So, here we are at the end of another year. For me personally, it was a host of many challenges and struggles. In other words, 2011 you KICKED MY ASS! But for my appreciation of music, it could not have been a better year. Music helped me through my most difficult times and I got to experience some incredible concerts! But as we leave 2011, there are so many bands that I hope you have heard this year and if not, you can start the year off with cranking them up LOUD!
So Let’s Count them Down…
Before I get to the top ten, I will start with my Honorable Mention which goes to a band that I got to know a little late in the year but instantly fell in love with them….
– This Northern California band brings melodic rock to a whole new level. They have meaningful songs that can touch you whether it be remembering the person who ripped your heart or the person who you can’t live without. They are strong emotional songs that are powerfully sung by Nicole Sutton one of the founding members. She founded Luvplanet along with Mark McGee who many of you know from Vicious Rumors or Gregg Allman brings his incredible guitar playing to a passionate level. The two of them onstage create an intensity that brings you into deeper emotional depth. Tommy Sisco brings it all on the bass and we can now welcome their new drummer Cedric Wilmott. My personal song fave is “All for You”. Check them out at www.luvplanet.net
or on facebook at facebook link.
Make sure to listen to them, I think they will be topping next year’s list.
Now for the top ten…
10. New Politics
– This trio knows how to kick up the music and let your energy just go. I got to see them three times this past year and their shows had pure energy, handstands, and a channeling of old Nirvana. These guys have such incredible stage presence that you sometimes think you are watching a Nirvana reunion. Lead singer David Boyd takes over the stage from headstands to breakdancing! Soren Hansen on guitars gives every bit of energy to his performances and he is incredible to watch. Round the trio off with the slamming drumming of Louis Vecchio and there you go! My personal song fave is “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” with a close second being “Dignity”. Make sure to check them out. Website: www.newpoliticsrock.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/newpolitics
9. Taking Dawn
– This Rock band from Las Vegas blew me away when I saw them open up for Murderdolls at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. They can ROCK like an ’80s KICK ASS BAND! If these guys were around at the height of the ’80s ROCK, they would have been bigger than Van Halen, in my opinion. One of my highlights was when the lead singer and guitarist Chris jumped off the stage into the crowd with his guitar and kept playing. Here is a link to that show, (keep in mind the audio is horrible from an old camera) http://youtu.be/jhgDe9srYJ8?t=4m
. My personal song fave is “Take me Away”. Check them out www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/takingdawn/
and their facebook page is www.facebook.com/Takingdawn
8. Lotus Crush
– Earlier this year, I went to see my favorite band from the ’90s Candlebox and was treated to a double dose with Lotus Crush opening. Lotus Crush is the creation of lead Candlebox guitarist Peter Klett and Drivebland vocalist Terry McDermott. Also from Candlebox is Scott Mercado on drums. and rounding out the band with John Luzzi. These guys put on a great show as we got to enjoy their acoustic set. My personal song fave is “In My Veins”. Check them out at www.lotuscrush.com
and facebook page is ww.facebook.com/lotuscrushmusic
– These guys came from Indiana and their latest single, “Look in My Eyes” is quickly climbing the charts. I saw Rains open up for Five Finger Death Punch and it was great to discover them. They have an incredible sound and a commanding performance that just brings the life to the audience. My personal song fave is “Look in My Eyes” with a very close second of “Pressure”. Check them out at www.rainsmusic.com
and on facebook www.facebook.com/rainsmusic
6. Royal Bliss
– This rock brand brings passion to their songs that can just dip into your soul. These guys sing from the heart and have had their times of troubles in their life. Their music brings me to life and has helped get me through some very difficult times. Love this band! I saw them twice in 2011 and can’t wait for their quick return! My personal song fave is tied with “Save Me” and “Devils and Angels”. Check them out at www.royalbliss.com
, facebook page of facebook.com/royalbliss
5. Silent Treatment
– Where Rock meets Groove, that is Silent Treatment. I saw them open up for Candlebox in Reno and they put on quite a show and even channeled some Jim Morrison. It was an experience to watch their guitar driven songs that keep you wanting for more. My personal song fave is “Sins of Yesterday”. Check them out at www.silenttreatment.net
and on facebook at www.facebook.com/silenttreatmentofficial
4. Red Line Chemistry
– I was able to see Red Line Chemistry three times in 2011 and each time was an incredible fist pumping, energy elevating concert! Their style of grunge and metal come together with vocals reminiscent of Jerry Cantrell/Alice in Chains. Lead singer Brett Ditgen’s stage presence is intense! Love it! Their whole album ‘Dying for a Living” is worth a listen! My personal song fave is “Ultragigantor” with a close second of “Dumb Luck”. Check them out at www.redlinechemistry.com
and on facebook at www.facebook.com/redlinechemistry
Now, for the top 3…. here we go…..
3. BlackBox 13
– This modern hard rock band is a new band from Las Vegas that you are going to be hearing a lot about! They are the answer to what us rockers have been waiting for. They currently have a 3 song EP out that delivers true rock, old style. I have not been able to see them live but will in January when they are playing at the Whiskey in Hollywood, January 20th during the NAMM show week. Get tickets here.
My personal song fave is “Rise” which delivers dramatic pauses, heavy guitar riffs, and dark edgy vocals. Check them out at www.blackbox13band.com
or on facebook at facebook.com/blackbox13
2. Against all Will
– This is a band that when you I first hear them with their song “All about You” I was instantly hooked. This band had it all. Formed by Jimmy Allen, original Puddle of Mudd member and fronted with it’s powerful vocals of Jeff Current (Seven Story Drop), hard drumming by Phil Gonyea ( drummer from Instinct of Aggression) and sweet bad ass bass by Cello Dia (Soulfly). These four came together and rock you hard. They bring it all to the table and make you want more, no!, CRAVE more!! My personal song fave is hard to say because there are so many. There are three tied for the top spot: ‘Nothing good Anymore”, “Swept Away” and “Discard You”. Check them out and you will not be disappointed. Website: www.againstallwill.com
on facebook at www.facebook.com/againstallwill
and now for the number one spot…. I think you might already know them but if you don’t you better start now!
1. Art of Dying
– This band tops the list for various reasons but I think lead singer Jonny Hetherington’s quote says it all. “Most of our songs speak of hope and perseverance. There’s an element of honesty and strength in our music that really comes through.” Their songs bring out positive energy with a great alternative rock sound. My personal song fave is of course, “Get Thru This” which I first heard as I was sitting in the parking lot of the hospital getting ready to go in and see my father who was very sick and just learned he was terminally ill. I cried and that song helped me so much. It touched my soul and let me know that I can get through this, even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted, I could still survive it and not give up. “Die Trying” is my next fave! Check them out at www.artofdyingmusic.com
or on facebook at facebook.com/artofdying
Well, that was it for the year. Now let’s get ready to find some more great bands to love in 2012.
Keep it loud and keep on Rockin’