2017 saw our unexpected loss of some fine musicians, including Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Malcolm Young, and Chester Bennington. Nevertheless, it remained an exceptional year for music in other ways.
To think ten years ago, getting to attend a small rock gig here was considered a stroke of luck. Seeing Guns N’ Roses live this year was absolutely unforgettable. As was experiencing the spectacular concerts of Wolfmother, Tyler Bryant, Megadeth (third time’s the charm), Richie Kotzen, Hats Off to Led Zeppelin, and Sick of It All.
2017 releases also charmed audiophiles, as old favourites make strong comebacks and young bands break the mould. There goes the falsehood that the new generation has ruined music. Far from it, as this list would prove – in two pages and no particular order:
15. Santa Cruz – Bad Blood Rising
Flashy outfits and pop-oriented hooks are surefire ways to invite scorn in the rock/metal scene. Not that these guys give a damn. Drawing comparisons to Mötley Crüe and Skid Row, Santa Cruz has the looks to match withal. But even as they wear their influences on their sleeves, the Finnish band finds their own sound with this polished release.
Musically, Bad Blood Rising thrives on the same attitude and zest that has earned them their previous fans, who will not be disappointed. Going for energetic solos and anthemic choruses, they capture the infectious rhythm of the genre neatly, and never once forget the fun of it.