2020 has been one hell of a ride. From the mass pandemic plaguing the world to massive blows to the music community like Little Richard and Eddie Van Halen, the whole idea of rock and roll didn’t seem so fun anymore. This did not prevent certain artists from ruining themselves despite everything.
Since January, many great bands have graced us with some of the greatest riffs in recent memory, be it from the world of punk, metal, emo and everything in between. While some bands took their sound back to the golden age of rock and roll, the best of the band were able to take the whole genre to new and interesting places it had never been before.
It was also the year we saw a lot of bands take bold new risks, many of which ended up paying big bucks once they hit the mainstream. In a year when it seemed like the world was on fire, these are prime examples of the phoenixes rising from the ashes. Rock may not have such a firm grip on the mainstream anymore, but songs like these show where it’s headed in this new decade.
Few artists can claim to produce their best work in their twilight years. If you look at literally any other hard rock band, you’d be hard pressed to find one that’s still doing culturally significant work after their first handful of records. While it would be hard to maintain a decent track record, Bob Mold is one of the few who makes it look easy.
Right off the bat, Mold’s Blue Hearts album is true punk steaminess, as it screams with the same melody it had in the glory days of Husker Du. While there are a lot more angry moments on this record (as you might expect), Siberian Butterfly is that dose of optimism that many fans have come to expect. With nothing more than guitar, bass and drums, this is one of the most impactful records to be released this year, clocking in and out in just over 2 minutes.
Above all, it’s a song that can empower you even on your worst day, which is absolutely necessary at times like these. Even with all the new kids doing their own riffs, this kind of power pop has all the kickass you really need.