BEST OF 2017 Top 30 Modern Rock

Day 4 of the lists, so that means it’s time for list #4! It’s time to get into the Rock and Metal side of things, which means this is all music that would be featured on my radio show, Auditory Riot, which can be heard every Wednesday from 7-10 pm EST on Mad World Radio Network!

Now, for the main attraction! I give you the TOP 30 Modern Rock releases for this year!

30) Smash Into Pieces – Rise And Shine

Mixing an electronic edge to heavy, driving modern rock to create a sound that sounds like Shinedown on steroids. Great driving music for the car.

29) Random Hero – The Covering

Christian rockers from Denver come in here with their giant sized record of uplifting tunes that are sure to rock your face while giving hope.

28) Project 86 – Sheep Among Wolves

A late entry to the list as this came in near the deadline, it still immediately made an impact. I’ve always loved this band and this record continues a long line of superb records.

27) Carousel Kings – Charm City

Pop Punk from Lancaster, PA, (I won’t hold that against them!), these guys bring a ton of energy to their release that is full of fun, catchy tunes that are sure to get a party going.

26) As It Is – Okay

Pop Punk with super melodic vocals and propulsive rhythms. Lots of different vibes and feel to this one.

25) For The Win – Heavy Thoughts

Melodic Screamo with some pop punk edges. This San Diego, California bands sound perfectly blends the screamed vocals of screamo with the slamming grooves of punk to create something really awesome.

24) Sumo Cyco – Opus Mar

Mixing slamming hardcore grooves with reggae influenced vocals from a female singer that reminds of Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt stuff. This band is similar in nature to Skindred but more electronic edges in places and much catchier songs.

23) Never Say Never – No Filter

What happens when you mix pop punk with hip hop? You get this outstanding record from Arizona based rockers Never Say Never. Full of head bobbing music that is built to be played loud!

22) Royal Thunder – WICK


This record is a perfect example of a band that can be totally elevated by having the perfect singer. This is a record of good songs made excellent by singer Mlny Parsonz monstrously emotional voice. Like a whirling, hurricane of sound, this record just overwhelms your senses.

21) Dirty Machine – Discord

Mixing Chuck D style rapping with Nu Metal style vocals laid over a big, booming bed of tunes that come at like a raging grizzly bear intent on ripping your head off.

20) The Rasmus – Dark Matters

Musical chameleons The Rasmus return with their first record in five years and it’s a winner on every level. Never intent on recording the same style twice, this record once again proves that this band can write damn great songs whether they’re in the style of reggae, pop, or darker stuff like HIM. There are fews bands that cover the amount of musical ground on the same record that they do.

19) Resident One – Stay Inside

These Atlanta area rockers come in with their debut album that has all the qualities that you love from bands like AFI. It’d be easy to call this Pop Punk but it’d really do the band an injustice as their sound is so much more developed than that.

18) Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

It’s Chuck D and B-Real with Rage Against The Machine…what more really needs to be said? It’s not going to be for everyone, obviously, due to it’s highly political content…but that’s ok. If you need something to just RAGE to…this fits perfectly!

17) Blacklite Disctrict – Instant Gratification

If Deadmau$ started a rock band, I imagine it would sound something like this. Full of rocking songs that would be perfect for getting any club hyped up!

16) Seether – Poison The Parish

Dark, moody, and everything else you expect from this band. It’s a record of super catchy tunes that can alternately bring goosebumps or knock your teeth out.

15) Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth

Papa Roach is a band that perplexes me at times. There’s certain songs that I absolutely love and some that I detest but this record seems to strike the perfect balance. It’s full of punchy, melodic tunes where Jacoby Shaddix really sounds perfectly in his element. My favorite record from this band by a mile.

14) Ballyhoo! – Girls

This was my ‘summertime jam record.” Full of reggae influenced pop punk tunes with booming bass lines, this is the kind of record you put in the car, roll down the windows, crank full blast, and just drive! “Mixtape” and “Blaze This Weed” are essential jams for any road trip!

13) Supernova Plasmajets – Supernova Plasmajets

I debated whether to put this band on this list or the hard rock list and I suppose they really could have fit on either one. I ended up putting them here because I think they fit better with the modern style of hard rock as opposed to the more traditional ‘hair’ bands that the other list is made of. Either way, a must have debut from this German band that is full of killer tunes perfect for getting hyped up!

12) Grand Theft Culture – Grand Theft Culture

take the killer songwriting of someone like Small Town Titans and add the musical sensibilities of 21 Pilots and you get something that might sound like this outstanding record that is crammed full of head dizzying tunes sure to make you a huge fan!

11) Danko Jones – Wild Cat

Rock n roll isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it just requires sweaty, nasty, punch you in the face tunes meant to kick your ass and get you moving. This record does that in droves! It’s a huge, flaming, pile of “I’m here to fuck shit up” music!

10) Lethal Injektion – Judgement Night

If any band is the logical successor to the Linken Park sound, it’s this Arizona based band that mixes emotional vocal passages with booming rap verses and raging guitars. Their debut made me a fan but this makes me a believer. This band is built to take no prisoners!

9) NateWantsToBattle – Sandcastle Kingdoms

When I got the promo for this record, I was sure that it was a record that I wasn’t going to like. After one listen, I was proven a complete liar and knew that it was going to rank very high on my list. It’s full of bouncy tunes that perfectly blend pop sensibilities with driving rock music from musician and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Sharp, who also happens to be a Youtube star in his own right!

8) Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Some bands write fun, catchy stuff, some write political stuff, and some lay their souls bare in songs that cut damn near to the bone. Few bands write songs more emotional than these guys. Songs so personal they just bring goosebumps and damn near reduce you to tears. This record is full of them but none more so then the closing track, “Fade In/Fade Out.” It’s an example of when a single song make the whole record worth purchasing!

7) Bobaflex – Eloquent Demons

I’ve always been a fan of this band but this record far surpasses everything they’ve done in the past. This is a whole new level of greatness for them and if this doesn’t catapault them into the stratosphere of music, then there’s just no damn justice in the world!

6) Davey Suicide – Made From Fire

this is FIGHT MUSIC, plain and simple. This is the kind of music made for people that want to break shit! If this doesn’t get you hyped as hell, then just crawl into your grave now! This is the record that Manson wishes he could still write! The pairing with Twiztid on the song “Too Many Freaks” is perfect and sums up this record perfectly!

5) Art of Anarchy – The Madness

I don’t think there was any record that I expected to dislike more this year. I’m just NOT a Scott Stapp fan and I didn’t have any hopes for this. Instead, we get a record where Stapp turns in the performance of his life and brings life to these songs in a really great way. Here’s to hoping the band continues in this direction

4) Hell Or Highwater – Vista

As a huge fan of their debut album, I was excited to finally see them back with the followup to that record. Full of ridiculously catchy, hard rock tunes that are just fun to hear. I already can’t wait to hear what’s next for them. Hopefully, it’s not another 6 years.

3) Frontstreet – Reality Check

Dutch rap meets metal band comes in here with their superb debut that fuses all the best elements of the nu-metal style without all of the cheesiness that invaded the era at the end of the 90’s. The genre is now making a comeback and this band is poised to be at the forefront of leading the evolution of it. This is one record where you CAN believe the hype!

2) Makeout – The Good Life

Pop Punk of the highest order! In a genre that can be watered down at times, this band get it exactly right! Their debut album is one of my most played this year and is the kind of debut that any band should be proud of. The song “Crazy” is the most fun song this year and “Secrets” is the best damn breakout song I’ve heard in a decade! The production on this thing is flawless and just sounds like a million bucks!

1) Backwordz – Veracity

Short and sweet, there isn’t a record that was MORE needed this year (or any year, for that matter) than this one. Lyrically, it’s a love note/hate letter to the world as we know it. Something needs to change in the world, and this record is a damn good way to start! Obviously, many won’t agree with the lyrical content of this record and it’s for that very reason I LOVE it. It’s like lead singer Eric July read my mind and then wrote songs about it. Love it or hate it, there needs to be A LOT more bands willing to stand in the cut like this and lead the charge!


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