The argument that rock is dead has been a polarizing subject for years now. One of the last brigades of rock titans included bands like Korn, once near a household name and accepted on mainstream radio with their ground-breaking sound. Now, it’s hard to find anything other than pop and hip hop on Top 40 charts.
With the streaming era has come an increased dominance of hip hop, a genre that studies are showing is actively shifting a core demographic away from rock. Is rock actually dying then? Our trusted experts like Dave Grohl are yelling out a loud, resounding no. With a crew of emerging bands constructing a shiny new bridge towards the next wave of rock music, the genre feels refreshed.
Fearless trailblazers like California rockers Badflower are making their mark with vulnerable lyrics, gritty riffs, and a complete lack of egos.
Currently on tour opening for Nothing More, Badflower feels like they’re standing on the edge of line where just one small push would lead them skyrocketing to stadium-level success.
Badflower kicks off their live set with “x Ana x,” a light-hearted take on mental health that contains the essence of rock in its thundering drums and bending guitar chords. The track’s core matches “Heroin,” giving a look into mental health and toxic relationships that twists through lyrics where it’s impossible to tell where a drug is used as a metaphor and when they’re actually just talking about drugs.
In a recent Tweet, frontman Josh Katz dove into his struggle with performing such vulnerable songs and explained how the difficulty is actually really special. With contagious energy that was matched by headliner Nothing More, their performances leave a once-in-a-lifetime type impact that makes you rethink what music is really about.
Nothing More’s set kicks off from behind a curtain, where the silhouette of the explosive Jonny Hawkins climbs a ladder in a shadow-puppet-like visual that looks like it must be a hologram. It’s not. The curtain drops to unveil a dramatic stage entrance where Jonny kicks off current hit “Let ‘Em Burn” from high above the crowd.
With a prog rock sound that blends elements of electronic music into cutting vocals and searing guitar, the band is hopping on the trend of genre-bending in an authentic and masterful way. Nothing More blazes through everything from the blinding “Go To War” to a cover of Skrillex’s “First of the Year,” embracing a sound that even current icons like Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows admit they "wouldn't touch with a 10 ft. pole" because they don't understand it well enough.
Click here to get their remaining tour dates and keep an eye on these bands that are changing the genre with their authenticity.