Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Rock Otaku’s Rockin’ Billboard Chart Watch: June 17, 2017

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 let it all out.

Welcome to my Rockin’ Billboard Chart Watch.  Here, I take a break from reviewing classic heavy metal albums, movies, TV, anime, games, and so on to review what is popular in the rock scene according to Billboard.  Back in the late 19th century, the magazine started as a news source for the entertainment industry back in the day (thus, circuses, fairs, and burlesque shows were covered), then, when music became a big business, it started covering music.  Then they started having an album chart, then a singles chart, in the mid-20th century, both of which are still going on to this very day, with changes to accommodate the changes in the landscape of music distribution.  But for the rock stuff, the first chart, which would be known today as the Mainstream Rock chart, debuted on March 21, 1981, with the Alternative Songs chart following suit in 1988, the Adult Alternative chart premiering some time in 2008, then the all-encompassing Hot Rock Songs chart came to fruition in 2009.  Here, I review them all, in order of either mainstream importance, date of creation, or which songs have the most material I can cover each week.

While I may not completely discuss all 4 of those, I will provide my thoughts on this week’s charts.  I’ll provide some of my smooth commentary on the new tracks that came out for each chart.  For the older ones, there are two methods I’m planning: the first is to edit this entry depending on views while also creating entries based on charts made earlier in the year based (again) on views.  So for today, I’ll provide my two cents for the songs that came out for Billboard’s June 17, 2017 versions of the Hot Rock Songs, Alternative Songs, and Mainstream Rock songs in that order.  As for Adult Alternative, that would be more of a special moment if there’s a song everybody reading these things wants me to praise or tear into.

Like with the last few, I’ll review the top 10 songs in order from highest charting to lowest with a short review that’ll provide my thoughts on it as of this week.  That and I’ll discuss songs that Billboard considers having merit, like best increases in position, sales, streaming, and airplay.  But with all of these songs having already been reviewed, and my focus on how many views I’ll need to re-review each reviewed track (which is 100 times the ranking the song is in), that isn’t as likely as of now.  That and the new songs will be reviewed as well, and they’ll definitely be reviewed.  Unless I reviewed it in a previous entry, initially or updated due to it meeting my viewership goals.  Anyway, let’s begin.

Now for the Hot Rock Songs, in order of highest position to lowest, with reviews for new tracks:

1.         Believer – Imagine Dragons*

2.         Heavy – Linkin Park Featuring Kiiara

3.         Heathens – twenty one pilots

4.         Thunder – Imagine Dragons

5.         Human – Rag'n'Bone Man

6.         The Night We Met – Lord Huron

7.         Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man

8.         Wish I Knew You – The Revivalists

9.         Midnight Rider – The Allman Brothers Band*
The classic classic rock staple makes the charts in the memory of the late Gregg Allman.  But does that mean this song did not age well?  It didn’t, and it’s probably as good as it was once was.  With its interesting mix of guitar playing, basslines, drums, and vocal harmonies, this southern rock hit has the vibe to help with your chill attitudes or lower it, and it has the technical skill to keep you on your toes.  Adding to that is the guitar solo in the bridge.  Plus I do feel that this song is great in what it’s about; being about a vagabond from what I gather, but I do feel that they have an equally strong tune in this lyrical style.

10.       Whatever It Takes – Imagine Dragons

11.       Hard Times – Paramore

12.       Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

13.       Lust For Life – Lana Del Rey Featuring The Weeknd

14.       Good News – Ocean Park Standoff

15.       Run – Foo Fighters*
A new song by Foo Fighters?  Sweet.  And it has a weird and pretty humorous music video, too.  Starting this song, we get a clean arpeggio with Dave Grohl singing how he desired to run, then as the drums start to get more aggressive, the song goes from nice ballad to quasi-metal hard rock number with Grohl alternating between screaming and singing, with the guitars, bass, and drums playing with energy and aggression.  And while the chorus is a lot nicer-sounding, it has some power to it as it goes on.  And there’s also some great guitar licks during the verses to keep this from getting too monotonous.  Don’t forget the guitar solo, which may not be technical, but it’s quite melodic and energetic.  If you want a fast and furious rock song that’s straight to the point, loud, and a lot of fun, then you can’t go wrong with the Foo Fighters.

16.       Like A Stone – Audioslave

17.       Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

18.       The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

19.       Don't Take The Money – Bleachers

20.       Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band*
With the opening guitar notes, this song makes its claim for rock glory.  But even then, this country-tinged southern rock hit is the right mix of story-driven and chill enough for a booze-filled party.  The chorus is catchy, the idea of a song about a vagabond who feels like he’s home on the road, and the amazing guitar solos in this song are enough to make this essential rock listening.  The vocals are great, including the harmonies, as well.  Plus, the rhythms, while understated, work here in their chill focus but having an upbeat vibe.  And that ending solo is southern rock glory on the guitars; enough to inspire rednecks to pick up electric guitars, as well as buy a glass slide for their solos.  There’s a reason why this was in both Guitar Hero World Tour and Rock Band 2.

21.       Melissa – The Allman Brothers Band*
While it may be weird that we got an acoustic-ish ballad here on here rather than the iconic “Jessica,” it’s still an Allman Brothers Band song.  Included in this tune is an acoustic guitar spine alongside the bass guitar and drums to the soulful vocals dedicated to this woman who drives the singer crazy, plus there’s the electric guitar giving the song its southern vibe.  In my mind, whoever this Melissa is, she must be a very lovely woman to drive Gregg Allman (is it Gregg Allman?  This may be a little rushed) nuts.  Plus the guitar solo shows off the improvisational, jam-based skill of the guitarist here (and from the tone, I think it may be Duane Allman), and it ends the song.  In short, this song is good for what it is.

22.       Help – Papa Roach

23.       Love Is Mystical – Cold War Kids

24.       High – Sir Sly

25.       I’m No Angel – The Gregg Allman Band*
From the 80s is Gregg Allman’s hit tune, “I’m No Angel.”  While the elements of southern rock that he nailed with Allman Brothers Band are here, there’s a strong 38 Special influence to this track, from the mix of southern rock and arena rock to the production values.  That and how the guitars, bass, and drums are played, even if Gregg Allman has a much rougher voice than Donnie Van Zant.  And like his work in Allman Brothers, the guitar solo feels like something he just came up, even if it isn’t as energetic as his other tunes.  As for the lyrics, I feel that this is about how much of a bad boy he his.  Even then, it’s hard to hate the Allman Brothers as people.  They’re just too likeable.  A certain other band of brothers, on the other hand, they’re worth the mudslinging.

26.       Dig Down – Muse

27.       Blame – Bastille

28.       Hard Love – NEEDTOBREATHE

29.       Angela – The Lumineers

30.       Cold Cold Cold – Cage The Elephant

31.       Saturnz Barz – Gorillaz Featuring Popcaan

32.       Song #3 – Stone Sour*

33.       Feels Like Summer – Weezer

34.       In The Blood – John Mayer

35.       Reverend – Kings of Leon

36.       Want You Back – HAIM

37.       In Cold Blood – alt-J*

38.       Young And Menace – Fall Out Boy

39.       Black Rose – Volbeat*

40.       Let You Down – Seether

41.       Sweet Disaster – DREAMERS*

42.       The Cure – Unspoken *

43.       Old Church Choir – Zach Williams*
While I feel like this could play on country stations with its vibe and instrumentation, this has more of an indie pop vibe to it.  While I don’t hate this song in concept, it’s still an okay-sounding tune, not one to inspire greatness.  Even then, it’s still a fun little song, but I do get the vibe that this came from the CCR scene.  The guitars are alright, with some strong usage of acoustic and electric, the bass is okay, and the drums are fine, plus Zach Williams has a good voice for singing.  If there’s an issue with this, it’s not challenging.  At all.  I don’t feel like I learned anything, and I also feel that this song is way too sappy.  If I want sappy, I go with j-pop and anison.  I can choose to ignore this.  If you like this kind of saccharine sappiness, then you’ll like this.

44.       Love – Lana Del Rey*

45.       Middle Fingers – MISSIO

46.       Told You So – Paramore

47.       Now That We’re Dead – Metallica*

48.       Andromeda – Gorillaz Featuring D.R.A.M.*

49.       Lights Out – Royal Blood*

50.       The Violence – Rise Against*

And for this week thanks to death, here are the dropouts from then:

Woman – Jesse Larson

Fell On Black Days – Soundgarden

Hunger Strike – Temple Of The Dog

Spoonman – Soundgarden

I Am The Highway – Audioslave

Show Me How To Live – Audioslave

Outshined – Soundgarden

Say Hello 2 Heaven – Temple Of The Dog

Good Goodbye – Linkin Park Featuring Pusha T & Stormzy

Let’s Go Crazy – Jesse Larson & Adam Levine

Invisible – Linkin Park

Nobody Can Save Me – Linkin Park

Sorry For Now – Linkin Park

One More Light – Linkin Park

Battle Symphony – Linkin Park

Takin’ It To The Streets – Jesse Larson

Despite previous showcases of my taste in punk and metal, here’s the Alternative Songs:

1.         Believer – Imagine Dragons

2.         Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man

3.         Love Is Mystical – Cold War Kids

4.         Wish I Knew You – The Revivalists

5.         Blame – Bastille

6.         High – Sir Sly

7.         Don't Take The Money – Bleachers

8.         Human – Rag'n'Bone Man

9.         Cold Cold Cold – Cage The Elephant

10.       Dig Down – Muse

11.       Reverend – Kings of Leon

12.       Feels Like Summer – Weezer

13.       Sweet Disaster – DREAMERS

14.       In Cold Blood – alt-J

15.       One Of Us – New Politics

16.       Hard Times – Paramore

17.       Doing It For The Money – Foster The People

18.       Suit And Jacket – Judah & The Lion

19.       Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

20.       Hot Thoughts – Spoon

21.       High Enough – k.flay

22.       The Violence – Rise Against

23.       Run – Foo Fighters*

See Above

24.       J-Boy – Phoenix

25.       Lights Out – Royal Blood

26.       Too Much To Think – 311

27.       The Night We Met – Lord Huron

28.       Kill For Candy – Dreamcar (Need 10 views to review)
29.       Goodbye Angels – Red Hot Chili Peppers

30.       Middle Fingers – MISSIO

31.       Set On Fire – Magic Giant

32.       Green Light – Lorde

33.       Howl – Biffy Clyro

34.       Home is Such A Lonely Place – Blink-182

35.       Little One – Highly Suspect

36.       Down – Marian Hill

37.       Angela – The Lumineers*

38.       Good Morning – Grouplove (Need 20 views to review)
39.       A Change Of Heart – The 1975

40.       She Said – Sundara Karma

And here are the dropouts from last week:

Help – Papa Roach

Fire – Beth Ditto

And finally, my favorite one to look at due to a combination of my musical interests, nostalgia, and biases: the Mainstream Rock Chart:

1.         Let You Down – Seether

2.         Black Rose – Volbeat

3.         Song #3 – Stone Sour

4.         Show Yourself – Mastodon

5.         Now That We’re Dead – Metallica

6.         Monster – Starset

7.         Help – Papa Roach

8.         Lights Out – Royal Blood

9.         Back From The Dead – Skillet

10.       God Damn – Avenged Sevenfold

11.       The Violence – Rise Against

12.       Aftermath – As Lions

13.       Little One – Highly Suspect

14.       Nimble Bastard – Incubus

15.       Alone – I Prevail

16.       Madness – All That Remains

17.       Howl – Biffy Clyro

18.       Revolution Radio – Green Day

19.       Bullfight – A Day To Remember

20.       Oh Lord – In This Moment

21.       LOUD (F**k It) – Motionless In White (Need 10 views to review)
22.       Anti-Everything – DED

23.       Believer – Imagine Dragons

24.       Run – Foo Fighters*

See Above

25.       American Dreams – Papa Roach

26.       Dark Black Makeup – Radkey (Need 20 views to review)
27.       Sick Of Me – Beartooth

28.       I Want It All – Hell Or Highwater (Need 30 views to review)
29.       Rivers – Chevelle

30.       Back To The River – Pretty Reckless Featuring Warren Haynes

31.       Cheaper To Drink Alone – Black Stone Cherry

32.       Hurricane – Thrice

33.       Middle Fingers – MISSIO

34.       Catch Me When I Fall – Stitched Up Heart

35.       Dig Down – Muse

36.       Highway Tune – Greta Van Fleet*
So for this, we get a classic 70s-style hard rock tune from a band who’s trying really hard to emulate Led Zeppelin.  I’m serious, the guitar riffs, the basslines, the drum beats, and the vocal performance feels like it came from Led Zeppelin.  While I like Led Zeppelin, I don’t know what Greta Van Fleet sounds like outside of them trying to sound like Zeppelin.  Even the guitar solo reminds me of Jimmy Page.  While I can also mention the elements of Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa (maybe), and Stillwater, I do feel that this sounds way too much like a Zeppelin tune.  Even then, it’s still better than what passes as rock today, and that has to do with the ract that their musical skill OUTSHINES the rest.  While I’d think that some punk and glam should be integrated into their bluesy hard rock sound (and yes, I can call this song heavy metal), I do feel that Greta Van Fleet going their own path would be as good, even if they end up becoming Led Zeppelin Light.  Okay, I think this song is alright, and it’s great for listening to when going down the highway.  I-it’s not that I d-don’t hate this band’s direction.  Baka!

37.       Can You Hear Me – Shallow Side

38.       Promise Everything – Basement

39.       Run Rabbit Run – Black Map

40.       Mad Love – Bush

And here are the dropouts from last week:

New Land – Avatar

Feed The Machine – Nickelback

Out Of My Hands – Chrysalis

So those were my thoughts on the charts and the new arrivals.  If you feel that I skipped out on certain songs, then feel free in the comments what songs you want me to elaborate on.  I have plans depending on how this is received for what I will review next week as well as what is new next week for the chart(s) I ultimately look at.  If you have different opinions on the songs I reviewed, feel free to tell me in the comments as well.

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Finally, expect updates to the reviews (specifically songs I’ve missed) when this entry gets a certain amount of views each time.

RIP Gregg Allman (1947-2017)

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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