The 35 Best Rock Songs of 2017GuitarSpotting
28. Ryan Adams – To Be Without You (Prisoner)
“We are like a book and every page is so torn.
Nothing really matters anymore.”
Ryan Adams returned in 2017 with an album about heartbreak and regret. A breakup album isn’t the most uplifting idea in the world, but it comes out just fine in Adams’ capable hands.
I could have rolled with the more rockin’ ‘Do You Still Love Me?’, but I really dig the melancholy vibe of ‘To Be Without You’.
It’s a deeply personal song for Adams, who has stated he was “broken” and writing these songs helped greatly with the healing process. Despite its sad heart-on-a-sleeve nature, it’s a cool song and definitely worth a spin, especially if you’re a fan of his work.
27. Seether – Let You Down (Poison the Parish)
“So say something beautiful. Say what you’re keeping inside.
This anticipation, I will only let you down.”
Seether hails from South Africa, and released their latest album in May 2017.
Lead single ‘Let You Down’ is a gritty rocker with a heavy growling riff and a bit of a Tool vibe.
The vocals are delivered well and the dark lyrics work with the music to create a heavy, listenable groove.
TLDR: Dark & groovy.
26. Anathema – Springfield (The Optimist)
“How did I get here?
I don’t belong here.”
Liverpool band Anathema originally formed way back in 1990, testing several different band members and musical styles along the way. Their latest concept album The Optimist came out in the summer of 2017.
‘Springfield’ is a slow, atmospheric track that builds slowly on top of an unnerving piano riff. It’s sparse and moody but the whole thing just works.
25. Royal Blood – Lights Out (How Did We Get So Dark?)
“My eyes are still burning red.
So turn the lights out.”
British rock duo Royal Blood released their 2nd album How Did We Get So Dark in June of 2017.
‘Lights Out’ features fuzzy guitars plus some high-quality drumming and background vocals.
24. Electric Eye – Turn Around, Face the Sun (From the Poisonous Tree)
“The others left behind.
In a place hard to find.”
Electric Eye is a psychedelic band from Norway (now there’s a sentence you don’t hear every day!)
‘Turn Around, Face the Sun’ is a cool slice of psychedelia full of exotic sounds including some Indian instrumentation. The vocals weave in and out of an intricate mix of spaced-out mayhem.
23. Greta Van Fleet – Highway Tune (From the Fires)
“No stopping at the green light girl.
Because I want to get your signal.”
Young American rockers Greta Van Fleet have generated a love/hate reaction amongst fans. Some think they’re too derivative of 70s classic rock while others are just happy to hear new rock songs on the radio that, well, rock.
The fact that this song sounds just like a lost Led Zeppelin recording is both its greatest strength and biggest weakness. The guys definitely wear their musical influences on their sleeves, and if you’re going to get inspired, may as well choose one of the best bands ever.
What they’re doing is working, both song and album were hits and they’ve been playing sellout shows around the U.S. And after all, isn’t it about time the popular music pendulum swings back around to heavy bluesy rock and roll?
‘Highway Tune’ is a rockin’ ode to a simpler time with a crunchy riff and clear-eyed groove. An accessible, singalong hit. They definitely need to work on the lyrics, though.
TLDR: Whole lotta classic rock.
22. The Struts – One Night Only (Single)
“I’ll give you one night only.
For your eyes only.”
The Struts are an English classic rock band with elements of modern rock and glam.
‘One Night Only’ was released as a single back in July, a song about the relationship between a band and its fans.
It’s a legit rock anthem, with a strong arrangement and big singalong chorus. A Queen influence can definitely be heard here.