Despite innumerable think-pieces loudly proclaiming the contrary, rock is not on its last legs in 2018. In fact, 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.
Here are the best new rock albums that dropped this week.
Tenacious D — Post-Apocalypto
The D are back! Jack Black and Kyle Gass make their triumphant recorded return a full six years after releasing their last album Rize Of The Fenix with a new full-length project titled Post-Apocalypto. As Black told Uproxx’s Deputy Music Editor Philip Cosores, “It’s really just an album… for our times.” Adding, “I don’t see a lot of other bands or musicians really going at [Trump] the way that they should, so I’m like ‘f*ck it, we’ll do it!’” As you might expect from an album by Tenacious D, the whole thing is gloriously over-the-top filled with songs like “F*ck Yo-Yo Ma,” “Chainsaw Bazooka Machine Gun,” and “Turd Whistle.” If you’ve ridden with the D from the beginning, you’re probably going to enjoy their latest rawk foray.
Drug Church — Cheer
Drug Church are one of the great punk rock revelations of 2018. Their new album Cheer is a fantastic melange of ripping, buzz-saw guitars, sledgehammer basslines, and defiantly anthemic vocals. “Weed Pin” might be one of my favorite punk rock songs of the year, driving home a capitalist critique that’s as old as The Clash, but with a new fury. Who hasn’t been stuck in a dead-end job, with crap pay and gotten pissed off about it? “F*ck you at $12.50 an hour / I should’ve started a chemical fire / I should’ve burned this f*cking place to the ground,” frontman Patrick Kindlon wails.
Bob Dylan — More Blood, More Tracks
Bob Dylan’s 1975 album Blood On The Tracks is widely regarded by critics and fans to be among the best albums he’s ever created. Maybe even THE best. For the latest iteration in his bootleg series, Dylan returned to that record to give fans an unprecedented look at the many initial takes he recorded in New York City of iconic songs like “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Shelter From The Storm,” “Idiot Wind,” and “Simple Twist Of Fate,” to name a few. As with all things Dylan, an artist who hardcore Dylanologists and casual observers delight in trying to “figure out,” the latest set will prove to be a massive boon, offering new clues into the how and why behind so many choices he made while creating one of his finest works.
Hiss Golden Messenger — Virgo Fool
Hiss Golden Messenger have been a part of the indie rock firmament for well over a decade now. The MC Taylor-led group has been extremely prolific in all that time too, releasing a staggering nine full-length albums. This week, however, Taylor has decided to collect some of the bands more obscure collections on a new compilation album titled Virgo Fool. The standalone album is part of a larger set called Devotion: Songs About Rivers and Spirits and Children, and it collects a wide array of tracks that may have been missed before, but deserve new attention now like the sneering “Rock Holy,” the slide-guitar accented “Lion/Lamb” and the lo-fi, but gorgeous “Karen’s Blues.”
The Tracks — Treasured Memories
Treasured Memories is the debut album from LA-based rockers The Tracks, and I couldn’t imagine a more prescient record to dive into at this very moment. It’s a tight, 10-song collection of songs that tracks the journey of a young kids coming of age on the east side of Los Angeles with undocumented immigrant parents. From a sonic standpoint, there are some major, early Strokes vibes at play in songs like “The Quit Song,” “See Them Go” and “Going Back,” and you certainly can’t hate that.