Few musical genres deliver the kind of catharsis and liberation to its fans that rock does. And considering we live in times when the world has been brought to a standstill thanks to a deadly pandemic (including putting a stop to concerts for a considerable period of time), the people need that from music more than ever.
The last few years has seen no shortage of high quality work from veterans and newcomers alike. Bands have put their heart and soul, and creativity, into ensuring the genre continues to deliver for its fans.
In the last couple of years, we saw comebacks for legends such as AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and Deftones. The old guard didn’t just come back to ride on the nostalgia wagon either. All of them turned out work that added to their legendary repertoire.
These recent years certainly weren’t just all about the legends, as we saw star-making work from fresher faces like Code Orange, Wolfgang Van Halen, and Pallbearer. The current stalwarts did not lag behind either, with excellent albums from the likes of The Darkness.
With such a diverse range of acts keeping our rock cravings satisfied, selecting ten of them certainly wasn’t easy, but here we are nonetheless…
10. Checkered Past - L.A. Guns
L.A. Guns have been as good as they get, when it comes to keep their act fresh and enjoyable, despite being decades into their run as a band. Their 2021 raunch-driven thrill ride was another example of just that.
With the band’s two most famous members Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis running the show, as they have been for the band’s past three albums now, Checkered Past takes listeners on a rock 'n' roll rollercoaster, featuring plenty of shrieks, hard-hitting riffs, and everything else that has hooked fans since the late '80s.
It opens strong with "Cannonball". A song with a relentless pace and tempo, the perfect kind of groove, and an addictive chorus, it smashes into eardrums with just right impact. "Bad Luck Charm" carries on in the same heavy yet catchy vein. The ballads on the album also do an excellent job balancing out the heavier taste. "Get Along" and "Let You Down" both give listeners a breather, while letting them immerse in the sheer emotion and melancholy of the songs.