Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Thoughts on the Active Rock Airplay Chart (12/27/16)

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 10.

So how was Christmas?  Was it great?  For me, I got a Vinyl player and decided to make all music purchases in the near future mostly exclusive to the format.  It’s an interesting format, but it provides for some interesting sounds that I’ve never realized when playing music.  As in, there’s a sort of authenticity to the format.  Call me a sound snob, but I’ll use digital for quick musical discovery, finding albums to review for Let Them Eat Metal that catch my eye and ears, and if an album is too hard or expensive to find and get, regardless of format.  Beyond that, I’ll grab vinyl records for whatever album or band that I’d rather have in a physical collection than a digital list.

So for this week, I have some news.  First, this will be the last week that I use the Active Rock Airplay Chart from americasmusiccharts.com.  Starting next week, I’ll focus on the Billboard Mainstream Rock, Alternative Rock, and Hot Rock Charts in a new weekly column called “The Rock Otaku’s Rockin’ Billboard Chart Watch.”  If that sounds weak, then here’s this to take in mind: Billboard, regardless of what your views on mainstream music are, is probably the top authority on how popular a song is (well, based on sales, airplay, and streams), and rock is a part of that, no matter how much the hardcore SJWs want it dead (thanks, Nickelback, Creed, Limp Bizkit, Simple Plan, and political correctness).  Plus, it gives me a greater sense that these songs, if they rock or suck, are huge in the U.S.  Finally, the main format will be created after the first entries being the following: The Top 10 Worst Hit Rock Songs of 2016 and the Top 10 Best Hit Rock Songs of 2016.  Those will be on first and second weeks of January, respectively, with the third week being the week the true column format will be set.

So to send off this list, here’s the list in reverse order, with reviews for any new songs:

50.       Crown The Empire – Weight Of The World (New Arrival):
You know, if it weren’t for the guitars that came in after the electronic intro, I’d expect this to have been an EDM track.  Not to say that this is a bad thing, but it’s weird to have a rock song to take from electropop, but that’s our world today.  A big factor to this is the bouncy beat that propels this song, even when it starts to include more basic mallcore instrumentation.  Plus, the electronics seem to blend in with the guitars, making it sound as if the guitars were processed through a computer.  Plus the lyrics deal with your usual emo lyrical elements, making this song feel pretty meh from a lyrical delivery.  If there’s a silver lining, the band is capable of better in that alternative-tinged melodic pop metalcore style they play, but they need to pick better songs to show that for airplay.  But for now, it’s not too memorable.
49.       Seasons After – Fighter (49 Last Week)*:
Something with a little more bite than the last one, probably.  At least it sounds like it can be played against Papa Roach, Beartooth, and Five Finger Death Punch.  Like any other alt-metal song, it’s a heavy song with electronic touches, loudness-seeking production, and some emo lyrics, though it’s more about overcoming the darkness and kicking ass.  Hell, it’s called “Fighter,” and it has that “strive to fight” feeling that makes it great for shonen AMVs.  The drums are loud and pounding, the bass is thick, but I’m not sure if it’s mixed in properly here, the guitars are crunchy, down tuned, and aggressive, and the vocal delivery is intense.  Plus, there’s a short solo here that allows the guitarist to kick as much ass.  In short, this song is perfect for strength training or martial arts practice (plus figuring out how to shoot fireballs).
48.       Three Days Grace – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore (45 last week)**: Meh
47.       Judah & The Lion – Take It All Back (50 last week)**: Meh.
46.       Halestorm – Mistress For Christmas (New Arrival):
Apparently, this is a cover of an AC/DC song.  As for that, Halestorm are pretty good when they channel the Thunder Down Under.  But if there’s an issue, there’s one: it’s after Christmas, and I don’t expect it to stay on the chart for a while.  That’s the main issue, and other problems are present in Halestorm’s other work and the stylings of AC/DC, it’s something to get used to.  The guitars crunch, the bass is thick, the drums are like a thunderstorm (like Mutt Lange and Bruce Fairbairn-produced AC/DC), and Lzzy Hale showcases here inner Brian Johnson here.  There’s also a few great guitar licks that come from the Angus Young rulebook alongside a solo that fits in that rulebook as well.  If there’s a humorous aspect about this, the song is about a really hot chick, and the kind that the rockers are asking for as a Christmas present, and lead singer Lzzy Hale came out as bi on Twitter 2 years ago (seriously, look that up).  As a result, it no longer feels like a random gender-bender version of AC/DC, but a true tribute to their sound.  Rock On, and Merry Christmas.
45.       Sylar – Dark Daze (43 last week): Meh.
44.       Lamb of God – The Duke (46 last week)**: Good.
43.       Nonpoint – Divided.. Conquer Them (44 Last Week)**: Okay.
42.       3 Doors Down – The Broken (41 last week): Meh.
41.       Metallica – Hardwired (38 last week): Good
40.       Badflower – Animal (42 last week): Great
39.       One Less Reason – Break Me (31 last week): Okay
38.       Bleeker – Highway (39 last week): Great
37.       Art of Anarchy – The Madness (36 last week): Good, but Stapp keeps it from great
36.       Goodbye June – Oh No (35 last week): Great
35.       Amity Affliction – All Messed Up (37 last week): Meh.
34.       From Ashes to New – Breaking Now (39 last week): Pretty good.
33.       Alter Bridge – Show Me A Leader (26 last week): Awesome song, too bad it’s dropping
32.       Blink-182 – She’s Out Of Her Mind (32 last week): Good
31.       Avatar – Night Never Ending (31 last week): Great
30.       Adelitas Way – Ready For War (Pray For Peace) (30 last week): Good
29.       Through Fire – Breathe (29 last week): Okay
28.       Pretty Reckless – Oh My God (40 Last Week): Good
27.       Devour The Day – The Bottom (27 last week): Good
26.       Sick Puppies – Where Do I Begin (28 last week): Okay
25.       Green Day – Bang Bang (25 last week): Great
24.       Gemini Syndrome – Remember We Die (24 last week): Good
23.       Metallica – Moth Into Flame (23 last week): Great
22.       Red Hot Chili Peppers – Go Robot (21 last week): Good
21.       Pop Evil – If Only For Now (20 last week): Good
20.       Starset – Monster (22 last week): Great
19.       Kings of Leon – Waste A Moment (17 last week): Great
18.       In Flames – The Truth (18 last week): Boo
17.       Sixx:A.M. – We Will Not Go Quietly (19 last week): Okay
16.       Dinosaur Pile-Up – 11:11 (15 last week): Great
15.       Korn – Take Me (16 last week): Depends on the mood
14.       Beartooth – Hated (14 last week): Depends on the mood
13.       Chevelle – Door To Door Cannibals (13 last week): Great
12.       A Day To Remember – Naivety (11 last week): Good
11.       Breaking Benjamin – Never Again (12 last week): Good
10.       Five Finger Death Punch – I Apologize (9 last week): Boo
9.         Disturbed – Open Your Eyes (10 last week): Good
8.         Red Sun Rising – Amnesia (8 last week): Great
7.         Shinedown – How Did You Love (7 last week): Okay
6.         Green Day – Still Breathing (6 last week): Good
5.         Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage (5 last week): Good, bordering on great
4.         Metallica – Atlas, Rise! (4 last week): Great, bordering on Awesome
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.
*Not reviewed yet
**Different from last week due to unforeseen shift by yours truly.

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

50 Last Week: Head And the Heart – All We Ever Knew:
This was a decent song, and it definitely showed some promise for the band, but apparently, this was not something that would by enjoyed by the same meatheads who keep giving 5FDP a career.  That’s a shame, but it’s made Billboard Year-End lists, so I have no doubts that these guys and gals have a long music career on their hands.  Sometimes, you need stuff like this after multiple mediocre hard rock songs (not to say that any of them are bad, it’s just there’s a lot of meh songs).  I gives this band my blessings.

49 Last Week: Dorothy – Dark Nights:
What the hell?  This should have been on the charts for longer.  Not because this band’s on Jay-Z’s label, but it’s because this song rocks.  Hard!  This has everything that you need in a bluesy rock song, hot guitar riffs, licks, and solos, thick basslines, pounding drums, and the stage presence of lead singer Dorothy Martin.  This has everything, but apparently people prefer whatever the hell Katy Perry has to say (did she even have a hit this year?  I don’t think so).  Overall, it’s a shame that this fell off the charts.

48 Last Week: Memphis May Fire – This Light I Hold f/J. Shaddix:
This is no longer on the charts?  Well, that’s not a major issue, as I felt that this song was alright, nothing more.  It’s something that tries too hard to be aggressive, and the usage of Jacoby Shaddix makes this song feel like a Papa Roach reject.  Not to say it’s awful, but I’ve heard worse from post-grunge, pop punk, hip hop, and country, and bad metalcore depends on how emo it gets.  This gets pretty emo, and it’s purely for Hot Topic shoppers, but it isn’t the worst mallcore song I’ve heard in my lifetime, but at least it isn’t Atilla and King 810 (the former brings humiliation to my hometown).

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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