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Hard Rock Heroism 2021

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 12:29 AM (PST)

With Guns N’ Roses eternal Appetite For Destruction inching towards its’ mid-thirties yesterday, it is a good time to consider the current state of hard rock genre. While the danger days of the Sunset Strip are gone or much more watered down than they used to be, the genre of hard rock as a whole was never confined to L.A. anyway. Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold pull huge crowds and still rule the roost currently and bands like Rival Sons or Royal Blood have been holding down the fort. And don’t forget the charming and dedicated Wolfie Van Halen! Who are some artists in the genre that inspire y’all currently? It is ok, Niratias – as Chevelle tell us. So it is ok if you aren’t decisive. We got you covered!

Ayron Jones has impressed me lately with a blend of soul, grunge influences and so much more. Jones can really play but also knows restraint and dynamics. Plus, I love any Seattle musician who gives props to Kim Thayil as an influence. Check out the Child Of The State release and turn your frown upside down with some great tunes. Certainly one of the coolest dudes in the game right now.

We are past the time when bands like Candlebox or Bush were in super heavy rotation but that doesn’t mean there aren’t modern rock bands getting lots of love. Some acts such as In This Moment, for example, have some stage shows that rival pop acts in scale and imagination. And Clutch continues to grow and dominate everything they take a Kraken at.

Count The Pretty Reckless out at your own peril. The band’s fourth album is basically unstoppable and a huge and vindicating moment for the Taylor Momsen led act. The Pretty Reckless became the first female-fronted band to have five number one singles when “Death by Rock and Roll” rose to the top of the Mainstream Rock Chart. I know that term is frowned upon as we all want to consider cis women (or any woman) a musician before their sex or gender identity but it still is a fucking rad accomplishment however you frame it. Much respect.

I never understood people who trash talked Momsen. She seems cool as fuck and her band rocks. They certainly are dedicated to their craft and it honestly just reeks of the basest sexism when people dismissed her out of hand. Who is laughing now, fuck faces?!! hahaha.

In April 2018, the band’s longtime-producer, Kato Khandwala, was involved in a motorcycle accident and died later due to injuries from the crash. I commend Taylor and the band for not giving up in such a bleak moment and for the fact that Taylor was able to come back from a dark time and reclaim her health. What is more rock and roll than a personal redemption?

August will see the release of Power Trio from outspoken power rocker Danko Jones, one of the most talented and fiery live performers in the world.

The long running band deserve an award at this point for being genre torch bearers and literally never sucking.  Three cheers for hard rock’s continued survival!

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Hard Rock n 2014 had great highlights (no dyed hair joke intended). From Charm City Devils making a bigger name for their brash selves to Chevelle‘s thunderous Terminal 5 show (and tightly wound single “Take Out the Gunman” ) it was a solid year. Buckcherry have also been hitting the road and maintaining a dedicated tour ethic, while Pop Evil  put out a very cool LIVE version of a “Trenches” video thanking fans for the solid support given the nearly unstoppable ascent of Onyx. Diablo Blvd had the best goth hard rocker “Follow The Deadlights” this side of The 69 Eyes and the Belgians killed it opening for Life Of Agony in New Jersey. Best of all is Black Star Riders new record The Killer Instinct, which keeps alive the Thin Lizzy legacy into 2015 and MORE than ensures/proves the genre of hard rock is still worth the fuss.

To see some shots of a few of said bands from recent live concerts shot by our photographer friend Catharina Christiana and to immerse yourself in a river of rock, see BELOW.

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Chevelle have achieved their highest ever charting album with new release La Gargola,  the hard rock band’s seventh banger. Always one of the more actually talented popular hard rock bands, the Chicago based act have taken a break from touring to let drummer Sam Loeffler have some time with his newborn son. Fans needn’t worry however, as Chevelle will return in the early summer to kick some ass at a theater near you.

I love these guys. My band antidote 8 even covered “The Red” for shits and giggles at my recent birthday show in my hometown. That was a lot of fun, so I am betting the actual band’s current tour supporting a great new record and seven records worth of big riffs to choose from will be a real gas. La Gargola has some real killers, from the soaring and amazing guitar work of the risque “Choking Game” to the adrenalized thump of “Under the Knife” or the somber and dreamy “Twinge”. Pete Loeffler retains his usual sense of hooky insistence akin to Maynard Keenan circa Undertow, though the trio have long since proved they are their own beast.

Click HERE for tour dates:

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