Pearl Jam is set to release “Lightning Bolt,” their 10th studio album and potentially their most aggressive. The lead-off single “Mind Your Manners” (video below) has a strong Dead Kennedy’s feel. It is raw, it is punk, it is groove. If “Mind Your Manners” is any indication of the rest of the record, “Lightning Bolt” may be Pearl Jam’s best album since “Vs.”
GWAR is probably the sickest band ever. Between their signature satirical humor and bloody shows, this band has been a mainstay for nearly 30 years in heavy metal culture. GWAR is the #75 greatest band in the Gears of Rock Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time. Their best songs are “Let Us Slay,” “Sick of You,” “Saddam a Go-Go,” “Bring Back the Bomb,” and “Meat Sandwich.”
Best Song: “Sick of You” (1990)
Best Album: “Scumdogs of the Universe” (1990)
Best Tour: Any of them
Most Valuable Band Member: Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) – Vocals
Fun Fact: GWAR stands for “God What An Awful Racket”…no it doesn’t
The 76th greatest band on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown is Whitesnake. Since 1978, the legendary vocals of David Coverdale have been leading this group, which underwent several transformations and many line-up changes. Although the band began in the late ’70s, it’s most successful album was their 1987 self-titled release. MTV was instrumental in the band’s success because the video for “Here I Go Again” featured vixen Tawny Kitaen dancing on a Jaguar in white lingerie. Whitesnake’s best songs are “Slide it In,” “Crying in the Rain,” “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City,” “Here I Go Again,” “Judgement Day,” “Is This Love,” “Fool for Your Loving,” and “Still of the Night.”
Best Song: “Here I Go Again” (1987)
Best Album: “Whitesnake” (1987)
Best Tour: Whitesnake Tour 1987/1988
Most Valuable Band Member: David Coverdale – Vocals
Fun Fact: David Coverdale and Tawny Kitaen were married 1989-1991.
Primus sucks! And on that note, we welcome them to the #77 spot on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown. Les Claypool and company are one of the most innovative and entertaining rock bands to come out of the ’90s. It is fascinating that a band can sound so heavy without getting loud, a product of Claypool’s talent on the bass. Guitarist Larry LaLonde is not known for being one of the greatest, but his licks are perfect for this band. The best Primus songs are “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” “My Name is Mud,” “Too Many Puppies,” “Tommy the Cat,” “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” “John the Fisherman,” “Lacquer Head,” “Those Damned Blue Collar Tweakers,” “Groundhog’s Day,” and “Here Come the Bastards.”
Best Song: “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” (1991)
Best Album: “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” (1991)
Best Tour: Punchbowl Tour 1995
Most Valuable Band Member: Les Claypool – Vocals/Bass
Fun Fact: Guitar virtuoso Buckethead performed during Primus’ set at Ozzfest ’99.
Believe it or not, the second wave of hair metal produced several great acts such as Skid Row and Guns N’ Roses, which are now considered classic hard rock bands. Warrant, the #78 greatest hard rock and heavy metal band of all-time on the Gears of Rock Top 100 countdown, is no exception. It is easy for one to brand them as a Poison carbon copy, but with some careful listening you can see that is not the case. The best Warrant songs are “Down Boys,” “Sometimes She Cries,” “Big Talk,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “32 Pennies,” “I Saw Red,” “Heaven,” “Cherry Pie,” “Machine Gun,” “Blind Faith,” and “D.R.F.S.R.”
Best Song: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1990)
Best Album: “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” (1989)
Best Tour: Cherry Pie Tour 1990/1991
Most Valuable Band Member: Jani Lane – Vocals (Deceased)
Fun Fact: Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille provides the guitar solo in the title track of “Cherry Pie.”
Life of Agony is #79 on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown. This band released a trifecta of excellent and original sounding records in the 1990’s: “River Runs Red,” “Ugly,” and “Soul Searching Sun.” Life of Agony is one of the most underrated metal bands ever. Their unique sound can be described as heavy, dark, groovy, and deeply melodic. Life of Agony’s best songs are “Lost at 22,” “Through and Through,” “Weeds,” “Method of Groove,” “I Regret,” “River Runs Red,” “This Time,” “Tangerine,” and “Love to Let You Down.”
Best Song: “Through and Through” (1993)
Best Album: “River Runs Red” (1993)
Best Tour: Ugly Tour 1995
Most Valuable Band Member: Alan Robert – Bass
Fun Fact: Singer Keith Caputo is transitioning from male to female. She is known today as Mina Caputo.
Most Underrated Album (of 1997): “Soul Searching Sun”
Kid Rock broke through the music industry in the late ’90s with his Vanilla Ice swagger and trashy image, while shielding a soulful southern rock identity. It took people several years to realize his song-writing talent and dedication to good rock ‘n’ roll music. Even though the early-morning-stoned-pimp underwent a transformation from hip-hop to classic rock, we remember him for his powerful hard rock performances. Kid Rock is ranked #80 on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown. The best songs by Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band are “Cocky,” “Jackson, Mississippi,” “Bawitdaba,” “Let’s Ride,” “Only God Knows Why,” “Rock n Roll Jesus,” “Rebel Soul,” “I am the Bullgod,” “American Badass,” and “Amen.”
Best Song: “Bawitaba” (1998)
Best Album: “Rock N Roll Jesus” (2007)
Best Tour: The American Badass Tour 2001
Most Valuable Member: Kid Rock – Vocals/Instruments
Most Memorable Moment: Kid Rock’s set at Woodstock ’99
Volbeat is very young, but Volbeat is very mighty. This band has not hit its prime and yet the Gears of Rock considers this band to be one of the all-time greatest. Volbeat is ranked #81 on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown. These Danish rockers are hard, heavy, and melodic. They have a unique 50’s throwback feel and every song in their catalog is a hit. The band has released four solid studio albums since 2005, each one stronger than the last, defying the law of diminishing marginal returns. The best songs by Volbeat are “Still Counting,” “The Human Instrument,” “Pearl Hart,” “A Warrior’s Call,” “Pool of Bozze, Booze, Booza,” “Fallen,” “Heaven Nor Hell,” “Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood,” “Lola Montez,” “The Mirror and the Ripper,” and “Maybellene I Hofteholder.”
Best Song: “A Warrior’s Call” (2010)
Best Album: “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven” (2010)
Most Valuable Member: Michael Poulsen – Vocals/Guitar
Fun Fact: Guitarist Rob Caggiano (that guy that revived Anthrax’s career in 2011) plays lead for Volbeat.
Recent Notable Moment: Volbeat released the best album of 2013 called “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” according to the Gears of Rock.
In the early ’90s, Biohazard pioneered a unique sound in heavy music by fusing together metal, groove, punk, and hip-hop. They are #82 on the Gears of Rock’s Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time Countdown. In their prime, Biohazard featured the two-pronged vocal attack of Evan Seinfeld and Billy Graziadei, the powerful grooves of Danny Schuler’s drums, and the live intensity of guitarist Bobby Hambel. The bands greatest songs are “Shades of Grey,” “These Eyes,” “Wrong Side of the Tracks,” “Judgement Night (with Onyx),” “Authority,” “Punishment,” “Down for Life,” “What Makes Us Tick,” “Urban Discipline,” and “Tales from the Hard Side.”
Best Song: “Punishment” (1992)
Best Album: “Urban Discipline” (1992)
Best Tour: State of the World Address Tour 1994/1995
Most Valuable Member: Evan Seinfeld – Bass/Vocals
Cool Black Sabbath Cover: Biohazard’s performance of “After Forever” on “Nativity in Black”
Fun Fact: Evan Seinfeld played an important role on HBO’s original prison series “Oz.” Today, Seinfeld plays an important role in the porno industry.
Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie is gearing up for the release of his new solo album “Impermanent Resonance” in a few weeks (July 29 Europe/Aug.6 US) and he is offering you an assortment of tracks to listen to for free.
Check out this brand new lyric video for the song “Back on the Ground,” a dazzling anthem for the ages.
Stream “Impermanent Resonance” studio drum tracking featuring Peter Wildoer
Free “Impermanent Resonance” download of “Agony” is available through Inside Out Music