Modern day Rock n’ Roll has taken some pretty hard shots over the years. With many people saying things like “rock is dead” and “everything’s been done”, there’s extra pressure put on the artists who fall into the genre of rock. With the questionable quality of today’s music, many would argue that artists just don’t have the same passion as they used to, focusing solely on making a quick buck. Though this may be true in some cases, it’s unfair to throw everybody under the bus. There is still a growing treasure trove of well-written and skillfully composed songs by many bands that respectfully mirror the sound and feel of classic rock.
No one can deny the impact classic rock has made on the music industry over the years. Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones have influenced countless artists around the world. Many still listen to their songs today, and will continue to for years to come.
The question thus turns to modern times: what about today’s music? What bands will be remembered and talked about in twenty, thirty, or fifty years down the line? The golden age of classic rock may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean it is dead. Countless bands have stepped up to the plate over the years, flourishing in the limelight much like their inspirations from the ‘60s and ‘70s. These old souls have plugged in and turned their amps up to eleven, proving classic rock still has a strong pulse in today’s music and isn’t about to bow out any time soon.
The following list contains a few bands that will remind us that rock isn’t dead. So for all those out there who find themselves at a loss for hope, sit back, and relax: you just might find that classic rock sound you’ve been looking for.
11 Foo Fighters
You might be wondering why the Foo Fighters are so low on the list, considering their fame and success. The reason has nothing to do with the quality or playing of their music, but rather their style. With such an impressive library of songs, it’s hard to find the ones that remind us of those old school classics. The ones that are reminiscent of that classic rock sound are arguably their best.
A majority of their music falls under the category of alternative and grunge rock but many songs hold strong influences from classic rock. The band has even played live shows with members from Led Zeppelin! Any fan of Rock n’ Roll should love this incredible Seattle rock group.
10 Sam Roberts Band
A modern day song writer that was truly born in the wrong era, Sam Robert's songs “Brother Down” and “Bridge To Nowhere” are modern day classics that would have fit right alongside some of the greats from Woodstock.
Born on October 2, 1974 in Pointe Claire, Québec, Canada, his debut album had a rocky start due to Sam’s decision to burn the album onto CD-R’s himself. However, after his 2002 release of “The Inhuman Condition”, all roads led to fame for the young inspiring musician. In 2004, the Sam Roberts Band won the award for Best Album, Best Rock Album and Best Artist at the Canadian Juno Awards. That’s definitely an impressive feat for any band.
9 Gov't Mule
If Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd had a musical child, it would be Gov’t Mule. This band sounds like it’s pulled straight out of the ‘70s, with their shows offering an intimate feel mirroring the concerts of the classic rock era. Known for their lengthy jam sessions and impressive live performances, their musicianship is phenomenal.
Warren Haynes and Allen Woody formed the band as a side project to The Allman Brothers Band. They are notorious for covering some of their favorite artists, which include Neil Young, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and Black Sabbath. A special mention goes out to their album “Dark Side of the Mule”, where fans can find some of the most respectfully talented versions of their favorite Pink Floyd songs. This band is truly a guaranteed must see for all Rock N’ Roll fans out there.
8 Queens Of The Stone Age
With a library of head-pounding, foot-stomping riffs and a frontman that’s played alongside John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin's bassist, and David Grohl, Nirvana's drummer & Foo Fighters frontman, it’s hard not to expect great music from this Californian rock band.
The band was formed in 1996 by front man Josh Hommes and has undergone many lineup changes; no matter the members, they always perform. Hommes' ability to collaborate with other artists and musicians gives the Queens a certain edge over other bands, and with so much talent surrounding them, a new door to success is always open. Their heavy rock-infused, bluesy sound has shook stadiums for over a decade and will certainly continue to do so for years to come.
7 Arctic Monkeys
Surprisingly, this is the first of only two British rock groups that made the list. This group has been very well received, with their massive fanbase helping them along the way. With obvious skill and the positive word of mouth spread about this band, the Arctic Monkeys are said to be one of the first bands to gain recognition through fan sites rather than playing gigs and marketing themselves. Although it was well-deserved, their fans essentially did the work for them!
The band's fresh rock sound has hints of influences from The Kinks and The Beatles. They’ve won seven Brit awards, and hold the record for fastest debut album in British charts history. Seems as though the fans were right about this one.
This rock band from down under quickly shot to the top of the charts with a punchy riff from the song "Woman", the 2006 Grammy Award winner for Best Hard Rock Performance.
This three piece band from Sydney, Australia can really belt out their massive sound all while perfecting the art of writing a hard-hitting song with a catchy riff. Their lead vocalist and guitar player Andrew Stockdale is also armed with pipes that could blow out an amp - picture Ozzy Osborne with the vocal range of Axl Rose - it’s no wonder they were quick to their rise to fame. If you like fist-pumping guitar riffs and chest-pounding drums melded with beautiful arrangements of fills, solos, and keyboards, Wolfmother is the band for you.
5 The Sheepdogs
When you talk about a band that has the look, sound, and heart of a classic rock band, The Sheepdogs hit every nail on the head. With their shaggy hair, scruffy beards and that authentic 1970s sound, it’s hard to believe they didn’t accidentally walk out of a time machine.
This Canadian rock group from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan managed to get themselves on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 2011 before they were even signed to a label. That same year they won the Juno Awards for Best Rock Album of the Year, Best New Group and Single of the Year.
This three-piece band from Teignmouth, Devon, England are some of the most talented musicians in Rock n’ Roll today. Their front man, Matthew Bellamy, doesn’t just have a stellar voice; he can also wail on both the guitar and the piano. Muse’s sound has one of the widest ranges of any other band on this list: from one album to the next, you’re never going to get the same-old sound.
With influences from bands like Yes, ELO, Supertramp, Queen, and The Beatles, their album arrangements are mesmerising and beautiful. With a slew of awards and a staggering 17 million albums sold worldwide, it’s hard not to see the talent among these three Brits.
3 Rival Sons
With the help of some of the best in the industry, Rival Sons has sold out shows all while pushing their way to the top of the charts in a very short period of time.
These artists work under the philosophy of recording and releasing an album once a year. This is reminiscent to the way Led Zeppelin worked, a band whose sound is clearly a strong influence on their music. Jimmy Page himself, Led Zeppelin's legendary guitarist, has called Rival Sons one of his new favorite bands.
If you like that heavy blues-rock sound with slide guitar and solid vocals, Rival Sons won’t disappoint. It’s hard not to think of bands like Led Zeppelin when you’re listening to them, especially if it’s a live show.
2 The Black Keys
A rock duo from Akron, Ohio, The Black keys proved that a two-piece rock band can do just as much, if not more, than most other generic rock bands out there. With countless singles and seven Grammys under their belt, there’s not much left to be said: these two childhood friends sure know how to write a rock song.
Their influence spans across a wide spectrum of performers, from guys like Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, and Hound Dog Taylor to bands like Jethro Tull, Cream and Black Sabbath. It’s easy to see that these guys know their music, proving it’s their turn to create a library of songs for young, inspiring artists. This is truly an impressive rock band; from blues to groovy rock, they cater to many people's tastes.
1 Jack White
The musical prodigy from Detroit, Michigan takes the number one spot on the list. If composing entire rock albums single-handily isn’t enough, how about recording and distributing one in under four hours? Jack White now holds the world record for fastest-recorded album, which he accomplished with his solo effort Lazzaretto. The time clocked in at 3hrs 55min and 21sec.
Besides his successful solo career, he’s best known for his work in the White Stripes, where he played alongside ex-wife and drummer Meg White. He also played with the talented Brendon Benson in the Raconteurs and got to open for Bob Dylan in the process.
Jack is truly a musical genius; he’s always looking for new, original sounds and often challenges himself in ways that other musicians wouldn't even think of. His guitar playing is inventive and mesmerizing, especially for blues fans. He can also play bass, drums, keyboard and the mandolin. He’s literally a one man band. With eight Grammys and a handful of number one hits, this ambitious music-fueled visionary is just getting started.