Sunday, March 17, 2019

Rock ’n Roll Will Never Die

In a SiriusXM interview the other day, Gene Simmons, aka the Donald Trump of shitty schlock rock, confidently proclaimed that “rock music is officially dead.” He firmly believes there hasn’t been a decent new rock band since Foo Fighters burst onto the scene in the mid-90’s.

Gene Simmons, you’re an idiot. Dude, we know that’s not your real hair. And how has your Hep C not ended you yet? Stop talking and go away. For real this time. No more “farewell tours”, please. 

Any real music fan knows that if you take the time to listen, rock is far from dead. In fact, it’s alive and kicking. I give you three new-ish bands kicking the shit out of it right now:

Rival Sons. Do yourself a huge favor and buy every album from this band right now. Or at least download a few of their songs. Then, go see them live. Jay Buchanan is far and away the best voice rock music has heard in a long, long time. I can’t stop listening to their latest album, Feral Roots. This is what rock music is supposed to sound like. I mean it, go listen. Start with the song, Hollow Bones, give Pretty Face a listen or twelve, and then head on over to the newest stuff, paying special attention to Sugar on the Bone, Feral Roots and Too Bad. So, so good. Thanks for rocking so hard, fellas. We appreciate it. 

The Winery Dogs. If you like incredible musicianship, you’ll love The Winery Dogs. These guys are pure talent. Bass, drums, vocals. Bluesy, ballsy, badass. They’re a bit of a mini super group. Drummer Mike Portnoy co-founded Dream Theater, so there’s that. Billy Sheehan has been one of the best bass players on the scene for decades. (He was in Mr. Big, but don’t hold that against him.) And Richie Kotzen—who can hit Chris Cornell notes when he wants to—has been around since the late 80’s. I’ve had the privilege of seeing them live a few times, and they sound just as good, or better, in person as they do on record.

Greta Van Fleet. Yes, they sound like Led Zeppelin. But so what. I like the way Led Zeppelin sounds. Get over it and just enjoy the fact they’re doing their part to make sure rock stays relevant. 

And let’s not forget about the proven vets who’ve been bringing it for years and don’t show any signs of slowing down. Here’s just a small sampling: 

Foo Fighters. Two words: Dave Grohl. That is all.

A Perfect Circle. Nobody does it better than Maynard. He’s weird. He’s super smart. He doesn’t give a shit what you think. And he can fucking sing. Their latest album Eat the Elephant, is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. I’ve been a huge fan since the get-go in the late 90’s, and they’ve only gotten better with age. I got the chance to see them live last November and was blown away by their sound and presence. Best live show I’ve ever seen, period. My only gripe with these guys is they don’t put out enough stuff. It takes them way too damn long to release an album. More APC, please! 

Queens of the Stone Age. Josh Homme is part standup comedian, part kickass rockstar. Mostly kickass rockstar. He does the drugs. He lives the lifestyle. He is rock ’n roll. His band has been delivering solid stuff for nearly two decades, and their latest, Villians, is damn good. 

U2. Yep. They’re still really, really good, and a huge influence on so many bands, new and old. Their latest albums were panned by critics and other people who don’t know what they’re talking about, but I thought they were outstanding. They have stories to tell. They're seasoned. I think that’s why they’re still so good.

So don’t tell me, Mr. Simmons, that rock is dead. You just don’t recognize good music. Never could. 

Rock ’n roll will never die. The artists eventually will, some too soon, and the bands might fade away, but a new act will step in and keep the fires burning. That’s just how it works. Always has. 

Let’s rock.

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