Need some new music for your rock and roll playlist? Look no further: here are five bands that you should be listening to right now.
With a sound rich in deep grooves and powerful riffs, Canadian band Monster Truck has brought the vibe of 70s acts like Grand Funk Railroad into the present. Even before the band released their ass-kicking (and jaw-dropping) album ‘Furiosity‘ a few years ago, they impressed the heck out of me with tunes like “Seven Seas Blues” and “Sworded Beest”. Furiosity is a stunning album, and the band managed to up the ante with their most recent release: ‘Sittin’ Heavy‘.
Monster Truck is also absolutely astounding live: not just powerful, but soulful as well. Listening to ‘For The Sun’ live (check out this version) is a bonafide spiritual musical experience.
To sum up: Monster Truck is one of the best bands around right now, and required listening for any fan of rock’n’roll. And, oh, by the way: their recent visit to BBC2 only reinforced my love.
The Temperance Movement
Earlier this year I saw The Temperance Movement open for Monster Truck at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and, holy smokes, that was definitely a night to remember. (Read my gig-review.) The Temperance Movement is a marvel of musical skill and passion: a band that hits that sweet spot where blues, soul, and rock and roll intersect.
Front-man Phil Campbell is a phenomenon – one of the best vocalists in the business right now – and the whole band plays with a fierce, earthy intensity. The music is original, yet firmly rooted in the past, and listening to tracks like “Ain’t No Telling” and “Three Bulleits” live in Vancouver had me covered in goosebumps and dancing at the same time. One thing’s for sure: The Temperance Movement doesn’t do things by halves, they’re all in.
Buck & Evans
Every time I listen to a track by Buck & Evans, whether it’s recorded in a studio, done live, acoustic…whatever, every time I’m blown away by how out-of-this-world good they are. There’s a purity and light and just…a luminous quality to every tune they do. It’s there in Chris Buck’s outstanding guitar-work and Sally Ann Evans’s divine vocals. And hey, if you don’t believe me, believe Slash who flew them over to the US to have them on stage as his support act for Rock N’ 2 Remember in 2013.
Needless to say, I’m quite envious of fellow Rock And Roll writer Maria Savva who has seen them live, most recently just a few weeks ago at The Crowndale (read her gig-review). She has also interviewed the band: read her interview from 2014.
If you happen to be near Cardiff on November 18th, you can catch Buck & Evans live, supporting FM: all the details are on the band’s FB-page.
As far as I’m concerned, Swedish band Thundermother is a force of nature. Kicking ass? Taking names? Yes, all of that. With a fierce and fiery lead-guitarist called Filippa Nässil (read my interview), and a vocalist that sounds like fire, whiskey, and good times all rolled into one (that’d be Clare Cunningham), this band packs a real punch.
Their albums ‘Rock n Roll Disaster‘, and ‘Road Fever‘ are blasts of hell-yeah, riff-powered rock and roll of the best kind. Yes, there are definite AC/DC vibes, but listen beyond that: Thundermother is well versed in the bluesy roots and sounds that were AC/DC’s origins in the first place. Thundermother is heading out on a European tour in November: be sure to check them out on stage if you get a chance: this is definitely a band on the rise.
The Wanton Bishops
The Wanton Bishops is a truly original musical experience, with a raw, sensual vibe running through everything they do. There’s something almost ridiculously addictive and mesmerizing about the band’s sound, and their album ‘Sleep With The Lights On‘ just about took my breath away when I first listened to it. It’s a heady blend of blues and rock filtered through the band’s Lebanese heritage… and it’s also one of those albums that still knocks my socks off whenever I listen to it.
The band’s next release ‘Nowhere Everywhere‘ is coming up on November 4th, and this time electric sounds and dancey beats have been added to the mix (listen to the new tune “Waslaha” for a taste), but the music still has the depth and heft of rock and blues in every bite.
For more bands you should be listening to, check out my 5 picks from September.