The music coming out of the UK recently has just been amazing. I think this year really shows how influential the British music continues to be globally. We have seen major British bands like Coldplay, Muse and even the Rolling Stones release albums and headline major international tours. The appeal British rock has is that it finds its roots in American Blues and Folk which makes it so relatable yet distinct in its own way. This year we have seen 5 bands revive all that is good with British rock, ranging from the the British Pop invasion to British heavy metal.
1. The Cribs – In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
With a brash and bold sound that reminds one of the the punk rock that came out of Camden in late 70′s, The Cribs have released their 6th album to critical acclaim. Tracks like “Come On, Be A No One” and “Chi-Town” have put them in the lime light over in the UK. The ability to play quick catchy songs and then string together a four song finish all on the same album has led to The Cribs headlining NME’s music award show this year.
2.The Vaccines – No Hope
This modern British Invasion Pop Rock band has blown up the British scene by utilizing upbeat tunes like “No Hope”, “Weirdo” & “Teenage Icon” to capture the angsts of being a young adult. Rolling with the momentum of 2011′s “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?” and headlining their own tour in the States this year (Boston’s show is at the Paradise the 29th of Janurary) expect them to become a staple of the American scene relatively soon.
3. Band of Skulls – Sweet Sour
Band of Skulls has to be one of the best pure rock bands to release an album this year. This power trio creates a great balance of heavy base lines, power riffs and clean vocals to catch the listener’s ear. Songs like “Sweet Sour”, “Bruises” and “The Devil Takes Care of His Own” ring out clearly on this album as singles and surely are the strongest tracks of the album in my opinion. I would also list their show this past spring at The Paradise as one of my favorite this year.
4.Black Moth – The Killing Jar
I recently just came across this band and they are so good that they instantly jumped onto this list. This heavy metal band clearly has its roots in Black Sabbath and other British heavy metal bands of the 70′s. No song is more Ozzy like than “Chicken Shit” with is electric guitar riffs reminiscent of “Iron Man’s” solo. The heavy effects used by Black Moth is backed up nicely with crisp drumming and a steady thudding bass line. If your looking for a nice diversion from your normal folk rotation and just want to bang your head, Black Moth is your band.
5. Jake Bugg – Two Fingers EP
This kid has got it. Featured as an Artist of the Week by Mary Ann Hobbs on XFM radio in Manchester/London back in late February with his breakthrough track “Lightning Bolt”, Jake Bugg has jumped to the top of the charts upon releasing his EP this past October. Supporting acts like Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Jake Bugg is making waves over in UK. When the US radio stations get ahold of his single “Two Fingers” expect it to be an instant hit. With a Bob Dylan-esque voice, catchy melodies and only 18 years old expect Jake to be an interesting artist to devleop over the next couple of years.
Find these five artists and more on our Spotify playlist of 2012′s Best UK Bands.