It’s the relentlessly positive movement that’s breathing new life into the UK’s rock scene and it’s time we celebrated the Top 20 NWOCR records of the year. Strap yourself in and look back on the cream of the crop from a standout year.
10. Tomorrow Is Lost – Therapy (Eclipse Records)
Therapy proved to be the best metal debut out of Tyneside since Tygers Of Pan Tang and much of that was down to Cass King’s powerhouse vocals. The feisty frontwoman has since been replaced by Hazel Rogers but the early evidence suggests it’s business as usual for the rising stars of the NWOCR scene. Therapy was a thunderous statement of intent from a band going places…fast.
Read the full review of Therapy here
9. Daxx & Roxane – Daxx & Roxane (Self Released)
The Anglophile Swiss quartet was one of the hardest gigging bands on the UK’s live scene prior to Covid and we can’t wait to see a fresh Daxx attack in 2021. This superb self-titled ass-kicker of an album was the spring break fans needed after weeks of energy-sapping lockdown. Daxx hooked up with Colin Parkinson to hone their sound and craft the festival-ready anthems set to rock your world next summer.
Read the full review of Daxx & Roxane here
8. Mike Ross – The Clovis Limit Pt 2 (Taller Records)
The fourth solo album from NWOCR stalwart Ross fused blues, roots and Southern rock to dizzying effect. The RHR alumnus scaled new creative heights on a record that kept calling us back during the darkest periods of the global pandemic. Don’t Say A Word said it all as Ross pulled out all the stops on the TCLP2’s standout track (and one-time Rushonrock Red Hot Track Of The Week) but there were plenty more where that came from.
7. Collateral – Collateral (Roulette Media)
Embracing escapism, encapsulating the very best of 80s excess and determined to get the party started despite social distancing and the dissolution of the UK’s live music scene, Collateral kicked back at a brutal year. This self-titled album was the epitome of swagger and the sound of serious ambition. Few albums put a smile on the faces of the Rushonrock team quite like Collateral’s deliciously retro debut. Genius.
Read the full review of Collateral here
6. Bad Touch – Kiss The Sky (Marshall Records)
Bad Touch had the Midas touch in 2020 and this stunner of a record felt like the end of the beginning for one of the NWOCR’s long-time scene leaders. Kiss The Sky was heavenly stuff and laid the foundations for an exciting new chapter in the career of a band blessed with bags of talent and endearing charisma. We referenced ‘a heady fusion of 70s groove, 80s sass and 21st century swagger’. And seven months down the line we stand by that snap assessment!
Read the full review of Kiss The Sky here
Read our exclusive interview with Bad Touch here
5. Lynne Jackaman – One Shot (Self Released)
One Shot was a long time coming but when Lynne Jackaman finally dropped this delectable set of dreamy blues and sugar-sweet soul it was well worth the wait. Recorded at Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios, one of our records of the year oozed raw emotion spliced by a rich seam of affecting storytelling. Jackaman was always capable of crafting an album like One Shot but few predicted something this special.
Read the full review of One Shot here
4. Twister – Cursed & Corrected (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
Another North East-based stalwart of the NWOCR scene and another balls-to-the-wall band capable of breaking into the big leagues in 2021. Eye-catching frontman Stevie Stoker is a glorious throwback to the Sunset Strip’s moist hedonistic era but there’s a depth to Twister’s songwriting that sets the band apart from so many of its hair metal heroes. Save Us Yourself was a worthy Rushonrock Record Of The Week in November and was the perfect place to start for those new to Cursed & Corrected.
3. Jack J Hutchinson – Who Feeds The Lockdown (Psychedelic String Records)
Few artists navigated 2020’s twists and turns quite as successfully as Jack J Hutchinson as the prolific bluesman set a blistering pace throughout the year. Who Feeds The Lockdown was the perfect response to a challenging period as the Hutch reworked a series of fan favourites and included a vibrant version of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. At times it was difficult to keep up with the NWOCR’s most stylish singer-songwriter but this record is really all you need to know about the long-time Rushonrock favourite.
Read the full review of Who Feeds The Lockdown here
2. Buffalo Summer – Desolation Blue (Silver Lining Music)
Released at the height of the UK’s first lockdown, Desolation Blue’s deeply ironic title couldn’t have been bettered. And neither could a set rich in bullish blues rock as Swansea’s finest reinforced their reputation as the heirs apparent to Free, Cream et al. If you can’t sing then you’re not Welsh and Andrew Hunt followed a long line of fellow countrymen by delivering his best vocal performance in years. Pre-dating the NWOCR movement and yet representing everything that’s inspiring about a richly rewarding scene, Buffalo Summer continued to set the standard.
Read the full review of Desolation Blue here
1. Massive Wagons – House Of Noise (Earache)
Massive choruses. Massive riffs. Massive beards. Massive respect. This was the year Massive Wagons parked any self-doubt and emerged as the engine room of the NWOCR movement. House Of Noise was wall-to-wall splendour, decorated with touches of Quo, The Wildhearts, Terrovision and more to create the perfect home for those seeking sanctuary from a world in flux. Landlord Barry Mills swept away the doom and gloom of an utterly depressing year and applied broad brush strokes of addictively singalong rock and roll. House Of Noise offered the warmest of welcomes. We didn’t want to leave.
Read the full review of House Of Noise here
Read our exclusive interview with Massive Wagons here