With all of the bad news in the world of rock music for the past few months; it literally feels like a different icon is dying every week, what better time than the present to highlight some good that is on the horizon. Rangers, we are less than four months away from the annual happening in Columbus, OH that brings headbangers from all across the world to the United States’ largest rock festival. As in previous years, I will introduce you to each of the bands that will be appearing this year. I’ll start from the bottom of the official poster, introducing some of you to new bands, and work my way up to the big dogs that will be headlining the weekend. Click on the band names, they will be linked to their sites and any songs chosen will link to the video. Without further ado, let’s meet some up and coming rock bands! Enjoy!
This band hails from Detroit. They will be bringing a modern hard rock sound with them. In an era where too many up and comers try to be more “metalcore” than their peers, these guys have a refreshing back-to-basics rock sounds. Solid percussion, check. Solid bass, check. Catchy guitar hook and solos, check. Lead vocals with power and range, check! I really dig their song When The Rain Comes.
If you took 90’s KORN and sprinkled in some Lamb of God with a pinch of Louisiana voodoo, you’d get New Orleans nu-metal band Cane Hill. I just came across their song OxBlood, and this band doesn’t let up. If you’re into catching new stuff on the side stages, I imagine the pit will be quite insane for these guys. That song just kicked my ass.
At the rate this is going, I’ll be spending a lot of time at the side stages. Check out this metal band from Bellingham, Washington. Their screaming guitar solo is matched in pitch frequency by their lead singers high notes. The drumming during the bridge, though? Yes! This is exactly what the scene needs. If you are into the sounds of Sabbath and Maiden but with modern heaviness, you’ll dig this song; Harvest of Darkness. This band’s sound is fantastic all the way around. Did I mention that they are a three piece?
The Glorious Sons
This Ontario rock band sounds like they come right out of the 70’s. As that was rock’s greatest decade, their sound is a welcoming change of pace. Four bands into this year’s lineup and my faith in the future of our genre is pretty high. I love metal as much as the next guy, but the fundamentals of straight edge, blues based rock ‘n’ roll will never be beat. Check out their songs Mama or Heavy, I couldn’t decide which one I liked more.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
Here we’ve got another old-school sounding rock band, this one coming from Nashville. Again, my anticipation and excitement is growing, as a person that loves rock music that is highlighted by it’s roots in the blues and soul. They do it unashamedly and they do it well. A lot of times in prior years, the up and coming bands have been predominantly metalcore and this early transition to rock bands is my cup of tea. Enjoy Last One Leaving, I did.
We’ve got another Canadian rock band here. The difference with this one, is that I can vouch for their bad-ass-ness in a live setting. I first discovered them on the video game Rocksmith 2014. I made sure to catch their set at Rock on the Range that same year. If you dig that 70’s southern rock sound of bands like Skynyrd but with heavy riffage, you’ll really be able to appreciate what these guys do. By now, you probably already are familiar with their standout track Sweet Mountain River, so check out Don’t Tell Me How To Live, instead. This is a “can’t miss” act for sure.
P.S.- Bonus track to check out: The Lion.
This hardcore punk band from Pittsburgh actually has a lot of elements of industrial metal as well. It’s loud. It’s frightening. I don’t quite understand it. I suspect that that might actually be the point, though. I’m not 100% sure what to make of it quite yet, but I am intrigued.With any band, that’s step one. Check out I Am King.
Melodic death metal from Sweden. Variety in rock and metal music is always welcome at this festival and Avatar will certainly fit that bill. The singer kind of has the King Diamond thing going on from an image standpoint, which is cool, and it is impossible to not have mandatory head swaying to the charming Hail The Apocalypse.
Rap is not my thing. There was a time when it was all I listened to, but somewhere along the line I largely lost interest. To be fair to Jelly Roll, though, I think their is some real genuine life experience to the songs I listened to. I can definitely respect that. Hailing from Nashville, there is some definite southern influence instrumentally and some southern twang to his voice. It might not be for me, but lyrically, there is a lot of people that can relate to what he is saying. If people can relate to it on a real level, then preach it. That realness leaving the rap world was when I lost interest. It’s refreshing to see that on some level it is coming back, even if it’s on the underground. As a southern rock junkie, I’m biased to his cover of Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band.
Crown The Empire
I admittedly also tend to not take metalcore bands seriously. The constant changing back and forth between screaming and clean vocals drives me crazy. This group from Dallas makes it work, though. There is a lot going on. There are symphonic elements and lyrically they strike the pulse of a lot of today’s youth. They question the future of this planet. I can’t say that I blame them. This is no more evident than in Machines.
This concludes the first edition of Meet the Bands of Rock on the Range 2016. Let me know what you think about these ten bands in the comments section below! As always, if you like what you’re reading, subscribe for free by clicking the Subscribe to Author link at the bottom of this page or feel free to share on social media! Thanks!