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Music Blog - American Rock Chart

posted 4 Jul 2012, 04:36 by Chris Morris   [ updated 12 Jul 2012, 03:58 ]
The American rock chart was a delight to listen to this week with pretty much something for every kind of rock fan. The top ten from ten to one looks like this:

10. Midnight City - M83

This one I wasn't particularly fond of. It starts with some pretty annoying high pitched "Doo Doo" voices. It goes into quite an atmospheric electric rock after that though and actually begins to sound pretty good until the structure of the music is just repeated over and over. The drummer is using an electric kit but you can tell it's definitely human drumming and it's not bad. There's also a really cool saxophone solo towards the end of the song, but it's a shame the songwriters ran out of ideas after the first verse.

9. It's Time - Imagine Dragons

This song starts off with some interesting rhythms from the drummer and a nice ostinato on the strings side of things. The singer is quite good but nothing special really - It would seem Imagine Dragons' strength lies both in their songwriting and creativity in the studio. It would be interesting to hear this song live as it sounds very studio-friendly. 

8. Hats Off To The Bull - Chevelle
Chevelle's song is much more rocky compared to the number 10 and 9 entries this week. It's very guitar heavy and the drummer shows off some of his metal skills but they sound quite bare. There's some pretty cool hi-hat work in the bridge though and I'm sure I heard a couple of double bass rhythms too. The singer has a good voice for this type of music - almost breaking into screaming for the chorus. Doesn't really stick in my head but wouldn't say no to hearing it again.

7. Live To Rise - Soundgarden

Next up is this lively and emotional song from The Avengers soundtrack - Live to Rise by Soundgarden. Nothing too exciting in the verse except a few nice guitar sounds but the big chorus makes up for it. The drums sound nice and clear and the drummer does a fantastic job especially with his fills into the chorus. The snare sounds a little too tight however, I would have favoured a deeper sound for this type of music. There's a nice guitar solo towards the end leading into the final chorus.

6. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye (feat. Kimbra)

I really like this unusual song from Gotye. It starts very quietly and almost bare but for an uncharacteristic xylophone melody ringing out. The drummer stays very subtle and grooves nicely with the guitarist. The chorus breaks out into a more lively emotional sound but retains it's mysterious atmosphere. The feature for Kimbra is very nice, showcasing some ace vocals. She also puts in some nice backing vocals afterwards. Definitely a great single and it makes me want to listen to more from Gotye.

5. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men

No hanging about for Of Monsters And Men - This song bursts right into a lively chorus with nice brass sounds. When it breaks down we get a nice mix of male and female vocalists. The verse is in four-four whilst the chorus is doubled up to two-four for that nice breaking down and building up sound which the drummer manages quite well but never showcases any of his real abilities.

4. Days Go By - The Offspring

Not to start on a negative note (Because I really liked this song) but I somehow expected a little more from The Offspring. Days Go By is a good rock song, but stops at that. All the musicians do a great job in this upbeat listenable song, the highlight coming from the lead guitarist. The drummer only plays what he has to in order to keep up momentum and feel, with a couple of nice fills on the snare drum here and there.

3. Tongue Tied - Grouplove

There was quite a giant wall of sound in this song the whole way through making it quite difficult to distinguish between instruments. However, the bassline and drums are pretty good. There is a feature of a female vocalist which I didn't like very much - Her voice was okay but somehow sounded out of place. The song was a good listen but not a memorable one.

2. Gold On The Ceiling - The Black Keys

I've heard a lot of good things about The Black Keys but this was the first song I listened to. It's a nice little rocky song with a cool synth type melody and good use of guitars. The drummer looks like he's doing much more in the video than he is in the recording which makes me think that he's probably a very good drummer live, but settled for what sounds best on record in the studio. There's a nice shuffle rhythm throughout the song and it never loses tempo.

1. Burn It Down - Linkin Park

This week's number one comes from the UK Album Charts number one album Living Things by Linkin Park (Read Dundee Drum Academy's review here). This is a great effort from Linkin Park who have become famous for mixing a hip hop sound with metal which is very present in this song. The drums serve the song well enough and are mixed with some cool electric rhythmic sounds. The singer's voice is very good in this song but for me the highlight is the rapping from Mike Shinoda who also served as a producer for the album. Very strong number one from Linkin Park this week and definitely a good choice for a single from their latest album.

Here's how I would arrange the top ten this week:

1. Burn It Down - Linkin Park
2. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye
3. Live to Rise - Soundgarden
4. It's Time - Imagine Dragons
5. Days Go By - The Offspring
6. Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys
7. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men
8. Hats Off To The Bull - Chevelle
9. Midnight City - M83 
10. Tongue Tied - Grouplove

Some very good songs in the rock charts this week even down to the bottom of my top ten. I wouldn't say I disliked any of the music at all, and there are some excellent musicians in these groups.

Best Drummer - Matt Cameron from Soundgarden.

The best drums this week come from the great Live to Rise by Soundgarden. Cameron's fills and timing are top notch.