It’s a bit curious how in a musical panorama that’s so rich of new styles and genres there are still many groups – some of the very young, actually – that devote their energies to pure and simple rock and roll. This phenomenon has been particularly evident in the first part of the year, which was particularly rich of good releases for classic rock and hard rock. Let’s find out in this article what have been the best albums published in the first part of 2018.
Before introducing the records and the artists, however, let’s do the usual recommendation: if you landed on this page from a search engine, please check that this one is effectively the latest update for rock’n’roll music. There may be in fact newer charts, in this case easily accessible in the rock section of the blog. This post illustrates the best releases in hard rock and classic rock related to the first twenty days of the year; we can certainly expect many other publications in the months to come.
Having said this, let’s enter the chart.
STARCRAWLER (Self-Titled Album)
Starcrawler, the promising new band of young rockers from California, was already at the center of our attention the moment we admitted their self-title debut album within our prestigious club of the Best New Music. This is a formation that in an extremely short time-span has attracted the attention of fans, critics and even a number of old glories of rock of the caliber of Ryan Adams and Elthon John who contributed to promote their music. Today these rockers are considered as those that could revitalize rock and roll, a label that in the past sometimes didn’t bring any luck to the groups that received it. Their record, however, is really nice and extremely interesting and if they won’t get lost and will manage not be overwhelmed by the success received at the debut stage, there are really many chances to see them excel in the years to come.
BLACKOUT by Audrey Horne
Norwegian band Audrey Horne is one of those groups that have clearly established what their models are, what music they want to play, and they just continue to refine, improve and polish up their output. With their last LP, Blackout, they arrived to the remarkable result of six albums in thirtheen years of career, all of them dedicated to carrying forward the banner of their special style of hard rock. The music played by the Audrey Horen is always deeply rooted into the legacy of the 70s and enriched with their particular sensibility for the insertion of melodic elements of heavy-metal derivation. On top of that, we find a brilliant and impressive quality of both recording and final production. The songs are generally enjoyable and extremely accessible, as is typical of this kind of music. The first few songs of the album, in particular, shine for the catchy riffs and the rock energy that they emit, and it’s easy to say that these are the best tracks of the whole work.
WP2 by Walking Papers
Walking Papers is the rock and roll U.S.-based super-group consisting of Jeff Angell and Benjamin Anderson from The Missionary Position, Barrett Martin, former drummer of twp legendary bands sucha as Screaming Trees and Mad Season, and Duff McKagan, renowned bassist for Guns’N’Roses. The band was formed in 2012 and one year after ther formation they released their self-titled first LP. Five years after their explosive debut they’re back with a follow-on album, named WP2, which basically replicates the same mix of muscular rock with blues infusions that we found on the first release. One of the elements of greatest interest in the case of super-groups is to see what happens when a group of artists coming from heterogeneous musical backgrounds are put into the recording studio with the possibility to combine their different experiences and generate something unique, and special. As we know, however, the magic doesn’t happen all of the times and in the case of Walking Papers we can say that objective is achieved only in half. Looking at their work, in fact, we recognize that there are some songs that manage to transmit a real exciting fusion of different inputs, but at the same time the album features a number of less inspired tracks which offer nothing more than another interpretation of the clichés of classic rock’n’roll. When compared to the debut work, WP2 apperas a little heavier and strong, but in the end it has the same mix of excellent tracks with a few gap-fillers.
HABITS OF THE PEOPLE by Clincher
Clincher is an Australian Rock band from Perth, whose fame has not yet crossed national borders but which periodically publishes honest and genuine music, without too many frills but with everytime with a few interesting tracks. This description applies perfectly to Habits Of The People, their latest album, which has a couple of particularly enjoyable songs to store in our music archives.
TRICKLEBOLT (Self-Titled Album)
Tricklebolt is a classic rock band from Netherlands, formed in 2014, which are deeply inspired by bands of the 70’s like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Thin Lizzy. Last year these guys spent most of their time to refine, record and produce their debut and self-titled album. The music we have on this LP doesn’t present elements of particular innovation but the album is nice to listen, and there are also a couple of songs that result particularly enjoyable. The hope is to see them develop a more original sound and style in the future, but the spirit of rock and roll is strong and alive in their music.
MONUMENTS UNCOVERED by Mystic Prophecy
Mystic Prophecy is a metal band from Germany which was formed in 2000 and that over the yearshas lost one after the other all the original members of the band with the exception of singer Roberto Dimitri Liapakis. The music published by Mystic Prophecy has never been memorable and even the last album, Monuments Uncovered, presents a collection of funny covers of historical pop and rock songs – revisited in a hard rock – from which we can barely extract a couple of singles worthy of note.