The best rock and metal songs of 2014 so far may prove this to be true, at least in a musical sense.
If you are anything like me, you still listen to vinyl records from the 1970s and 1980s, and have a huge selection of music from those eras on your iTunes library. Rock music dominated the industry during those decades, creating the greatest music scene the world has ever seen, and may ever seen again.
As a teenager, or young adult as I would prefer to be called, I hate that I am growing up in a time where music has hit a stalemate. Pop music is too commercialized and produced, rap music has become overdone and less structured musically than it was in the ’90s, country music has been getting worse as time goes on, and rock has been drifting in a land of every-song-sounds-the-same alternative rock and death metal.
What happened to the good music of the old days? The answer is that its still out there, but not mainstream like before. Many of today’s greatest new musical artists are underground bands who are struggling to get their name out there, despite having the same level of talent as those great musicians of the past.
So, I have compiled a list of the best songs of 2014 so far to showcase that rock may be on its way back to the top, at least musically if not commercially.
The Motherfucker – Buckcherry
“The Motherfucker” is Buckcherry’s best sounding song in years. Their 2012 single “Gluttony” was equally great, the two songs being a powerful duo that bests anything since the album 15 in 2005. “The Motherfucker” is on their newest album, Fuck E.P., which celebrates the band creating their own record label, F-Bomb Records. If this song shows what is to come from the band, Buckcherry may revive their success from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Sweet Tea – California Breed
“Sweet Tea” by California Breed is a powerful song that mixes the best of the Grunge scene of the ’90s, with the atmosphere of the ’70s. Glenn Hughes, who was in Deep Purple, and Jason Bonham, the son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, really bring out a side of rock that hasn’t been heard of in a few years.
Chemical Rain – California Breed
“Chemical Rain” is just a fun song that showcases the vocal abilities of 60-something year old Glenn Hughes and the abilities of the rest of the band. It is a shame that California Breed never did chart or get airplay.
Hey, Mama – Fuel
Fuel’s first album since 2007 and the first with original vocalist Brett Scallions since 2003 brought back the sound Fuel was known for in the early 2000s. They were considered a one-hit wonder, but their abilities to make good music have continued over the years.
“Hey Mama” sounds like it could have been recorded by the Black Crowes, with that bluesy rock sound, but with a tinge of Fuel.
Time for Me to Stop – Fuel
This song sounds like it could have been on Fuel’s multi-platinum selling album, Something Like Human, in 2000. Fuels fans everywhere, those who know that this album was released anyway, will rejoice the return of the band.
Peacemaker – Iced Earth
Iced Earth has been around for nearly three decades, going through multiple vocalists over the years. This song brings back a bit of a thrash metal and heavy metal sound that hasn’t really been heard since the mid-’90s.
Halls of Valhalla – Judas Priest
Metal gods Judas Priest are back with their new album, Redeemer of Souls, and a massive headlining arena tour with special guests Steel Panther. They are even coming to the Tacoma Dome near where I live, which I have tickets for. Rock bands never come to the Dome anymore because they can’t sell it out, but apparently Priest still can. (Aerosmith played there in 2012, AC/DC does each time they tour, and Bon Jovi still plays there sometimes.)
“Halls of Valhalla” sounds like ’70s Judas Priest, before they were famous or commercially successful.
Sword of Damocles – Judas Priest
This song sounds amazing. It’s Judas Priest as we haven’t heard them in over three decades.
Crossfire – Judas Priest
This song is fun and showcases the ’70s Priest sound much like the rest of the album.
Beginning of the End – Judas Priest
Judas Priest doesn’t do very many ballads, but when they do, they rock the hell out of them. This might be the best rock ballad in many years. It’s slow, haunting, and magnificently written.
Gotta Get it Right – Sixx A.M.
Sixx A.M. is back with their third album, Modern Vintage. If you want to see my full review of the album that I wrote for my school newspaper (which was chosen for the Best of SNO I might add), go here: http://erhsjagwire.com/1121/showcase/sixx-a-m-s-third-album-brings-back-rock-n-roll/
“Gotta Get it Right” was a top 40 rock hit, but it is seldom played in my area. The song is fun and attempts to bridge pop and rock music together, with a tinge of the 1970s.
Let’s Go – Sixx A.M.
“Let’s Go” is the best song from Modern Vintage. It’s the most Sixx A.M. sounding song on the album.
Give Me a Love – Sixx A.M.
This song is a hard-rocking song that challenges all of the modern rock bands to change their ways.
Hyperventilate – Sixx A.M.
This song is very pop-oriented, but very unique and unusual.
Pussywhipped – Steel Panther
Steel Panther is known for their ’80s glam metal looks and sound, over-the-top stage presence, and inappropriate and vulgar lyrics. The band’s third album, All You Can Eat, is not as good as their previous one, but still perhaps the best album to be released this year. The band is touring in support of Judas Priest this year.
Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World – Steel Panther
Steel Panther’s first single from their third album was “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World,” not that any radio station would dare play it. They would have to censor much of the song, as with all Steel Panther songs. The song is fun however, besting even the best of the hair bands of the late ’80s. The video below is the “clean” version, because you would have to sign in to YouTube to view the actual version.
Gloryhole – Steel Panther
This song screams ’80s glam metal through and through.
Cross My Heart – Tesla
This is probably the best song ’80s hair band Tesla has released since the 1990s. The music sounds much like their ’90s work, although the vocals are a bit weaker.
Life is a River – Tesla
A great ballad by Tesla, which should have received some recognition.
Play Ball – AC/DC
AC/DC’s long awaited new album, Rock or Bust, will be released December 2nd of this year. It is already charting on the iTunes rock albums chart with massive amounts of pre-orders.
The legendary rock band released the first single from the album, “Play Ball,” this week, which will rock your socks off. It is perhaps the best Brian Johnson has sounded since 1995’s Ballbreaker album. The song is short, but it doesn’t need to be any longer. With over 1,000,000 views on YouTube already, AC/DC’s new album will prove to be a commercial success worldwide was always. Their last album, Black Ice, in 2008 went #1 in over 20 countries, and it may happen again.