Hey Brolonation, Keenan here. I’m a big fan of music discovery (so please, please shout us out @BurtBrolos with any music I need in my life) and over the past few years I’ve noticed the traditional classic rock sound reemerging in bands that are relatively new in the grand scheme of things. So below are five of my favorite bands that have released music recently (2018 - 2020) with that classic rock sound. I’m sure you’ve heard of one or two of them, but I would be very surprised if you’d heard of the others!
1) Greta Van Fleet ~ 2.2 million monthly listeners
This young band out of Frankenmuth, Michigan (wait, what?!?!) catapulted into the rock music scene in 2017 with the release of their debut single “Highway Tune” and the accompanying EP Black Smoke Rising. At the end of 2017, they expanded on their breakout releases with their 2nd EP From the Fires which included all four of their already released songs and four additional songs. If you’re a fan of rock music, you’ve most likely heard some of Greta Van Fleet’s early hits “Highway Tune”, “Black Smoke Rising”, and “Safari Song,” which were all on their very first EP. These were blasted on many radio stations, but we recommend you give all of their music a listen. Building on their their initial success, their first full length album Anthem of the Peaceful Army is full to the brim with quality rock music like Brolonation favorites “When the Curtain Falls” and “You’re the One.” While it’s incredibly tempting to compare Greta Van Fleet to Led Zeppelin, I’ll instead just say that Robert Plant himself said “They are Led Zeppelin I” in an interview with Australia’s Network Ten
Recommended Albums: Anthem of the Peaceful Army (newest), From the Fires
2) The Jacks ~ 30,000 monthly listeners
While many rock ‘n roll fans will know our #1 recommendation, fewer folks will know The Jacks. That’s a shame because this quartet out of LA is making quality music with heavy inspiration from the British Invasion of the ‘60s and ‘70s. While we’re still waiting for their first full length album, every indication from their two EPs released to date is that it will be worth the wait. The Jacks’ lean, rugged rock and roll, as exemplified by their debut single, “Walk Away,” is instantly catchy and sure to have you singing their songs hours after your first listen. The Jacks describe themselves as what would result “if the Strokes, Cage the Elephant, and the Stones had an equally talented, but more handsome baby.” While I’ll leave judgement of their handsomeness to you, I do see a lot of talent in this group. Their songs “Threw it all away” and “Just a Little Bit” were released on their 2nd EP Remember You (2020) just before the world went to hell in a handbasket. They are growing as musicians and now offer more complexity without losing anything that made their initial releases so satisfying. I for one am looking forward to seeing what this group can accomplish in the coming years.
3) Rival Sons ~ 900,000 monthly listeners
Out of Brolonation hot spot, Long Beach, California, Rival Sons brings a longer sustained track record of quality rock and roll to the table than the other recommendations on this list. Their first album Before the Fire was released in 2009 and the band never looked back. They went on to release six albums and one EP in the 10 years from 2009 to 2019, culminating in the album, Feral Roots, which was nominated for a Grammy for best rock album. For Rival Sons, the emphasis has always been on simplicity and primality in their music, so as to not overcomplicate rock and roll. They’ve relied on talent and pure energy both in the studio and in their live performances which have garnered quite the reputation. One of our favorite songs, “Too Bad,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance in 2019 and unrelentingly rocks for its entire four minute and forty four second length, the best part of which is the plethora of hard hitting drum fills. Also, make sure to listen to “Tied Up.” You will undoubtedly enjoy the cascading guitar riffs complemented perfectly by Jay Buchanan’s screams of “I’m tied up!” If you’re a fan of rock and roll you need to listen to Rival Sons. Your ears will thank me although your neck may not after all the head rocking.
Recommended Albums: Feral Roots, Great Western Valkyrie, Before the Fire
4) Dirty Honey ~ 350,000 monthly listeners
This Los Angeles based band is real fresh in the music scene with their first single released in 2018 and the following EP with six new songs released in 2019. While they don’t have the most music released, they’ve made a big impact already, as they are the first unsigned band to land a number 1 rock song on Billboard charts, with their song “When I’m Gone.” The lead track off their self-titled EP roars into the listener’s ear with a “Cult of Personality”-esque guitar riff before Marc Labelle’s raspy vocals steal the spotlight. The success doesn’t end at the #1 Billboard hit. Dirty Honey has already opened for a number of rock legends including Slash, The Who, and the Guns N’ Roses. With the classic rock band composition of vocals, guitar, bass and drums, Dirty Honey’s power chord filled and guitar riff heavy music scratches the classic rock itch that we’ve had ever since the heyday of Rock N’ Roll. Dirty Honey isn’t satisfied with only recreating the success of the classics, but instead they want to simply make “music that’s sexy and hard and rocking” in their own way. How could anyone disagree with that? Give them a listen before they blow up and you lose the chance to rub it in all your friends’ faces that you knew them before they were popular.
Recommended Songs: Rolling 7’s, Fire Away, When I’m Gone
5) Goodbye June ~ 400,000 monthly listeners
Goodbye June is a Nashville based band formed by three cousins, with the goal of honouring the memory of a band member’s brother through their music. Landon Milbourn’s gritty voice shines as lead vocalist with that indescribable little something reminiscent of all the great classic rock bands. In my favorite song, “Live in the Now”, the beautiful acoustic guitar transcends all your daily stresses and takes your mind on a journey to a better place. Landon reminds us that “There's always peace to be found” by tuning out the worries of our past and living in the now. While that’s great advice, this song ironically provokes really fond memories for me of long treks to family vacations in the family van (it was called the “Sport Cruiser”) with my Dad’s typical classic rock playlist full of Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Van Halen. So put Goodbye June on your next roadtrip playlist, when this stupid quarantine is over and you’re guaranteed to make some good memories.
Recommended Albums: Community Inn
Once again, thank you for taking the time to check out our content! If you want to sample the music above, Colin and I made playlists on Apple Music and Spotify which are linked below. Follow us on Spotify/AppleMusic if you want more. And please let us know what you think about the artists. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing that people have found a little joy in some of the music we’ve recommended, or discussing with someone who perhaps did not enjoy the music and learning why.
Apple Music > Colin Burt Brolos > 2020 New, Classic Rock
Brolonation’s New Classic Rock
Spotify > Keenan Burt > 2020 New, Classic Rock
Brolonation's New, Classic Rock
--The Burt Brolos Better Brother
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P.P.S. This research was sponsored by YourConcertKure. Check them out if you want to be notified of up-and-coming bands hitting the LA music scene.