Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My Thoughts on the Active Rock Airplay Chart (12/13/16)

(This is a series that premiered on Channel Awesome’s blog service.  If you want to see the rest to get a glimpse of what I wrote, I plan on bringing each old one to the new blog every other week.  This will be the first on the new page).

Hello degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and go nuts!

Today, I provide my thoughts on the current Active Rock airplay chart as reported on americasmusiccharts.com.  If you fellow rockers feel that I should be shredding to the Alternative chart or a Billboard chart (like the Mainstream Rock or Modern Rock Charts), then feel free to tell me in the comments.  Anyway, here’s week 8.

Not much to say here.  We’re continuing the format from last week, so expect some less important details here.  However, apparently, there has been some history rewriting on the chart as apparently, not only a song has vanished from the chart, the chart’s writing has been done as if it never existed on there.  It’s weird, but I’ll set up a review for a song that has, apparently, been on the chart from last week even if it never truly did.

Here’s the list in reverse order, with reviews for any new songs:

50.       Memphis May Fire – This Light I Hold f/J. Shaddix (50 last week)*:
Thanks to said disappearing act, I now have to talk about a song that I didn’t even get to talk about thanks to the sudden shifts.  Featuring Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach, this song is a basic metalcore track with all the trappings associated with the genre.  Pounding and driving beat, check.  Distorted, down-tuned guitars, check.  Harsh screaming, check.  Breakdown, check.  Brief guitar solo that shows the shredding capabilities of the guitarist(s), that’s a bonus.  Emo lyrics that appeal to kid who get bullied on a regular basis, CHECK.  Not to say that it’s terrible, but if you hate metalcore, or had a metalcore phase before getting into heaver, and better, metal, or being reminded of your high school memories causes you to break in hives, you will not like this track.  I think this track sounds nice (hey, I’m a metalhead, and I had a kind-of-metalcore phase, so there’s that), but it doesn’t do anything new for me.  However, a few repeated listens in the future can cause me to like this song a little better.  The reason?  I could make a hot-blooded AMV to this track.  I give it kudos.
49.       Dorothy – Dark Nights (49 last week)**: Great
48.       Three Days Grace – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore (48 last week)**: Meh
47.       Nonpoint – Divided.. Conquer Them (47 Last Week)**: Okay.
46.       Head And the Heart – All We Ever Knew (New Arrival):
Well, this is weird.  From the last review, you’d get the impression that I’d hate softer stuff.  The reality, I don’t mind it, especially if it’s good.  This song, from the get go, manages to be infectiously happy, and it doesn’t let go for the rest of the song.  I have to give kudos to the production, as, despite being happy indie rock, there’s some grit from the guitars and drumwork, with the former, thankfully, played on an electric guitar with a fuzzy, grunge tone.  It has a nice, folky tone to it that’s emphasized by the usage of instruments, including the piano and violin.  It also helps that the vocal delivery is sweet sounding.  If there are any weaknesses, I’m not sure if the lyrics make sense, but that’s from listening to it a few times before reviewing this.  I may not have a strong opinion of it after a while, but if hard rock can be processed like pop, then indie folk can cut the pop and hip hop influences and sound organic.  And if you’re wondering, I like this better than “Take it All Back” in general.
45.       Lamb of God – The Duke (46 last week)**: Good.
44.       Judah & The Lion – Take It All Back (43 last week)**: Meh.
43.       Badflower – Animal (New Arrival):
Wait a sec, this band is a little sleazy?!  Sweet.  Yes, there’s a bluesy tone similar to what I talked about with Bleeker and Dorothy, but this band has a L.A. swagger to them that’s apparent when the instruments kick in.  While this isn’t entirely Van Halen or Mötley Crüe, they have the energy to do so.  I could go on with the guitars, the basslines, the drumwork, the vocal delivery, the sexy lyrics, and more, but knowing most of you, I’d recommending just listening to their work NOW.  They obviously have the best song to premier this week in my mind.
Now for something that I’ve noticed about some of the bands that have made it on the charts.  We have gotten at least one bluesy rock n’ roll band premiering on the chart in the last few weeks.  Now what does this entail?  Will we get a blues-driven hard rock revival in the future?  Could sleazier forms of rock dominate the rock charts in the Trump administration, and they DON’T suck like Third-Wave Post-Grunge?  Is indie scrapping the banjos and mandolins for sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll?  Is rock going to just kick ass in the next 4 years?  If I am getting a little political, let me remind you that hair metal flourished during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations (it died out completely once Clinton became president).  Heck, rock ‘n’ roll’s creation was during the Eisenhower era.
42.       3 Doors Down – The Broken (45 last week)**: Meh.
41.       Sylar – Dark Daze (44 last week)**: Meh.
40.       Bleeker – Highway (41 last week)**: Great
39.       From Ashes to New – Breaking Now (41 last week)**: Pretty good.
38.       Goodbye June – Oh No (40 last week)**: Great
37.       Amity Affliction – All Messed Up (39 last week)**: Meh.
36.       Metallica – Hardwired (33 last week)**: Good
35.       Art of Anarchy – The Madness (38 last week)**: Good, but Stapp keeps it from great
34.       Avatar – Night Never Ending (35 last week)**: Great
33.       Adelitas Way – Ready For War (Pray For Peace) (36 last week)**: Good
32.       Blink-182 – She’s Out Of Her Mind (37 last week)**: Good
31.       One Less Reason – Break Me (33 last week)**: Okay
30.       Sick Puppies – Where Do I Begin (34 last week)**: Okay
29.       Through Fire – Breathe (31 last week): Okay
28.       Devour The Day – The Bottom (30 last week): Good
27.       Korn – Rotting In Vain (28 last week): Depends on the mood
26.       Gemini Syndrome – Remember We Die (27 last week): Good
25.       Sixx:A.M. – We Will Not Go Quietly (29 last week): Okay
24.       Starset – Monster (29 last week): Great
23.       Alter Bridge – Show Me A Leader (21 last week): Awesome song, too bad it’s dropping
22.       Pop Evil – If Only For Now (26 last week): Good
21.       Red Hot Chili Peppers – Go Robot (24 last week): Good
20.       Green Day – Bang Bang (20 last week): Great
19.       Metallica – Moth Into Flame (17 last week): Great
18.       In Flames – The Truth (22 last week): Boo
17.       Korn – Take Me (23 last week): Depends on the mood
16.       Kings of Leon – Waste A Moment (15 last week): Great
15.       Beartooth – Hated (18 last week): Depends on the mood
14.       Chevelle – Door To Door Cannibals (16 last week): Great
13.       Breaking Benjamin – Never Again (19 last week): Good
12.       Dinosaur Pile-Up – 11:11 (13 last week): Great
11.       A Day To Remember – Naivety (14 last week): Good
10.       Shinedown – How Did You Love (11 last week): Okay
9.         Red Sun Rising – Amnesia (10 last week): Great
8.         Green Day – Still Breathing (8 last week): Good
7.         Disturbed – Open Your Eyes (4 last week): Good
6.         Five Finger Death Punch – I Apologize (5 last week): Boo
5.         Metallica – Atlas, Rise! (7 last week): Great, bordering on Awesome
4.         Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (6 last week): Good, bordering on great
3.         Volbeat – Seal The Deal (3 last week): Awesome
2.         Ghost – Square Hammer (2 last week): Awesome
1.         Highly Suspect – My Name Is Human (1 last week): Definitely one of my favorites from this year.

*New to the chart from my perspective, but given 50 last week due to “Way Down We Go” being erased from the chart completely.
**Went up a position on last week’s chart due to “Way Down We Go” being erased from the chart completely.

Now for the dropouts, in order of smallest to biggest drop, and my thoughts on them falling:

33 last week: Kaleo – Way Down We Go:
Let’s get this out of the way, this fell off the chart in a strange way.  What I mean is that it outright disappeared, and traces of it were gone as well.  Is that a bad thing, I don’t know.  Whatever the case, this fell off, and that can either be a shame or a miracle.  Not to say that we need more butt rock on the chart to maintain the status quo, but we definitely need more interesting music here.  But is Kaleo the kind of band to have active rock hits?  Not really, I’d prefer the afformentioned Bleeker, Dorothy, and Badflower alongside Dead Sara, Nothing But Thieves, Highly Suspect, and Cliver.  Either way, this had one way to go, down.  Way down these musicians go.

12 last week: Thrice – Black Honey:
For this week, we had one very interesting phenomenon occur: the dropouts were previously within the Top 15.  For Thrice, this is either a sign that their style isn’t mainstream, this song was just way too weird for the mainstream, or it was because Thrice did not have the wow factor that the Top 10 have.  As a result, this was stuck in the 11-20 section of the chart and ultimately crashed to the ground like a beehive that some moron knocked off the tree.  Now we are getting stung by an interesting track disappearing from the chart.  No longer can Thrice can get more honey on their table.

9 last week: Pretty Reckless – Take Me Down:
Either this is a blow to female-fronted rock bands having a top 10 song on the Active Rock charts, or this is a blow to the band for going for a more mellow sound after defining themselves around a harder sound.  Whatever the case, this PLUMMETED from the chart.  Not as bad as Skillet from last week, but enough to create a stigma against female performers in rock.  While this song was good for what it was, a sleazy retro-rocker, and Taylor Momsen has grown as a performer in my opinion, the song did not have the shelf-life that it needed to convince girls that they can rock and be successful.  I hope that the lesson learned from this is that rock bands need to provide a punch to the gut and showcase their talents (with high volume and swagger), or the Best Rock Performance award at the Grammys will be a joke (think about what happened this year).  I wish that The Pretty Reckless continue their career, but look back at how their energy got them to where they are.

So that’s my analysis of the chart.  Feel free to comment if you feel that I should mention other songs, or if your views on the mentioned tracks are different from mine.  If you have suggestions to improve anything I do, don’t be shy.  Constructive criticism is the best criticism in my book about how to do this.  Also, tell me if you want album reviews or even reviews in other mediums.  I’m up for suggestions.

Coming Friday: Let Them Eat Metal Continues!

Until next time, this is the Rock Otaku.  Live Loud and Play Hard.

All used references are done under the rules of fair use and are owned by their original creators. 

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