Sometimes it can feel that the brilliance of classic rock will never emerge again. Music fans often feel stuck, reminiscing about rock legends of the past and wishing that they could have been alive for the so-called golden years.
I’m here to tell you that there are some brilliant bands lurking behind the normal chart-topping pop and rap songs you hear everywhere. From modern rock to reggae, check out the artists below to restore your faith in music.
One of my favorite modern rock bands at the moment is Cage the Elephant. Their style is best described as a rock and rap crossover—with emphasis on the rock. Many would probably compare them to Rage Against The Machine, though they are two very different bands. This band is a breath of fresh air for all of you rock enthusiasts. Their song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” has earned them an admirable fan base, but it doesn’t pay justice to their real talent, demonstrated in “In One Ear“. You should definitely check them out. I recommend their first album Cage the Elephant.
Notable lyrics from “In One Ear“
They say that we ain’t got the style, we ain’t got the class
We ain’t got the tunes that’s goin’ to put us on the map
And I’m a phony in disguise, tryin’ to make the radio
I’m an anti-social antichrist who sounds like so and so
Another one of the elite rock groups on this list is Wolfmother. Known for their sick guitar riffs and lead singer’s unmistakeable voice, Wolfmother will be a favorite for any rock/metal lover. An Australian band formed in 2000, they are lead by their lead vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale.
Wolfmother has gained respect from many for their popular singles including “Joker and the Thief” (my favorite), and “Woman“. I could best compare them to a modern day Steppenwolf. If for some reason you have not heard of this band, you really need to find some of their music and vibe to it.
I recommend their self-titled album Wolfmother.
Notable lyrics from “Joker and the Thief“
I said the joker is a wanted man
He makes his way all across the land
See him sifting through the sand
So I’ll tell you all the story
About the joker and the thief of the night
He’ll always be laughing in the midst of power
Always living in the final hour
There is always sweet and sour
So we are not going home
3. Rise Against
Another epic band, Rise Against was largely underground until 2003, when they signed a record deal with Geffen. Any player of Guitar Hero will have seen multiple singles from Rise Against included in the game, such as “Savior“, or “Prayer of the Refugee“. Claiming their influences from Nirvana and the Dead Kennedys, these rockers are not one to miss.
Notable lyrics from “Savior“
It kills me not to know this but I’ve all but just forgotten
What the color of her eyes were and her scars or how she got them
As the telling signs of age rain down, a single tear is dropping
Through the valleys of an aging face that this world has forgotten
Matisyahuis, with no mistake, a one-of-a-kind artist: a Jewish reggae rapper. Bringing his Jewish influence into the reggae, rock, and rap that he produces, Matisyahu creates his own sound entirely. With the release of his first album Shake Off the Dust… Arise in 2004, Matisyahu was thrown into the reggae spotlight immediately. His hit single “King Without a Crown” is a personal favorite of mine. His chill song “One Day” is also an awesome song to jam to. For real though, check this guy out, you will love him.
Notable lyrics from “One Day“
Sometimes I lay under the moon
And thank God I’m breathin’
Then I pray don’t take me soon
‘Cause I am here for a reason
Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know someday it’ll all turn around because
All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for, for the people to say
That we don’t want to fight no more
They’ll be no more wars
And our children will play, one day
The youngest son of the late and great Bob Marley, Damian is a 3 time Grammy award winner. His collaboration album with NaS called Distant Relatives is really a masterpiece. Damian’s songs are perfect for pumping you up and have a feel-good tone.
A legend in the reggae music scene, Damian’s music can be perfect for any fan of rock, rap, or even pop.
Notable lyrics from “Welcome to Jamrock“
Out on the streets, they call it murder
Welcome to Jamrock, camp where the thugs dem camp at
Two pound ah weed inna van back
It inna your hand bag, your knapsack, it inna your backpack
The smell ah give your girlfriend contact