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By Dillon O’Toole

When was the last time a rock song became a massive hit? Rock as a whole is no longer as popular as it once was. The popular genres of the country today are rap and pop.  This would seem to validate the commonly used phrase, “rock is dead.” As someone who still listens to rock music, I can confirm that rock is not dead, and isn’t even dying. In fact, I would argue that rock is doing just fine. Not only has this decade seen established bands continue performing with great quality, but it has also seen the birth of plenty of new bands to carry the torch far into the future. The goal of this article is to introduce people to five of the new acts that have emerged this decade and what songs are good examples of their music.


I will expose my bias right away in this pick as STARSET is my favorite music group to come out of this decade. This, however, does not diminish how good this group is. Falling within the genres of hard rock and electronic rock, the American band STARSET have released three albums as of 2019. Their first album, “Transmissions,” was released in 2014 and focuses more on hard rock than any of their other albums. Highlights from this album are the songs “My Demons” and “Carnivore.” Their second album, “Vessels,” was released in 2017 and focuses more on the electronic element of the band while still keeping the band within the hard rock genre. High points of the album include the songs “Monster,” “Satellite,” and “Back to Earth.” The most recent album from STARSET, “Divisions,” was released earlier this year in September. “Divisions” is a return to the more hard rock nature of “Transmissions,” while still keeping elements of electronic music.  

2.Red Sun Rising

The American band Red Sun Rising has released two albums as of 2019, and their musical style is closer to that of traditional rock with elements of hard rock mixed in. Their first album, “Polyester Zeal,” was released in 2015. This album is purely hard rock and highlights from it include the songs “The Otherside” and “Amnesia.” Their second album, “Thread,” was released in 2018 and uses a more mellow approach than their debut to create a more traditional styled album. The best songs from this album include “Deathwish” and “Evil Like You.”

3.The Amazons

Still relatively new, British band The Amazons released their first album in 2017. The style of their music was originally more like pop rock but has since changed to a more alternative rock style. Their first album was a self-titled release and features the songs “In My Mind” and “Stay With Me.” Their second album, released earlier this year in May, is punctuated by songs such as “Mother” and “Georgia.”

4.Royal Blood

Royal Blood is a British duo that have released two albums this decade. Standing out from many rock bands, Royal Blood doesn’t have a guitarist and instead only has a bassist and drummer. The genre that they play is alternative rock and both of their albums are very similar in styling. Their first album was self-titled and was released in 2014. Highlights from the album include the songs “Figure It Out” and “Out of the Black.” Their second album, “How Did We Get So Dark?,” was released in 2017 and has the songs “Lights Out” and “I Only Lie When I Love You” as notable standouts.


The final band on this list is an obscure act that may have even evaded those who actively listen to rock. The band Evership is a progressive rock band (the genre that the bands such as Pink Floyd, Rush, and Yes played in). As of 2019 they have released two albums. Both of these albums are self titled as the second only adds the roman numeral two after the band name. A common theme of progressive rock groups is extremely long songs, and Evership is no different. Therefore, I am going to preface these song recommendations by saying they are all long (the band only has one song shorter than five minutes.) Their first album was released in 2016 and quickly establishes the type of music to expect from Evership in the future. Focal points of the album are the songs “A Slow Descent Into Reality” and “Flying Machine.” Their second album was released in 2018 and highlights of the album include the songs “The Serious Room” and “Wanderer.”

These five bands have helped show me, a lifelong fan of rock music, that rock isn’t dead. Lets see what the 2020s bring for the future of rock music and music in general.

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