5 Reasons Rock & Roll Is Making A Comeback
Back in 2012, Vest Metal was the bee's knees, but few of us ever thought that it would break into a full-on movement. Yet, somehow, it has. Bands like Mothership, Satan's Satyrs and Electric Citizen have started to criss-cross the country to incredible critical acclaim. People who saw rock and roll rise up back in the 70's are saying things like “It's all coming back” and “there's magic in the air again”. But why are these bands starting to once more dominate the scene? Why are we suddenly seeing rock and roll scratch its way back to the top?
5. There Are More Club Shows
We all know that with the growth of streaming and the death of the royalty check, we've been seeing more concerts than ever before. This of course leads to more club shows. The beautiful thing being – club shows were designed with rock and roll in mind. More and more people are attending club shows every year, and more and more of those people are going to be rock fans. If you're reading this site, it's probably because seeing Kanye West or Jay-Z play to thousands of people isn't super appealing to you. What you probably have more experience with is watching 6 bands play to twenty people on a Thursday night – and this is a key part of what made rock and roll so exciting in the first place. After all, even The Who cut their teeth in the middle of an eight band package tour that went back and forth across America for a few weeks in the 60s!
4. People are over pop music
In a recent interview Electric Citizen's guitarist Ross Dolan said of modern pop music: “It's only created to make money – not to change peoples lives. It's made so that you can vibe out while you're drunk in the club on ecstasy. It's made for the opposite reason that music exists.” In many ways I'm inclined to agree with him. We've essentially reached the 'industry of cool' that Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character of Lester Bangs warns us about in the classic film Almost Famous. With any given genre, there is a limit as to how much you can do before incorporating a lot of other stuff, and people have been bombarded with pop for the last thirty years. Maybe things are getting ready to change.
3. Nostalgia Culture Is Taking Over
This is a big one, even if it might be controversial. I'll be the first to admit that part of my love for this modern wave of rock and roll is due to nostalgia culture; when I first saw Satan's Satyrs play a tiny club in Paris, I felt transported back to the 70s, and I loved that feeling. As Cat Jones from Southern Cross PR said, “Rock and roll is an escape. Does anything make you feel sexier, more confident, or able to kick the world in the face like walking down the street with “Running With The Devil” stuck in your head? Or driving down the road with the windows rolled down, cranking “Highway Star” so loud you get dirty looks from other drivers at every intersection?” There is a very real magic to it that keeps people coming back. Consequently, a lot of young people have been rightfully enamored with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in recent years and have started making music of their own. It's only fitting that some of these bands should start hitting the mainstream; people want rock and roll, and they want it to be performed by young people who take the stage full of drunken youthful energy. After all, isn't that a huge part of why we all fell in love with it in the first place?
2. The Music Has Only Gotten Better
In the twenty-odd years since rock and roll last reigned supreme, the music has only gotten better. Not only has the level of musicianship gone up but the people starting bands nowadays have more exposure than ever before to great and obscure music. For perhaps the first time ever we are getting a host of bands who will proudly flaunt the influence of old-school gems like Budgie, Necromandus and Lucifer's Friend alongside the traditional masters. And remember, these people are taking influence from a much larger period of music than the genres progenitors, leading to even more mature and sonically diverse records. This has led to a unique brand of twenty first century rock and roll that has the potential to be unlike anything that has come before.
1. It Never Really Went Away
A lot of people will tell you that a huge part of why rock and roll is experiencing a resurgence is that it never really went away. Curtis Dewar of Dewar PR says, “I don't know that it's ever really gone away. I think that what's happening now is that there are more high quality bands which has broadened the attention of the media.” Cat Jones seconds the notion saying “Huge, tasty, riff-laden rock and roll has never gone away. However, unfortunately we had a good twenty years or so there where it got pushed into the underground while popular culture became pretty obsessed with music that was generally depressing.” In other words, with the internet being what it is and the public's newfound appetite for rock and roll, the music we love is finally allowed to come out of the closet and shine brighter than ever before. As the almighty Sha Na Na once sang: “Rock and roll is here to stay” and now it seems ready to reign supreme once more.