As we round out the first half of 2018, it’s frankly astounding how many great rock records we’ve received thus far this year. From indie artists on the come-up to classic acts padding their already-impressive discographies, it’s not just the amount, but the range of different sounds and textures that’s most impressive of all.
This week is no different. From a long-awaited return from a venerated, Irish rock group, to a buzzy-debut from a group from Seattle with a Pearl Jam co-sign, a surprisingly adept solo turn from one of the trailblazers of nu-metal and much more, here are the best new rock records that dropped this week.
Snow Patrol — Wildness
It’s kind of crazy to think it’s been seven years since the last time we got a new Snow Patrol album — lead singer Gary Lightbody apparently had to overcome a bout of writer’s block — but the follow-up to Fallen Empires has finally arrived. Titled The Wildness, the latest effort from the lauded Irish rockers find them getting back to doing what they do best; crafting powerful pop melodies, accented with chiming acoustic guitars over wounded, open-hearted sentiments.
Thunderpussy — Thunderpussy
Seattle has a long and storied history of breeding some of the greatest rock bands in the history or recorded music. The latest entry into that continuum is a group called Thunderpussy, and if you aren’t liable to take my word for it, just ask Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready who has called them his “new favorite band,” and even shows up, six-string in hand, on the song “Velvet Noose” on the band’s debut self-titled record. Thunderpussy is fun, funky, alternating between rage-filled rockers and touching ballads. It definitely sits high up on the ranking of one of the best rock albums of 2018.
Jonathan Davis — Black Labyrinth
You might know Jonathan Davis from his regular job as the lead singer of the pioneering nu-metal band Korn. After putting out 12 albums across a quarter-of-a-century with that outfit, the singer decided to step out on his own to produce the first solo album of his career. Titled Black Labyrinth , the album find Davis getting deep into the rock ballad territory, especially on grandiose tracks like “What It Is” and “Basic Needs.”
Wooden Shjips – V.
In the five decades since Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival, psych rock has proven to be a genre with incredible staying power. Though it’s morphed over time from its original ’60s form, the hazy vibes and ethereal melodies have remained a powerful mainstay within the worlds of rock and pop. One of the better purveyors of the form lately is the group Wooden Ships, whose latest album V. is a masterclass in daydream-inducing soundscapes, especially the seven-and-a-half minute single “Staring At The Sun.”
Deeper — Deeper
If you’re a fan of off-kilter, post-punk rock, then Deeper is just the band for you. The Chicago rockers have one album to their name already, 2016’s Transmogrified, and have upped the ante this year on their self-titled record. Led by the opening track “Pink Showers,” a song that the group was conceived “through the gridlock of Chicago traffic and the ‘pursuit’ to make your monotonous life meaningful,” the album gamely attempts to do just that through eccentric guitar accents and thought-provoking lyrics.