The Rocking Quarterly Review - January to March 2021 (Update)
Here at Powered By Rock, we want to make it easy for you to be able to catch up on some of the best rock music that has come out recently, and we wanted to give you a roundup of the best things we have heard in the first 3 months of 2021.
January - March 2021
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound (Received a Perfect Rating from us)
Weezer, NOFX, Typhoon and Foo Fighters all released new music that is definitely worth listening to as well.
Here's the rundown on bands that have released some pretty rocking music in the first 3 months of 2021:
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound - 5.0 stars out of 5
- A true rock masterpiece of music. This album is the culmination of years of cultivating their craft from psychedelic, jam rock to radio ready indie gods. Read the full review here.
Death By Unga Bunga - Heavy Male Insecurity - 4.7 stars out of 5
- A great power pop punk rock album that will have you bobbing your head, tapping your foot, and wanting to rock out with shredding guitar solos, driving drums and bass, and fun lyrics to sing along to. Read the full review here. (This album was added as an update on 4/3/2021)
Typhoon - Sympathetic Magic - 4.6 stars out of 5
- An album born and brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. It will have you feeling deep sorrow mixed with uplifting hope. Check out our full review here.
NOFX - Single Album - 4.6 stars out of 5
- A darker, more personal approach to the new album from NOFX showcases their strengths at persevering through a life of hardships and being able to put it into music. Read the full review here.
Weezer - OK Human - 4.5 stars out of 5
- A pleasantly surprising album that puts Rivers Cuomo behind the piano for every song, and the band is accompanied by an orchestra. You can read the full review here.
Foo Fighters - Medicine At Midnight - 4.5 stars out of 5
- Another pretty excellent installment from the Foo Fighters. You can read the full review here.
Kings of Leon - When You See Yourself - 4.1 stars out of 5
- This album is good, but not great. Other than "100,000 People" and "The Bandit" this album plays very well as background music, because it doesn't really inspire you to get up and move around which is kinda what I used to really like about Kings of Leon. Still, these guys can do very little that wouldn't make me listen to their albums. They are a great band. They just don't make quite as great of music as they used to.
Black Pistol Fire - Look Alive - 4.1 stars out of 5
- This album is quite good, and the band is a "poor man's Black Keys", but that's not to say they are just not as good (though I would say the Black Keys are hard to be anywhere as good as). They are also a rock duo. They have a bit of a different sound, but it's still very much in the blues-rock vein. If you have a penchant for good music in this genre, you can't miss with this album.
Grouplove - This Is This - 3.9 stars out of 5
- Aside from the songs "Shout" and "Seagulls" this album was much less a cohesive album and more a feeling of a rushed project (emphasized by having only 9 songs as well). The lyrics are pretty lacking overall, and when Hannah Hooper sings, it is pretty much her shouting the entire album. Not really playing to their strengths here. The fact that two of their founding members are no longer in the band explains the further diversion from their original sound as well.
The Luka State - Fall In Fall Out - 3.9 stars out of 5
- This album definitely has some uptempo songs that will getting you tapping your foot or bobbing your head. It starts off with a bit of a bang, but it kinda tapers off, and I lost some interest by the later songs. Notably, the title track was a bit blasé, and it feels like it belonged on a Goo Goo Dolls album more than anything.
The Notwist - Vertigo Days - 3.9 stars out of 5
- This German band (songs are in English) will leave a lasting impression on you if you have never heard them. A lot of instrumentation in the songs, but you won't be disappointed for having listened to this album.
Moon Taxi - Silver Dream - 3.9 stars out of 5
- This album is good, and the overall sound is a lot like a mix between Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. So, if you like those bands, you will likely dig these guys. For me, it's a bit too poppy and too produced, but it's radio friendly for sure.
You Me At Six - Suckapunch - 3.8 stars out of 5
- This wasn't the best album of the first quarter by any means, but not because it isn't good. It is just not my type of album or music. It's a bit grungy, which I like, but it is a little on the "industrial rock" side (think Nine Inch Nails), but the problem here is that it also combines it with a bit of modern pop/electronic sound (something like the Chain Smokers). Subjectively, the album is well done, and I would listen to it over a lot of stuff on the radio, but overall, it's a style that I usually don't dig too deep into.