestrator of tonal transcendence to your radar.

L.O.V.E. was officially released on May 24; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Breathing Method let their post-grunge ‘Demons’ out to play in their latest soul-tearing triumph

With a sound Sub Pop should be rushing to sign, The Breathing Method retained their position as Scotland’s premier post-grunge outfit by unleashing their latest single, ‘Demons’. If you can bear the weight of the heavy emotional artillery and not be affected, your soul may be beyond salvation.

The steady and warm-with-affection guitar chords heighten the sting of the raw vocal stretches as they plunge into the abyss of despair and cut just as deep as Pearl Jam’s ‘Black’. But don’t get it twisted, Demons is so much more than your average trip back to the 90s Seattle sound.

The scrambled mental disquietness of the overlaying voice recordings in the track’s Blue October-esque middle eight extrapolates the agony of a chaotically disorientated mind, exhibiting how our demons can make battlegrounds of our psyche after objects of idiosyncratic desire move far beyond the eye’s periphery.

The way The Breathing Method executed Demons, ensuring they match the emotive delivery of Death Cab for Cutie, is a surefire sign that they’re a band worth watching as they tear through the underground and move into the mainstream.

Demons is now available to stream on all major platforms, including Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Greg Tripure – Calling Out (Stars): An Expansively Raw Rock Release for the Era of Disconnection

Greg Tripure’s standout single, Calling Out (Stars), from his debut solo LP, Stranger in This World, lands like a meteor shower; it’s an anthemic cry into the void of despondency that sears its way into the soul. He may wear his Buckley influences on his vocal cords, but the rest of the track’s anatomy is entirely Tripure’s own viscerally wild creation.

For the past 20 years, Tripure has been the unsung hero in the indie touring scene,  but as the world slowed down in 2018 and Covid pushed pause on live music, Tripure retreated into the depths of his creative well and emerged with a cache of songs crafted for his own voice; Calling Out (Stars) is the fiery result of that introspection.

Recorded at 4:10 Studios in Corydon, IN, with the deft touch of Jordan Bailey, the single is a masterclass in balancing anthemics and intimacy. The production is thunderous enough to paralyse, yet the lead guitar work and Tripure’s raw, evocative vocals keep you grounded in the emotional reality of the track. Tripure sings like a man possessed, each note a plea, a whisper, a roar, pulling you into his orbit, inviting you to be equally as open with your emotions in painfully honest reflection.

Calling Out (Stars) is for the outliers, the dreamers, the ones lost in the vast landscape of modern life, searching for connection. If you’ve ever felt that ache, that yearning, prepare to feel whole when you press play.

Fans of City and Colour, Neil Young, and Jeff Buckley, take note: Greg Tripure has arrived, and with Calling Out (Stars), he’s making sure you’ll never forget it. 

The Stranger in This World LP is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast