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.
The first noticeable thing about Social Code’s debut album, Rock N Roll, is how perfect the title fits. Rock N Roll is just that, rock music at its finest. Social Code has created a record that is destined for glory and it’s an album that all hard rock fans should own. Rock N Roll is one of the best records to come out in 2010.
Social Code takes the simple approach to creating rock music – four musicians, no filler. Following the format of great rock bands from the 70s and 80s, each member of Social Code has their own place in the band. There is no double duty for vocalist Travis Nesbitt. He concentrates on his strength, which is singing. The same is true for fellow members Morgan Gies (guitar), Logan Jacobs (bass), and Ben Shillabeer (drums). They all do their part to create the music and they all do it exceptionally well.
Best described as dirty (or gritty) rock, Rock N Roll is a powerful album. Blending the styles of Hinder, Lynch Mob, and Papa Roach, Social Code is the real deal and Rock N Roll proves it. Opening with an odd acoustic ballad to rock and roll music, the title track is a strange lead song for such an intense record. “Rock N Roll” is an acoustic ballad to Social Code’s one true muse, rock music. Simple and sweet, “Rock N Roll” is a great song, but the weakest on the record. The acoustic format is nothing like the rest of the record and it’s odd that the song didn’t kick into a rock anthem halfway through.
The rest of the album does that instead. From the opening riffs of “Nothing Left To Lose” to the final chord of “Too Late For Tomorrow”, nothing but fist pumping, sing-along, hard rock music is pushed out of the speakers. Bar jamming, foot stomping, good time hard rock is what Rock N Roll is all about. With incredible guitar work from Morgan Gies, and exceptional vocals from Travis Nesbitt, Social Code is almost guaranteed to be the best new band of 2010.
Lead single Satisfied is a brilliant tribute to the one night stand. Launching with an excellent guitar riff, Satisfied kicks in with pounding rock drums and Travis Nesbitt’s raspy vocals singing an ode to a woman who just wants to have sex. No strings attached, no names are necessary, the woman of this song just wants to have fun for the night and then leave, with the promise of leaving you Satisfied. One thing is certain, this single is highly satisfying.
“Buy Buy Baby” sounds like it could have been included on George Lynch’s Souls of We. Opening with a funky bass line from Logan Jacobs, “Buy Buy Baby” is a grooving rock tribute to those who are addicted to spending. With a chorus that has you up on your feet, singing along, and dancing to the music, “Buy Buy Baby” is an excellent track.
Rock N Roll is not without its power ballads. However, these are not your father’s power ballads. “Real Girl” is the first power ballad, with the emphasis on power. An awesome guitar riff launches the song and a sing-along chorus of “I need a real girl, real world/I needed someone to hold on to/I need a real girl real world/how did I ever end up with you,” pulls it all together. Far from sappy, and miles away from the modern ballads, “Real Girl” is a ballad with balls.
“Stay” is the other power ballad on the disc and while it’s sappier than “Real Girl”, it still packs its own hard core punch. Nesbitt’s vocals shine on this song. Opening with a soft verse that finds him in an octave higher than most of the record, the chorus bites down hard with a head banger’s chant that pleases the ear in orgasmic fashion. Stay is the way all power ballads should sound.
An absolute incredible masterpiece, Social Code’s Rock N Roll is an album that must be added to your collection. If you are a fan of hard rock music that is just plain fun, Rock N Roll is the record for you. You can learn more about Social Code (and sample some of their incredible music) by visiting their website at: http://www.socialcodemusic.com
Rating: Out of 10
- Rock N Roll
- Nothing Left To Lose
- Perfect Grave
- Buy Buy Baby
- Real Girl
- Fight For Love
- You Never Know What You Got Until It’s Gone
- I’m Not Okay
- Too Late For Tomorrow
Social Code Is:
Travis Nesbitt – Vocals
Logan Jacobs – Bass
Morgan Gies – Guitar
Ben Shillabeer – Drums
Social Code is giving away a free download of their song “Satisfied”. Please visit this link to the free download.