I am a sucker for rock n’ roll of all kinds…but one of my biggest weaknesses is Brit rock, or faux Brit rock, as some may call it. I blame Lee Garrett, really, for introducing me to The Stereophonics a decade ago and making me fall in love… and ever since then, it’s just been an obsession.
I’ve been craving screaming guitar, thrumming bass and pounding drums like a pregnant woman wants pickles lately. Luckily, I’ve got the cure. Three cures, actually. And not a one of ’em British.
To help rock you through your long Thanksgiving weekend, let me introduce you to: The Midnight Youth, hailing from New Zealand; and two long-time go-tos for blistering rock, both out of California, The Golden State & The Ruse.
You’re welcome. Happy Turkey Rock.
THE MIDNIGHT YOUTH | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Recently, a New Zealand band I follow on Twitter mentioned The Midnight Youth and how they were releasing a new album soon; said they couldn’t wait for it. Can’t explain what it was about that tweet that made me click on the link, but I did. And I tripped into the rock n’ roll wonderland of The Midnight Youth. After watching their French Girl video, I knew I had to have more. A week later, their World Comes Calling album was released, and it has literally been on repeat ever since. I am hypnotized by lead singer Jeremy Redmore’s clean, soaring vocals that are reminiscent of the best 70s rock bands. If that didn’t win me over, the incredible, beatastic smashing drums and cymbals of Aidan Bartlett would have. This is 2011’s answer to arena rock. The whole album is tremendous, but I am especially in love with “Listen” and the title track – nicely captured in the video below. Seriously, you need to own this record, people. It is baffling to me that we are not promoting music like this in the U.S.
GOLDEN STATE | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Oh, Golden State. A stumbled upon this brit-esque band a few years back when I was looking for a track to round out one of my mix CDs. I’ve been following them ever since. Lead singer James Grundler started in a band called Paloalto that broke up in 2004, and Golden State got together soon after. They’ve released two full lengths, including their latest album Division, and a number of EPs (some that you can’t get any more), been featured music on “Deadliest Catch” in several seasons (particularly poignant was the use of their song “All Roads Lead Home” during the scenes during and following Captain Phil’s death). Again, win me over with vocals, woo me with guitar shredding and heartpounding rhythms… These boys have it. Today, they released their video for “World on Fire” and it just makes me love ’em more. Graceful, beautiful rock n’ roll.
THE RUSE | Web | Facebook | Twitter
Years ago, The Ruse came and played at The Evening Muse in Charlotte. I was instantly sold on them; the influence from Brit and Euro bands like U2 is fairly obvious, but their writing was what won me over. Absolutely gorgeous lyrics, and we all know I’m a lyrics girl. Then came their 2008 release Midnight in the City, which made #1 on my Top Ten list… And, might I add, spawned an iTunes free single of the week with “Beautiful Is Gone.” Last year’s Love, Sex, Confusion just added to my minor obsession, especially after the creative video for “I Can’t Stop” came out. They’re simply one of the best unknown rock bands in the U.S. So I was pretty excited to download their new EP, Rebellion, today… And I’m pleased as punch with it! This little five song EP is scaled back a bit from their previous records…less “wall of sound,” quieter guitars, softer edges, lots of melodic “whoas” and “ohs”…but it really showcases the songwriting and the individual band members contributions to the music. My favorite track right now is the hardest rocker on the album, “In Defense of the Rebellion” (quite appropriate given the political climate/Occupy movement going on right now), but I’m also quickly falling in love with “Ten Thousand Years.” Epic love story, really, and I’m one of those sappy romantic types. At under $5, you can definitely afford to drop $5 of your Black Friday spending money on this as a gift to yourself!