Here it is, list #7, the final one and the Grand Daddy of them all, The Music God’s Best of 2017 TOP 30 HARD ROCK records of the year.
When I started these lists 7 years ago, with a single list that covered all of the music for that year into one giant list, I had no idea that it and the radio shows associated with them, would grow to where they are now.
I want to thank every artist, band, label, PR firm, and listener that has allowed me to do this. It’s only going to continue to grow and get even BIGGER!
Now, it’s time to unveil these bad boys!
30) Warrant – Louder Harder Faster
We kick off with the new Warrant CD, the second featuring singer Robert Mason. You can really here how the lineup has solidified here as the band is the best it’s sounded in years. Featuring the ultimate balance between heavy rockers (Only Broken Heart) and ballads (U In My Life), this record serves nicely to let you know they’re far from being done.
29) Lynch Mob – The Brotherhood
Featuring a ton of buzz saw, trippy style guitars layered over Oni Logan’s amazing voice, this record style for days. It’s the perfect record to chill to while working.
28) Kickin Valentina – Imaginary Creatures
With a sound that some might compare to Guns N Roses, this record comes at you full tilt out of the gate and doesn’t really let up the whole way through. It’s a big, bombastic record that is sure to please hard fans of every style.
27) Every Mother’s Nightmare – Grind
With a record that captures much of their classic sound but with a big, thumping modern production, EMN come in here with a record that should position them nicely for a new run at the Rock n Roll crown.
26) Cream Pie – No Secrets
Italian rockers Cream Pie come in with their newest CD, a full on affair that in the veins of Dangerous Toys best stuff but with extra big harmonies. “Feeling” is a monster ballad of the highest order and one of the best of the entire year. “Disasterpiece” is also a ass kicking tune that will have your ass moving.
25) Dave Friday Band – Life Imitating Art
This Cali band delivers classy hard rock with a nod to the ’80s yet with an updated sound and top notch production from Johnny Lima. It’s their debut record and I will be looking for much more from them in the future.
24) Theia – Back In Line
With a killer record that I think many rock fans might have overlooked this year, This English trio comes in here. Back In Line is their second record and it’s a ripper. Mixing slamming hard rock with lots of blues influences, the band has written one for the ages with songs like the title track, “Signed, Sealed, Cemented” and “Afterglow”. If you’re looking for something new that will rock your face, look no further!
23) Degreed – Degreed
A record that is dancy as it is rock oriented, it’s an infinitely fun record to listen to and should put anyone in a good mood. While a bit more AOR than many of the picks here, it’s still a solid to the core record that is highly deserving of an entry on many lists.
22) Kee Of Hearts – Kee of Hearts
What a genius idea to team up Tommy Heart and Kee Marcello for a record. One of the most underrated singers in hard rock, Heart brings a style to these songs that is perfect. Like the perfect combination of Gotthard and Europe, this record is a must have for any serious hard rock fan.
21) Heaven & Earth – Hard To Kill
This band returns with a new record of stuff that has lots of retro style while adding lots of big, modern production. It’s a rocking record and should please fans of bands like The Winery Dogs, Whitesnake, and T. Rex.
20) Martina Edoff – We Will Align
Another artist that I believe is grossly overlooked by hard rock fans, Martina has consistantly released records that showcase her powerhouse vocals layered over engaging hard rock tunes. This record continues that trend with a solid outing that should please fans of both hard rock and of bands like Within Temptation and the like.
19) Sisters Doll – All Dolled Up
These glammed up rockers from Australia come in here with their newest record of tunes. This band has a ton of swagger and they really show it on songs like “Strutt” and “Young, Wild, & Free” which features Bruce Kulick.
18) Mark Slaughter – Halfway There
As close as you’re probably going to get to a full on Slaughter record these days, Mark comes in here with his second solo record. It’s a much more cohesive outing than his debut and really cranks up the rock a ton from the first one. This one proves that Mark’s voice is still one of the best in the business.
17) Tequila Sunrise – Danger Zone
Playing a mix that might best be described as White Lion meets Dokken, this Spanish band comes courtesy of Perris Records. It’s a proper rock record that shines with lots of flair and it’s killer production. A band that should be getting lots more attention from fans.
16) Dirtbag Republic – Downtown Eastside
Playing hard rock with lots of punk influences, this record is full of fist pumping anthems sure to please rockers and punkers alike. I was introduced to this band via a Facebook group dedicated to Glam Rock and it was an instant favorite. Full of sleazy, bombastic tunes, this is a highly likable record that is hard to deny.
15) Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres
A record that was introduced to me by a friend, I instantly liked this record and spent a few days listening to this on constant repeat. With many of the same qualities that The Cult brought, this band knows how to write a smoldering, sexy rock tune. It’s as solid a record as you can write and one that makes me want to hear a lot more from in the future.
14) The New Roses – One More For The Road
German rockers The New Roses deliver yet another higly melodic record full of straight ahead rockers with thumping rhythms and big time vocals. It’s a record that will equally please fans of bands like Cinderella as well as new bands like The Wild.
13) LA Guns – The Missing Peace
Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns are back together and once again showing fans what made those early records so amazing. First single, “Speed”, was a warning shot, so to speak, to let us know that band was back to kick ass and take names.
12) One Bad Son – Made In The Name of Rock n Roll
Hands down, one of my favorite bands going today. This band always deliver giant sized, bombastic rock tunes that are great for blasting at high volumes! If you haven’t discovered this band yet, nows your chance to discover one of hard rock’s best kept secrets!
11) Tokyo Motor Fist – Tokyo Motor Fist
This supergroup of sorts has written a record that is choked full of catchy tunes with hooks for days. Ted Poley really shines here with some of the strongest material he’s recorded yet. Here’s to hoping this isn’t the last we’ve heard from this group.
10) Julian Angel – The Death of Cool
Holy crap, what an utterly infectious record. German rocker Angel has written a record that wold have been absolutely monster if released back in in the 80’s yet still stands solid even in the modern era of hard rock. “She’s On Fire” is just a sick tune with the best hook of the year and a solo that is just as catchy. Is this tune doesn’t have your fist pumping in the air, then you’re simply NOT a fan of music. His best work yet and a must have record for any rock collection.
9) Art Nation – Liberation
These Swedish based musicians write super catchy, riff driven hard rock with tons of melody and killer vocals topped off with flawless playing.
8) Rhino Bucket – The Last Real Rock n Roll
Rhino Bucket return with the Eddie Spaghetti produced monster that takes no prisoners. It’s a boozed soaked, ripping affair that takes the best of the ‘AC/DC’ style and addes their own special take on it. If you want something that is sure to get any party going, this might be what you’re looking for.
7) Heavy Tiger – Glitter
All Hail this German trio of female rockers that give us this pure shot of rock n roll! Imagine if Pat Benetar, Joan Jett, and Lita Ford formed the ultimate power trio. “No Tears In Tokyo” in another song that has one of the greatest hooks this year. I promise it will be stuck in your head for days!
6) Babylon A.D. – Revelation Highway
I don’t think any record surprised me more than this one did. I’ve always been a fan of this band, my old band even had the pleasure of opening for them once. What they did on this record though is a huge step beyond anything from the past. Vocalist Derek Davis sounds absolutely flawless here and gives these tunes something they’ve never had in the past. The entire band has elevated their game. There were very good in the past, this is approaching greatness!
5) Sainted Sinners – Sainted Sinners
This band came to be after singer David Reece left the band Bonfire. It’s a rock solid dose of Deep Purple/Whitesnake influenced hard rock that is flawless both in the playing aspect as well as the production end. One that would have been a top contender on a normal year and simply ended up here due to the abnormally brilliant year for music this year.
4) Janet Gardner – Janet Gardner
Who knew that the Vixen singer had THIS in her. This is as bombastic and hard hitting as any record this year and I damn near put this in the metal category due to it’s heaviness. Rife with Janet’s brilliant vocals over industrial style beats and Justin James’ shredding guitar that has that same ‘vicious’ tone that DJ Ashba employs. This is a monster sized record that isn’t about playing nice, it’s all about throwing gasoline on an already raging fire!
3) Warrior Soul – Back On The Lash
Korey Clarke returns here with his best work in decades. This is one of those records written as a giant middle finger to society. No please, thank you, or may I have another…just the band with both middle fingers in the air, proudly screaming FUCK YOU at everything they perceive as wrong with the world!
2) Gotthard – Silver
This is the record that was #1 on my list for much of the year. I was sure that nothing was going to be able to knock it out of the top spot. This is the 3rd with new singer Nic Maeder and it’s the record that I think ALL Gotthard fans have been waiting for since the passing of original singer, Steve Lee. Don’t get me wrong, the past two were good, but it just felt like something was missing. This though, the band has perfectly captured that past energy they had with Lee and pumped out a record full of new tunes that are winners on every level. The first two kept me hanging on but this one made me a believer!
1) Wraith – Revelation
It took exactly ONE listen to this one to know it was going to be my top pick for the year. The guys have managed to capture every single element of what makes hard rock great and harnessed it into a record that is like the perfect statement on how it SHOULD be done. Easily comparable to the best stuff that RATT has produced while also mixing in elements of bands like Y & T, Waysted, and some of the NWOBHM stuff, this is a record that is simply flawless in every aspect. It’s records like this that define a band’s career and I couldn’t think of a better record to have do that.