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Recognizing Rock

Posted in: Music Reviews
on February 15, 2016

One of the biggest frustrations that I have about the music industry is the lack of representation of a specific genre.

Rock music has been a staple in the music industry for more than 60 years and, for some reason, it cannot even get the proper recognition it deserves. For instance, whenever I take a look at the “Rock” charts, I see artists like Elle King and Imagine Dragons, two artists that clearly fall under the alternative genre.

When I listen to the local “Rock” radio station (yes, 103.3, I am calling you out for this) I rarely ever hear any of the new rock releases and instead am stuck listening to alternative spew and rock hits from the 1980s. The latter I don’t mind much, but when I tune in to a rock radio station, I expect to hear some of the new rock hits or at least some consistent modern rock music. 

When there are bands such as Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park that still claim to be rock artists, and are the only “tolerable” rock music that can be put on the radio, it both hurts and offends me and many other rock enthusiasts that some of the better and more popular talents are not showcased. I’m not sure if it is the new sheltered nature of people these days, but I can assure you one thing: many of those listed as “Rock” artists these days are not even close to being such. 

Rock music is about rebellion and passion. It is the displays of this emotions through high powered guitars, huge drum sounds and passionate lyrics (either sung or screamed). It is the sound that powers through the pop bubble gum sound of the mainstream music and makes people feel a little uncomfortable. I stand by my fellow headbangers and push for a better representation of rock music in the mainstream media. 

When I looked at the top “Rock” songs and albums from 2015, it listed the song “Shut Up and Dance With Me” as the top “Rock” hit of the year, for some reason. Yet Disturbed’s new album (mind you an album that was five years in the making) which made it to the top of iTunes and was No. 1 in the U.S. at its time, was not recognized until the teens of the Billboard list. Breaking Benjamin’s new album, Dark Before Dawn, came in at No. 1 at its release and had two No. 1 singles come from it in “Failure” and “Angels Fall.” Former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Grontier released a new album with his new band, Saint Asonia, and they had a No. 1 single in “Better Place” and I could honestly go down the full list of great music that was snubbed from mainstream recognition because it wasn’t deemed “popular” enough. 

I hope to see some sort of change in this trend of misrepresenting true rock music and musicians, because hearing the same garbage over and over again on the radio and calling them different genres, just because, is getting a little old.