Rebel Noise writer Jen Dan’s Top 12 Rock Songs of 2016
1. "Poison Halo" by Bloody Knives
The Texas-based extreme post-punk/post-rock band led by Preston Maddox blasts off with an exhilaratingly overwhelming whirlwind of densely textured, relentlessly propulsive sonics and Maddox's hazily dispassionate vox. Buckle up - It's a turbulent ride!
2. "Initiate Contact According To the Sound of Your Heart" by Jaguwar
On this aurally powerful number, the Dresden, Germany-located, noise-rock/dream-rock trio Jaguwar runs on restless drum rhythms, an ominous bass line thrum, majorly distorted guitar warp, and hazy, androgynous-sounding male and female vocal swoon.
3. "Habit" by The Velvet Hands
London-residing indie garage-rock band The Velvet Hands shakes it up with a melodically infectious single that attracts the ears with a spirited punk attitude, agitated, gritty guitar hooks, jittery drum rhythms, and sing-song vocal exclamations. It's a hard 'habit' to break.
4. "Castaway" by The Franklys
Transcontinental band (England-Sweden) The Franklys dives into a lively, pushing garage rock sound tempered and inflamed by the lead singer's dispassionately cool to indignantly fiery vocal delivery.
5. "Get Away" by Vertigo
Australian indie rock band Vertigo unleashes a rousing, gritty smash 'n' bash, sing-along rock 'n' roll song punched up with the rough, turpentine growl of its lead singer letting loose his pent-up frustration.
6. "FUU" by Dream Wife (feat. Fever Dream)
British-Icelandic band Dream Wife gets an assist from Fever Dream on a rippin' alt rock/punk rock track punctuated by unbridled ragin' female exclamations and a riff on the Spice Girls' mega-hit "Wannabe".
7. "I Don't Get Anything but Shit from You" by Rein
Striking, Swedish electro-punk upstart Rein (AKA Joanna Reinikainen) rages against crappy relationships on this ferociously aggressive single that hits with a propulsive sonic barrage and Reins's vividly raw, shouted out vocals.
8. "Hey Sweet" by Skating Polly
Step-sisters Kelli and Peyton of indie rock/alt-pop duo Skating Polly blast through this rhythmically lurching and grunge-guitar churning tune with sharply exuberant vocal abandon.
9. "Grindie" by Coquin Migale
The Newcastle, UK-based indie rock band goes the hard-charging post-punk/post-rock hybrid route on this propulsive single which soars and swoops both vocally and instrumentally, full of driving guitar distortion, kinetic drumwork, and scintellating cymbal crash.
10. "Better Learn How To Swim" by Ultrviolence
Canadian post-rock/darkwave trio Ultrviolence submerges itself in the broodingly foreboding deep end of hooky bass line undertow, restless guitar and drums churn, and lead singer Nate J's hollowed-out, low vocal timber.
11. "I See Static" by We Three And The Death Rattle
UK-based noise-rock/blues/punk trio We Three And The Death Rattle shakes it up with a tight and dynamic combination of thickly distorted guitar jags, a seismic rhythm section, and addictive lyrical refrains delivered with drop-dead cool by frontwoman Amy Cooper.
12. "This Everything" by WAAX
Kick-ass Brisbane, Australia-based band WAAX, vividly fronted by the vocally wild and riveting Marie, brings its spirited, punk-influenced rock sonics to this tune that builds up in intensity right to the very end.