Rebellious rockers headline this week's best rock releases with offerings from Hollywood Undead, Dropkick Murphys and Black Veil Bridges.
Hollywood Undead releases their third studio album, Notes From the Underground, on Jan. 8. The project serves as a follow-up to their sophomore LP, American Tragedy, and pulls its roots from the group's debut, Swan Songs. The album is put together surprisingly well. The lyrics—shallow and meaningless but catchy and fun—are matched with engaging production to create a seamless and enjoyable listen. The lead single, "We Are," is a highlight; according to member Johnny 3 Tears, it was inspired by the tragedies that target today's youth. Be sure to also check out "From the Ground."
Veteran rockers Dropkick Murphys will release their eighth album this week, Signed & Sealed In Blood. After a decade in the music game, the Boston natives haven't changed their style in the least, yet somehow it continues to work. This is the punk rock you shout after downing a few pints of your favorite ale (preferably Guinness) in the comfort of a warm pub. The band thrives when it abandons the typical structure of a raucous rock song and just haphazardly pulls it all together. Among the best on the solid offering are "Rose Tattoo," "The Boys Are Back," and "Out on the Town."
Wretched & Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones is Black Veil Brides' third album and a follow-up to 2011's Set the World on Fire. For their latest project, the Los Angeles-based rockers decided to record a concept album. The 19 songs blend together to tell the story of a religion-influenced government that takes over a future society by eliminating science and creativity. The story was penned by frontman Andy Biersack, and the group even released a short film to accompany the album. Past BvB fans will surely enjoy the ride, but new listeners may not be won over by the emo rockers.