SLIS’s 25 Best Rock Songs of 2015: counting down the most rocking tunes of the year.
It’s just a few weeks until we say goodbye to 2015 (really?), so that means its time to break our best-of lists, starting off with the best rock tracks of the year.
Here’s my favorite 25 from the worlds of alternative, metal, Britpop, electronica, and more. As always I’m happy to be a little more off the beaten path than other pop-centric or hipster-oriented sites (for example: you wont see Bieber, Carlie Rae Jepsen…or even Father John Misty here).
If you’d like to own any of these, I’ll have a iTunes playlist at the bottom of the page.
Let’s face it 2015, like all years, is a mix of the good and the bad, but things have been of an especially heavy heart as of late. But good music always gets you through a rough patch, and these tunes are no exception.
Let’s get rocking:
25. Wall Of Death-The Prodigy
The sensory overload of Prodigy’s latest album The Day is My Enemy was almost too much of a good thing, but Wall of Death is a dance floor banger of epic proportions.
24. Shave The Pride-Le Butcherettes
Teri Gender Bender and co. rage in fine fashion on this blues-punk throw down from their album A Raw Youth.
23. Eternal Scene-Youth Worship
These noise merchants worship at the altar of the Stooges and Sonic Youth, resulting in this ear searing feedback fueled track.
22. She Digs That Hole-Monster Magnet
This Goth-tinged track from the group’s forthcoming 2016 album/film Night Thoughts is prime Brit-pop melodrama.
20. Grand Canyon-Puscifer
19. Barbarian-The Darkness
The Darkness refused to behave like one-hit wonders on their rocking 2015 album Last of Our Kind, and this single was a rocking ode to Viking lore.
18. Amenia-Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy
A gorgeous mix of shoegaze and shimmering 80’s New Wave from the duo’s 2015 release Inside We Are The Same.
17. Love Crime-Siouxsie Sioux
The iconic Goth chanteuse returned with her first song in eight years, featured on the final season of Hannibal, for which this dark ballad was perfectly suited.
16. Ultimate Authority-Prong
Prong teased their 2016 album X No Absolutes with this shred-tastic track.
15. Loose Men-Torche
A combination of stoner riffing and power pop makes for one of the most hook-heavy tracks of the year.
14. Black Star-David Bowie
It’s some weird, wild shit for sure, making me super stoked for next year’s album of the same title.
13. Chlorine and Wine-Baroness
Back from their near-fatal 2012 bus crash, these Southern metallers return with their life-affirming new album Purple, buoyed by this classic rock-flavored ballad.
12. Complexity-Eagles of Death Metal
This band has become so mired in tragedy that its knocked their lighthearted southern boogie off its playful axis. But Complexity is a wonderful rocking ditty nonetheless. Peace-Love-Death Metal-always.
11. Circadian Rhythm-Silversun Pickups
Better Nature might not be their best album, but this is certainly one of their most haunting and mesmerizing songs to date.
10.Iron Moon-Chelsea Wolfe
Wolfe’s latest effort Abyss is a dark delight, and Iron Moon is one of the best tracks, mixing goth, metal, shoegaze and trip hop into an intoxicating, disorienting ride.
So they can exist without Peter Hook! This joyous disco-flavored track proved New Order still has plenty of life left in them.
8. Separation Anxiety-Faith No More
For anyone worried that FNM had mellowed with age, or were puzzled by their oddball single Motherfu**er, Separation Anxiety (from their comeback album Sol Invictus) brings their madcap black comic angst in manic style.
7.New Cold War-Killing Joke
Killing Joke keep aging like a fine wine, proven by their excellent new album Pylon. And New Cold War is a stunner, heavy as hell yet glacially beautiful, perfect for a song about covert warfare.
6.One Thing-Dave Gahan & Soulsavers
The Depeche Mode frontman sounds rejuvenated on his second outing with Soulsavers, imbuing his soulful croon on their blues and gospel inflected album Angels and Ghosts.
The string-laden ballad One Thing is a sterling example, with Gahan waxing affection for Bowie’s Life On Mars, bad TV and most importantly, love amidst our many modern distractions.
5. Wide Open-Chemical Brothers with Beck
Beck’s silky delivery blends perfectly with one of the Chem Bros. most unadorned yet insistent melodies.
4. Warship My Wreck-Marilyn Manson
Manson became musically relevant again on his excellent album The Pale Emperor. While any of the official singles would qualify, I’m going with this dark gem with Manson’s croak sounding world-weary over horror movie atmospherics.
3. Clearest Blue-CHVRCHES
The band’s sophomore album Every Open Eye sounded a bit too safe and repetitive for my tastes compared to their stellar début album, but this single is such an effervescent sugar rush, it’s pleasures can’t be denied.
2. Mulholland Drive-Failure
The reunited alternative underdogs emerged with their triumphant album The Heart is A Monster, capped off with this eerie ballad that recalls vintage Pink Floyd and Beach Boys. Lovely and strange psychedelia.
1. Time Machine-Royal Thunder
The band delivered sublime grunge-worthy angst on sophomore release Crooked Doors, and opening track Time Machine was the crown jewel: over 7 minutes of love gone wrong that never feels self-indulgent thanks to vocalist Mlny Parsonz gut busting soulful wail. Chills. Every single time.
So that wraps up my list of the best rock songs of 2015. You can peruse the selections via iTunes below. Stay tuned next week when I’ll be ranking this years best albums, movies, and TV.