Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts. They just moved me in some way good or bad!
It is time to start the list so here we go…
#20 – “Loading Zones” – Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’: Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city. It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing. The video is great as well.
#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’: I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song. It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album. Such a heavy bass and guitar sound, it was just great.
#18 – “In Walks Barbarella” – Clutch off the album ‘Book of Bad Decisions’: I didn’t know Clutch prior to this album, but hate I have missed out. This song stood out for me with it’s classic rock and funk metal feel mixed together. I like Neil Fallon’s vocals and any song that talks about Barbarella is worth listening to, right!
#17 – “Watch the Fire” – W.E.T. off the album ‘Earthrage’: I am fan of Jeff Scott Soto and anything he sings whether it is his solo work, SOTO or Sons of Apollo or even W.ET. What is great about this one is that he shares the lead with Erik Martensson. It is pure melodic rock magic.
#16 – “Crazy Horse” – The Poodles off the album ‘Prisma’: I know it is a cover song, but damn! They take The Osmond Brothers’ song and turn it into a Heavy Metal gem. Now that is definitely going outside your genre. The song is cranked up much heavier and would fit perfectly on any Poodles’ album. What helps is that I was not real familiar with this song so I had no preconceived notions of what this song should sound like.
#15 – “Dance Macabre” – Ghost off the album ‘Prequelle’: The song is almost disco not metal and I really dug it despite its extremely disturbing story. It talks about the plague from the 1300’s and how people were kind of partying like it didn’t matter which it didn’t as they all thought they were going to die. Now that is a good reason for a disco song.
#14 – “Evolution” – Monster Truck off the album ‘True Rockers’: Now when I first heard this, I thought what are they doing? This is not their sound. It was more Nickelback than Monster Truck. It was too modern sounding. But over time, this one really grew on me. I dug it more and more and then would catch myself sining it when I wasn’t listening to the album. That means it is good…at least I think it does.
#13 – “Infra-Red” – Three Days Grace off the album ‘Outsider’: The #1 song and second single for the band just grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go. The song gave the band their 13th #1 song which ties Van Halen, not bad company to keep. The song is a hard-driving rocker and kicks some major ass.
#12 – “A Dying Machine” – Tremonti off the album ‘A Dying Machine’: I love the how heavy this band is for Mark Tremonti. It showcases he is more than Creed and Alter Bridge and that he can sing as well as play a killer guitar. The song is one of those that slaps you across the face repeatedly until it starts to feel good and you enjoy it.
#11 – “Gifted by the Wind” – Earthless off the album ‘Black Heaven’: The classic rock, psychedelic rock or whatever you want to call it really struck a chord with me. The first album with vocals I believe, but they still jam it out and play some serious ass music. These guys are something that should be heard. They have my attention now.
#10 – “Get Up” – Shinedown off the album ‘Attention Attention’: If there is one thing Shinedown can do is write a wonderfully, beautiful ballad. They might be heavy the rest of the time, but they always bring one softer song. And who doesn’t love a good ballad. I know I do.
#9 – “Peace Now” – The Alarm off the album “Equals”: The Alarm has also had some social commentary in their albums and they have done them in such a way that made it interesting and made you take notice. And they used the harmonica in grand affect in the past and was part of their signature sound for me. That had been missing so far on this album until this song and that is when I lost my shit. At the build up of the chorus at a little over 2 minutes into the song, Mike whipped out the harmonica and I was taken back to the 80’s Alarm. It was over for me at this point there was no going back to not listening to The Alarm.
#8 – “When the Curtain Falls” – Greta Van Fleet off the album ‘Anthem of the Peaceful Army’: The debut album finally came out and it was fantastic. They still sound like Led Zeppelin, but don’t really care as Zep isn’t putting out anything new. I will take this. This song had some great driving riffs and the vocals are just Plantesque and I am loving it.
#7 – “Take It To The Cross” – Stryper off the album ‘God Damn Evil’: This song was so different than what I was expecting. It was heavy as shit, almost Thrash and it was wonderful. It might have turned off some people, but it turned me on. The heavier the better Stryper! Keep it coming!
#6 – “Tatler Magazine” – The Struts off the album ‘Young & Dangerous’: This isn’t a single, but I am singling it out because it is pure joyous, hilarious, fantastical (yes that is a word…well it is now) rock & roll bliss. Probably my favorite track as it reminds so much of the fun songs Queen would do like “Fat-Bottomed Girls” or “Bicycle”.
#5 – “Mission to Mars” – Ace Frehley off the album ‘Spaceman’: This song is my favorite from his new album. It just completely rocks out with a killer solo and he actually sounds great. It is what I love about Ace and can’t get enough. Yes, the whole space context can get old, but for some reason this one worked so well and I have it on repeat a lot.
#4 – “Shame” – Reach off the album ‘The Great Divine’: Maybe I am listening to too much Panic at the Disco (thanks to my daughter always blaring it), but I swear there are some of their elements in this song. Especially Ludvig’s vocals. He throws a little theatrical flare into the vocals on this one which is similar to Brendon Urie. This song actually was unexpected and blew me away. This shows the real talent of the band. Should I keep going or do you understand that this song is awesome???
#3 – “Painkiller” – Halestorm off the album ‘Vicious’: A song that hits it on all cylinders with great guitar solos, nasty bass lines and explosive drumming. Throw in Lzzy’s vocals and you have a nasty and dirty rock song that the louder you play it the better it gets. 100% solid rock song. Turn it up!!
#2 “Running Mazes” – Dee Snider off the album ‘For the Love of Metal’: As I have said, I like it loud and heavy and this one checks both points completely. I don’t know what it is but this screams metal for me and the song is so pounding and fast that I can never turn it off. If there was ever a song that need to be turned up to 11, this was it.
The #1 Rock Song of 2018:
“The Great Beyond” – Myles Kennedy off the album ‘Year of the Tiger’: It is the most adventurous song on the album. It has the most going by adding in strings with violins and a cello. It is smorgasbord of sound. Myles nails it vocally and the song is just…Wow!! One of the busiest singers in the business thankfully finally found time for a solo album and boy did he deliver. The song and the album are must owns.
There you have it. My Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have this year. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us with new music. I don’t know if it can compete with 2018, but we will see…or hear!!
The next Top 20 list will be the Top 20 Songs of 2018 that aren’t rock songs, of course. They will be a mixture of all the other genres out there. Check it out tomorrow.