Top 10 Current Bands That Rock It Old-School!

The scene usually goes a little something like this: My buddy and I are driving around and I pop in some kick-ass old school rock & roll - maybe some Bon Scott-era AC/DC, T. Rex, or Led Zep - at which point, my buddy says, "Hear this?  Now THIS is rock & roll.  Why are there no new bands that can play rock & roll like this?"

I then go on an oft-repeated spiel about the fact that there ARE a bunch of current bands that are carrying the torch for old-school rock & roll, but that radio and TV are too busy promoting the same half-dressed attention whores who would be revealed as even less talented than Milli Vanilli were their voices to be stripped of Auto-Tune.

If only MTV still played music, or shows like "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert" were still around.

Until that situation changes, we figured we'd offer up our own list of new bands that live by the code of old school rock & roll.

Foxy Shazam

Foxy Shazam, who are a perfect mix of balls-out rock & roll and old school showmanship, are tops on this list.  If they'd been around back in the '70s, you just know they would have had their own private jet because they'd have been HUGE!  This video for the song "Unstoppable" is amazing, as is the band, whose latest record, The Church of Rock & Roll, is one of the best records of the year, if not the decade.

Fu Manchu

It literally kills me that Orange County's Fu Manchu are not a household name.  If they'd been born 40 years earlier, they'd have no doubt packed stadiums with their high-octane stoner rock anthems.  Ten different times, I've bought the band's new album, popped it on the nearest stereo, and proclaimed, "This is the ONE that makes them bigger than fucking Green Day!" and ten times I have been wrong.  That doesn't mean this shit won't curl your pubes, though!

Bible Of The Devil

Let's face it, the best rock & roll has always danced with the devil.  These local boys don't just dance with the devil, they snort coke and knock back a case of Jack with him.  While the band's local shows are always a joyous punch in the jewels, they've literally got to "hop the pond" in order to get some real appreciation.  Yep, these guys are stone-cold headliners in Europe, where fans obviously know their rock & roll.

Coheed and Cambria

C&C are great because they embody the soul of an old school rock & roll full of outlandish gatefold sleeves, concept albums, and songs that take up the entire side of an album.  I haven't listened to these guys while stoned out of my mind, but it must be a trip because when I listen to jams like "Domino The Destitute" and "Vic The Butcher", my mind literally explodes with cinematic imagery.  These guys are the real deal, but, hey, don't just take my word for it.  Rock legends Iron Maiden hand-picked these guys to open shows on their recent U.S tour.


Come on, you've gotta give a band props for taking their name from the enterprising ticket scalper in "Fast Times At Ridgmont High".  Luckily, this band is much more than a cool name and a pretty face (said face being that of Noelle LeBlanc).  The band's twin-guitar attack and knack for knockout melodies makes them, what, this generation's Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

American Bang

Old school rock is NOTHING without some fun-loving, good time rock like that delivered by American Bang.  They're a heady mix of early Aerosmith, Foghat, and The Nuge that will have your Prius thinking it's a shag-carpeted Econoline van with its GPS set on finding the nearest kegger.

The Ponys

The second Chicago band to make this list (go figure), The Ponys are what I always wished the Velvet Undeground had been...listenable!  With an obvious nod to Sonic Youth, these dudes (and one dudette) make a great racket that pays zero attention to what's hot at the moment and focuses solely on creating a sound that would have sounded perfect barreling out of a New York City where anything could happen at any moment, unlike the cookie cutter tourist trap it is today.

Noah Engh

Come on, you gotta give props to a guy who so completely and unabashedly rips off "Baby Please Don't Go" in the year 2012.  I mean, it ain't exactly a recipe for gettin' rich quick, if you catch my meaning.  Engh, of course, is a the real deal.  Thankfully, he's also got a way with great song titles, such as the barrelhouse "I Wanna Fuck My Way Out Of This" and "Sideburnasaurus Rex".  Plus, he's a total showman.  If you have a chance to see this guy perform and don't jump at the chance, that's your loss, buddy.

Buffalo Killers

Do you wish you'd been to Woodstock, or had seen Lynyrd Skynyrd "back in the day"?  If so, Buffalo Killers are the band for you.  Every time I listen to these guys, the calendar on the wall reads "1968" or right around there.  This is obviously a band whose roots are firmly entrenched in a past that included heaping helpings of Cream, the Allman Brothers, and Traffic.  If you dig any of those bands, you owe it to yourself to check out these guys.

The Secret Machines

Every generation needs its own Pink Floyd, right?  Well, if this is the case, then the Secret Machines are this generation's Floyd.  Problem is, this band is just as prone to internal conflict as Pink Floyd was and, at present, appears to be in a state of flux at the moment.  Don't let their current inactivity keep you from exploring the dreamy, fuzzed out bliss found on their two albums for Warner/Reprise.  Our favorite ( not to mention our current state-of-mind) is "Alone, Jealous and Stoned"

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