It’s that time of the year again. It is time to determine the cream of the crop, the best of the best. It’s time to figure out what were the best hard rock albums for 2010. This year brought some amazing albums to the rock fan. From Buckcherry to Ozzy to the latest from Hinder, it was quite a year. Several exceptional albums were released that will not be mentioned on this list. Alas, it’s a top 10, so only 10 can make the cut. And now without any further blathering, let’s get to the top 10 hard rock albums of 2010.
Sneaking in at number 10 is the latest release from one of the greatest rock bands ever. Iron Maiden put out another solid record this past summer in the form of The Final Frontier. Powerful, progressive, and deep, The Final Frontier shows Maiden evolving even after all this time. Dickinson still has a great voice and the triple guitar attack sounds better than ever. Iron Maiden is still a meaningful band in rock and The Final Frontier shows that this band still has a lot to say.
The sophomore jinx certainly didn’t hit this band. Back with foot stomping, hand clapping, bar room rock, Airbourne released another fantastic CD. With fast rhythm, heavy beats, and a rock and roll attitude, No Guts, No Glory is one of the best in show for 2010. Airbourne delivered more music that is bound to be enjoyed by many a metal head. If you’ve been seeking that hard and heavy AC/DC sound that has your foot stomping the gas, look no further. Airbourne’s No Guts No Glory is where it’s at.
Brand new to the scene, Black Sunshine released their self titled debut in 2010. They are a band that should go far in the industry if they continue making music like this. A modern rock marvel,Black Sunshine is a fantastic debut album that any hard rock fan should own. With themes of rebellion, the desire to rise above, and not wanting to be a wage salve, Black Sunshine sends a message that rock fans can relate to.
The Scorpions released their final studio record this past summer and it’s quite the swan song. Packed with riffs that rock fans have loved over the years, Sting In The Tail is another amazing record from this storied band. Hard rock anthems, meaningful ballads, and guitar driven classics are performed with grace and style. The Scorpions are leaving us with one of the best records they’ve ever recorded. Sting In The Tail has the band going out on top
Formed from the remains of Buckcherry, Black Robot released their eponymous debut with much anticipation. Leaning on blues over metal, Black Robot is a hard rock record that shows the other bands how to make great music. With amazing songs like “Badass”, a magnificent cover of “Cocaine”, and the Black Sabbath-esque “25 Days Of Night”, Black Robot proved their worth. Seeped in a wall of sound that penetrates the eardrums with musical pleasure, this is a record worth adding to your collection. and leaves the fans wanting more.
Another self-titled debut enters the top 10. American Bang’s debut record is another blues filled fun fest. Drawing on their inner Black Crowes, American Bang stunned listeners this year with a quality record. A southern rock sound mixed with a modern flair is what makes American Bang such a memorable disc. If the band continues to churn out strong songs like those on their debut record, they are going to have a long career in rock and roll.
One of the most well known legends of rock released a record this past summer that was so powerful it renewed my faith in both him and heavy metal. Scream is a magnificent album that blends the perfect balance of heavy rock songs, slow ballads, and mid-tempo hits. Scream is shrouded in darkness and power. This is an album where metal fans can feel the power and sing along with their fists in the air. Ozzy released such a strong record that there was no question of should it end up on the best of list, the only question was where. Packed with monster rock songs and outstanding ballads, Scream is a fantastic record from start to finish.
On his first solo album, Slash brought in a plethora of singers to help him craft a record worthy of bearing the guitar god’s name. The right selection was certainly made because Slash is a record that is so grand it’s hard to believe that it took him this long to release a solo album. Spanning all sorts of styles and influences, Slash has something for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of scream along songs, soulful ballads, blues, heavy metal, or modern rock – they’re all on Slash. With great singers such as Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Iggy Pop, and Chris Cornell,Slash is one of those rare, must-own albums.
Coming out late in the year and almost missing the party, Hinder had to release a monster record to be considered one of the best for 2010. Well, the band accomplished just that, and challenged strong for the best record of 2010. Alas, they fell just short. All American Nightmare is rock and roll done right. From heavy, foot stomping metal to sweet ballads, Hinder covers it all on All American Nightmare. This is the album that will push this band into the next stratosphere. I expect to hear a lot of Hinder on the radio in 2011 as All American Nightmare gets the attention it deserves.
Hitting me over the head like a baseball bat swung by Albert Pujols, Rock N Roll by Social Code is not only the best hard rock record I heard in 2010, it’s one of the best rock albums I’ve ever listened to. Packed with power, Rock N Roll is an album done right. This is what rock music should sound like. It’s also the way all albums should be crafted – no filler, just great music. Social Code has created a record that is destined for greatness and it’s an album that all hard rock fans should own. Rock N Roll is an absolute masterpiece and the best rock album for 2010.
And there you have it. Ryo Vie’s picks for the greatest hard rock albums released in 2010. I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.
American Bang, Default, My Darkest Days & Hinder played to a packed house at Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bogarts on November 19th.
Unfortunately, I missed American Bang. I hit the club right at 8 P.M., and American Bang has already left the stage. I was looking forward to seeing those guys. (My ticket said show at 8 P.M., DOH!!!)
Default took the stage at approx. 8:30. I have to admit, that I was not familiar with the band. I thought they were good, but they didn’t overwhelm me. I probably would have liked them better if I knew some of their songs. I have checked out their latest CD, Comes and Goes yet, but will be doing so soon. You can download their song, “Turn It On” for FREE at this link!
My Darkest Days took the stage next, and quite honestly almost stole the show. I don’t know if I could classify My Darkest Days as a hard rock band, but it didn’t matter. They were excellent!! The band had an amazing stage presence, and I truly enjoyed hearing their songs live. Reid Henry, the band’s keyboard/guitar player put forth so much energy on stage. He was fun to watch. If I was going to put together a new band today, I would be proud to have this guy in a band. He was great! I hope that I will get to see this band play again in the near future.
Some of the songs they played live were, “Move Your Body”, “Come Undone” (Duran Duran cover), “Fucked Up Situation” and the set closer “Pornstar Dancing”.
Hinder was the headliner for the show, and rightfully so. Every time I have seen Hinder they have always put on a good show, and this night was no exception. These guys get a bad rap far too often, and I don’t understand why. The only thing I see Hinder as being guilty of is rocking! Joe Garvey, Mark King, and Mike Rodden, Hinder’s guitar triumvirate play with a lot of energy and are fun to watch. I love seeing Cody Hanson play the drums on his riser behind the band. With his fiery red hair, he reminds me of Animal from the Muppets when he plays the drums. I don’t know what was going on with Austin Winkler on this night. I thought his voice sounded good, but his hair was slicked back in a fashion that he looked a lot like George McFly in the Back to the Future movies.
The band played a bunch of new songs from their soon to be released CD, All American Nightmare. The songs were well received by the packed house at Bogart’s. Prior to this night, I have only heard a couple of the songs from the videos that we have posted at Hard Rock Hideout. Judging from the new tunes that I heard, the new album is going to kick butt!
I thought Hinder put on another great show in Cincinnati, and the crowd that was there definitely seemed to think so too.
Don’t miss Hinder when they come to your town. They have a bunch of tour dates remaining in December. Check the band’s website for tour dates here!
This is the set list from Hinder’s show:
2 Sides of Me (new)
Up All Night
All American Nightmare (new)
What Ya Gonna Do (new)
Better Then Me
Hey Ho (new)
Lips Of An Angel
Waking Up The Devil
Put That Record On (new)
Check out our photo gallery below!
American Bang has been out on the road in support of their major label, self-titled, debut album. The boys in the band were kind enough to take a few moments out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions for Hard Rock Hideout. Hard Rock Hideout (HRH): What was the recording process like for your major label debut album?
American Bang (AB): We cut the band live at Blackbird Studios in Nashville and then we went to Maui – where Bob Rock lives - and did some guitar overdubs and Jaren sang his vocals.
HRH: How did this differ from your prior recordings (I Shot the King) & (Move To the Music)?
AB: We recorded about the same way that we have in the past, this time we just had the luxury of having more time and a nicer studio to work in.
HRH: You were originally known as Bang Bang Bang. Why did you change your name to American Bang?
AB: Our first gig was on the 4th of July in 2005 and so when we were having some legal trouble with our old name we sat around for a couple days brainstorming and we landed on AMERICAN BANG. It felt like our band and was a BIG sounding name which is what we wanted.
HRH: What’s your favorite song on American Bang?
AB: Tough Question… I think we all really like All We Know. It was the last song written for the record and still feels new and fresh and it’s a fun listen on the album cause it gets to stretch out a little more.
HRH: Who was the inspiration behind I Wouldn’t Want To Be You?
AB: It’s a general thought about parents being hypocritical towards their kids, I think. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you’ve got it all figured out and sometimes I think that’s easily overlooked. That story kind of comes out of seeing that happen to friends around us from time to time growing up.
HRH: You just wrapped up a tour in support of your self-titled debut – any stories that you can share?
AB: There’s been a lot of great stories! About a month ago we played Columbia, SC. and we were in the middle of Wild & Young and everyone was singing along and then all the sudden the power goes out in the whole building! About 10 minutes later it’s fixed and so we jump back on stage and finish the song from the point where the power went out. You never know what to expect from a live show!
HRH: What was your favorite stop on this most recent tour? Why?
AB: We did Austin, TX a few weeks back and we always just have such a great time down there. It’s a great music town. The crowds are really supportive of music and the downtown is one of the best places to hang in America.
HRH: Do you have plans to get back out on the road in the near future?
AB: We are out still for the rest of the year and will be into next year as well. We are doing some headlining shows this month in the Southeast and then we are doing a bunch of Radio Festivals in December with a lot of cool bands!
HRH: What bands would you like to go on tour with?
AB: Against Me, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, My Morning Jacket, and on and on and on.
HRH: How long until you’re headlining Madison Square Garden?
AB: That might take a minute !
HRH: Have you been writing material for the next record?
AB: We have a few ideas we’ve been kicking around, but we are still focused on working this record for a while to come yet!
HRH: When do you plan to go into the studio to record your next album?
AB: I’d guess we’ll go in some time next year but there aren’t any plans right now.
HRH: What does the immediate future hold for American Bang?
AB: Tour, Tour, Tour!!!!!! Look out for us and come have a beer with us at the show!
At the risk of sounding like a giddy tween school girl having her first eargasm listening to a favorite boy band, American Bang’s self titled debut album is nothing short of phenomenal. I just want to jump up and down on my bed and scream my head off whenever I play this record. Not since Black Stone Cherry’s debut disc have I been this excited by listening to a rock album.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, American Bang is the perfect blend of southern rock, country, and hard modern rock. Their unique sound and style is what sets them apart from the other bands out there today. American Bang does not try to imitate anyone, instead they present themselves. That tactic has worked, because their self titled debut album is proof of what a fantastic group they are.
Lead singer Jaren Johnson’s voice is the standout component of American Bang. Johnson has a rock and roll throat with a southern twang that creates melodic, mesmerizing vocals. His talent behind the microphone is amazing and his ability really stands out on songs like “Wild And Young” and “I Wouldn’t Want To Be You”. Johnson’s unique vocal style helps to separate American Bang from the plethora of carbon copied new bands out there.
The praise of Johnson’s voice is not meant to undermine the ability of the rest of the band. Ben Brown’s lead guitar chops are superb, and the rhythm section of Kelby Ray (bass) and Neil Mason (drums) round out the group perfectly. This is a band that makes magic together and that magic is evident on their self titled debut.
“Wild And Young” is one of the best songs on the record and rightfully so. A terrific song about youth, enjoying the best years of your life and living for the moment, “Wild And Young” is a song that just makes the listener happy. Even if you’re crotchety and old, you will find the lyrics emulating from your mouth after a couple of listens. “Wild And Young” is a blazing song.
“Angels” kicks off with nice acoustic plucking and Johnson’s high twanged voice telling us a story. By the time the bridge has completed, we are in love with this song. It has a soft, sweet feel to it that captivates the senses. Angels will be a big radio hit, once American Bang decides they want to release it.
“She Don’t Cry No More” follows and hits a little harder, as this song is a more of a rocker than its predecessor. Fast guitar and a quick drum beat highlight this song as the rocking good time that it is. Bound to put a bounce in your step, “She Don’t Cry No More” is a blazing good time song.
“Wouldn’t Want To Be You” slows things down again, but not in a ballad way. This song has more of a bounce to it. An excellent groove kicks off the song and carries throughout. The bounce and twang lead into the chorus where the rhythm lifts to a slightly faster level, before settling down to the steady pace of the verse. Reminiscent of early Black Crowes, “Wouldn’t Want To Be You” is southern rock done right.
Overall, American Bang is a stellar debut album by a magnificent band. I see great things in the future for American Bang. They should be around for a while, rocking the masses. Be smart and get in on the greatness early by picking up a copy of their self-titled debut album.
Rating: Out of 10
- Whiskey Walk
- Wild And Young
- She Don’t Cry No More
- Hurts Like Hell
- All We Know
- Wouldn’t Want To Be You
- A Man Can Change
- Other Side Of You
- Roll On
American Bang Is:
Jaren Johnson – vocals, guitar
Ben Brown – guitar
Kelby Ray – bass
Neil Mason – drums
After touring all summer, American Bang will continue on the road for a fall trek in support of their self-titled major label debut, which was released by Reprise Records. The tour, with The Gracious Few, will see the band through the end of October.
American Bang’s current single, “Whiskey Walk” is in rotation at key radio stations across the country. While their debut single, “Wild & Young” is holding fast at No. 22 at Active Rock after reaching more than 27 million listeners at Active and Alternative Rock formats. American Bang is currently an “Incoming!” artist on the Fuse network, which is hosting a series of behind-the-scenes webisodes on Fuse.tv. Watch the video for “Whiskey Walk,” which takes place in an abandoned chemical warehouse and captures the band’s explosive stage presence and their ability to rock n’ameri roll.
American Bang Fall Tour Dates
10/08 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theatre**
10/09 Charleston, SC The Music Farm**
10/10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade**
10/13 Houston, TX The Warehouse**
10/14 Dallas, TX The Loft**
10/15 Austin, TX The Independent**
10/16 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room**
10/17 Fort Smith, AR Neumeier’s Rib Room and Beer Garden
10/19 Memphis, TN Newby’s**
10/20 New Orleans, LA Tipitina’s Uptown**
10/26 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theatre**
10/28 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall**
10/29 Flint, MI The Machine Shop**
**denotes show with The Gracious Few
Did you pick up the new AMERICAN BANG CD yet? Nashville rockers AMERICAN BANG released their new self titled effort yesterday, and Hard Rock Hideout has the goods for you!
One lucky winner is going to win AMERICAN BANG’S new CD/DVD, and T-Shirt! Enter Your Name and Email address below to Win!!
You can check out the band’s new video clip, “Wild and Young” below!
American Bang has extended their North American tour in support of their self-titled major label debut, which will be released on August 31st. The tour, which runs through mid-December, includes their home town record release party at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge on September 2nd, and a visit to New York City’s Fillmore @ Irving Plaza on November 3rd.
The eleven-track album, which includes first single “Wild & Young” as well as lead track “Whiskey Walk,” will stream in its entirety beginning August 31st on AOL Music for the official online listening party. In the meantime, the album is available now for pre-order on iTunes. In addition, American Bang continues as the latest “Incoming!” artist on the Fuse network, which is also currently hosting a series of exclusive behind-the-scenes webisodes online at Fuse.tv.
American Bang North American Tour
August 22 Hampton Beach Ballroom Hampton Beach, NH+
August 24 Bourbon Street Ballroom Baltimore, MD+
August 25 The Rock Shop Fayetteville, NC+
August 30 Montgomery, AL Strange Days*
August 31 Jackson, MS Club Fire*
September 1 Huntsville, AL Sammy T’s*
September 2 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge (Record Release Party)
September 3 Pensacola, FL Seville Quarter*
September 4 Tallahassee, FL Floyds Music Store*
September 5 Jacksonville, FL Freebird Live*
September 7 Columbia, SC Jillians
September 8 Charlotte, NC Amos’ Southend*
September 9 Goose Creek, SC The Dive*
September 10 Johnson City, TN Chrome*
September 12 Dayton, OH WXEG X-Fest 15
September 13 Knoxville, TN Valarium*
September 15 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock Café*
September 16 Albany, NY Jillians
September 17 Buffalo, NY The Tralf*
September 19 Hartford, CT Webster Theater*
September 21 Youngstown, OH Wedgewood*
September 22 Toledo, OH Headliners*
September 25 Peoria, IL The Whammy Bar*
September 28 Boston, MA Paradise Ballroom**
September 29 Baltimore, MD Bourbon Street Ballroom**
October 1 Philadelphia, PA Fillmore at TLA**
October 2 Falls Church, VA State Theatre**
October 3 Richmond, VA The Hat Factory**
October 5 Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theatre**
October 6 Greenville, SC The Handlebar**
October 8 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theatre**
October 9 Charleston, SC The Music Farm**
October 10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade**
October 13 Houston, TX The Warehouse**
October 14 Dallas, TX The Loft**
October 15 Austin, TX The Independent**
October 16 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room**
October 19 Memphis, TN Newby’s**
October 20 New Orleans, LA Tipitinas**
October 26 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theatre**
October 28 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall**
October 29 Flint, MI The Machine Shop**
October 30 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon**
November 3 New York, NY Fillmore @ Irving Plaza**
November 4 Northampton, MA Pearl Street**
November 5 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony**
November 6 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar**
November 9 Indianapolis, IN The Vouge**
November 12 Chicago, IL The Metro**
November 13 Des Moines, IA People’s Court
November 14 Madison, WI Majestic Theatre**
November 16 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue**
November 17 Council Bluffs, IA Whiskey Roadhouse**
November 19 Denver, CO Bluebird Theatre**
November 20 Colorado Springs, CO The Black Sheep**
November 30 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory**
December 1 Seattle, WA Snowbox Market**
December 3 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
December 4 Reno, NV Knitting Factory**
December 6 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s**
December 7 San Francisco, CA The Independent**
December 9 San Diego, CA House of Blues**
December 10 Anaheim, CA House of Blues**
December 11 Ventura, CA Ventura Theatre**
+ denotes show with Saving Abel
* denotes show with Cavo
**denotes show with The Gracious Few
American Bang fans: get ready. The Nashville rockers are out on tour! Jaren, Neil, Kelby and Ben have already been partying with fans in Florida and are heading out on more dates in the South and Midwest US. Check out the remaining dates on their MySpace, and buy tickets on their official site.
Before you head out to a show, check out American Bang’s music video for their single, “Whiskey Walk.” The song will appear on their debut album which will be released this summer! Get updates straight from the band by following their Twitter, @americanbang.
May 1 Earthday Birthday – Tinker Field Orlando, Florida
May 5 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, North Carolina
May 6 Visulite Theater Charlotte, North Carolina
May 7 Norva Norfolk, Virginia
May 8 Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
May 21 The Basement Columbus, Ohio
May 25 House of Blues Cambridge Room Cleveland, Ohio
May 26 Musica Akron, Ohio
Jun 4 Buzz Under The Stars – City Market Kansas City, Missouri
Aug 7 Lollapalooza Grant Park Chicago, Illinois
Nashville rockers AMERICAN BANG have released the music video for their lead track, “Whiskey Walk.” The clip, which was directed by Mike Jones and Jim Sullos, takes place in an abandoned chemical warehouse and captures the band’s explosive stage presence and their ability to rock n’ roll, which has received great praise from local Nashville press and rock fans. Make sure to pick up “Whiskey Walk” on iTunes along with the band’s first single, “Wild And Young.”
American Bang’s debut album featuring the first single “Wild And Young,” and “Whiskey Walk,” was produced by Bob Rock (311, The Offspring, Metallica) and will be released this Spring. For additional information on the band, visit their official website or their MySpace Page.
3 Doors Down lead singer Brad Arnold has acute vocal laryngitis, and his doctor has advised him to postpone three shows on the band’s headlining tour, according to a news release from Riverbend. The band is also postponing a Thursday concert in Wichita, Kan. and a Sunday concert in Burgettstown, Pa.
3 Doors Down will announce new concert dates “in the near future,” according to Riverbend. Tickets for the three affected shows will be honored on the new dates.