The 35 Best Rock Songs of 2017GuitarSpotting
14. Wire – Diamonds in Cups (Silver/Lead)
“The wheel of good fortune spins diamonds in cups.
Be in the right place, believe in your luck.”
Wire has been around for a long, long time, first appearing in the punk scene way back in 1976, and later becoming an influential member of the “post-punk” movement.
‘Diamonds in Cups’ is a slow-paced song with fuzzy guitars and a cool mellow vibe.
TLDR: Melancholy punk.
13. Rise Against – The Violence (Wolves)
“Are we not good enough? Are we not brave enough?
To become something greater. Than the violence in our nature?”
Rise Against released their 8th album Wolves back in June.
They’ve become pretty adept at balancing smooth sounds with rough edges over the years. And all the pieces fit together perfectly on ‘The Violence’. Cool guitar tone, excellent chorus.
12. Mastodon – Steambreather (Emperor of Sand)
“I wonder who I am.
Reflections offer nothing.”
Mastodon is a Georgia heavy metal band formed in 2000. They released their 7th studio album Emperor of Sand back in March, and it’s a strong piece of work.
‘Steambreather’ is a heavy droning rocker that slowly grows on you. It fits in with the album’s overall themes of death and darkness, but stands on its own as a single with impressive vocals and ass-kicking guitars.
TLDR: Accessible metal.
11. Regrettes – Seashore (Feel Your Feelings Fool!)
“You’re talkin’ to me like a child.
But I’m not a helpless baby.
Not waitin’ on you to come save me.”
The Regrettes are an LA punk band with an interesting sound, kind of like a combination of 60s girl groups and punk rock. The album was released in January 2017.
It starts out innocently enough, sounding a bit like a Phil Spector production … at least until the singer starts swearing.
The album contains several songs focused on gender issues and the trials of growing up. The band is still pretty young, but there is talent here and it’ll be interesting to see how their sound evolves.
10. Starset – Monster (Vessels)
“You’re the pulse in my veins.
You’re the war that I wage.
Can you change me?”
Ohio band Starset released Vessels in January 2017.
‘Monster’ has great ambience, full of interesting guitar sounds and effects plus a great vocal performance. A moody epic rocker.
TLDR: It’s a monster.
9. Black Angels – Comanche Moon (Death Song)
“Inside out. Upside down.
All around. Underground.”
The Black Angels hail from Texas, and released their 5th album Death Song back in April.
‘Comanche Moon’ is a cool, trippy bit of psychedelic rock, with intense guitars and a driving sense of purpose. There’s a lot going on here.
Lyrically, it’s about the struggle of Native Americans throughout the years. A great track to listen to through a good set of headphones, it’s a driving rocker that builds to a climax with a sense of menace and a killer riff.
TLDR: Trippy and intense.
8. Big Big Train – Grimspound (Grimspound)
“Look up to the night sky.
See the second brightest star?
Adjust to the dark light.”
English progressive rockers Big Big Train have been making music for a very long time, but everything sounds fresh on their latest album Grimspound.
The title track ‘Grimspound’ doesn’t rock as loud as many of the other songs on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as good. It takes you on a musical journey through several different sections that flow together flawlessly.
The band does flirt with 70s prog rock pomp, but it feels natural and organic.
‘Grimspound’ has a lovely atmosphere of musical textures with a pretty melody and a folk rock vibe. Everything here, from the musicianship and arrangement to the production to the lyrics, is superb.
TLDR: Progressive folk.