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Music Blog - American Rock Chart

posted 19 Jul 2012, 16:27 by Chris Morris
Three new entries into the rock chart this week as we say goodbye to M83, Gotye and Soundgarden, all of whom had very good music to showcase in previous weeks. They make way for some new music from Shinedown, Alex Clare and fun. Let's get started with this weeks look at the American rock chart.

10. Too Close - Alex Clare

This song mixes a sort of electronic almost dubstep sound with rock music, not unlike something from Linkin Park. A nice clean sound from the electric guitar along with some subtle percussion gives a groovy little feel to this song. The drums aren't doing anything particularly exciting, although there's no need to overplay in this catchy effort from Alex Clare.

9. Unity - Shinedown

I met this band a few months ago (They are the guys who signed the drum skin hanging up in Dundee Drum Academy's waiting room), at one of their gigs in Glasgow. All the performers in this band are fantastic musicians, and this song showcases this perfectly. The drummer plays a nice rhythm using the tom toms and snare and the singer shows off his excellent singing voice well. The song is very uplifting and full of emotion and I'm certainly glad to see this reappear in the top 10.

8. Hats Off To The Bull - Chevelle

Chevelle's song is very guitar driven 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. Some Nights - fun.

I was excited to hear another entry from fun. after hearing their uplifting single We Are Young. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. It begins well with some fantastic harmonic vocals, but slowly turns very annoying. Before I get to the annoying parts I have to say I enjoyed the lead singers vocals which almost reminded me of Freddie Mercury a little (What? They did!). However, the band seemed to deem it necessary to dub the worst auto-tuning I've heard on a voice since Chris Brown's latest album, and it actually ruins the entire song. Apart from that it had potential to be a nice follow up to their last effort.

6. 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. 

5. 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.

4. Days Go By - The Offspring

This song grows on me week by week but I initially 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, Little Talks - Of Monsters & 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.

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. Linkin Park's Burn it Down is number one once again this week. 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 and definitely a good choice for a single from their latest album (You can read my review of their album here)





This week, I would rank the Top 10 in this order:

1. Burn It Down - Linkin Park
2. Unity - Shinedown
3. It's Time - Imagine Dragons
4. Days Go By - The Offspring
5. Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys
6. Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men
7. Too Close - Alex Clare
8. Hats Off To The Bull - Chevelle
9. Tongue Tied - Grouplove
10. Some Nights - fun.

Best Drummer - Barry Kerch from Shinedown

Barry Kerch is a fantastic drummer and displays really nice creativity with his tom rhythms and energetic fills in Unity. Kerch manages to stand out from the other nine drummers by being original and creative.

So two great new songs this week and one not so good. I am really impressed with the consistency of good musicians in the American rock chart over the last few weeks. All drummer have done a fantastic job and there are a few stand out vocalists and guitarists too. 

Check back tomorrow for the Billboard Top 10 Blog and a look at which album may be reviewed on Dundee Drum Academy's website next week.

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