Scott Stapp – The Space Between the Shadows (2019)
Say what you want about Scott Stapp and his former band Creed (personally, I like Creed – particularly the Weathered album), but it is fantastic to see an artist who was at rock bottom, turn it all around and parlay the experience into a mighty record.
The Space Between The Shadows is a great rock record, lyrically personal and full of emotion. Stapps voice is still nothing short of fantastic, and the music is designed around that voice. There are some massive bangers on the album too – check out Survivor, Purpose For Pain and World I Used To Know For great hard rock tracks, or the stunning Wake Up Call for a glimpse of the more personal moments.
The New Roses – Nothing But Wild (2019)
For years we’ve been told that rock is dead (it will NEVER die!), but lately there has been a crop of young bands that raise the middle finger to that sentiment, and deliver an energetic hard rock sound that’s throws back to the glory days.
Here on their fourth full length album, The New Roses continue flying the flag for rock defiantly. Massive riffs and huge choruses are this band M.O, and they do it successfully. Soundtrack of My Life and Nothing But Wild are the deadset highlights of a very strong album. Check out the unplugged bonus tracks for a different spin on the bands sound.
John 5 & the Creatures – Invasion (2019)
A solo album from a guitarist can often be a little self indulgent, and for lack of a better term, wanky. That’s not the case here. John 5 is a remarkable and underrated guitarist – but he doesn’t make Invasion all about him. It is an album heavily driven by guitar, but the backing band (The Creatures) is equally important to the flow of the record.
John 5 is an innovative player, and shows that as he sweeps and riffs across a wide range of musical backdrops. From the funky Zoinks!, to the dancey I Am John 5, Invasion is an incredibly fun listening experience, and provides something for everybody.
Hed PE – Stampede (2019)
Hed PE have always mixed hip hop, funk and metal to varied results. On Stampede they don’t change the formula that works for them, and fans alike, even if there is less hard rock or metal than on previous albums.
Playingwithfire provides a highlight, while Bossup and Untouchable will please long time fans.
The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger (2019)
Whether you know them as The Raconteurs or The Saboteurs, one think that’s for sure is that the band provides a great time to listeners.
I love Jack White, so I’m probably a little biased, but the guy is an amazing talent, and the rest of the band are on equal footing – firing on all cylinders on Help Us Stranger. Sure it’s not the most “straight up” rock music, but It’s diverse and interesting – and features some remarkable guitar licks. The title track, and Sunday Driver provide the highlights.
Wolf Prayer – Echoes of the Second Sun (2019)
Doom laden stoner rock. Slow and grinding, but colourful just the same. Wolf Prayer are just one band out of a massive crop of stoner rock bands, but they do manage to make themselves stand out from the pack.
Introducing progressive elements to their sound gives the band a boost, and the superb bass guitar in Shapeshifter certainly helps their cause as well. Strings Like A Puppet is the highlight for me – the strained vocal adding a hint of emotion.
Words by Shayne McGowan.