Category Archives: Lists

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Albums Get Ranked Up!

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be releasing a much anticipated new album in 2016.  However, with their current repertoire they have become one of the most successful and consistent bands in modern rock, so ranking their albums took quite bit of brainstorming. Focusing on the album as a whole and not the quality of the singles of each album was the main approach to this piece. RHCP’s first three albums are similar; a very young band trying to find its way.  However, when Mother’s Milk was released in 1989 the band finally tapped into their potential and the majority of the next six albums made the band one of the biggest, if not the biggest, band in modern rock music.

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers (self-titled) (1983)
The first album from RHCP was very raw and lacked cohesiveness, which would be expected considering the band wasn’t considered a serious project by guitarist Hillel Slovak who backed out of recording the album.  Anthony Kiedis and Flea have mentioned over the years that they prefer the demo versions of most of these songs which were recorded with the original lineup featuring Slovak.  Reaching just below the Billboard top 200, RHCP’s debut included very few highlights, however “Green Heaven” is a fan favorite and “Out In LA” is the first song that RHCP wrote together.

9. Freaky Styley (1985)
Produced by funk mastermind George Clinton, Freaky Styley had some high points, particularly the comical “Catholic School Girls Rule” but still failed to garner much commercial success.
Bassist Flea had this to say about the album for the 2003 reissue:
“I know the music on this record was just way too obscure to ever be popular in a mainstream kind of way, but to me it really holds its own as a definitive and substantial musical statement. More than any other record we ever made it falls into the category of “too funky for white radio, too punk rockin’ for black.” Of course, the songs were very far away from any pop format; I realize it is/was not just the racial segregation at radio that precluded it from being a popular record.”

8. The Uplift MoFo Party Plan (1987)
The Uplift MoFo Party Plan was the last album to feature all four founding members of the band. Guitarist Hillel Slovak would later die of a heroin overdose after the tour in support of the album, and drummer Jack Irons would quit the band being unable to cope with the loss of his friend.  As the RHCP sound continued to sprout, this album was their most successful one up to this point and was actually their first album to enter the Billboard top 200.  Some noteworthy tracks include “Fight Like A Brave”, “Me and my Friends”, and “Behind the Sun”.

7. I’m With You (2011)
The first album since One Hot Minute sans John Frusciante seems to be a band in rebuilding mode with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who seemingly does not quite fill the shoes his predecessor left behind.  Many RHCP albums, specifically the ones released after the 1980’s, were very guitar heavy, but the guitar parts took more of a backing role with I’m With You. However, it seems that the talent of Josh Klinghoffer wasn’t the issue; the issue was in the production phase of the album as the recorded guitar parts were greatly turned down.  A fan re-engineered the album and posted the new version on youtube which brings the guitar parts out into the forefront. Many fans believe this change greatly enhanced the quality of the album and truth be told if that version was the one originally released it would have been ranked just below Blood Sugar Sex Magic on this list. However, based on the recording that was released, besides one of the most exceptional ballads the band has ever recorded in “Breaden’s Death Song”, the tracks don’t measure up to any of the singles that RHCP released since before Mother’s Milk. Tracks like “Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”, “Look Around”, and “Monarchy of Roses” which all could be placed in the same category as “Suck My Kiss”, “Higher Ground”, and “Around the World” would all rank at the bottom of that category.  I’m With You was an album with great potential, but the decision to hide Klinghoffer’s talent greatly degraded the finished product.

6. Mothers Milk (1989)
Mothers Milk was the album that RHCP finally polished their unique sound to form something that was widely accepted on MTV and rock radio. The Stevie Wonder cover “Higher Ground” and the second single “Knock Me Down” both received significant air play and became the sound the band would feed off of for years to come. Other great highlights from this album include the Jimmy Hendrix cover “Fire” and the scorcher “Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky”.

5. Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
Blood Sugar Sex Magik made the Red Hot Chili Peppers a worldwide phenomenon. Hard hitting and funky tracks like “Suck My Kiss” and “Give it Away” are the yin to the yang of two of the best ballads in the RHCP catalog in “Breaking the Girl” and “Under the Bridge”.  This album contained some of the band’s best singles, but as a complete piece wasn’t their best cohesive work.

4. One Hot Minute (1995)
The one off album featuring guitarist Dave Navarro in place of John Frusciante is a bit of an enigma. Flea once eluded that Navarro wasn’t a good fit for RHCP, and the band very rarely play a song from this album live. However, as a whole it is just about as great as the rest of their classics. It contains some of the bands more standard alternative rock tracks like “Coffee Shop” and “Warped” and along with the ballad “My Friends” and the fun oddity “Aeroplane” One Hot Minute is surprisingly RHCP’s most well rounded album.

3. By The Way (2002)
By The Way was critically acclaimed but a bit of a change of pace from the band’s previous releases. However, as solid as it was, the album wasn’t as consistent as Californication or Stadium Arcadium, even though “Can’t Stop” and “By The Way” were great singles. Other highlights include tracks like “Dosed”, “Universally Speaking” and “The Zephyr Song” in which the band strayed away from their norm and the tracks became a favorite among many fans.  Additionally, the track “Throw Away Your Television” may be the best track to come out of the By The Way sessions and has since become a spectacularly performed live staple.

2. Californication (1999)
After the release of One Hot Minute, five long years passed and the buzz surrounding RHCP had chilled a bit. There were some drug problems in the band during this hiatus plus the departure of Dave Navarro, however, that departure allowed for the return of John Frusciante, and the fire was restarted after the release of Californication. This album contains everything that makes the Red Hot Chili Peppers great songwriters. Tracks like “Otherside”, “Californication”, and “Scar Tissue” have the same essence that made “Under the Bridge” such a landmark track, and the funky “Around the World” was a throwback to the RHCP standard which helped get the critics back on their side.

1. Stadium Arcadium (2006)
I can see it in the comments section already… This guy put which album #1!!!???
John Frusciante’s swan song.. or.. swan album (hardy har har) is, as a complete work, the Red Hot Chili Peppers BEST album.  Stadium Arcadium contains over two hours of great single worthy tracks and it’s difficult to single out a specific track that stands out amongst others because of the album’s consistency, and in all honesty, the singles may be the weakest tracks on the album.  Stadium Arcadium doesn’t have a track that is as epic as “Scar Tissue”, “Give It Away”, or “Under the Bridge” however, from start to finish, it is RHCPs most solid album and may actually be one of the best double albums of all time.

Hear all the best from the Red Hot Chili Peppers at and

Top 10 Thrash Metal Albums Of 1986

In 1986, the metal sub-genre known as thrash metal exploded. Mostly a reaction against hair metal, thrash took the traditional metal sound and mixed it with the intensity of hardcore punk. So many thrash metal albums were released in 1986, many of which are by major players and legends in the genre. Here we will take a look at the best thrash albums from that year.

Vulcano – Bloody Vengeance

We start the list off with a nice underground gem from Brazil. This album contains elements that would influence death metal and the second wave of black metal.

Destruction – Eternal Devastation

One of the scenes that really exploded was Germany’s thrash scene and one of the most iconic bands from that scene was Destruction. On this sophomore effort, the band strips away its early black metal elements for a more traditional thrash sound. This album is really fast and intense and feels like you are listening to a tornado of riffs.

Cryptic Slaughter – Convicted

The punk crossover style of thrash also had some greats in ’86, including Cryptic Slaughter’s Convicted. Playing a fast, in your face style of crossover, this album helped influence the powerviolence genre. Highly recommended for those looking to get into this style.

Metallica – Master Of Puppets

For those who live under a rock, Master of Puppets is one of metal’s most well known albums. This record was the first thrash release to ever go platinum. The politically charged lyrics and complex songwriting helped the album please critics outside of the metal scene.

Dark Angel – Darkness Descends

For the most part, the heaviest and most extreme thrash bands tend to come from Europe and South America. A big exception to this is L.A.’s Dark Angel. Their sophomore record displays the band’s ultra fast style they call “caffeine metal” at its finest. This is also the first studio album to feature drumming icon Gene Holgan.

Voivod – Rrroooaaarrr

Hailing from Canada comes one of Dave Grohl’s all time favorite bands. On this album, the band would add experimental elements to their thrash sound, something they would continue to expand upon on later releases. This release still remains one of Voivod’s finest hours.

Nuclear Assault – Game Over

Wanting to play a more aggressive style, Nuclear Assault was formed by ex-Anthrax members John Connolly and Danny Lilker. Here on their debut, the band blends old school speed metal with crossover. The distinct vocals and political lyrics make this release a favorite among thrashers everywhere.

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Reign in Blood is the third album by Slayer and the band’s most popular release. The album is also their fastest release to date and the first one to be produced by Rick Rubin, who would produce most of the band’s albums. The album spawned Slayer’s two most popular songs “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death“.

Kreator – Pleasure To Kill

Kreator’s best album is also the greatest and most well known release from the German thrash scene. The record’s cover is very accurate, as you will be crushed by it’s riffs and intensity. This album is now seen as a huge influence on death metal.

Megadeth – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying

Containing the same exact line up as Killing is Business, Peace Sells is  Megadeth’s breakthrough album. The band got signed to Capitol Records and the production values went up. This is also the first Megadeth album to have politically charged lyrics, something that would become a staple of the band, though also had songs with satanic lyrics such as “The Conjuring“.

Honorable Mentions:

Metal Church – The Dark

Tankard – Zombie Attack

Sodom – Obsessed by Cruelty

Holy Moses – Queen of Siam

Razor – Malicious Intent


These 15 Alternative Rock Artists Deserve Your Attention Right Now!

On New Year’s Day Alternative Nation posted an article Make Listening to These Ten Up and Coming Bands Your New Year’s Resolution, and now that we have given you some time to fall in love with those ten bands, here are fifteen more. So before you start raving out (do the kids still do that?) to that new Skrillex record, try listening to these ten bands that may just save rock and roll and make people realize that EDM is pretty much just disco.

Dear Stalker
Lisa Murphwell – Vocals/Guitar
Adam Learner – Bass/Backing Vocals
Alan Murphwell – Drums
A three piece band from Melbourne, Australia which features a talented front woman with a stellar and bold voice accompanied by one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock, Dear Stalker have the pieces in place to break at any moment.


Echo Collider
Members:  Bryan, Matt, Derek, RJ and Matt
Echo Collider is a five piece progressive hard rock band hailing from Kansas City, MO. Dynamically mixing heavy guitars along with moments where the listener can get whisked up in the exploratory song progression, Echo Collider have the music to take you on a trip.


Dear Adamus
Raytheon Dunn: Vocals/Guitar
Chris Wilkins: Bass/ Vocals
Severin Di Croce: Drums
With multiple vocalists that are as smooth and flawless as they come and a sound that rivals some of the best singer/songwriter acts of today, Dear Adamas is just getting started with their latest single “Somber Face”.

Reverb Nation

Helms Alee
Ben Verellen:  Guitar/Vocals
Dana James:  Bass/Vocals
Hozoji Margullis:  Drums/Vocals

A three piece band out of Seattle, WA, Helms Alee are masters of progressive melodies and vocal harmonies; its modern rock that builds and explodes. If you like Tool they are a must listen, though Helms Alee are by no means imitators and often branch out finding unexplored musical territory. And on a side note, their album artwork is breathtaking.


Home Address
Frankie Mattero:  Vocals
Brandon DeAtley:  Drums
Albert Deel:  Bass/Vocals
Christian Deel:  Guitar
Brandon Deel:  Guitar
Home Address is a five piece band from Fredericksburg, Virginia that radiates nothing but feel good alternative rock. It’s one of those rare perfect musical marriages where all the components mesh together to form a unique and refreshing sound all its own, as evident in the track “Supposedly“.


Inner Temple
Dustin Schumacher: Guitar/Vocals
Keeyan Zimmerman: Drums
Dan Dent: Bass
A three piece band from Bloomsburg, PA, Inner Temple quench the thirst for fans of early 90s alternative rock that crave that type of new music from a modern band.  Inner Temple are carrying the torch passed on by Nirvana and The Screaming Trees but with a modern twist.

Messenger Birds
Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Chris: Drums
A two piece band from Detriot, MI, Messenger Birds are a bit grungy and a bit solo Jack White, but their use of space allows them to stand apart from their peers.

Outta The Furnace
Minnesota John: Guitar/vocals
Stevie Steve: Bass Guitar
Matt Albright: Drums
Outta The Furnace are a three piece bluesy modern rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. White Stripes meets Buddy Guy; Outta The Furnace has formed a sound all their own.

Reverb Nation

Sabrosa Purr
Will Love: Vocals/Guitar
Sabrosa Purr is an experimental alternative rock band from Los Angeles, CA. They have taken a wide range of influences while superbly taking advantage of time in their songwriting and created something truly extraordinary.


Tim Branom
Alternative Nation’s very own multi-talented reporter Tim Branom is a rock music veteran from Los Angeles, California. Branom has worked with the likes of Layne Staley and Days of the New. A guru in the studio and a great songwriter, Branom’s music is tailored to perfection. Throw in some great hooks, perfect transitions, and voice that can rattle the soul, Branom’s music is a must listen.  Branom just released a raucous new single entitled “Blind” last month, download it on iTunes.

Reverb Nation

Ultra Major (Formally Concreatures)
Ty Jontz
Nick Tardif
Eric Pearson
From Brooklyn, NY, Ultra Major create nothing but great and heavy melodic tracks. Their sound is a throw back to the 90’s with smooth vocals and loud guitars.; a hint of Screaming Trees mixed with their own brand of alternative rock.


The Vidos
Brett Hornall: Lead Vocals/Bass
Kirk Musfelt: Guitar / Backup Vocals
Nolan Nielsen: Drums / Backup Vocals
The Vidos are a three piece punk band from Vancouver, BC, Canada and fun is the only way to describe them. Their music isn’t overplayed pop/punk nonsense, but is actually reminiscent of the early punk days by perfecting the habitual short punk track with excellent musicianship.


Keith Freund: Vocals/Guitar/Bass
Chris Oquist: Drums
Ribs are a duo from Boston, MA. With heavy guitars layered with a vocalist that has the aura of The Cure’s Robert Smith, Ribs have conjured up a sound like no other. They have opened for the likes of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and in 2016 a much anticipated new album is set to be released.


If you have completely given up on rock or just came back from that much anticipated trip to mars, or any other random place completely void of all things regarding rock music in pop culture, and haven’t heard these two bands that have recently garnered significant fan bases, you should check them out!


Dead Sara

What are some of your favorite up and coming artists?  Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Hear all the best from all these great up and coming bands and many more at and

Ten Of The Heaviest Bands From Australia

Australia one of the world’s biggest countries is known for having some of the most interesting and diverse animals on the planet. The country also has many bands that are as extreme and interesting as its wildlife. Here in no order are some of the country’s best metal and hardcore punk bands. Some of these bands are well known, but fans tend to forget that they are Australian.

Captain Cleanoff

Australia has been a full force for punk, hardcore and grind as early as the 70’s with classic bands like The Birthday Party. One of the bands doing it best today is the grindcore band Captain Cleanoff. With fun short songs and distinct drumming this band is a must hear for any fan of the punk side of grindcore.

Fuck… I’m Dead

The country also delivers when it comes to the more metal side of grindcore. Fuck… I’m Dead are a goregrind outfit from Melbourne. Their groovy sound should please any fan of bands like General Surgery and Haemorrhage.

The Amenta

From South Wales comes one of the country’s most overlooked and original bands. Formed as Crucible of Agony in 1997 the Amenta plays a fusion of death metal, black metal and industrial.  The result is a sound that is really heavy as well as haunting.

The Berzerker

One of the most well known grindcore bands, The Berzerker’s music is a good gateway to those looking to get into the genre. The band played an electronic music influenced death metal/grindcore fusion with some of the fastest drumming known to man. Live, the members sometimes wore monster masks and the shows were known for intense energy. The band is now broken up, but with all these recent reunions maybe one day they will return.

King Parrot

From Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records comes the one and only King Parrot. The band plays a mixture of thrash, grindcore and sludge with parrot squawk vocals and comedic lyrics. They are mostly known for their live shows which consist of the band throwing water at the audience and vocalist Youngy mooning them the whole set. Last year the band toured with Superjoint Ritual and responses to their set were pretty positive.

Sadistik Exekution

Kinda like the Mortal Kombat franchise, this band loved using the letter K in the place of the hard C sound. Sadistik Exektion was a old school death metal band from South Wales. They were mostly known for their second album We Are Death… Fukk You!   This was a reaction to music critics mislabeling the band as a black metal band and also shows they had a sense of humor. Ironically their later albums contained black metal elements. Sadly this band is no longer together.


Most of the time black metal bands that use keyboards tend to be very cheesy. Nazxul are not only one of the exceptions, but are one of the best at it. The keyboards add great atmosphere and the vocals sound completely inhuman (in a great way). They played Maryland Deathfest in 2010.

Hobbs’ Angel of Death

Named after vocalist/guitarist Peter Hobbs, this hidden gem plays 80’s thrash in the vein of old Slayer though the band prefers to be labeled as “virgin metal”. Though a big name in Australia, they were always pretty obscure elsewhere. In recent years they have been getting more worldwide exposure, slowly making them a new favorite among old school thrash fans everywhere.


One of the strangest metal bands out today, Portal plays a style they call “avant garde blackened death metal”. Their sound is extremely heavy with ultra deep vocals and off beat droning riffs. They are also known for their bizarre on stage look which includes vocalist The Curator wearing various objects on his head. The band has played Maryland Deathfest in both 2010 and 2015.

Destroyer 666

Since the sub-genre’s inception, Australia has always had a plethora of blackened thrash bands. The greatest and most well known of these are Destroyer 666. Playing a take on this style that sounds really evil and really epic at the same time help make this three piece one of the best post-80’s thrash bands. In 2001 the band relocated to Holland. They are scheduled to play this year’s Maryland Deathfest and have their first new album in seven years to be released in late February.


Top 10 Guns N’ Roses Concerts

After nearly two decades of whispers, hopes and rumors it really is true, Guns N’Roses are getting back together again for a reunion tour. Right now it looks like we’re only going to get 3 of the original 5 members. But that still means that Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan will share the same stage together for the first time since July 17th, 1993. That date over 22 years ago was the final show on the band’s 2 year Use Your Illusion tour that ended triumphantly in Argentina.

Since then, Axl and Slash had a falling out of epic proportions, and Slash left the band in 1996. Duff followed a year later, and Guns N’ Roses’ only original member was Axl. Throughout the 2000’s and as recently as 2014, Axl had been touring with various different members on the Chinese Democracy tours. Duff filled in for some special guest appearances, and helped the band out almost full time on their 2014 South American tour. Original guitarist Izzy Stradlin even appeared from time to time, but there was no sign of Slash being asked back.

Last summer that all changed when Axl and Slash finally broke the ice and started talking again for the first time in 19 years. The reunion tour is due to kick off with a headlining slot at the Coachella Festival on April 16th. However what is the betting that the band play some low key warm up shows beforehand? It’s happened in the past most famously when they played two small club shows in 1989 before supporting The Rolling Stones. And then of course their 3 warm up shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco and The Ritz club in New York before the start of the Use Your Illusion tour. Patrons in LA keep an eye out for possible shows in the coming months.

To celebrate the return of the core of the most familiar Guns N’ Roses line up, we are taking a look back at some of the band’s all time greatest gigs. These shows are from the band’s formation in 1985 up until 1993.


This show will inevitably always be remembered as the infamous riot show, as Axl dived into the crowd and grabbed a video camera from a ‘fan’ who was bootlegging the show. An outraged Axl stormed off the stage and a riot ensued that caused millions of dollars of damage to the bands equipment. But there was so much more to this show than actually meets the eye. Up until that incident which took place almost 90 minutes into the set, we were witnessing one of the great Guns shows. It was intense, mean, and Guns N’ Roses were living up to their old tag of ‘the most dangerous band in the world’. Sure, right from the start Axl looked in a bad mood, but he put that negative energy into the show and it worked for the most part before exploding. If one show summarized the Use Your Illusion tour, it was this one. It literally had everything.

9. PERKINS PALACE, PASADENA, December 26th-30th, 1987

Four shows were played over 5 nights at the Perkins Palace as part of Guns N’Roses holiday season homecoming shows. These shows have reached legendary status with Guns N’ Roses fans. Because of an injured hand, Steven Adler did not play at any of these shows, and instead Fred Coury of Cinderella filled in. During the four shows, 10 different songs from Appetite For Destruction are played, and staple covers such as “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” and “Mama Kin” are also belted out.

8. JACK MURPHY STADIUM, SAN DIEGO, September 30th 1992

This show was part of the infamous Guns N’ Roses/Metallica co-headlining tour of summer/fall 1992. Whilst the tour had its ups and downs, which included a 2nd Guns N’ Roses riot in Montreal after Axl walked off stage after hurting his vocal chords, it was nights like this that made it all worthwhile. Unlike regular set lists at this time, the band started the night off with its first four songs from Appetite For Destruction. The band were in a good mood, especially Slash who had become an United States citizen that day. Earlier in the day the crowd were treated to Bodycount and Motorhead.

7. GIANTS STADIUM, NEW JERSEY, August 16th, 1988

This show is most famous for fans as being part of the video for “Paradise City.” The rest of the footage would be coupled from the bands Donington Monsters of Rock show in England which took place just four days after this one. This may have been the first show where Axl wore his infamous white leather coat, a coat that would usually be worn during “Paradise City.” The band opened up for Aerosmith and Deep Purple and finished the set calmly with “Used To Love Her”.

6. THE MARQUEE, LONDON, June 28th, 1987

Guns N’ Roses’ first ever European shows were in London, England and they played 3 nights at the infamous Marquee Club in Soho. The shows were a sell out, and over those 3 nights 1,500 fans got to see them in the tiny sweatbox. However, it is their 3rd and last show which is remembered the fondest. The bulk of the material was from the upcoming Appetite For Destruction, but covers such as “Nice Boys” and AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” were thrown in for good measure. This show completed the band’s 10 day stay in London.

5. WEMBLEY STADIUM, LONDON, June 13th, 1992

Most reviewers agreed at the time that this was one of the hottest gigs on the Use Your Illusion tour. Just before the band took to the stage the Sid Vicious cover classic “My Way” roared from the PA and they kicked off with staple set opener “It’s So Easy”. During the show Axl has a troublemaker ejected from the venue and screams at him “Wanker”. Somehow a stage invader makes it on stage and hugs Slash, Axl teases the crowd that he may be married (this was to then girlfriend Stephanie Seymour), and Brian May of Queen joins the band for two classic Queen tracks. Whilst a backing band of several may have bloated the tour, by this time there were still evidently nights where it all clicked. Faith No More and Soundgarden opened the show.

4. BUDOKAN HALL, TOKYO, December 10th, 1988

Ever since Axl Rose knew that The Beatles had played in this infamous venue, he wanted to play here. It finally happened 3 years after the band’s formation. The crowd were really into the show, which was a surprise given how conservative Japanese crowds were back in the 80’s and early 1990’s. The band play 17 songs, including 10 from their debut album.

3. THE RITZ, NEW YORK, February 2nd, 1988

This show, at the now sadly defunct Ritz, is the most accessible for any fan wanting to see what ‘old’ Guns N’ Roses shows were all about. That’s because this show was professionally filmed by MTV and the band didn’t let anyone down. Axl, Duff, and Slash stagedived during the gig and played a no holds barred 60 minute set to a frenzied crowd. You can tell this is a rock band in the absolute prime of their careers, and they were loving every minute of it. Steven Adler spends the show with a constant smile on his face without missing a beat. For most fans back in the day, The Ritz show was their official introduction to the band from LA.

2. THE ROXY, LOS ANGELES, March 28th, 1986

Complete sleaze, Axl backcombed hair, Duff the punk rocker, Izzy cool as shit, Slash (probably drunk) but on cue, and Steven Adler smashing those snares like its his final show- this was Guns N’ Roses on top of the world. What made this show extra special is that two sets were played. One at 10PM, and then another at midnight. The shows almost didn’t happen when the band were stopped and searched by police for drugs outside the venue. During the show a stripper dances around the stage and the band play 16 different songs over the 2 sets. This was a night of celebration so to speak as the band had signed with Geffen Records just two days prior. The ads for these shows said ‘why are we playing? Because we need the money’.


Whilst the small club shows will forever be remembered for Guns N’ Roses in perhaps their purest form, the band proved that they could still bring it live to arenas and stadiums throughout the world. But on the night of August 3rd, 1991 something unique happened. Guns N’ Roses, in their farewell to LA as they departed for their European leg of the Use Your Illusion tour, played for almost 4 hours. It remains the longest Guns N’ Roses concert ever. However, as startling that fact is, this isn’t why this show is at No. 1 of all time. The band simply put on an awesome performance that called back to their glorious club days, but also brought with it things to come from this tour. 18 of the 31 tracks came from Use Your Illusion I and II, still by far the most tracks played from that record in one show. “You Ain’t the First”, “Dead Horse” and “Yesterdays” were given their live debuts and “Locomotive” a song rarely played live was also unleashed. Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, a close friend of Axl, did back up vocals on “Don’t Cry”, and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row sang along on “You’re Crazy”. Unbelievably, the show finished at 3:30AM and unfortunately some of the crowd had to leave, as the band would simply not leave the stage. Certainly a rock n’ roll show that went down in history.

10 Bands That Need To Reunite In 2016

With Guns N’ Roses reuniting to kick off 2016, here is a list of 10 more bands that should reun


Motley Crue

‘The Final Tour Part 2.’ KISS had their ‘farewell tour’ conclude in 2001 only to announce a comeback in late 2002, so why not the Crue?


Screaming Trees

The Screaming Trees have been the one holdout when it comes to notable Seattle Grunge bands reuniting. With Barrett Martin revisiting his past with Mad Season in the last couple of years, why not call up with Conner brothers and Mark Lanegan to reunite The Screaming Trees?



While R.E.M. ended their careers gracefully, it has been a shame to no longer have Michael Stipe regularly releasing new music, so even if R.E.M. returned as a studio based band, like they were for their final album, it would be a real treat for fans.



Jet became overnight stars in 2003 with Get Back, an album that was a throwback to raw rock and roll bands like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones. Jet also wrote great Beatlesque ballads like “Shine On,” the title track for their second album. The band released their third and final album Shaka Rock in 2009, and breaking up in 2009. The band definitely seemed to go away too soon, as they once seemed primed to be one of rock’s next great arena bands. Why not come back now, at a time when rock is desperate for great bands who aren’t over 40?


Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine’s 2007-2011 reunion ultimately did not ever result in a full tour, let alone a new album. The band largely paid high paying festival gigs, so it would be great to see the band do a real reunion with a new album and tour, especially in today’s changing political landscape.



Audioslave’s Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, and Tim Commerford reunited at Chris Cornell’s birthday party in 2014, and Cornell and Morello also performed together a year ago, with Cornell openly stating in interviews that he would be open to a reunion.


The Smiths

The offers have always been there for The Smiths to reunite for huge money. Maybe Morrissey could finally get festivals to stop selling meat if he was headlining them with The Smiths?


Smashing Pumpkins’ original lineup

With Jimmy Chamberlin rejoining The Smashing Pumpkins last year, we’re halfway there!



This reunion seems inevitable. While the Gallagher brothers have not yet taken the big money offers, they are too ambitious to continue to turn down the chance to have one of the biggest U.K. tours in recent memory.


Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page returned to the stage just a few months ago, and is eager to tour in 2016.

Make Listening to These Great Up & Coming Bands Your New Years Resolution!

Do you think all the best rock music was made before the year 2000? Have you jumped ship with rock and hopped on the EDM bandwagon? Do you not have a New Year’s resolution? Well, before you pick up that latest Dead Mou-Five (Did I spell that right?) record, how about I give you a new years resolution.. and that is find a new up and coming band that you can’t get enough of!

It’s actually a little easier than you think, and I’ll make it even easier for you by giving you a list of ten of the best up and coming bands to check out if you haven’t already (and if you have, good job doing your homework!):

Black Map
Mark Engles: Guitar
Chris Robyn: Drums
Ben Flanagan: Vocals/Bass

Black Map is a three-piece alternative hard rock band hailing from San Fransisco, CA. Loud and boisterous, Black Map are a hard rock force with a heavy, clean sound. In 2014 Alternative Nation reviewed their album And We Explode… giving it a 9/10.

“This album practically holds every characteristic necessary for an alternative rock musical masterpiece, which should come as to no surprise.”
Alternative Nation

Black Map have supported Chevelle on tour and have also played various shows with the likes of ††† (Crosses), Tombs, Pelican, and Kill Devil Hill.
Essential Tracks: “Code”, “Chinaski”, “I’m Just the Driver”


Dinosaur Eyelids
Evan Staats – Vocals
Scott Staats – Bass
Patrick McKnight – Guitar
Mark Leone – Drums

Dinosaur Eyelids are a four piece band based out of New Brunswick, NJ. With a bit of a grungy and progressive sound, Dinosaur Eyelids are excellent songwriters with many tracks that can take you on a journey. “The LIDS” have opened for Parlor Mob and shared the stage with Dean Ween of Ween and have earned a reputation for their aggressive live performances.

Essential Tracks: “Further Down the River”, “21 Graham Salute”, “Answer In The Sky”


Everyday Losers
Dylan Seidel- Vocals/Guitar
Tyler Seidel- Guitar/Vocals
Danny Norton- Bass
Damian Baker- Drums

The Everyday Losers are a four piece band out of Washington, Indiana. They describe themselves as a band full of heavy riffs, powerful choruses, and frenetic live performances. They recently wrapped up a touring stint with Saliva in November and have also shared the stage with Jackyl, Smile Empty Soul, and Black Stone Cherry.   The Everyday Losers boast tracks that are both heavy and melodic, such as the standout “Here We Are Now”.

Essential Tracks: “Outta My Head”, “Hate You”, “Here We Are Now”

Reverb Nation

Steve Weston – Guitar/Pedals/Vocals
Lee ‘meatarm’ Yates – Bass
Dave Pankhurst – Drums

High/Low are a four piece band out of Essex, UK. The band’s entire catalog is bursting with catchy, heavy, alternative rock tracks. All the elements seem to perfectly blend together to form a unique brand of rock music that works more on a high level, not a low one (ba dum tiss). High/Low have a much anticipated new album being released on January 29th, 2016.  Get an exclusive free download from the new album entitled “MONO” here and you can hear their new single entitled “Mould” below.

Essential Tracks: ‘Mould”, “Beef Back”, “Spy Eye”


Minus Cube
Joe Weinstock – Guitars
Glyn Rolmanis – Drums
Michael Martin – Vocals

Minus Cube is a three piece band with a unique setup in that Michael is based in the USA, and Joe and Glyn are based in the UK, but that distance hasn’t stopped the band from creating one of the most unique sounds in rock today.  A listener can hear the influences from bands like Tool, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, particularly in tracks like “Everything” and Trance Decay”.  Minus Cube have a new album planned for 2016 entitled The Butterfly Effect, watch the teaser here.

Essential Tracks: “Everything”, “Trance Decay”, “Catalyst”


New Oceans
David Downs –Vocals/Guitar
Rob Miller – Bass
John Kehoe –Drums

New Oceans is a three piece band out of Chicago, IL. Starting out as an industrial, electro-rock band, New Oceans have changed their style, releasing a unique high energy punk/grunge album entitled Fuzzbuzz. Having the feel of early Seattle grunge while throwing in some of the most unique song progressions in modern rock, New Oceans have grown to be an innovative and exciting newcomer to the american rock scene.

Essential Tracks: “ADHD”, “She Lives in a Shack”, “Sun Drunk”


Nick Gray – Vocals/Guitar
Greg Nicholas – Drums/Vocals
Joe Gray – Bass/Vocals

Noiseheads are a three piece band from Pensacola, FL, but are soon transitioning to Greensboro, NC. Alternative Nation hailed Noiseheads as “One of America’s most promising young rock bands,” and with catchy radio friendly hard rock tunes, Noiseheads may be one of those bands that will ensure the world that rock is still alive and well. The band is influenced by many of the greats such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but sound like no other. Dave Grohl once said the intensity that Kurt Cobain had in his voice sounded like he was grinding nails in his throat when he performed, and this comparison is also the only way to describe Nick Gray’s vocals, throw in a stellar rhythm section from Greg and Joe and yes it is true, Noiseheads is one of America’s most promising young rock bands, and they may just be a band that brings rock music back from the underground.  Noiseheads may be taking a bit of a break with the move, but have been busy recently, including releasing a video for their track “Fellow Man” in November.

Essential Tracks: “Fellow Man”, “Expectations”, “Pretty Hate Song Pt. 2”, “Annie”


Soul Inclination
Shashank Bhatnagar – Vocals/Rhythm Guitars
Puneet Vohra – Lead Guitars/Vocals
Ashish Sharma – Bass
Nishant Hagjer – Drums/Vocals

Soul Inclination is a four piece band from New Delhi, India. Though they have recently gone through some lineup changes, the two tracks they released in 2015 were fantastic. So great in fact that their second single “Not a Loser” was the most requested song on Alternative Nation Radio in 2015. Influenced by bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, Soul Inclination has the makings of a modern rock force.

Essential Tracks: “Not a Loser”, “I Am Alone”


The Burning of Rome
Adam Traub – Vocals/Keys/Guitar
Joe Aguilar – Guitar/Vocals
Aimee Jacobs – Keys/Glockenspiel/Vocals
Keveen Baudouin – Bass/Vocals
Danny King – Drums

The Burning of Rome are a five piece band from the Los Angeles and San Diego, CA area. Describing themselves as death-pop, they have the elements of a band who will eventually garner a very large cult following. Their use of both male and female vocal leads gives them a diversity that not many modern rock bands possess.  They released their second album Year of the Ox in 2014 which included three tracks that were among the most requested on Alternative Nation Radio in 2015.

Essential Tracks: “Better Than He”, “Cowboy’s and Cut Cigars”, “Year of the Ox”


Dean – Guitar/Vocals
Marc – Bass
Nils – Drums

Tidalwave is a three piece band from Berlin, Germany. Their first release, a four song self-titled EP released in Feburary 2015, was pure melodic alternative rock bliss. Influenced by bands like Foo Fighters, Deftones, and Muse, Tidalwave have the ability to create a smart and cohesive sound unlike no other. With a new EP entitled “1992” being released in early 2016 (watch the teaser), Tidalwave is sure to turn even more heads in the coming months.

Essential Tracks: “Find Myself”, “Rx”, “Solace”


Hear all the best from all these great up and coming bands plus many more at and  What are some up and coming bands that you can’t get enough of?  Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Rock Albums Of 2016

Co-written and edited by Brett Buchanan

As we kick off 2016, the year should be an eventful one in the year of alternative rock. Check out 10 of the most anticipated albums for the year below!


Wolfmother are set to release their new album Victorious in February. The band has already released two raucous tracks from the album, “Victorious” and “City Lights“.

PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey will release her first album since 2011’s Let England Shake this spring. The album documents a “unique artistic journey which took her to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C,” according to a press release. She has already performed new tracks live, including “Chain of Keys” and “The Ministry of Social Affairs.”

Radiohead band wide


In October, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood said that the band has recorded “lots” of material for a new album and are currently sifting through the material to find the best tracks.  It will be the band’s first release since 2011.


Alice In Chains

Alice In Chains were already beginning work on their new album this past summer, so a 2016 release has to be expected.

Bassist Mike Inez told Rock 103 (as transcribed by Alternative Nation) in August:

“We’ve been throwing around riffs for a new record, we’re taking it nice and slow, and we just wanted to get out of the house this summer, and just play. It’s funny, we’re still like brothers to this day.


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers have completed the majority of their new album and in December were only waiting for Anthony Keidis to track vocals.  Flea has called the new material “emotional” and the first single is set to be released in early February.



In November Chino Moreno announced in an interview with BBC Radio 1 that the Deftones have finished recording their new album and were in the mixing process with an early 2016 release.  Moreno also mentioned that the album has 16 tracks and will feature an appearance from Jerry Cantrell.



In August Chris Cornell told Rolling Stone that Soundgarden is working on a new album. Kim Thayil said earlier in the year that the band is aiming for a 2016 release.  No additional details have been confirmed.


Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan has been hyping up the followup to 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy since before that album came out, originally titling the followup Day for Night and saying it’d be released in 2015. Corgan then dropped the titled and reworked the album over the summer, but there has been no update from Corgan since. Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin recently revealed that he will be getting together with Corgan early this year, so there may be news coming soon.


Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor made a big announcement on Twitter on December 18th: “New NIN coming in 2016. Other stuff, too.”

Reznor told Rolling Stone in July that he was in the early stages of working on new Nine Inch Nails music.

“Yeah, I’ve been messing around with some things. And I went through a period of “tour, tour, tour.” Things right after another, with scores and what I’ve been doing whilst working on Apple music here is what I call “laboratory time,” more experiments without any definite agenda. It’s not for a thing, it’s not a record I’m trying to finish in a month. It’s more just feeling around in the dark and seeing what sounds interesting. It’s nice to do that every few years to try and reinvent and discover and try to learn about yourself and what feels exciting to you as an artist.”

He also discussed rock bands no longer selling albums, “As an artist, there’s the difficult transition from realizing that where you used to sell an item that you got X amount for – those days are over. And the toothpaste is not going to go back in the tube. And people aren’t going to suddenly want to buy CDs again and feel good about overpaying for them. That’s a fact. Most of my peers have swallowed the bitter pill that I have swallowed, which is that you don’t make a lot of money selling music these days. It’s just the way it is. I don’t think that’s the way it should be, but that is the way it is. So I’m excited to accept that.”



The elusive Tool have been somewhat quietly working on a new album over the past year.  They debuted a snippet of a new song entitled “Descending” at a Halloween show in Tempe, Arizona which Adam Jones later told Rolling Stone was a preview of a new track.  So we are all holding out hope that 2016 is the year that we finally get a new Tool album since 2006’s 10,000 Days.

Top 10 Metal Albums Of 2015

2015 has been a pretty memorable year for metal. We had many over the top news stories including Brett Hinds of Mastodon revealing his hatred for metal as well as a couple proposing on stage at a Napalm Death concert. America’s biggest metal festival, Maryland Death featured the debut performance of grind legends Agoraphobic Nosebleed while Hell’s Head Bash featured the first ever US show of black metal titan Satanic Warmaster. We have also sadly lost many metal greats including Bolt Thrower’s Martin Kearns, Gorgoroth’s Frank Watkins, Nunslaughter’s Jim Sadist, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead as well as the band’s original drummer Phil Taylor.

2015 has also brought us many great metal albums. So many quality releases came out this year that it took the combined tastes of writers Birdman and Anthony to pin point the best of them. Here is our top 10 metal albums of the year, with 8 bonus albums.

Archgoat – The Apocalyptic Trumphator

Anthony: This year had several extremely intense war metal albums released including the latest offering from Revenge as well as the debut album from Goat Semen, but the best of all these is Archgoat’s latest release. This album is extremely raw and filthy sounding. Mix that with Lord Angelslayer’s haunting vocals and you get one of the most sinister sounding albums of the year.

 Arcturus Arcturian

Birdman:  This is the 5th album from the Norwegian avant-garde powerhouse. It is also their debut on German label Prophecy Productions. One can hear influences from all across the musical spectrum on this record.

Between The Buried And MeComa Ecliptic

Birdman: Like previous releases, Coma Ecliptic is a concept album, or rock opera as the band would say. The album tells the story of a man stuck in a coma traveling through his past lives. It is very reminiscent of the progressive side of Queen, shying from their death metal and hardcore roots.

Leviathan – Scar Sighted

Anthony: In 2011, one man black metal project Leviathan released True Traitor, True Whore. This album was of pretty poor quality and made fans wonder if he was loosing it. His new one, Scar Sighted though proved them wrong. The album has cleaner production then previous efforts which actually fits well with the atmosphere. This album is of his best releases up there with The Tentacles of Whorror.

Napalm Death- Apex Predator Easy Meat

Anthony: This year has been a huge one for Napalm Death as they have been in the news several times as well as put out a killer new album. On this release the band mixes in elements from post punk bands most notably Swans. We are also treated to some old school straight up grindcore tracks to help even out the mix. Easily the grindcore album of the year.


Birdman: Album number 4, for the deathcore quintet from Illinois. Oceano have extended the range of their guitars even more, with their new songs sounding heavier than the band has ever been. The atmosphere that the band perfected since 2009’s Depths has been maintained as well.

 Rivers Of NihilMonarchy

BirdmanThe sophomore album by RoN is a little more progressive than their debut. Production does justice for this assault of technical death metal. Basically, if you’re a bass guitar kind of guy, you’ll want to check out this record.

Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls

Anthony: Iron Maiden’s epic double album is the best album from a mainstream metal act this year beating both Ghost’s Meliora and Motorhead’s Bad Magic. At around 92 minutes this is the band’s longest album to date. With that said it doesn’t drag on for a second and almost all the tracks are very addicting. Maiden is still at the top of their game.

Deathammer – Evil Power

Anthony: From Hell’s Head Bangers Records comes this tasty scoop of Norse thrash. With a sound very similar to Slayer’s Show No Mercy, Evil Power is thrash album of the year.

High On FireLuminiferous

Birdman: An album that draws on anything that has influenced frontman Matt Pike over the years. You can still hear Pike’s guitar vibrato, some very fast thrash-influenced tracks, and slower doom tracks from their early years. You can even hear a track that sounds akin to Pike’s other band Sleep.


Birdman: Eternal marks full-length number 15 for Stradivarius. While no original members of this band are left, Vocalist Timo Kotipelto is still going strong with his songwriting collaborating once again with Jani Liimatainen (Cain’s Offering, ex-Sonata Arctica). The album is a blend of old school power metal and modern European-style power metal.

Shining – IX Everyone, Everything, Everywhere Ends

Anthony: From the mind of madman Niklas Kvarforth comes the bands most melodic and progressive release to date. The album focuses on epic and slow song structures which bring on a mix of emotions. This is also the band’s more versatile effort to date mixing in elements of industrial, folk and other genres and shows that Niklas is still at his creative peak this late in his career

Sulphur Aeon – Gateway to Antisphere

Anthony: Once again these German’s are back with their brand of Lovecraft themed death metal. With brutal vocals, brutal drums and heavy in your face bass and guitar, Gateway to Antisphere is this year’s best death metal release.

ArmageddonCaptivity & Devourment

 Birdman: This band is the brainchild of Chris Amott (ex-Arch Enemy). It began as a side project that took off in the interim period between Arch Enemy’s first and second albums. The debut was a melodic death metal approach similar to that of Amos’s main band. The band then, released two power metal albums afterwards, but this year saw the band had returned to their melodeath roots.


Birdman: Likely the least known artist on this list, Neurotech is a one-man symphonic industrial project hailing from Slovenia . It is the brainchild of Andrej Vovk, better known as “Wulf”. He actually released two albums this year, though the second one is more of a futurepop/trance album. Stigma is the type of cyber metal album that builds and builds and builds, notably with the first and final tracks.

Mgla – Exercises in Futility

Anthony: Out of all the great black metal releases from this year, this latest entry in the Mgla saga is by far the best. With all of the band’s signature traits such as melodic mid paced song structures, distinct vocals, killer riffs, and great drumming are still intact and in full force. A great album for both newcomers and veteran fans alike.

Cain’s OfferingStormcrow

Birdman: It was originally thought that this power metal supergroup would be a one-album deal. Right after the release of the debut, members got busy with their main projects. With Stormcrow the band has retained their vocalist, guitarist, and drummer while bringing in a new bassist and the keyboardist from Stratovarius. Not only that, the band has gained social media presence with this sophomore album as well as a tour in Japan to support the album.

Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower

Anthony: Windhand’s third release isn’t much different then the last in style. While in a lot of cases that could be a bad thing, here the band is able to pull it off well as the songs still sound fresh and not like a carbon copy of the last album. As Windhand continues to grow bigger and bigger they also continue to show the world that they are a band that well deserves this attention. Vocalist Dorthia Cottrell also put out a self titled solo album this year. While not very metal, it is still recommended for fans of her vocals that want to hear a different side of her.

Top 10 Rock Songs Of 2015

Alternative Nation released its top 10 rock albums of the year just a couple of weeks ago, but that list was voted by readers. Below is a list of the top 10 rock songs of 2015, as selected by Alternative Nation owner Brett Buchanan and reporters Jeff Gorra, Mike Mazzarone, and Elias Fulmer.

10. Failure – “Hot Traveler” (The Heart is a Monster)

Brett Buchanan: Loyal readers Felonious Punk and J mentioned this album in the comments section when we recently did our Album of the Year poll, and it made me go back and revisit it. “Hot Traveler” is definitely the standout with its plodding grungy riff.

9. Dead Sara – “Something Good” (Pleasure To Meet You)

Brett Buchanan: Dead Sara returned with their second album earlier this year, and the standout track by far is definitely “Something Good.” The track has that classic California summertime feel, with a standout performance from lead singer Emily Armstrong.

8. Cage The Elephant – “Cold Cold Cold” (Tell Me I’m Pretty)

Mike Mazzarone: I could list ANY track from Tell Me I’m Pretty, they are all simply amazing songs. From the “Eleanor Rigby” inspired “Sweetie Little Jean”, the “Something” inspired “Trouble,” to the infamous “Mess Around”. When I first heard the album I had a sinking feeling it would be all Black Keys soundalike tracks. However, that wasn’t the case at all. “Cold, Cold, Cold” has pure 60’s flair.

I could imagine Bob Dylan belting out the “Oh no ain’t it a drag” part, and there are huge David Bowie influences as well. It’s just a fantastic album. I’m not sure if it’s their best effort, especially in comparison to Melophobia, but like Doug McCausland said in our review of Tell Me I’m Pretty – I don’t care! This is a band that everyone should get into, and hear their albums all the way though. They are one of the best acts in modern rock, and they are here to stay.

7. Foo Fighters – “The Never Ending Sigh” (Saint Cecilia EP)

Jeff Gorra: This song just rocks. It’s simple and catchy. It feels like this song in particular captures the vibe of exactly what the Foos did with this surprising EP. I just imagine sitting on the porch of that hotel with beer bottles, hearing this song being jammed.

6. The Arcs – “Stay In My Corner” (Yours, Dreamily)

Brett Buchanan: Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach released a new album this year with his new side project band The Arcs, and “Stay In My Corner” is just as great as any recent Black Keys hit. The soulful blues ballad is definitely the highlight of the album, with the lyrics telling a love story with the backdrop of boxing.

5. Chris Cornell – “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” (Higher Truth)

Jeff Gorra: It’s signature Cornell, exploratory and courageous all at the same time. It also has the flexibility to plug into multiple genres.

4. Marilyn Manson – “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge” (The Pale Emperor)

Mike Mazzarone: After a string of meh to forgettable albums it was Manson who in early 2015 decided to reinvent himself as this gritty, Mark Lanegan sounding rocker. The result? Pale Emperor and it’s hit single “Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge”. I knew this album was going to make or break the recording future for Manson as he, up to that point hasn’t put anything really up to scratch since 2000’s Holy Wood. After a string of “meh” albums, it was time for a release like this and Manson defied any expectations.

3. Eagles of Death Metal – “I Love You All the Time” (Zipper Down)

Elias Fulmer: Now the most well known track from the Eagles of Death Metal’s 2015 Zipper Down, the song’s jangly glam rock stands in defiance of the face of terrorism, with ISIL assaulting the Bataclan where Eagles of Death Metal played on November 13th. It has spun a campaign for other artists to cover it, with the proceeds going to the Sweet Stuff Charity.

2. Faith No More – “Superhero” (Sol Invictus)

Brett Buchanan: While “Motherfucker” was Faith No More’s official comeback single, “Superhero” is really the fitting reintroduction to the band after a 18 year hiatus from recording. The infectious piano chords throughout the song really drive the song, and Mike Patton somehow manages to conjure of the dark spirit of the 90’s without sounding like he’s trying to, unlike some of his contemporaries.

1. Scott Weiland – “Circles” (Blaster)

Brett Buchanan: “Circles” unfortunately ended up being the bookend to legendary Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland’s 23-year studio discography. Guitarist Jeremy Brown kept it simple with with the musical arrangement, playing a memorable riff throughout the song. When it came to vocals, Scott Weiland went back to the country music he grew up listening, with one of his most memorable melodies in recent memory. Weiland’s lyrics are beautifully haunting, but with a sense of hope, like many of his greatest songs.

Top 5 Scott Weiland Christmas Songs

Late Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland had a passion for Christmas music. Listen to his top 5 Christmas tracks below, and Merry Christmas everybody!

5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

From 2011’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

4. Winter Wonderland

From 2011’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

3. Merry XMas Everybody

Camp Freddy’s 2006 Christmas single featuring Weiland prominently on vocals. Dave Navarro and Matt Sorum were also members of Camp Freddy.

2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Weiland’s 2006 Tonight Show live version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” completely blows away his performance on most of 2011’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

1. Christmastime Is Here

Stone Temple Pilots performed the Charlie Brown classic in 1994.

Top 10 Dave Grohl Moments Of 2015

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s 2015 will go down as one of the most epic years in recent rock star memory. Relive Dave’s greatest moments of the year below!

10. Dave has epic drum off on The Muppets

Earlier this month, Dave Grohl had a hilarious drum off with Animal from Miss Piggy’s band on ABC’s The Muppets.

Happy birthday to Dave's cousin Trac(e)y and his mom! @foofighters

A video posted by Katie (@devillibrarian) on

9. Dave sings happy birthday to his Mom

At Foo Fighters’ epic show at Wrigley Field in Chicago this past summer, Dave Grohl brought his mother Virginia Grohl and cousin Tracy on stage so that fans could sing happy birthday to them! Grohl also discussed his mother drinking with Green Day.

8. Foo Fighters jam with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones & Queen’s Roger Taylor

Foo Fighters were joined by Queen drummer Roger Taylor and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones for an epic performance of “Under Pressure” at the Milton Keynes National Bowl, with the musicians forming a ‘super-duper-group.’ Jones played keys, and Taylor drummed, while Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins sang vocals.

Grohl said, “Now look, I don’t know if ya’ll ever seen a supergroup, this is a super-duper-group. I don’t even know what to say, because this kind of shit does not happen every day. Let me just tell you that the Foo Fighters right now are living out our rock and roll fantasy with you tonight, wouldn’t you say?

Taylor Hawkins agreed, “Fuckin’ aye.” Hawkins then told Roger Taylor to “go for it, you’re in charge.”

Dave Grohl said that Queen were the first band to perform at Milton Keynes, so it was fitting that Taylor was joining them. The performance also was a semi-Them Crooked Vultures reunion for Grohl and John Paul Jones.

7. Foo Fighters ‘Rick Roll’ Westboro Baptist Church

After hearing that Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) was going to protest the Foo Fighters Friday, August 21st concert at the Kansas City Sprint Center, Dave Grohl and company ‘Rick Rolled’ WBC who were protesting in front of the venue. The flamboyant counter protest included the band in the back of a truck which was also blasting the Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” while drummer Taylor Hawkins waved a sign that read ‘You Got Rick Roll’d, Again’ and his drum tech sporting nothing but thong underwear below the waist.

6. Foo Fighters Invite Crying Fan On Stage To Sing “My Hero”

Foo Fighters were performing “My Hero” acoustic in Greenwood Village, Colorado last night, and Dave Grohl spotted a fan crying in the crowd. See Alternative Nation’s transcription below!

“Don’t cry motherfucker, I know you’re drunk, don’t cry. Are you crying right now? You’re fucking crying aren’t you? (Laughs) I love you man, look at you, holy shit. You know what, fuck that speech I was just going to make, I’m singing this shit to you right now. I’m gonna sing this fucking song right in your face, man to man, prison style, I’m going man to man. Me and you, I want some real tears, you better sing it with me. (Laughs) Don’t make me cry, because I promised I wouldn’t do this.”

“Get closer, get front row! Where are you going motherfucker? Get back here! No you get here, front row. I’m going to sing this to your crying grown man ass right now. Front row, against the rail, right here, get in here motherfucker, you drunk emotional mess!”

At first Grohl hesitated to bring him on stage, but then he invited him. The fan identified himself as Anthony. Grohl then serenaded Anthony, singing “My Hero” to him and making him continue to cry. Anthony also sang part of the song with Grohl. Grohl joked that nobody should let Anthony drive home, and he also hugged him multiple times.


5. Dave jams with Slash, David Lee Roth, and more on his birthday

Foo Fighters played their first show of 2015 in January on a rainy night in Los Angeles at the Forum. The show was hyped as being a celebration of Dave Grohl’s birthday, but not much was known going in regarding what setlist might be going in, or if any special guests might show up. Foo Fighters kicked off the show and Dave Grohl immediately said that it would be a long night with tons of guests. The band were also using a new round stage setup in the middle of the arena that rotated throughout the show. Grohl would use the stage to rile up fans to cheer for the stage to rotate in their direction, and joked that he was getting nauseous at one point.

When it came to the set, KISS’ Paul Stanley was the first guest. Stanley performed “Detroit Rock City” and “Do You Love Me.” After Stanley left, the band performed “All My Life,” “Rope,” and “The Pretender.” The show mostly continued with this type of rotation, with a couple of songs with a guest performer followed by a few hits. Tenacious D and Slash were the next guests, performing Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” Jack Black led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Dave Grohl, with balloons dropping from the ceiling.

Alice Cooper performed his two biggest hits: “School’s Out” and “I’m Eighteen.” Former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri came out to perform Roky Erickson’s “Two Headed Dog.” Grohl introduced Oliveri by mentioning ‘the band I used to drum for,’ which led to many fans immediately thinking that Krist Novoselic would come out.

Zakk Wylde was arguably the best guest performer. When he came out, Dave Grohl took over on bass and he, Wylde, and Taylor Hawkins performed as a ‘power trio,’ according to Grohl. Wylde absolutely ripped and immediately won over the crowd, despite being less famous than some of the other guests. Wylde, Grohl, and Hawkins covered Black Sabbath, and it was definitely the heaviest portion of the set. Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell was the next guest for “Mountain Song” and “Miss You.” Farrell was another highlight, with great stage energy despite being in his mid 50’s. Farrell missed some lyrics of “Miss You” and had some light hearted banter with Taylor Hawkins regarding it.

Trombone Shorty came out during “This Is A Call” like he did at a recent festival performance, throwing some variety into the show instrumentally. Grohl then discussed the guest from the night largely being friends that he called, but he said he wanted to play with someone that he never had, and that ended up being the next guest: Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. Roth was a huge surprise, as he is not a part of Grohl’s usual cast of characters in his all star projects. Roth was on top form, telling a joke in a middle of a song about mixing up the word ketchup with ‘you’re a fucking bitch.’ “Panama” was one of the highlights of the night.

The show ended up Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Slash, and Zakk Wylde coming out for “Let It Rock,” which was definitely the loudest performance of the night with 6 guitarists on stage. The show ended at 32 songs clocking in at well over 3 hours, it was definitely a special night that you can only really get in Los Angeles.


4. Foo Fighters Release Surprise EP

Foo Fighters launched a mysterious website in October with a countdown clock ending in late November. They dropped clues to fans during the month long wait, with many fans eventually figuring out that the band would likely release the new songs they had recorded in Austin, Texas. This came to be last month, with the surprise Saint Cecilia EP release, which was dedicated to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks.


3. Dave Grohl Unveils His Throne

Dave Grohl made his return to the stage with Foo Fighters in July after breaking his leg in Washington DC for the band’s epic 20th anniversary concert at RFK Stadium. Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., Heart, Joan Jett, LL Cool J, and Trombone Shorty also performed. Grohl performed on a throne surrounded by guitars and even showed off footage of himself after his surgery for his broken leg. You can watch video of Foo Fighters performing “Everlong” below, followed by a photo of Grohl post surgery and a close up look at his throne.


2. Dave Breaks His Leg, Keeps Playing

Dave Grohl broke his leg at Foo Fighters’ show in Gothenburg, Sweden in June when he fell into the pit during the second song of the set, “Monkey Wrench.” Grohl immediately knew something was wrong, and told the crowd he thought he had broken his leg. “I think I just broke my leg again. I think I really broke my leg. So you have my promise, right now, that the Foo Fighters, we’re gonna come back and finish the show. But right now…I’m gonna go to the hospital, I’mma fix my leg, but then I’mma come back, and we’re gonna play for you again. I’m so sorry.”

Grohl then told his bandmates they had to do ‘Chevy Metal,’ their side project covers act. Taylor Hawkins then took over vocals for part of the show, and said, “”Dave just broke his leg, in a big fucking way.” Grohl later returned and performed in a chair. “I may not be able to walk or run but I can still play guitar and scream,” Grohl told the crowd upon his return.

1. Foo Fighters Play Show For Rockin’ 1000 In Cesena

This is perhaps the greatest thing to happen in rock music so far this year. Foo Fighters made a dream a reality last month as they fulfilled their promise to play Cesena, Italy.

Back in July, an epic video of 1,000 Italian Foo Fighters fans playing “Learn to Fly” together went viral. The incredible initiative was spearheaded by visionary Fabio Zaffagnini, who spoke with Alternative Nation in an exclusive interview shortly after the video launched.

Dave Grohl immediately responded via a homemade video where he promised the Foo’s will be coming. Zaffagnini was also flown to Walla Walla, WA to meet the band before their Washington Park Community Center show in August. On October 22, the band announced the show would be happening, with tickets going on sale the next day.

“You want to sing a song? Ready T?” screamed Grohl before Foo Fighters opened the Cesena show with “Learn to Fly.”

“We’re here for a very very special reason. This has never happened before. This is like a revolution,” Grohl said as he expressed sincere gratitude to the joyous crowd.

“And then I fuckin’ cried because it was great,” Grohl continued before “Big Me.” “To see you people, singing our song for the whole fucking world, to me, it’s the greatest moment of my life. You should do the same thing, do it for U2, do it for Pearl Jam, do it for Soundgarden, do it for Rage Against the Machine.”

Top 10 Rock Albums Of 2015

Nearly 10,000 Alternative Nation readers voted, and we now have the Top 10 Rock Albums of 2015!


10. Kurt Cobain – Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings

It’s basic, low-fi, and stripped down to the bare bones. It’s raw! The Montage of Heck soundtrack companion jumps straight into Cobain’s psyche. From the opening strumming and mumbles on “The Yodel Song,” to the ever-angelic, elongated, work-in-progress take of “Do Re Mi,” the album is a trip inside of Cobain’s creative process.

It feels exactly like you’re in the room with Kurt, as he’s practicing the chords, tuning the guitar, or just goofing off with one of his voices for comedy. In conclusion, Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings (Deluxe Ed.) is exactly what any hardcore Nirvana/ Kurt Cobain fan would love, to understand the creative process – along with the film, of Kurt Cobain. (Full review)


9. Dead Sara – Pleasure To Meet You

Dead Sara returned with their second album Pleasure To Meet You earlier this year, featuring the triumphant but tragic “Suicidal,” the California rocker “Something Good,” and Grunge tinged “Mona Lisa.”


8. Puscifer – Money Shot

While Tool fans anxiously await for what is becoming their version of Chinese Democracy, Maynard James Keenan kept rolling with Puscifer’s Money Shot. The video for the title track perfectly encapsulates the appeal of the album, bring a sense of attitude and heaviness, but juxtaposing it with the absurdity of Luchadores fighting in a bar.


7. Chris Cornell – Higher Truth

Chris Cornell went back to basics with Higher Truth, stripping away the Timbaland beats and synth found on 2009’s Scream. The album was very much in the same vein as his recent Songbook shows, with an adult contemporary stripped down sound that sounds very age appropriate. “Dead Wishes,” a song that analyzes the psyche of homeless people, is one of Cornell’s better tracks he has recorded in the last several years. (Full review)


6. John Frusciante – Renoise Tracks 2009-2011

Some complained of 2015’s Trickfinger as underdeveloped and bare bones. Those tracks were made in 2007-2008 and it in the following years, 2009-2011 worked on these tracks and there is a supreme difference. With clips of audio from different media, it almost feels like a movie. It is awesome to see Frusciante progress like this and I can only imagine what his work sounds like today, the work he has been working on this year. He evolved a lot from Trickfinger to Renoise, what will the coming work sound like? Frusciante easily could become a hit in the underground electronic scene, he seems to take a lot of good element from those scenes and makes it exclusively his own. (Full review)


5. Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down

Zipper Down is their fourth studio album, and it has been seven years since the last. This time, original members Jesse Hughes (on the album cover referred to as Boots Electric) and Josh Homme (Baby Duck) do everything themselves without help from additional musicians, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The album hit the right spot immediately.

The first track, ”Complexity”, captures the spirit of EoDM: funky, uptempo and fun. ”Silverlake”, ”Got a Woman” and ”Got the Power” follow the same pattern, while ”I Love You All The Time” is a slower song that is, as the title suggests, full of love. ”Skin-Tight Boogie” is a groovy kind of rap, featuring Hughes’ girlfriend Tuesday Cross on backing vocals. (Full review)


4. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia (EP)

Foo Fighters surprised fans last month with a new EP recorded in Austin, Texas. The eponymous “Saint Cecilia” kicks off the E.P. with the “comfort food” side of the Foos familiar in tunes like “Walk” and “Learn to Fly”, with layered vocals from Dave Grohl accompanying a country/heartland melody. “Sean”, the shortest and fastest tune of the release clocking in at 02:11, captures a pop-punk vibe in the verses punctuated by a simple chorus hook consisting of a noodly riff and shouts of “Sean!”.

“Savior Breath” fuses the Foos’ Washington D.C. hardcore punk roots with Motorhead; it’s one of the group’s heaviest songs, right up there with “White Limo” off of 2011’s Wasting Light. Dave Grohl’s solo is one of the most memorable out of his recent output. “Iron Rooster” is the slow acoustic ballad here, capturing a bit of a Pink Floyd-vibe in Dave Grohl’s vocals and loose guitar solos. (Full review)


3. Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts – Blaster

Editor’s pick for best album of the year: Blaster was Scott Weiland’s first album of original material in 5 years, and he hadn’t lost a step creatively. On the album Weiland hit melodic highs, and his lyrics were as beautiful, dark, and abstract as ever. “Amethyst” is one of the album’s highlights, a throwback to Purple era Weiland, featuring Jeremy Brown’s greatest guitar solo on the album.

In the one of the album’s most powerful songs, “Parachute,” Weiland sang about seeing through the eyes of love: ‘Catch you when you’re fallin’/Even when you’re not/I’ll see you through the eyes of love/Even when you’re crawlin’/Even when you’re fallin’/I’ll be your parachute, hold you up.’ The song feels like a spiritual successor to “Dare If You Dare,” with a feeling of frenetic euphoria driving the ending.

“Circles” ended up being the bookend to Weiland’s discography with his death just a few weeks ago, and it will definitely end up going down as one of his most underrated tracks. The country tinged ballad has themes of love, desperation, but also a feeling of hope sprinkled throughout it. (Full review)


2. Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

For this LP, the non-conventional approach at first seemed to convey a somewhat underwhelming experience, yet with time, a more detailed and expansive sound was revealed on tracks like “Warship My Wreck,” “Slave Only Dreams to be King,” and “The Devil Beneath My Feet.” The current singles are not the strongest released in his catalog, but still provides a heavy edge. In conclusion, The Pale Emperor is a significant milestone in Marilyn Manson’s musical career as he takes a step farther in a dark, melodic direction. (Full review)


1. Faith No More – Sol Invictus

Faith No More live reunions have been on and off since 2009, but the large gap of time between an official album release had lead the quirky, alternative rock community to borderline hopeless until more recently. Marked as their seventh album in the discography, Sol Invictus, clearly had a reputation to live up to.

On the album, Faith No More still have the means of creating enjoyable tracks that mediate between a mainstream sound and avant-garde. Although it is clear which songs will fall through the cracks with time, a few tracks plus the singles are deserving of high praise and allow this album to serve as a solid return to the rock world after eighteen years. (Full review)

Top 10 Alternative Rock Christmas Songs

It’s that time of the year again. Time to revisit all the good old classic Christmas songs. Again. Or just forget about them and go for alternative songs instead. I have put together a list with my own favorites. Some are non-traditional songs and some are classics with more or less new arrangements.

10. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” – Weezer (2008)
A rather classic version of the song, with just a little nerve added to make it interesting.

9. “The Season’s Upon Us” – Dropkick Murphys (2012)
Here’s a family you do not want to spend Christmas with. Trust me. You want to listen though, the lyrics are hilarious. Sounds like your average sweet Christmas carol, until you start to listen to the lyrics.

8. “Jingle Bells” – Drown The Witness
A ska/punk version of a classic Christmas song? Why not? It’s brilliant!

7. “O Come All Ye Faithful” – Bad Religion (2013)
This just fits so good, it’s almost as if the song was written to have heavy speeding punk rock drums in the background.

6. “(It’s Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas” – The Ravers (1977)
This song appeals to the punk rocker in me and puts me in my own kind of Christmas mood. Apparently this song is often attributed to Sex Pistols, but The Ravers is an American duo. Given that this song was released the same year as Sex Pistols’ only album, I’d say the resemblance is deliberate.

5. “I Almost Met Santa Claus” – Marc Amendola (2003)
If this isn’t the joyful spirit of Christmas I don’t know what is. A perfect blend of punk rock and nu metal at breakneck speed. This song is a one-off, very different from Marc Amendola’s usual music.

4. “Fairytale Of New York” – The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl (1987)
I don’t know what it is about this song. It’s certainly not high quality vocals, the story is sad and bitter, and the lyrics is about as explicit as you can get away with. Or rather, probably shouldn’t get away with, but still it works. ”You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last”. Yet it remains, year after year, one of the most popular Christmas songs ever recorded. And it’s painfully beautiful despite all the misery.

3. “O Holy Night” – Mark Lanegan (2012)
Wow. Just wow. What a voice for a Christmas carol! Makes me wonder why he didn’t do it sooner. This is so beautiful.

2. “Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time)” – Pearl Jam (1991)
So fragile, delicate and beautiful, only the voice of Eddie Vedder can do this song justice. It’s like a soft, warming blanket. This was the first of Pearl Jam’s annual Christmas singles.

1. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Scott Weiland (2011)
Classic version, no more no less, but a perfect match between voice and song. He nails it, it’s perfect. All the Christmas spirit anyone can ask for is there. It’s so beautiful, and now so sad. Normally this wouldn’t be my no 1, but this year it has to be, and we all know why.

Remembering 10 Grunge Legends We’ve Lost

Edited by Brett Buchanan

As the holidays approach, I feel the overwhelming need to write this after the recent passing of Scott Weiland. We take for granted that our favorite musicians will always be there, but the truth is, life happens, and circumstances in their own lives change, and they are gone.

We’ve lost so many people from the 90’s grunge/alternative rock music scene, and we should not forget them as 2015 concludes, or ever for that matter. The gifts we’ve received from them will last forever, and I am grateful for that. My thoughts go out to their friends, families, and significant others as well, hoping they know the fans are still with them.

Drug addiction is such a hard thing to talk about, so I won’t, but I know all too well the impact it leaves on the living, as I lost my husband in 2010 to a prescription narcotic drug overdose. I then lost my father from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease just 4 days later. The sadness subsides, but never really goes away.

I’d like to take this time to remember those that I often think of and had a huge impact on my ‘alternative music days’ years ago, which I still listen to and love. I’d like to note that not all the artists listed below died of a drug overdose from addiction.

In memory of:


Andrew Wood, Vocals, Piano, Guitar-Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone


Stefanie Sargent, Guitar – 7 Year Bitch


Mia Zapata, Vocals, Piano, Guitar – The Gits


Kurt Cobain, Lead vocals, Guitar – Nirvana


Shannon Hoon, Lead vocals, Guitar, Various instruments – Blind Melon


John Baker Saunders, Bass – Mad Season, The Walkabouts


Ben McMillan, Lead vocals, Guitar – Gruntruck


Layne Staley, Lead vocals, Guitar – Alice in Chains, Mad Season


Michael Starr, Bass – Alice in Chains, Red Sun Red


Scott Weiland, Lead vocals – Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver


The biggest losses for me personally were Layne Staley and Mike Starr. Both were such talented musicians, and part of a musical phenomenon that still continues to this day, Alice In Chains. I previously wrote about the sound that Layne and Jerry Cantrell created when singing together, an unparalleled duo to date. Mike Starr played his bass guitar with unmatched aggressiveness.

Unfortunately, thinking about their deaths puts me into a depression, something I cannot explain. But I knew it was time to pull out the music again as I wrote this article, so I started playing Facelift, SAP, Dirt, Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains. I’m sure many of you have done the same when missing Layne, as for me the music is healing. Although the lyrics state something of despair, I find the opposite in their music, and it gets me back to living my life again rather being stuck in a state of depression.

This past August, I brought candles to the Layne Staley and Mike Starr annual vigil at the Seattle Center fountain. Every single person listed above (except for Scott Weiland) had a candle. We even had a candle for Layne Staley’s beautiful ex-fiance Demri Parrott, because the impact she had on so many people.


There have obviously been others that we’ve lost, but the ones listed above I either met in person, or saw live in Seattle. However, I can honestly say that I never got to see Scott Weiland live, but I have always loved the music of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.

If you have a musician that you have loved and lost, and you haven’t listened to their music for a while, I urge all of you to find the albums, or CD’s, and dust them off and play them. I bet you will feel a sense of happiness in what they left behind, as I did with Layne and Mike.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and wish you joy and happiness into the next year. I also hope you remember the great music these artists have left behind.

Top 10 Scott Weiland Songs

Note: I had written this article to publish close to Christmas near the end of Scott Weiland’s tour. With Scott’s tragic death, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to post it now.

Scott Weiland was one of rock’s most dynamic frontmen of the past twenty three years; consistently reinventing himself and taking risks throughout the years with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. Though Weiland had recently been trying to bring his solo career to the forefront of rock music with Blaster, many have no idea that he already had quite an eclectic catalog of solo songs under his belt.

His first two studio LPs, 12 Bar Blues (1998) and Happy in Galoshes (2008) were a couple of the most ambitious alternative records of their time; even critics who had previously given Weiland hellish press in STP were left stunned by 12 Bar Blues. I’ll liken 12 Bar Blues to the Berlin era of David Bowie: it was such an experiment that paid off with critics, but Scott bypassed the whole Major Tom and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars part of it, releasing an album too ahead of its time as a first release.

The following are ten songs by Weiland, either solo or backed by The Action Girls or The Wildabouts (depending on the era), that represent the best of each record, not even counting obvious singles such as “Missing Cleveland“, “Modzilla“, and “Paralysis“.


A sprawling tribute to B-movies juxtaposed with lyrics depicting a man who seems to like any sort of self-confidence, “Barbarella” kicked off Scott’s solo career in 1997, accompanied by a music video that saw Scott in sort of a Man Who Fell To Earth knockoff. You play the game, I’ll masturbate and sing a lullaby, You run the race, Ill pay the miles, You sing the pink love fuzz, And dance the musty queer, Ill stay at home cause I’m the mouse.

“Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down”

A love song straight out of your nightmares, “Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down” was featured on both 12 Bar Blues and the soundtrack to Great Expectations. A swirling, piano and accordion driven circus act of a song that features Sheryl Crow. “I’ve become the painted clown, I’ll paint your town.”

“Where’s The Man”

One of Weiland’s most cryptic songs, sort of a spiritual sequel to STP’s “Big Empty” aesthetically, capturing a sense of exhaustion in possibly the darkest era of Scott’s recording career.

“As I get behind the wheel again, Pray to live a million years, Know I lie but if it makes you glad, Tell you what you wanna hear.”

“Lazy Divey”

One of Scott’s most tripped out and interesting songs is actually one that was lost to copyright issues; after being included on early versions of Scott’s first solo record, it disappeared in later printings after Scott learned the lyrics of “Mairzy Doats“, which comprise the chorus, were actually copyrighted. That tune’s gibberish lyrics (which may have been popularized in the 90’s by Leland Palmer’s insane rendition of it on Twin Peaks) were mistaken as being traditional, or in the free domain, by Scott. The rest of the tune plays out like a tripped-out version of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”.

“Arch Angel”

Weiland’s touching dedication to his late brother, Michael, previously referenced on Velvet Revolver’s “For A Brother”. Scott reminisces on the holidays he had with his brother before Michael “flew away with a broken wing”. The penultimate track of Weiland’s most cathartic release gave way to a hidden rendition of the traditional Catholic hym, “Be Not Afraid”. Christmas Day we were the best of friends.
Remember we fucked up the gravy (lumpy)? Hadn’t seen such a smile on your face, Since we harmonized a little Bing Crosby, 10 Days later your girl says yes, I can’t live without you, You’re my man (daddy), But the Christmas song left your head, And you flew away with a broken wing. Your way (arch angel) 

“The Man I Didn’t Know”

From the second disc of the deluxe version of Happy in Galoshes, Weiland’s tune to his biological father from Cleveland was the singer’s first real dabble into country music, albeit injected with sort of a David Bowie sensibility. Tell me things that I wanna know, Now I’m a man with a family of my own, Why’d you go and leave me in the cold? With the face in the mirror of the man I didn’t know.

“She Sold Her System”

“She Sold Her System” kind of continues the sonic blueprint of 12 Bar Blues with its manic bursts of Floydian psychedelia amid airy verses that. All the wine in your head, All the clippings that you read, tell your story, Forty miles high above your bed you sold your system, You sold your system, Now couldn’t you have found a better time, To let it drift away from you?


One of the most uplifting songs on Blaster, the ethereal Parachute is a psychedelic blend of Bob Dylan lyricism and Nirvana-cum-Beatles instrumentation. Jeremy Brown’s guitar work during the chorus and bridge, in conjunction with Weiland’s layered, heartfelt vocals, creates sort of a seafaring/sailor-type vibe that just strikes a certain chord. Catch you when you’re falling, even when you’re not, I’ll see you through the eyes of love.

“Blue Eyes”

Guitarist James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins fame guests on this Blaster ballad featuring classic Weiland melodies and lyricism, playing alongside Jeremy Brown. “I never really spoke computer language, Always chose communication, And still I found you now, Could believe it, Never could’ve dreamed it.”


A swirling ballad off of Scott’s latest record, “Amethyst” possesses a swirling arena rock vibe with Scott’s traditional impassioned yet cryptic lyrics of love.

Look away, We gotta white light blinder, Come my way, You know I’ll always find her, In about a second, Or a week or two I gotta tell ya a lil riff, About what she can do, Half way home, But in the nick of time, I was taken by surprise, By this girl of mine.


Top 10 Alternative Rock EP’s

With Foo Fighters’ recent surprise free Saint Cecilia EP release, Alternative Nation has decided to take a look back at the top 10 greatest alternative rock EP’s.


10. Smashing Pumpkins – American Gothic (2008)

American Gothic was an under the radar release, featuring acoustic based songs written during the Zeitgeist era. The EP features “The Rose March,” one of the best songs Billy Corgan has written in the last decade. The EP gives just a taste of Billy Corgan recording acoustic songs, which was also teased with Djali Zwan.


9. Foo Fighters – Saint Cecilia (2015)

Foo Fighters’ Saint Cecilia was spontaneously recorded in Austin just a few months, and while it doesn’t feature any songs that stack up with the band’s all time great hits, there is a laid back feeling to the EP that you can hear. It sounds like friends just sitting around the campfire writing music, without any pressure from record labels for commercial success.


8. Green River- Dry As A Bone (1987)

Green River is a fascinating listen for Grunge fans who discovered the band after Pearl Jam and Mudhoney’s formation. The band merges the sound of the two bands with Mark Arm bringing his punk rock sensibilities to Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament’s arena ready sound.


7. Soundgarden – Fopp (1988)

Fopp largely consists of covers, including a cover of Green River’s “Swallow My Pride.”


6. Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)

Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff may be the band’s most famous release, featuring their signature song “Touch Me I’m Sick.” Superfuzz Bigmuff strips down the Grunge sound to its barest bones, and is one of the greatest examples of the eras punk influence.


5. Tool – Opiate (1992)

Opiate was Tool’s first ever release and immediately showcased the band’s brooding sound, despite the raw recording quality. Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics are some of the darkest and angriest of his career, singing about his frustration with God, murder, among other subjects.


4. Soundgarden – Screaming Life (1987)

Soundgarden’s Screaming Life features one of the band’s most underrated songs, “Nothing to Say.” Despite the production quality, the soaring riff and Cornell’s wailing vocals show that the band were destined to headline arenas.


3. Alice In Chains – Sap (1992)

Sap was an important EP for Alice In Chains, with the band exploring their more melodic stripped down side for the first time after their heavy metal leaning debut album Facelift. The EP features ‘Alice Mudgarden’ on standout “Right Turn,” with Chris Cornell and Mark Arm lending guest vocals. “Am I Inside,” featuring Ann Wilson from Heart, is one of Alice In Chains’ best songs. “Got Me Wrong” had incredible staying power, becoming a hit two years later when it was featured on the Clerks soundtrack, and finding new life again when Alice In Chains performed a stellar version of the song on MTV Unplugged in 1996.


2. Nine Inch Nails – Broken (1992)

Broken is the bridge between Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral, and sees Trent Reznor’s songwriting reach a whole new level, further developing the heavy industrial sound that would come to define Nine Inch Nails. Grammy winner “Wish” remains a fan favorite to this day.


1. Alice In Chains – Jar of Flies (1994)

Despite being an EP, Jar of Flies is regarded by many fans as their favorite Alice In Chains’ record, and also as one of the greatest releases of the 90’s. Alice In Chains came into the recording sessions for Jar of Flies with no material at all ready to go, and within a week they had a classic EP featuring some of their greatest songs. Layne Staley’s vocal performance and melody on “I Stay Away” are some of the most inventive and impressive of the 90’s, as well as his vocal part of “Don’t Follow.”

The best gig destinations in Europe and what you need to take with you

Whether you’re heading to a summer festival in Spain or visiting a previously unexplored city to catch your favourite band, there’s nothing like combining travel with music to guarantee a fantastic trip away. Here are some of our favourite European gig venues we think you should check out.

– Paradiso in Amsterdam is an incredible 19th century church converted into a gig venue, hosting a range of artists from Adele to the Rolling Stones. The intimate vibe and beautiful décor make for a totally unique atmosphere.

– Head down to Germany for the Columbia Halle in Berlin; a really popular gig venue where you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the band. From the outside it’s unassuming, but inside you and 3500 or so other people will enjoy world-class shows, and the acoustics are great.

– Another fairly small but recommended gig venue in Europe is Madrid’s Costello Club, which can get quite busy at weekends but serves fantastic cocktails alongside your live music.

– The Sinister Noise Club in Rome might sound a little scary, but if you’re after an underground club (literally), this one’s for you. Enjoy craft beer on the leather sofas before the gig, then head downstairs to enjoy Rome’s latest indie offering.

Remember, it’s important to stay safe at gigs and if you’re heading abroad you’ll need to be extra vigilant at the venue to make the most of your time away. Wherever you’re heading, check out our tips on what to take to stay safe:

– If you can take one in, a bottle of water is a must have. A lot of gig venues will make you leave any liquids at the door so at the very least, make sure you have enough change to buy a bottle of water at the venue. The last thing you want to do is get dehydrated in the hot gig atmosphere!

– Whether dancing, jiving, moshing or just nodding your head at the back, there’s always a chance you might get separated from your mates, especially if it’s busy. And it’s just your luck that you’ll run out of battery as soon as you’re trying to get in touch with them after the gig, so a portable phone charger is a very handy piece to put in your suitcase – just make sure it’s charged!

– Know your limits and don’t drink too much – alcohol can make a great gig turn into a bit of a nightmare if you overdo it, and getting too drunk will spoil your memories of your favourite band in a brand new city.

– If something unfortunately does happen while you’re abroad, you need to make sure you’ve got a valid EHIC with you, also known as the European Health Insurance Card. This means free or reduced-cost healthcare across European Economic Area countries and Switzerland, and will cover your treatment until you return to the UK. You never know when you might need it and it’s important to carry it with you when travelling abroad in case of emergencies.

Follow these tips and you’ll have an amazing time watching your favourite band in a new destination!

faith no more

Top 10 Faith No More Songs

Edited by Brett Buchanan

If you try and describe Faith No More’s blend of music, it’s beyond certain that lead singer Mike Patton will go and screw up your theory with their next release. FNM have been tearing up the rock n’ roll rule book ever since they formed over 30 years ago. They have a guy on drums, Mike Bordin to you, The Puff to band members, who thrashes his sticks every night like it’s his final show. And on guitar Jon Hudson has riffs that make his guitar literally bleed. On bass Billy Gould always seems like he’s having the most fun out of everyone, and on keyboards is the ever lovable Roddy Bottum. Vocals are managed by the one and only Mike Patton. He has to have one of the greatest vocal ranges in music history. He can go from death metal, to funk, jump to rap and then 70’s soul without missing a beat.

The band continued to inspire with each new record, and after they split in 1998 it seemed that we had witnessed the last of their crazy antics. However, a decade later they reformed without promising us too much, and certainly with no commitment to the immediate future. But all that changed after the band released their new album this year, Sol Invictus. It was warmly met and meshed well with some of their great past records into one without giving up the individuality of what Sol Invictus was all about. The record was followed by a European festival tour and a U.S. tour, amongst other shows, and everything was deemed a huge success. Faith No More still have the gift that has been embedded in them since the 1980’s.

The Sol Invictus tour looks like a wrap for this year, and with FNM you never know what will happen next. Hopefully they will stick together and manage their solo careers at the same time. Next year offers no plans of more shows, but you never know. However, to celebrate what may be the end of their latest tour, here is a list of the 10 greatest Faith No More songs ever recorded. Now there are a couple of rules. The first is that no songs have been included that are on movie soundtracks or B-sides, just studio releases. Trust me, putting together a top 10 list of their songs has been a difficult task, without the added problems of some of their glorious non studio tracks. The second rule is that all songs must have been originally recorded by Mike Patton. Sure Chuck Mosley is well loved and for good reason, but we have to remember that Mike has really shaped this band and has been the lead singer now for 26 years.


Arguably the best song on the band’s latest record, “Separation Anxiety” is in your face and is a real throwback to the Angel Dust days of Faith No More. Bottums’ ghostly keyboards, Patton’s high voice and Hudson’s guitar, which feels for the most part like a spinning wheel into a downward spiral, is spot on. The song has featured in almost all of their 2015 live shows.

9. HELPLESS (Album of the Year)

Album of the Year, which would be Faith No More’s final studio recording up until this year’s Sol Invictus, was recorded at bassist Billy Gould’s home studio. The album received mixed reviews when released, but it has slowly garnered acclaim through the years. “Helpless” is arguably the stand out track, however even though it was suggested as a single release, that never came to fruition as the band would break up in 1998, the following year.

Helpless tells of somebody that feels utterly alone in the world and just wants someone to notice them. Patton sings” “I even tried to get arrested today, but everyone looked the other way.” Helpless was never going to be radio friendly with a whistle as a chorus and a scream from Patton of ‘HELP’ repeatedly which ends the song. However it is an outstanding song that unlike some of the other tracks on the album has stood the test of time.

8. THE GENTLE ART OF MAKING ENEMIES (King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime)

This song is all about two moments: The opening guitar riff change, with due credit to then guitarist Trey Spruance, who never toured with the band for this record, but was part of the recording process. Then of course there are the many changes in Patton’s voice. The softly spoken deep laconic tone at the songs beginning, followed by the demon like possessed Patton half way through the song. Then another shift in tone when we get to the fourth verse where Patton sounds more recognizable. This song live is one of the band’s many highlights and usually creates a pit of some kind. The very first lyrics are open to interpretation of course, but the following: “The words are so familiar all the same greats, the same mistakes it doesn’t have to be like this”, seem very relevant to Kurt Cobain who of course committed suicide just a year before this record came out in 1995.

7. THE REAL THING (The Real Thing)

Considered a classic song and played hundreds of times, usually as a show opener, “The Real Thing” is a monster. Starting off incredibly slowly and silent, the song grows and grows until it builds into a frenzy, but never gets completely going and isn’t meant to. It is what you want it to be but could well be described as a personal achievement or finding something in your life that is pure and authentic. However the most surprising aspect of “The Real Thing” is its lyrics. Deep, meaning and poetic may sound cliché, but when you consider that Patton was just 21 years of age it is a surprise because it feels as if it has been written by a person twice his age.

6. JUST A MAN (King for a Day, Fool; for a Lifetime)

The final track to be heard on King for a Day, “Fool for a Lifetime” would throw fans a little, with a slow beginning and Patton almost singing us a lullaby. But just when the verse repeats and we aren’t expecting a chorus, the song goes through one of the mighty middle 8’s and gives us one. “And every night I shut my eyes so I don’t have to see the light shining so bright I’ll dream about a cloudy sky, a cloudy sky.” The song at that point turns into one of FNM’s most special, perhaps most accessible songs for newcomers in their back catalogue. The song finished off complete with a backed choir as it finally just fades out. “Just a Man” has proved to be a crowd favorite for many years and still, after 20 years is played.

5. EPIC (The Real Thing)

The song that launched the Patton era of Faith No More, and spearheaded the band into everyone’s living rooms via MTV. The video seen today looks goofy, and the band have moved a million miles away from the tune that is “Epic.” However, the song has remained a rock classic. It’s like a huge piece of bubblegum and energy that resists to be stopped. “Epic” is the one staple song that is always played during live shows. And it’s particularly interesting to see how Patton changes up the vocals on the song, but with Hudson replicating that Jim Martin riff so well, it is a song that cannot be turned into anything else. It will always be “Epic.” A head banger’s wet dream, but this song sums up the band perfectly when the end comes by way of Roddy Bottom’s dreamy piano outro.

4. CRACK HITLER (Angel Dust)

Crack Hitler starts off like the opening to a 1970’s cop show and then hits us with that familiar keyboard, Bordin then kicks in with the sticks and Patton sounds almost inaudible until the chorus. “He’s the one no doubt walking on a tightrope.” The song is based on a drug dealer that the band knew. Billy Gould once said, “Crack Hitler is about this drug baron who takes Crack and compares himself with Hitler, because he commands enough depended people. So he thinks he’s the biggest one…you know what’s funny about all this? His skin is not even white! He’s colored and he thinks he’s Hitler? We all laughed a lot about him, so we had to dedicate him a song.”

3. MIDLIFE CRISIS (Angel Dust)

The Puff’s drums in the intro are one of the most recognizable moments in rock music from the 1990’s. Quickly followed by Gould’s bass, “Midlife Crisis,” which appeared on Angel Dust, is perhaps the most radio friendly song on the album. So it was no surprise that this song was given a single release and a video to boot. Arguably “Midlife Crisis” contains the band’s most catchy chorus and is always a crowd favorite and thus a staple of the bands setlists each night.

2. CAFFEINE (Angel Dust)

One of the heaviest songs on the Faith No More back catalogue, Jim Martin’s guitar, which was held back for much of Angel Dust, gets to rip here, and he doesn’t let this opportunity go to waste. Patton screams, and Gould, Bordin and Bottum hold the groove together. “Caffeine” was written during Patton’s sleep deprivation experiment whilst writing lyrics for this album. A firm non believer in hard drugs, a route that Patton could have easily chosen, the only drug choice for him was, and is, Caffeine.


The highlight of a superb album, “Everything’s Ruined” can be interpreted to mean a number of things. One theory is that the song is about capitalism and families in particular who push their young kids on to the career ladder before they can experience their youth. Patton’s soul destroying lyrics at the end don’t have a happy ending either: “But he made us proud, he made us rich but how were we to know, he’s counterfeit now everything’s ruined.” The video to the song couldn’t be any more different to the lyrical content, with the band messing around in front of a screen showing random pictures. That is until you stop and think that videos back in the day cost around $250,000 to make. Capitalism? The band went the other way and made the cheapest looking video in their career.

Megadeth’s Albums Get Ranked Up!

Formed and pretty much run by ex-Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine, Megadeth has always been a household name among metal die-hards and casual listeners alike.  Though the band has had ups and downs, they have always been hailed as the most consistent of the Big Four. To celebrate the upcoming album and rumored 2016 tour with Suicidal Tendencies we have decided to make this current installment of Alternative Nation’s “Ranked Up” series on Megadeth.


Super Collider (2013)

After an awkward commercial rock phase, Megadeth started coming back strong with albums such as The System has Failed and Endgame. Somehow it led to this. Here Megadeth combine elements of post-grunge and glam metal. Funny considering Dave Mustaine always called glam “Gay Los Angelos Metal”. Some tracks, such as “Burn“, start out with good intros, but then turn for the worst within seconds. Even the most open-minded fans will have a hard time finding merits to this train-wreck.


Risk (1999)

Risk is one of the most infamous releases from the Big Four and Megadeth’s second most infamous album. Like the title implies the album was a big risk for the band as it was a pretty experimental release. The song “Crush’Em” sounds like an attempt at industrial, “Breadline” sounds like something 3 Doors Down would make while,  “Insomnia” sounds like a failed attempt at atmosphere. The closest this album has to a good song is “Prince of Darkness“, which starts out decent but goes downhill fast. Fans blamed the contemporary nu-metal trend for this album, but Dave Ellefson claimed Risk was a reaction against it.


Th1rteen (2011)

2011 was a strange year for metal albums; many bands released albums of unbelievably bad quality, such as Morbid Angel’s llud Divinium Insanus and Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu. While those albums were weird experiments gone wrong, Th1rteen is the exact opposite, pretty much being Megadeth by numbers. The album is just filled with generic song writing and recycled riffs, making it completely forgettable.


The World Needs a Hero (2001)

After the negative reactions to Risk, Megadeth decided to go back to their roots. Guitarist Marty Friedman would leave the band, move to Japan, release a J-pop album (not making this up) and be replaced by Al Pitrelli. While the album was a return to form, it was very bland and forgettable. Some tracks, such as “Promises” sound like they could have come from Risk.


Cryptic Writings (1997)

Continuing the path of their previous album, Cryptic Writings is more of a rock release then a thrash one. The album sold very well even getting it a platinum status and the song “Trust” still appears in the band’s set lists. However musically,  Cryptic Writings is only okay and sort of was an omen of what was to come next.


Youthanasia (1994)

After Countdown to Extinction gave the band more mainstream attention, their next album, Youthanasia gave them a more mainstream sound. This album is most known for the hit song “Train of Consequences” and the ballad ‘A Tout le Monde“. While far from their best release, Youthanasia is still an alright record.


Countdown to Extinction (1992)

By 1992 most of the 80’s thrash bands were putting out embarrassing albums, but Megadeth showed the world they still had it. The album is most known for the singles “Skin O My Teeth“,”Sweating Bullets“, and “Symphony of Destruction“. The deep cuts on this album are cool to especially “Psychotron” and “High Speed Dirt“.


So Far So Good… So What! (1988)

Megadeth’s third album is also their most underrated. Originally panned for its bad production and “Anarchy in the U.K.” cover, this release is usually considered to one of the band’s worst. However, if one gives the album a chance they shall find some great tracks such as “Liar” and “In My Darkest Hour”.


The System Has Failed (2004)

After ten years of okay to bad albums, Megadeth finally gave fans the comeback they had been waiting for. Guitarist Chris Poland who played on the band’s first two albums came back and gave this record an old school Megadeth feel. This was also the first album not to feature long time member Dave Ellefson who would not return till 2010. While the album has some cheesy tracks like “Of Mice and Men” it also has plenty great ones such as “Black Mail the Universe” and “Die Dead Enough“.


United Abominations (2007)

In 2004 the band showed they were coming back strong. Three years later they show it even more with United Abominations.  Chris Poland was swapped out for Glen Drover and his brother Shawn Drover joined on drums. Some of the best tracks from this album include “A Call to Arms”, “Washington is next” and the Japanese bonus track “Black Swan“.


Endgame (2009)

Continuing the path the band was on in the 2000’s, Endgame is the best post-Rust in Peace album. Glen Dover was replaced by Chris Broderick who brought with him amazing guitar work. This album is filled with awesome energy and technicality. Tracks like “This Day We Fight” and “Headcrusher” showed the world that Megadeth were still at the top of their game.  Sadly this moment didn’t last forever…


Killing is Business… and Business is Good (1985)

Megadeth’s debut is still one of their best. Self produced by the original line up of Dave Mustaine on guitar and vocals, Chris Poland on guitar, Dave Ellefson on bass and Gar Samuelson on drums, this debut is their rawest effort to date. Some of this album’s gems include “Rattlehead“, “The Mechanix” and the cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic “These Boots“.

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Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying (1986)

Containing the same exact line up as Killing is Business, Peace Sells is the band’s breakthrough album. The band got signed to Capitol Records and the production values went up. This is also the first Megadeth album to have politically charged lyrics something that would become a stable of the band, though also had songs with satanic lyrics such as “The Conjuring“. Other great tracks include “Peace Sells“, “Wake up Dead” and “Devil’s Island“.


Rust In Peace (1990)

Megadeth’s best album is also one of the best metal albums of all time. Added to the band was guitar master Marty Friedman who would stay with the band throughout the 90’s. Marty’s technical guitar playing brought some of the best riffs and solos ever created to the table. “Holy Wars“, “Tornado of Souls“, “Hangar 18“, “and “Poison was the Cure” and just about every track on this album is a classic. The band would celebrate this album with a tour that consisted of them Slayer, Anthrax and Alice in Chains. In 2010 the band would do an anniversary tour for the same album with Slayer and rotating openers Anthrax and Testament.