Papa Roach at O2 Academy Brixton: A (Slightly Biased) Review


“I think I need help!” New vocal chords more like, because within ten minutes of Jacoby Shaddix and his entourage strolling on stage Tuesday night, mine were spent.

I cannot stress how much I love these guys, which means I may not be the best person to deliver an objective review. But heck, I’ll give it go anyway. Papa Roach were one of the first hard rock bands I ever got into and still to this day manage to get me hyped. So seeing as their last tour was cut short due to the tragic events in Paris in 2015, expectations for this show were sky high – especially after I purchased my ticket (at an unsavoury £40.65 price tag).

Thankfully, their newest album Crooked Teeth gave me instant hope. Papa Roach have grown and evolved immensely since their rap/nu-metal roots, dipping their toes into the pools of pop punk and heavy metal with varying success. Experimentation is their forte. And if their previous album F.E.A.R. said, “This is the direction we’re heading now,” then Crooked Teeth says, “Don’t worry, old school fans! We haven’t forgotten about you.”

Featuring the likes of Help, Born For Greatness and Break The Fall, this record is proof that Papa Roach have homed in on the thread-thin balance between what older fans want and what younger audiences crave. Electronic drops bring vibrancy to the singles, rapping is back in welcome doses, harmonies leave the album full of depth and poise – all while maintaining the hard rock status the group have been known for since the beginning. Needless to say, during the two hour wait outside the venue, I was itching to hear my favourite songs off Crooked Teeth in the flesh.

So, imagine my ecstasy when the suitably tooth-ridden curtain dropped, to reveal the five-piece opening on the album’s killer title track. If that wasn’t enough, this was followed by the iconic Getting Away With Murder, then Between Angels And Insects and Face Everything And Rise. By the time Born For Greatness came around – what I believe to be their most unique and enjoyable track of the last few albums – I barely had enough energy to raise a devil horn. Why must they be so damn catchy?

When you dig deep, it all boils down to their frontman. While the quality of the band’s music over time is up for debate, Shaddix channels an irrefutable and unparalleled charisma in the realm of the stage – securing his place as Papa Roach’s USP. Today, his vocals are more seasoned and polished than ever, which resonates most in tracks like Forever and Periscope; the latter of which I was pleasantly surprised to hear them play live. This was not nearly as surprising, however, as their cover of Song 2 at the evening’s half-way point. To say the crowd reacted would be putting it lightly.

With all that said, I do have one negative about my favourite band’s performance this night. Someone needs to have a stern word with Papa Roach’s manager, or whomever comes up with their setlists. An unnecessary portion of the gig consisted of the heavy rock band’s considerably slower tracks such as Scars, Gravity and Lifeline, numbing an otherwise manic atmosphere. Then, there was American Dreams. Although it’s by no means a bad song, it’s formulaic nature does not warrant a place on a live setlist, as far as I’m concerned.

The rotten cherry on the sodden cake, however, was the inclusion of None Of The Above towards the end of the show. Here’s some food for thought, guys: try and reserve the royal slots of your encore for the greatest, most beloved songs of your career – not for one of the worst b-side (no, c-side!) tracks of your new album. While this indeed frustrated me, more than I was comfortable with, a seamless rendition of Linkin Park’s In The End (coupled with a heartfelt tribute to the late Chester Bennington) soon put my niggling irritations to rest. Conveniently, this brought us to the final portion of the evening.

To sign off, Papa Roach bashed out three of their most awesome songs to date. First off, Dead Cell, a cocaine-infused rap fest from Infest. Secondly, Last Resort, the only Papa Roach track you would hear in a mainstream nightclub in Camden (to be fair, with good reason. It’s pretty badass). And, to top it all off, from the trend-setting The Paramour Sessions came …To Be Loved.

When Shaddix yelled, “We’re not done with you guys yet,” and dived into the final song, I decided to depart my near-perfect spot and throw myself into a mosh pit for the first time in two years. With the possible exceptions of Slipknot and Gojira, Papa Roach are the only metal band that could make me do such a thing today; a fitting testament to an ever-changing group that have been going for over 24 years, and who I am confident will continue to wow me for years to come.


My Rating:



Rock & Metal: Just Hear It Out (Part 3 of 3)

This is it. The final part has arrived. For everyone that has made it this far, I applaud and respect you. But be warned – this hurdle will be the fiercest and most intense of the lot. In Part 1, I suggested some softer takes on the Hard Rock genre. In Part 2, I threw in some bands that ventured into the Metal side of the spectrum. But this is what it all comes down to. If you can safely admit that you like some of the bands from today’s list, you can proudly call yourself a metalhead and look forward many years of head banging.

But after every band that I’ve suggested for this series, one question might have been lingering on your mind throughout: Why should I listen to Rock & Metal? Why should I spend my time listening to music that people seem to just turn their nose up to upon hearing? It’s a fair enough question. That’s why I’ve thought my answer through with careful consideration. All in all, I have three good reasons why you should listen to Rock & Metal:

Firstly, you’re spoilt for choice. From the exposure I’ve had to the various music genres out there, I can tell you with confidence that Rock & Metal is by far the most diverse. When I say diverse, I mean that there are countless sub-genres you can explore. You could spend your lifetime scouring the musical landscape for every band you might like, but you’ll never find them all. Believe me, I’ve tried. There are just so many different types of bands out there, ranging from Industrial and Nu-Metal to Progressive Rock. It’s a world rich with variety – and today’s list is testament to that.

Secondly, it can be an effective outlet. I watched an interesting YouTube video back along, where elders were asked to view clips of a Slipknot concert, before sharing their opinions about what they saw. A point was raised in the video, suggesting that bands like Slipknot express feelings of hatred and violence in their songs, and are therefore partially to blame when violent crimes are committed. Many of the participants agreed with this, saying that the music somehow warps weak-minded people into doing horrible things. But a few of the elders didn’t. One in particular made the following point: “There’s no connection between these things. It’s an outlet. It takes care of that.” [1] And he’s absolutely right. Just because a song is about violence, doesn’t mean the person listening to it has a violent personality. In fact, most of the time, it’s quite the opposite. Some of the most enthusiastic, outgoing and friendly people I’ve ever encountered have been Rock & Metal fans. Even the most level-headed individual can bottle up feelings – but this genre gives you freedom to vent those feelings and focus on your daily life with one less distraction.

Lastly, there’s nothing else like it. Of all the things I’ve experienced – from practising TaeKwondo to watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the cinema – Rock & Metal is what gets me excited the most. It has become such an unexpected joy that I can barely remember a time when it wasn’t a part of my life. It keeps me motivated when I’m writing. It brings people together. And it reassures me that no matter what other people think, I can always be myself. That’s the true spirit of Rock & Metal. That’s what makes it so worthwhile.

Right, then. Now that the sentiments are out the way, let’s commence the third and final list of the series. Once again, I am going to present you with 15 bands that I think you should go away and listen to. Because if you like them, you’ll go on to enjoy many, many more. Let’s jump in …

(FYI: Sorry, but as with the previous lists, only bands that have toured in the last ten years are eligible for consideration.)



Suggested Album(s): Ace Of Spades (1980), Aftershock (2013), Overkill (1979), Motörizer (2008), Bastards (1993)

On 28th December 2015, the world lost one of its greatest icons. After battling aggressive cancer, Lemmy Kilmister – frontman for Motörhead and all-round legend – died in his home. This was a sorrowful day for everyone who knew him. Fortunately, there’s at least one silver lining to this tragedy: Lemmy and his fellow band members have left behind a legacy of Rock ‘n Roll brilliance for us to remember him by. Motörhead’s best record by far is Ace Of Spades. You need only to listen to it to see why. But Motörhead have over twenty studio albums to experience. Bastards features the outstanding On Your Feet Or On Your Knees; Motörizer gives us Runaround Man and Rock Out; and Aftershock is a sheer rollercoaster of an album all the way through, with tracks like Paralyzed, Coup De Grace and Heartbreaker. But my favourite Motörhead song of all time has to be Overkill. It’s loud. It’s unstoppable. It’s utterly flawless. And we have Lemmy to thank for it. Rest in peace, you awesome man.


Bring Me The Horizon

Suggested Album(s): That’s The Spirit (2015), Sempiternal (2013)

If you’re familiar with the latest work from Oli Sykes and the rest of Bring Me The Horizon, you may be surprised to find them on this list. That’s The Spirit, while being a decent album in its own right, isn’t exactly heavy by Metal standards. But that’s partly the reason I’ve chosen to include them here; because if you took That’s The Spirit and compared it to an earlier album of theirs (say Suicide Season), you’d barely recognise them as the same band. Even though they’ve always been an experimental group, it’s baffling to contemplate how they’ve gone from writing some of the heaviest music out there to becoming what’s essentially a pretty-boy punk band. Yet this monolithic jump presents new audiences a great opportunity. Here’s my suggestion: listen to That’s The Spirit before any other Bring Me The Horizon record. Get to know all the different songs, like Drown, Throne, Happy Song, Avalanche and Doomed. If you take a liking, then move onto Sempiternal.  For me, this album has some of the band’s greatest and most hard-hitting efforts. Can You Feel My Heart and Sleepwalking make it more accessible. But then you also have fiercer numbers like Shadow Moses, Empire (Let Them Sing) and The House Of Wolves. Maybe one day, you’ll develop a taste for this northern band’s earlier music. If that day does come around, then their 2010 album would be the logical next step. But for now, stick to these two.



Suggested Album(s): Sunset On The Golden Age (2014), Back Through Time (2011), Captain Morgan’s Revenge (2008), Black Sails At Midnight (2009)

Pirate Metal. Yes, it’s a thing – and it’s a barrel-full of fun. If anything is going to make you feel like Jack Sparrow on an epic quest, it’s this. Alestorm have single-handedly brought this wild-hearted movement into the limelight and with four respectable albums now in their discography, they continue to dish out great, swashbuckling numbers for a widespread and somewhat intoxicated fan base. Back Through Time delivers favourites like Shipwrecked, Rum and The Sunk’n Norwegian; while Black Sails At Midnight treats audiences to one of the best sing-along choruses of all time thanks to Keelhauled. Then there’s Wenches And Mead and the title track from the group’s hearty first album, Captain Morgan’s Revenge. The greatest treasure Alestorm have given us, however, is Sunset On The Golden Age. There are so many great songs, like Drink, Surf Squid Warfare, 1741 (The Battle Of Cartagena), Walk The Plank and even an oddly applicable cover of Taio Cruz’s Hangover. Random, I know. But you’ll grow to love it, just like everything else about this whimsical band.


Bullet For My Valentine

Suggested Album(s): Fever (2010), Venom (2015), The Poison (2005)

Back in the day, Bullet For My Valentine were on course to becoming one of the most popular Metal bands around. They could have secured a top festival slot without a hitch. Lately, this doesn’t seem to be the case; which is a shame, because the group’s most recent record, Venom is REALLY good. Matthew Tuck’s lead vocals are polished to perfection, when the more aggressive back-up vocals from lead guitarist Michael Taget hit harder than ever before. This is demonstrated most effectively in the likes of No Way Out, Broken and You Want A Battle, Here’s a War. Meanwhile, a journey through earlier albums such as Fever will reveal that Bullet were a force to be reckoned with. The Last Fight, Your Betrayal and Dignity get the hearts of fans truly racing. With regards to the band’s first effort, The Poison – although I’m not a fan of Tuck’s delivery – Tears Don’t Fall and Her Voice Resides are absolute bangers. Overall, if you’re new to screaming in your music, Bullet For My Valentine might well be the ideal band to ease you into it – as they can offer you the ideal balance of both the rough and melodic approaches.


Linkin Park

Suggested Album(s): Meteora (2003), Minutes To Midnight (2007), Hybrid Theory (2000), Living Things (2012)

As was the case with many teenagers, Linkin Park were one of the first ‘Metal’ bands I ever grew to like. They may well be a bunch of privileged white fellas making music about pain and suffering (come on, guys –  appreciate what you have), but there’s just something about what they do that resonates. Whether you prefer the earlier, angrier stuff from Hybrid Theory, or the more electronic sound of later albums like Living Things, it’s clear to see why they’ve become so popular. Chester Bennington’s signature scream thrives with Mike Shinoda’s clear-cut rapping, forming a Nu-Metal trend unlike any other. Stand out tracks include Numb and Faint from Meteora; Bleed It Out and What I’ve Done from Minutes To Midnight; One Step Closer and In The End from Hybrid Theory; and Lost In The Echo and Burn It Down from Living Things. These are, for the most part, some of Linkin Park’s heavier efforts. Yet every so often, they do show off their softer side. This is revealed in ballads such as Valentine’s Day and Castle Of Glass. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Linkin Park have nevertheless earned their place. Give them a try.



Suggested Album(s): Full Blast Fuckery (2014), Right To Rise (2015)

“Here’s one we wrote earlier,” claims Chad Nicefield, lead singer of Wilson, before right jumping into AC/DC’s Back In Black. Just one example of the excessive and bonkers nature this band fosters. Yet, for a wholesome taste of the kind of music you can expect from Wilson, you need look no further than the name of their 2013 record: Full Blast Fuckery. The album jumpstarts with the animosity of My Life, My Grave, and is followed by equally fast numbers like Better Off (Strictly Doods), College Gangbang and I Can Beat Your Dad. The whole thing is unhinged and all-over-the-place, but is so much fun to listen to. Their next album, Right To Rise, opts for an alternative, more sophisticated sound. It sports a catchy title track, which is then accompanied by Hang With The Devil, Guilty (You’re Already Dead) and the calmer, chanting throes of The Flood. A lesser known band, certainly – but incredible nonetheless.



Suggested Album(s): Roots Rock Riot (2007), Kill The Power (2014), Union Black (2011)

This is no exaggeration: Skindred are one of the best live Metal bands touring today. On every occasion they have blown competition out the water and wowed unprepared audiences everywhere. With the reggae-style vocals of Benji Webbe (who’s actually Welsh) paving the way, Skindred manage to create a sound unheard of in the Rock & Metal community. And boy, does it make an impact. Roots Rock Riot is about as uncaged as an album can get – tearing into our eardrums with the likes of Ratrace, State Of Emergency, Destroy The Dancefloor and Trouble. Kill The Power, on the other hand, sports a killer title track, plus Ninja and Proceed With Caution. If, however, you wish to experience the catalyst for the infamous Newport Helicopter (type it into YouTube), then you better give Warning a listen. It’s arguably the band’s best song (at least from the Union Black track list) and is a treat to see first-hand in a festival arena.



Suggested Album(s): Kill ‘Em All (1983), Death Magnetic (2008), Master Of Puppets (1986), Metallica (1991), … And Justice For All (1988)

Let’s face it. Metallica had to be on this series at some stage. As the godfathers of Thrash Metal, they are among the most recognisable bands in the Rock & Metal genre. This, of course, is with good reason. But before you decide to look into their newest outing, Hardwired … To Self-Destruct, I would suggest listening to the music that led up to it. Master Of Puppets, released in 1986, is iconic to put it lightly – meaning songs like Battery and the ground-breaking title track launched Metallica to stardom early on. Yet there’s still plenty more on offer today. I have a definite soft spot for Death Magnetic, as it features some of their hardest progressive songs to date, including All Nightmare Along, A Day That Never Comes, The End Of The Line and That Was Just Your Life. Blackened and One from … And Justice For All are also two solid tunes. Yet they are dwarfed by the magnificent Enter Sandman from Metallica’s 1991 self-titled record. It’s the song that got me into them and I wouldn’t be surprised if history repeated itself. Having said this, I believe the perfect place to kick start your Metallica obsession is Kill ‘Em All, as it presents the band’s sound (especially James Hetfield’s vocal technique) in its purest form. The choice is down to you, though.



Suggested Album(s): Once More ‘Round The Sun (2014), Crack The Skye (2009), Leviathan (2004), The Hunter (2011)

I am a strong believer that you should never judge the quality of a band solely on the first listen. Mastodon are a textbook reason for why this should be put into practice; because despite this unconventional four-piece group not appealing to me initially, they most certainly do now. In fact, they’ve now become one of my favourite bands. The members share the burden of frontman between themselves, meaning there isn’t really a lead singer. This, in itself, is intriguing to behold. But it’s not the all-round singing talent that makes Mastodon epic. It’s the music itself. Take Crack The Skye. The title track, Divinations, The Last Baron, Oblivion … they all prove that Mastodon have an undisputed dedication and mastery of their craft. Then there’s Leviathan, a startling concept album based on Moby Dick, which contains legendary numbers such as Megalodon, Blood And Thunder and Iron Tusk. 2011’s The Hunter is also a decent listen, centring its focus on memorable riffs for Black Tongue, Dry Bone Valley and Blasteroid. All of this great material, however, could simply be seen as an appetiser for the main course. Mastodon’s lastest studio album, Once More ‘Round The Sun is mind-blowing, from the vivid artwork to the biblical track list. I’m particularly fond of The Motherload, Chimes At Midnight, High Road and Halloween – the latter of which features the best outro I’ve ever heard.


Steel Panther

Suggested Album(s): Feel The Steel (2009), All You Can Eat (2014), Balls Out (2011)

Steel Panther lean more towards the Glam Rock side of things than Metal, so you may be surprised I haven’t mentioned them before this list. But there’s one good reason for leaving them until now. For the uninitiated, this outrageous four-piece are a shock to say the least. I can safely say they’re the crudest band I’ve ever listened to. But they’re also one of the funniest. Lead singer Michael Starr and the rest of his crew dress up like something out of the 80s and talk about drugs, sex and Rock ‘N Roll both on and offstage. That’s it. By doing so, they’re actively parodying bands like Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard to great effect. But the most ironic thing of all about Steel Panther is that despite being a comedy band, they’re actually really talented musicians. Their first record, Feel The Steel has hilarious tracks like Death To All But Metal, Party All Day, Fat Girl and Eyes Of The Panther. After this came Balls Out (with a borderline pornographic album cover) that treated fans to Just Like Tiger Woods, It Won’t Suck Itself and 17 Girls In A Row – the latter of which now prompts seventeen girls to join the band on stage when played live. Then, in 2014, they brought us All You Can Eat, which included Gloryhole, Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World, Ten Strikes You’re Out and Pussywhipped. If you’re after music that’s tame, look elsewhere. Whatever your view about Steel Panther, I’m sure you won’t be forgetting about them any time soon.


Avenged Sevenfold

Suggested Album(s): Nightmare (2010), Avenged Sevenfold (2007)

This band is huge, there’s no doubt about it. At first, I couldn’t understand why. I always thought their music was decent, but not good enough to warrant a headline slot. This was my attitude until I saw them live. Suddenly, it all made sense. The fact of the matter is that Avenged Sevenfold put on one hell of a show. Their progressive style blends seamlessly with the clean vocals frontman M. Shadow has adopted in recent years – allowing the band to deliver music that’s both harmonic and relentless. Their self-titled album possesses hits like Almost Easy, Afterlife and A Little Piece Of Heaven; while Nightmare creates a spooky atmosphere with a phenomenal title track, as well as God Hates Us and Welcome To The Family. The hidden gem, however, is Buried Alive. Starting off as a soulful ballad, it gradually builds until hitting the listener with tight riffs, solos and lyrical brilliance. What’s more, with a new album (The Stage) now available, there’s no better time to add Avenged Sevenfold to your music library.



Suggested Album(s): 10,000 Days (2006), Lateralus (2001), Ænima (1996), Undertow (1993)

If Progressive Metal doesn’t appeal to you, my guess is that you either don’t like songs when they’re over three minutes long, or you haven’t listened to Tool yet. While Maynard James Keenan (MJK) adopts minimal screaming in Tool’s music, the mood created by this group’s music is hard to ignore. Songs like Undertow and Prison Sex, as well as Forty-Six & Two, Eulogy and Hooker With A Penis (from Ænima) are clear examples of this. Although these two records are spot on, Lateralus is an album that transcends all else, thanks to tracks like The Grudge, Ticks And Leeches and Schism. Then you have 10,000 Days. While most of the band’s creations explore dark themes in general, this album touches upon more relatable subjects. For instance, Vicarious is all about how our society watches the rest of world suffer through the safety of our televisions, while Right In Two delves into the idea that humanity is incapable of sharing the gifts it’s been given. But even if you only look as far as the surface, 10,000 Days is still a unique and vivid experience. Be sure to look out for Jambi, Rosetta Stoned and The Pot too.


Five Finger Death Punch

Suggested Album(s): War Is The Answer (2009), The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell – Vol. 1 (2013), Got Your Six (2015)

This band is a bit of a paradox, if I’m honest. They’re called Five Finger Death Punch, yet while they do make their fair share of thrashing metal tunes, they also make hell of a lot of ballads. I can’t fathom it. Nevertheless, lead singer Ivan Moody thankfully has the range to tackle both styles without breaking a sweat. The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell – Vol. 1 has a good mix of the two, with faster tracks like Dot Your Eyes, Watch You Bleed and Lift Me Up (starring Judas Priest’s Rob Halford), as well as the calmer, more emotive The Wrong Side Of Heaven. I didn’t think I’d ever call a Five Finger Death Punch song emotive, but there you go. Additionally, last year’s album Got Your Six has some fitting head-bangers; including No Sudden Movements, the title track and Wash It All Away. It’s a shamelessly ridiculous outing from the band. Then again, anything with zombies on the cover is bound to be. The band’s best work, however, can be found on War Is The Answer. Dying Breed, No One Gets Left Behind and Burn It Down are hands down the fastest, hardest songs on their portfolio, while Bad Company and Far From Home offer some welcome balance to the record.



Suggested Album(s): Mutter (2001), Sehnsucht (1997), Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (2009) Reise, Reise (2004)

From one preposterous band to another, this one takes it to the extreme. Although this German industrial band writes all its music in their native language, thankfully you don’t have to understand German linguistics to enjoy it. In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t, seeing as some of their lyrics can be a tad obscene. With the stocky Till Lindemann front and centre, Rammstein are famous for their all-out live performances – which consist of everything from pyrotechnics to a very unsubtle foam cannon. But it’s Lindemann’s vocals, paired with some of the best, power-driven riffs of all time, that make Rammstein so great. Liebe Ist Für Alle Da gets down and dirty with Rammlied, Waidmanns Heil and Ich Tu Dir Weh; Reise, Reise delivers Mein Teil, Keine Lust and Morgenstern in all their majesty; and Sehnsucht introduces us to Engel, Tier and the awe-inspiring Du Hast. But their best album (and quite possible the perfect industrial album) has to be Mutter. Every single song on it is marvellous. The ones that carry the most fervour are Fruer Frei!, Mein Herz Brennt, Ich Will, Sonne and Adios – the last of which they NEVER play live, for some stupid reason! Regardless, if you ever get the chance to see Rammstein in the flesh (whether it’s at a festival or an arena) I urge you to take that opportunity.


System Of A Down

Suggested Album(s): Mezmerize (2005), Toxicity (2001), System Of A Down (1998), Steal This Album! (2002), Hypnotize (2005)

Here we are. The last band of the series. System Of A Down. With five studio albums to their name and one of the largest, most dedicated followings in Rock & Metal, the influence and prowess of this group cannot be overstated. But I’m going to try to anyway. Lead vocalist Serj Tankian utilises an unspoiled singing range for his music, which goes nicely with the wilder take lead guitarist Daron Malakian throws into the mix. Ultimately, System Of A Down have written some immovable hits over the years. Their self-titled debut features just a few of these in the form of Sugar, War? and Suite-Pee. Chic ‘N Stu, Fuck The System and I-E-A-I-A-I-O give Steal This Album! a lasting prominence. And then there’s Vicinity Of Obscenity, Holy Mountains and the gut-wrenching Soldier Side from Hypnotize. But listen to all these, and you’re still left with two crown jewels. One is 2001’s Toxicity, hosting frenzied numbers like Chop Suey, Needles, Jet Pilot and Prison Song. The other is Mezmerize. Much like Rammstein’s Mutter, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bad track on this record. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible. From B.Y.O.B. to Sad Statue; from Revenga to Violent Pornography; from Cigaro to Question!; whether you like your tracks served hard or soft, System Of A Down can cater for all tastes. It’s kind of their thing.


There you have it. Finito! That’s the end of my Rock & Metal blog series. I sincerely hoped you enjoyed the ride and got to discover some new bands. If you still don’t consider yourself a metalhead, then fair enough. All I can say is thank you for taking part in my experiment and for giving Rock & Metal a chance – because that’s what this has all been about. If, on the other hand, you wish to carry on exploring this vast genre of music, then you’ve made me a very happy person. I would love to continue suggesting bands for you to try out, but this series was only ever my attempt to get more people into the genre. So, from here on in, you must find your own way.

Do you think I missed out a band from one of my lists? Leave a comment and help me improve my perspective. Maybe one day (if you’re lucky) I’ll include your suggestion in another list. With that, all that’s left to say is thanks again for sticking with my series, and keep an eye out for any new series I post in the future.

Farewell, readers! Live long and rock on …




Rock & Metal: Just Hear It Out (Part 2 of 3)

Here we go! Part 2. Once again, I plan to introduce you to 15 more bands in an attempt to win you over and transform you into a Rock & Metal enthusiast. If you haven’t looked at my first list, I strongly suggest you do. Because this week we’re cranking it up a notch. The bands featured in this list will be a teensy bit heavier than the previous ones – but if you listened to the artists from Part 1 and have taken a shine to a few of them, then I believe you’ll grow to like these bands as well.

Before I jump in, I would like to make one thing clear. This blog series is not me listing out the best artists of all time. If it was, you’d undoubtedly find the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Guns N’ Roses here. Instead, I’m suggesting various bands that I think you should listen if you want to get into Rock & Metal. I feel that if you grow to like these bands, then you’ll go on to enjoy plenty more within this broad and diverse genre.

What’s more, these suggestions are based on my own experience of music. Although I do everything I can to broaden my music library, I’ve not listened to every Rock & Metal band on the planet. For this reason, I can only draw from my own experience. I’ve done my best to take every music artist into consideration; however, I’m certain to miss out a few that people like. If I have, I apologise in advance and urge you to suggest the band you think deserves a mention. The comment section for this is below – how handy!

Right, then. Let’s get this week’s show on the road. The first band for Part 2 is …

(FYI: Like last time, only artists that have toured in the last ten years can make this list.)


Alter Bridge

Suggested Album(s): Fortress (2013), Blackbird (2007), AB III (2010)

What happens when you combine the unquestionable prowess of guitarist Mark Tremonti with the born-to-be frontman Miles Kennedy? Alter Bridge is what happens. Kennedy lends his style not just to thrilling thrash numbers like Addicted To Pain and Ties That Bind, but also emotional ballads like Watch Over You and Life Must Go On. And he does so with such grace and finesse, it almost makes you jealous that he can be that good. But you can forgive him, because Alter Bridge are an incredible band to experience – both live and on record. While 2007’s Blackbird is the album that set them on course, it’s the flawless track list of Fortress that showcases their work to perfection.


Billy Talent

Suggested Album(s): Dead Silence (2012), Billy Talent II (2006), Afraid Of Heights (2016)

A lot of good things have come out of Canada over the years. But as far as Rock & Metal is concerned, Billy Talent has got to be among the best. Benjamin Kowalewicz’s vocals are wonderfully unique to say the least. Moreover, they’re complemented by some of the best backing vocals since ever. You’d think that great backup singers might overshadow the lead singer in a band; but here, they don’t. They only make Kowalewicz’s more prominent for tracks like Red Flag, Viking Death March and Devil In A Midnight Mass. What’s more, they’re latest record, Afraid Of Heights is proof that they’re still going strong. You could almost say that they’ve become Louder Than The DJ.


Iron Maiden

Suggested Album(s): Somewhere In Time (1986), Powerslave (1984), The Number Of The Beast (1982), Brave New World (2000), Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988)

Here’s Iron Maiden in a rather condensed nutshell; the band’s skeletal mascot, Eddie, is featured in some of the greatest album artwork known to man; they’ve released sixteen studio albums since their formation in 1975; and their lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, is considered to have one of the best voices in the genre. To say these guys have had a fruitful career is putting it lightly (they have a fricking plane now!). Nevertheless, it’s truly well deserved. Just a few stand out songs include Wasted Years, 2 Minutes To Midnight and Hallowed Be Thy Name. But considering their range of albums, you’re better off exploring Iron Maiden for yourself. On an unrelated note, they’re branded craft beer, The Trooper is also very, very tasty. If it happens to be on draught at your local pub, I highly recommend it.


Heaven’s Basement

Suggested Album(s): Filthy Empire (2013)

Heaven’s Basement exploded onto the Rock & Metal scene a few years back and made a lasting impression. Although frontman, Aaron Buchanan has since moved onto other endeavours, you can still get a taste of his charisma on Filthy Empire. This is about as a great as a Hard Rock album gets, boasting fast-paced singles like Fire, Fire, while throwing sing-along tunes into the mix, such as Lights Out In London and Nothing Left To Lose. You’re bound to love Buchanan’s trademark “Yeyah!” as well; whether you do so ironically or not, though, is down to you.


Rage Against The Machine

Suggested Album(s): Rage Against The Machine (1992), The Battle For Los Angeles (1999), Renegades (2000)

New to rap metal? Well get ready to hear it full on. As the name suggests, no one gets more furious about the establishment than Rage Against The Machine. Their 1992 debut became an instant classic upon its release thanks to both its relevance at the time and because Killing In The Name, Take The Power Back and Bombtrack all offered fans something to shout about – literally. Meanwhile, The Battle For Los Angeles offers energetic numbers like Guerrilla Radio and Testify; and cover album Renegades is a masterful take on others’ work. How I Could Just Kill A Man is particularly hard-hitting, in the best of ways.



Suggested Album(s): Runnin’ Wild (2007), Black Dog Barking (2013)

Imagine AC/DC, but younger, faster and heavier. Airbourne is what you’d get. It’s blatantly clear that this Aussie group is directly influenced by Angus Young’s juggernaut band, but that’s what makes Airbourne so enjoyable. When you listen to the likes of Runnin’ Wild, Live It Up and Stand Up For Rock ‘N’ Roll, you realise they’re here to have a good time – and all you want to do is grab a can of beer, crack it against your head and have fun with them. It’s comforting to know that when AC/DC are no longer able to tour, Joel O’Keeffe and the rest of Airbourne will be here to keep their spirit alive.



Suggested Album(s): The Strange Case Of … (2012), Into The Wild Life (2015)

It’s high time a female artist had a say in this whole Rock & Metal malarkey, do you think? I’m glad you agree. Enter Lzzy Hale. Fans of Paramore and Evanescence are sure to draw similarities with this four-piece from Pennsylvania – but Halestorm are far from novel. 2015’s Into The Wild Life is a solid effort, introducing suitably tough riffs into songs like Apocalyptic. They’re earlier stuff can get a bit corny, sure – yet it’s evident from The Strange Case Of … – with favourites like Love Bites (So Do I) and I Miss The Misery – that Hale’s gruff screams do justice to some excellent Hard Rock material. What is there to lose?


Tenacious D

Suggested Album(s): Tenacious D (2002), The Pick Of Destiny (2006)

“What? Jack Black is in a band?” Yes, he is. Granted, much like the acting roles he takes on, Tenacious D are immature and preposterous in every conceivable way. But somehow, it works. The debut album of this comedy rock duo can barely be called an album – as it mainly consists of the pair arguing – and yet it does have some actual songs on it. Good ones too! Like the hilarious Tribute and F**k Her Gently. And while The Pick Of Destiny is indeed a soundtrack from the comedy movie of the same name, this too has tracks that – if you have a silly sense of humour – will definitely get you smirking. Kickapoo. Break In City (Storm The Gate). Beezleboss (The Final Showdown). Tell me I’m wrong.



Suggested Album(s): The Sound Of Madness (2008), Threat To Survival (2015), Amaryllis (2012)

This Hard Rock band is one of the first I ever got into. And when you discover Brent Smith’s vocals for yourself, it’s easy to see why. I won’t lie to you: they’re pretty naff live. Smith’s earnest, preachy monologues in between songs get a bit too much even for me. But that doesn’t matter. Not when you have an album like The Sound Of Madness under your belt. This record has the ideal balance of exhilarating head-bangers (including Devour, Cry For Help and the title track) and softer tunes, such as Second Chance and Breaking Inside. They’re newest record, Threat To Survival also digs deep and treats us to gold, in the form of Cut The Chord and Asking For It. Shinedown sure have a knack for writing catchy choruses. Finally, although Amaryllis is much lighter in tone (perhaps too light), the group still manages to leave an impression with Adrenaline and Enemies. What are you waiting for? Get your earphones now.


Andrew W.K.

Suggested Album(s): I Get Wet (2001)

Does anyone remember that Android ad with that awesome song on it? Did you always wonder who it was by? It’s time I shed some light on this mystery. That song was called Party Hard, and it was off I Get Wet by Andrew W.K. This artist actually has five studio albums. But honestly, this one is the only one worth listening to. I Get Wet is a heart-pounding thrill ride that consists of songs entirely about partying. Hard. There’s Ready To Die, She Is Beautiful, It’s Time To Party … what more could you want in life? Better rest your neck muscles, because your head’s going to be rocking to the max when you listen to this one. You have been warned.



Suggested Album(s): Psychic Warfare (2015), Blast Tyrant (2004), Earth Rocker (2013)

“Let’s pour some gravy on these biscuits!” This is what Neil Fallon, the frontman of Clutch, said to the crowd at Download Festival in 2015, before jumping straight into their set. I wish, wish, wish I could have been there to see that. Regardless, this funky rock band is becoming more superb with every album they release. I’ll always have a soft spot for Blast Tyrant, if only for the intoxicating The Mob Goes Wild. Yet, in 2013, they gave us Earth Rocker, which provided everything from fast-paced numbers (Crucial Velocity) to mellow ballads (Gone Cold). Thanks to this – by the time last year’s Psychic Warfare came out – they managed to blow expectations out the water yet again. The whole thing is just brilliant, and I for one can’t wait to see what direction Clutch take next.


Papa Roach

Suggested Album(s): Getting Away With Murder (2004), Infest (2000), The Paramour Sessions (2006), F.E.A.R. (2015), The Connection (2012)

Papa Roach have evolved so much over the years, moving from Rap Metal to Hard Rock to Punk Rock. One thing that always stays the same, though, is Jacoby Shaddix’s gel-soaked hairdo. I love this band. They may not be the most well-known or even unique artists around, but they sure make some damn catchy tunes. Infest gets you pumped with Last Resort, Dead Cell and Between Angels And Insects; and on the rockier side of things, you have The Paramour Sessions, which features show-stoppers like Time Is Running Out, Crash and …To Be Loved. F.E.A.R. and The Connection actively cater to newer audiences. They manage this by incorporating more electronic elements into Face Everything And Rise, Falling Apart and Where Did The Angels Go to great effect. But Getting Away With Murder is the crown jewel for this band. The title track alone blends rap and metal seamlessly, but Be Free and Take Me both do equally well to cause a fuss. Papa Roach has earned they’re place in my books. Why not yours?



Suggested Album(s): All I Was (2012), Cauterize (2015)

If you took a liking to Alter Bridge, then the same thing is bound to happen when you listen to Tremonti. How do I know this? Mainly because both lead guitarists are the same person (the clue’s in the name). Although the two bands draw many similarities, Mark Tremonti takes front-stage, treats us to a surprisingly clear-cut vocal style, and elevates an established sound that step higher. As a result, All I Was is an excellent album to call your debut. So You’re Afraid and You Waste Your Time place heavy emphasis on power-driven riffs, while New Way Out and Decay provide some much-needed depth to the record. While Cauterize is also a well-executed outing – sporting numbers like Arm Yourself and a very brisk title track – All I Was is definitely the one to go for.



Suggested Album(s): Heroes (2014), The Art Of War (2008), The Last Stand (2016)

Allow me to define Sabaton: A Swedish power metal band that always bring a massive tank on stage and play songs about famous historical battles. Who could say no to that? But if you’re still dubious and want to get a feel for the music itself, Heroes is a fitting place to start. The opening track, Night Witches is epic beyond measure, and is followed up by heavy anthems like Smoking Snakes, To Hell And Back and Resist And Bite. Lead singer Joakim Brodén may have limited vocal range, but damn it’s still great to listen to. The Last Stand, released this year, is another consistently badass effort from the band. The album with the most fervour, however, has got to be The Art Of War. If you can’t see yourself marching into war with Ghost Division blasting from speakers in the background, then you should probably reconsider your application for the Army.


The Devin Townsend Project

Suggested Album(s): Addicted (2009), Transcendence (2016), Accelerated Evolution (2003), Epicloud (2012), Sky Blue (2014)

There are criminally underrated bands; then there’s Devin Townsend. Remember when I was talking about good things to come out of Canada? This guy is undoubtedly near the top of that list. His music is unlike anything that’s been done before. It’s niche, yet the sheer variety of styles and genres Townsend delves into means there’s certainly something for everyone. But this variety also means he owns a humungous catalogue of albums. For someone new to his stuff, it’s impossible to know where to start. My suggestion is that you begin with the main band he tours with today: The Devin Townsend Project. While he does include the odd scream every now and again, he makes plenty of use of his melodic vocals, as well as the talent that is Anneke van Giersbergen. Together, their voices complement the music beautifully. The band’s latest record, Transcendence, demonstrates this better than ever. 2009’s Addicted also borders on perfection from start to finish. And although both Epicloud and Sky Blue are bold, majestic collections, Accelerated Evolution could well be the best place to start your search. Slow Me Down. Track 9. Listen to it. Love it. And with that … cut to black.


There. Part 2 is over – which means there’s only one list left. Like I’ve mentioned, these bands have been a bit heavier than the last ones – and next time, we’re bringing out the big guns. For now, check out the bands on this week’s list, get a feel for the inner workings of the Rock & Metal genre, and maybe you could end up becoming a true metal head by the end of this blog series. My fingers are already crossed. Stay tuned for the encore … Bye for now!





Rock & Metal: Just Hear It Out (Part One of Three)

Here’s the thing about Rock & Metal music. As a self-confessed, massive fan of the genre, I’m more than familiar with society’s attitude towards it. While the people who have enjoyed bands like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Machine Head for many years couldn’t have better things to say about it, the folks that refuse to listen to Rock & Metal tend to foster an incredibly negative opinion towards it. Like it’s a feral dog who hangs around the estate at night. But while I agree that it certainly isn’t for everyone, I think the genre gets a bad rep.

Some of my closest friends and family members have openly expressed their views to me about Rock & Metal music – and it’s nearly always the same comment: “It’s too loud for my liking. It’s all just noise.” At one point in my life, I would’ve agreed with this. Until I turned fifteen, my iPod shuffle (remember those??) primarily consisted of artists from my sister’s laptop. Justin Timberlake. P!nk. Mika. Calvin Harris. The stuff you’d spot in the charts each week. Although I was fine with it, I never felt like it was for me. Sure, I’d get a song in my head every now and again – but that didn’t necessarily mean I wanted it there in the first place.

Then I found rock. I was honestly shocked that I’d made it this far without even giving it a chance. But once I did, I never looked back. Over time, I came to listen to heavier and heavier bands, venturing from indie rock through to soft rock, before exploring hard rock, metal and eventually the music I love today. I admit, it was quite a leap to go from the Now That’s What I Call Music! CDs onto fast-paced head-bangers. That’s probably why my sister still posts shocked comments on Facebook whenever I upload pictures of the gigs I’ve attended. “You’re mad!” she regularly states. “You sound surprised,” I reply.

My point is, I once hated the idea of Rock & Metal music. I’d catch distant echoes of its presence throughout my childhood and every single time, I would mercilessly disregard it – and I would do this for the exact same reason mentioned: it was all just noise. To me, there was nothing distinguishable about it. Nothing you could truly call music. But now, seven years on, I can’t get enough of it. So, if someone like me can turn into a devoted rock and metal fan in such a short period, then maybe – just maybe – you could too. If you just gave it a chance.

For this reason, I propose an experiment; one that anyone who isn’t already a metal head can attempt, if they so choose. The challenge is this. I’m going to post three separate lists via this blog in the coming weeks – and each list will have 15 artists that I think you should check out. As the lists progress, the bands will get “heavier”. If you end up taking a shine to music I propose this week, then I’ll suggest you move on to the next list. My guess is that if you’re interested in taking part, you’ll already have a curiosity for rock music. However, by the end of the step three, I believe you’ll come to love rock – and perhaps even consider looking into a spot of metal.

To those of you on board, a hearty pat on the back to you. Let’s do this thang! To those of you turning your nose up in uncertainty, what’s the matter? Afraid you’ll like it? Don’t panic, you won’t find anything like Slipknot or Lamb of God or Dying Foetus on this list (and no, I didn’t make that last one up). Instead, I’ve handpicked these bands with careful consideration. I’m well aware that everyone’s taste is different, but I’m sure that if you’re already starting to get into rock, then you’ll find at least a couple of bands here you’ll enjoy. You ready? Then in no particular order, let’s kick off Part One …

(FYI: Only artists that have toured in the last ten years can make this list. Sorry Queen. You’re on a list for another day.)

Green Day

Suggested Album(s): American Idiot (2004), Nimrod (1997), 21st Century Breakdown (2009)

We begin with a staple (if not the staple) of American punk rock. Sporting Billie Joe Armstrong at the helm, this band is a great starting point for any rock enthusiast. Nimrod contains an eighteen-track collection of anthems like Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life), while 21st Century Breakdown includes iViva La Gloria! and 21 Guns, a phenomenal anti-war ballad. Regardless, any fan of Green Day is bound to say American Idiot is the undisputed masterpiece of their career – and they’d be right to say so. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. Holiday. Wake Me Up When September Ends. You can’t go wrong.

Foo Fighters

Suggested Album(s): The Colour And The Shape (1997), Wasting Light (2011), In Your Honour (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)

It seems that, as far as the music industry is concerned, Dave Grohl and his full, dark fringe can do no wrong. Foo Fighters is solid proof of this. Time after time they’ve delivered songs like Best of You, The Pretender, Walk and Monkey Wrench, repeatedly wowing mainstream listeners without fail. It’s fair to say their headlining slot at festivals is well-deserved. What’s more, last year they released Saint Cecilia, a very free EP that anyone can download. Bonus!


Suggested Album(s): Let There Be Rock (1977) Back In Black (1980), The Razer’s Edge (1990), Highway To Hell (1979)

Where would the world be without Angus Young and this ground-breaking band? I hate to think. Still going since 1973, AC/DC have a wealth of records for you to choose from –  the ones I’ve selected above, however, are a decent place to start. Whether you prefer Brian Johnson’s distinctive screech, or the softer delivery of Bon Scott (their original lead singer), you’re bound to fall in love with bangers like Highway To Hell, Thunderstruck, Back In Black, Whole Lotta Rosie … the list goes on.

Black Stone Cherry

Suggested Album(s): Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (2011), Kentucky (2016)

These guys seamlessly combine solid riffs with Chris Robertson’s easy-going vocals. While their latest outing – aptly named after their hometown – is a fine addition to their track record, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is definitely the album of choice. There are feel-good tracks like In My Blood and Like I Roll, or slightly heavier additions like White Trash Millionaire and the surprisingly dark Such A Shame. It’s certainly worth a listen.

Royal Republic

Suggested Album(s): Weekend Man (2016)

I’ve only recently discovered this band, so unfortunately I cannot vouch for any of their earlier stuff. What I can do, though, is tell you about how fricking amazing Weekend Man is. Drawing parallels with bands like Electric Six and Faith No More, their quirkiness is a dominant presence throughout. And you’ll be glad it is. Notable songs include High Times and People Say That I’m Over The Top. But there’s one thing I can absolutely guarantee: if you listen to When I See You Dance With Another, you’re bound to get it in your head. Multiple times. My girlfriend can safely back me up on this.

You Me At Six

Suggested Album(s): Sinners Never Sleep (2011)

Here’s one thing I’ll say about You Me At Six: the majority of their stuff is either forgettable or just a bit meh. Having said that, Sinners Never Sleep is by far their best work. Don’t be put off by the surreal choice of guest vocalists throughout, because the record is still chock full of varied and enjoyable songs. My personal favourites are Reckless, Loverboy and No One Does It Better, but you’ll be sure to find your own somewhere among the track list. It has plenty to offer the casual listener.

Biffy Clyro

Suggested Album(s): Only Revolutions (2009), Ellipsis (2016), Puzzle (2007), Opposites (2013)

The fact that I haven’t yet seen this band live is criminal. But if the studio outputs of this Scottish trio are anything to go by, the moment I finally do is going to be Biblical (for those of you that got the pun, I regret nothing). The Conversation Is … is quickly becoming one of my all-time favourite tunes; the title track on Opposites is a powerful, emotional song to chill out to; and their latest album, Ellipsis, is yet another powerhouse of memorable singles like Howl and Friends And Enemies. If you dug through the vaults of their career, however, Only Revolutions is the treasure you’d come across with awe. Be sure to look out for The Golden Rule, Bubbles, and … you know what, just check out every song on it. It’s all great.


Suggested Album(s): The Stranger EP (2016), The Callous Heart EP (2015), Creeper EP (2014)

Creeper are yet to release a full studio album and have only surfaced in the last few years; yet they are rapidly making an impact in the Rock & Metal community. In stand outs like Honeymoon Suite, Valentine and We Had A Pact, Will Gould‘s vocals carry dedicated fans into a state of sheer bliss with every listen. But the star of the show, by a country mile, is Misery. Give yourself to the chorus of this soft, catchy ballad, and you’ll be gladly reciting it for months, even years to come.

Pure Love

Suggested Album(s): Anthems (2013)

A bit of a sappy name to go for, I know. But don’t be fooled. The lead vocalist, Frank Carter may have gone on to heavier solo ventures since this band’s break up, but before this sad occasion, they treated us to Anthems. This gem delivers several feel-good numbers, including Handsome Devils Club and Riot Song. Yet Bury My Bones is the most enjoyable of the lot. An overall fantastic album to stick on in the summer time.

Fall Out Boy

Suggested Album(s): Infinity On High (2007), Save Rock And Roll (2013), Folie à Deux (2008)

The moment I listened to Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, I knew Fall Out Boy were the real deal. Fans of Panic! At The Disco’s early stuff might draw similarities with the frontman, Patrick Stump’s voice – but this is far from a bad thing. While they seem like a quiet bunch on stage, the antics Fall Out Boy members get up to outside the limelight are testament to this amusing and talented group. Infinity On High is my favourite album of theirs, as it’s filled to the brim with outstanding singles such as The Take Over, The Break’s Over and This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arm’s Race. But you’d be equally safe going for Folie à Deux or Save Rock And Roll. I Don’t Care and Where Did The Party Go are definitely worth your time.


Suggested Album(s): Pinkerton (1996), Weezer: The White Album (2016), Hurley (2010), Make Believe (2005)

Where do I start with this band? I think a fitting place is the album cover they picked out for 2010’s Hurley. There’s no other way of putting it – it’s a face shot of Jorge Garcia from Lost. Why? Because the lead guitarist Brian Bell claimed, and I quote, “all we wanted was his amazing face.” [1] This sums up Weezer perfectly. They’re the definition of random. But shockingly, they also make some damn good music too. Make Believe is worth a listen just for Beverly Hills; Ruling Me from Hurly is truly intoxicating; Pinkerton is simply marvellous from beginning to end; and their latest release isn’t too shabby either. Girl We Got A Good Thing is the one for me. I’m certain it’ll be the one for you too.

Royal Blood

Suggested Album(s): Royal Blood (2014)

If you tune into BBC Radio One on a regular basis, you’ve likely heard Royal Blood songs on numerous occasions. With only one album out, this duo seemingly came out of nowhere and propelled themselves to festival status in a way that most up-and-coming bands would be infinitely jealous about. Although I consider them a tad overrated, no one can deny that they know how to pull off a solid rock tune. Using deep, bass-fuelled riffs, tracks like Little Monster, Out Of The Black and Figure It Out are all wonderfully executed and a sight-to-see when played live.

The Darkness

Suggested Album(s): Permission To Land (2003), Hot Cakes (2012), One Way Ticket … To Hell And Back (2005)

The music brought to us by these Suffolk boys is not for the faint-hearted – or for people with tinnitus. But that’s beside the point. Justin Hawkin’s signature voice brings high-pitched glory to every song The Darkness churns out. Permission To Land is a phenomenal album, with favourites like Growing On Me, Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman and Friday Night making it so engaging. You’ll undoubtedly be familiar with I Believe In A Thing Called Love and their Christmas number one single, Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End). But this band has plenty of other magnificent tunes that most people are unaware of. Listen to She’s Just A Girl, Eddie and One Way Ticket, and you’ll surely be itching for more.

Against Me!

Suggested Album(s): White Crosses (2010)

If there’s one thing you take away from this list, I strongly suggest it be White Crosses. It’s a fantastic record that doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it deserves. I Was A Teenage Anarchist is the clear champion on the track list, but you’ll also indulge in High Pressure Low, Because Of The Shame and Bamboo Bones. You’ll find that it’s mostly Laura Jane Grace’s voice that carries the music into greatness. All in all, Against Me! is a fantastic band to sink your ears into.

My Chemical Romance

Suggested Album(s): The Black Parade (2006), Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (2004)

That brings us to our final band – and boy, is it a grand one. If you haven’t heard of My Chemical Romance, then you need to listen to them. The Black Parade is utterly brilliant in every way. From Dead! to Welcome to the Black Parade to Teenagers to Famous Last Words, you are bound to fall for this album. But it doesn’t stop there. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge also boasts stellar tunes, just a couple being Thank You for the Venom and I’m Not Okay (I Promise). The only quarrel I have is that they aren’t touring anymore. But who knows, somewhere on the horizon, a reunion might be on the cards. Here’s hoping.

There you go. Those are the fifteen bands. Go away, stick a couple of their albums on. If you like them, I urge you to come back for Part 2 of Rock & Metal: Just Hear It Out (I make it sound like a TV show!) Did I miss out any bands that you think should be here? Let me know in the comments section below. Who knows? Your suggestion might pop up in a later list. Come back to my blog in a couple of weeks to see if you have the stones to become a rock fan. Until then, thank you and farewell.