As the world continues to battle a global pandemic, new music has never sounded better.
And as 2021 reaches the halfway stage we’ve picked our mid-term favourites.
Look out for the Top 10 tomorrow and see if you can guess who’s set the ultimate standard so far this year.

20. Dumpstaphunk – Where Do We Go From Here (Mascot/The Funk Garage)

Fans of this colourful NOLA crew include Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, George Clinton…and Rushonrock.

We’re embarrassingly late to the Dumpstaphunk party but one whirl of Where Do We Go From Here and we never wanted to leave.

Fishbone, White Trash and early Chillis sprung to mind as soon as this groovelicious album hit the decks.

And United Nations Stomp is a vibrant new anthem for the ages.

Check out the full review here 


19. Memoriam – To The End (Reaper Entertainment)

On their fourth album, Memoriam explored new territory…and did it in style. 

Each Step Closer (To The Grave) was shrouded in the gloom of the Peaceville three, Mass Psychosis burned with the spirit of Killing Joke and As My Heart Grows Cold gave us six minutes of crushing, sombre death doom. 

Yes, songs such as Onwards Into Battle nodded to the band’s origins in Bolt Thrower and Benediction, but To The End was the quartet’s most diverse and ambitious record to date – and represented a great leap forward for Memoriam.

Check out the full review here.


18. Atreyu – Baptize (Spinefarm Records)

Two decades in and this band aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

While Baptize does rest at times, songs like Baptize, Underrated and Dead Weights are pure metal titans.


17. Billy F Gibbons – Hardware (Concord Records)

Third time is the Lucky Card for Billy F Gibbons’ solo career. 

Working alongside Matt Sorum and Austin Hanks, Gibbons has finally put out a record that does justice to the ZZ Top legacy.

Recorded in the scorching desert heat, you can smell the Dusk Till Dawn vibes on West Coast Junkie.

Shuffle, Step & Slide is a Texas  Burner, there’s a Larkin Poe cameo on Stackin’ Bones and Vagabond Man is a thoughtful retrospective delivered at a pace we haven’t heard since Rough Boy.

He’s not running at Rhythmeen levels yet, but Billy is heading full on Spanish Fly


16. Kaleo – Surface Sounds (Atlantic Records)

In 2014, the Icelandic blues rockers exploded with the release of All The Pretty Girls, which gave them a huge platform for their debut 2016 release A/B

Since then, the band has remained relatively quiet as they worked on album number two, with everything set for release in early 2020 — before Covid-19 arrived and push the release back a year. 

However, the wait was worth it, with Jökull Júlíusson’s deep, infectious vocals sounding better than ever on tracks such as Break My Baby and I Want More, proving this five-piece is only just getting started.


15. The Pretty Reckless – Death By Rock And Roll (Fearless Records)

When exactly did Taylor Momsen become one of the best leading ladies in rock?

Slowly but surely, album by album, not just Momsen, but everyone involved in The Pretty Reckless, have emerged as the real deal.

Their best release to date, Death By Rock And Roll is confident, and achingly theatrical.

Momsen’s vocals rival the likes of Lzzy Hale or Haley Williams, broodily draping over Ben Phillips wailing fret work. 


14. Myles Kennedy – The Ides Of March (Napalm Records)

Over the last decade, Kennedy’s creative drive has been unmatched. 

From Alter Bridge to Slash, his work continues to improve and his second solo album shows that his momentum is not stopping any time soon. 

Musically, The Ides of March is about as varied as we have seen, with a heady blend of acoustic and electric guitars combining with his trademark rock vocals.

The result is a beautifully balanced piece of work that he will no doubt be desperate to play live just as soon as the world opens back up.


13. Our Hollow, Our Home – Burn in the Flood (Hollow Music)

Heavily praised by Kerrang! and Rock Sound, Our Hollow, Our Home take the cathartic songwriting from In Moment // In Memory and take it in their new direction. 

Industrial, heavy choruses are supplemented by the usual grit that you’d expect from this band.


12. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (Metal Blade)

Cannibal Corpse have been on a hot streak ever since Kill ripped through the death metal scene in 2006…so we didn’t expect Violence Unimagined do be a damp squib. 

But with legendary guitarist Erik Rutan now on board, the veteran act managed to raise the bar even higher on their 15th album.

Violence Unimagined splattered brain matter and bored through bones…and saw Cannibal Corpse deliver an unforgettable, technically astounding performance that revelled in the primal ecstasy of sonic slaughter. 

Check out the full review here.


11. Ashley Monroe – Rosegold (Thirty Tigers)

Pitched at the poppier end of country, this Who’s Who of Music City collabs won’t be for every Rushonrock reader.

But we pride ourselves on presenting a broad church of guitar-based music…and we’ve built our reputation on exactly that.

So park your preconceptions, pull up a comfy chair, pour a neat Bourbon and enjoy Nashville songwriting at its affective best.

Monroe took a gamble…and proved that all that glitters is Rosegold.

Check out the full review here.


SR – Simon Rushworth I RH – Rich Holmes I RHughes – Russell Hughes I AS – Andy Spoors I JB – John Burrows