Music

The Best New Rock Albums That Dropped In June

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Despite reports to the contrary, the rock genre is not only not on its last legs in 2018, it’s thriving quite nicely. Are there artists dominating the charts in a Drake-like fashion this year? No, and it doesn’t seem like there will be anytime soon. That being said, the slate of new and amazing music being released on a monthly basis for those who love a fuzzed-out guitars has been downright impressive.

June was an especially fruitful month for rock fans looking for something new to listen to, stacked as it was with long-awaited releases from titanic, genre-defining bands, ambitious next steps from some adored indie groups, and some amazing statements from several bands on the come-up. While some of these albums haven’t garnered the wider exposure they may have otherwise deserve, here, collected are the 10 best new rock albums that dropped in June 2018

Nine Inch Nails — Bad Witch

Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor’s group Nine Inch Nails have enjoyed something of a creative renaissance these last couple of years, rolling out a trilogy of short albums that culminated this month with the release of Bad Witch. While the first two releases were fueled by rage, this one brims with a more opaque ennui. It’s definitely the darkest record he’s made in quite some time, and one of his best.

Father John Misty — God’s Favorite Customer

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In 2017, Father John Misty unveiled his grand, sardonic take on the macro-forces that shape our daily lives. He called it Pure Comedy. In 2018, Father John Misty unveiled his concise, sardonic take on the shambles that his life had devolved into while inhabiting a hotel room for two months at a time, while he was “on the straights.” It’s brutal, honest, and endlessly fascinating. Like a slow-motion car accident, you can’t help but stop and watch. He called it God’s Favorite Customer.

Snail Mail — Lush

Snail Mail

Lindsey Jordan, the creative force behind Snail Mail, is the latest in a wave of young women who are running the indie rock world in 2018, a list that includes Soccer Mommy, Courtney Barnett, and Lucy Dacus to name just a few. Her debut album, Lush, is one of the best of that bunch. It’s a tight, 10-song collection where cymbals crash up against shimmering guitar melodies, while Jordan, who’s voice is positioned out front in the mix, pours her heart out in tales of heartache, longing, love, and pain.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — Hope Downs

Sub Pop

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are the latest in a string of incredible new rock bands to come out of Australia, joining the likes of Gang Of Youths, Courtney Barnett, and Tame Impala. With their debut album, Hope Downs, the group shows they can hold their own with all of them, producing a record that UPROXX’s own Steven Hyden called a “refreshingly breezy pop-rock masterwork that’s arrived just in time for summer barbecue season.”

Buddy Guy — The Blues Is Alive And Well

Buddy Guy

As you could probably tell from the title of his latest album, Buddy Guy identifies as a blues artist, first and foremost. And that’s fine. When you’ve rubbed shoulders with giants like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, you can call yourself whatever you damn well please. That being said, Guy’s work on guitar, even at 81-years old, is so much more savage and visceral than his preferred designator would suggest. He’s got some real Hendrix vibes going on here. That’s not to mention the incredible cameos by the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Jeff Beck. One of the best, if not the best, blues rock album of 2018.

Jim James — Uniform Distortion

Jim James

Jim James apparently has more music in him than his regular gig in My Morning Jacket would allow him to release into the world. For this, his third new solo album in as many years, Uniform Distortion, James decided to live up to the title, cranking his guitar to 11 and kicking in a variety of different pedals for a heavy, psychedelic and soulful collection of new rock tunes. The boisterous single “Throwback” cries out to be blasted at maximum volume with the windows in your car all the way down and the gas pedal pressed to the floor.

Roger Daltrey — As Long As I Have You

Roger Daltrey

This could have easily been a Who album. Daltrey’s longtime bandmate, the guitar-windmilling Pete Townshend appears on over half the songs on Daltrey’s latest solo effort. To his credit, Daltrey decided to pass up the opportunity to flesh out a few more tracks and cash in on the name of his globally recognized band, hedging for a project that sounds more sonically eclectic and honestly, soulful, than what he might otherwise try out under that other nomme de guerre.

Dawes — Passwords

Dawes

Dawes are one of the preeminent folk-rock groups of their generation, carrying on the proud tradition of forebears like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or the Black Crowes. Their latest record Passwords is yet another excellent collection of soaring vocal harmonies, ear-catching melodies, and slow-burning arrangements. The single “Telescope,” with it’s odd time-signature and disembodied guitar solo, is a particularly sublime cut.

Natalie Prass — The Future And The Past

Natalie Prass

It’s been three years since Natalie Prass hit the scene and stunned the world with her magisterial debut, self-titled album. Time, it appears, has only enhanced the power of her pen. The Future And The Past is an eclectic record that blends together a whole range of different genres from pop on “Short Court Style,” singer-songwriter-y balladry on “Lost,” and funky soul on “Sisters.” Prass is clearly pushing the boundaries, and we are all the better for it.

Flasher — Constant Image

Flasher

The debut album from indie rockers Flasher is a sunny and vibrant 10-track collection that somehow bridges the gap between punk and surf rock. Well, maybe not quite surf rock, but for a group based out of Washington D.C., they certainly know how to create songs that seem tailor-made to be consumed while laying out on the beach, with a cold beer in one hand, and a slow-burning spliff in the other.

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