Following the success of Volumes 1 and 2, the trend-setting compilation series for new rock is back – Modern Rock Vol 3 showcases 16 artists that celebrate the rich diversity of the rising guitar music scene today.
Having had two editions of modern radio-friendly firecrackers, we’re going on a different journey for Volume 3, celebrating the eclecticism and diversity of the scene. Room is made for some opus songs usually too long for radio and there is a healthy mix of genres and musical styles.
Following the station’s timely and well-received run of ‘Rockshow of Freedom’ broadcasts, the songs on this volume also attempt reflect the uncertain times we live in, as we present a music journey. The album opens and closes with songs that protest against conflict. Music’s ability to inspire comes with a nod to indie, soul and blues influences – and we then have some classic and prog opus tracks that speak for the times we live on. In a year of both a pandemic and war in Europe, this collection underlines the power of music to be the soundtrack of our days – music’s wide-ranging power to testify, to inspire us to cope and overcome – and to help us reflect. Fittingly, we close with a song that touches on the enduring spirit of the human condition, hope perhaps rising from the darkness. Modern Rock Vol 3 finishes in an entirely different place to where it started and that’s deliberate – it’s a musical journey.
Yes, Volume 3 is more eclectic, but it’s hopefully better for it. An open-plan space where there are no walls, genre labels or boundaries – the doors and windows are wide open to let new music in – and there’s something here for everyone.
Below, some information and links on the wonderful artists on Modern Rock Vol 3 – the people that make the collection what it is. Do spend a few moments exploring the bands, give them a follow if you fancy, share the links with your friends – and spend a few pounds in their webstores if you can spare the cash. After two years of restrictions, it’s time to do all we can to support the arts and the role it plays to brighten our world.
'Black Days Come' was the hidden track from the band's fine debut, which we reviewed as Album of the Month to kick-off 2022. 'Black Days Come' got a debut on the Friday Rockshow and for us it was always going to have another special moment. Reflecting on the suffering, the darkness of recent world events, the song now seems to take on a further dimension. An intelligent and immersive sonic experience to open Modern Rock Vol 3 from a fine rising band.
One of our former Bands of the Year, Ally and Danny are the epitome of individualism, social relevance and innovation in the modern rock scene today; some might say they have been the flag-carriers for some time when it comes to putting forward-looking bravery over nostalgia. 'The Meds' is their latest single as a two-piece and had a big reaction with us on Friday nights. An instant decision for inclusion here, their second appearance in the Modern Rock series to date - and it definitely won't be the last.
The Autumn Killers Another closer from another former Album of the Month, The Autumn Killers haven't re-written the rock n roll rule, they've actually thrown it out the window. A band not following the herd, a band that has been brave and taken hard rock somewhere new, aligning their music to a wide range of influences. Above all, they're playing the music they like and 'Darkness' takes rockers out for a rave. Huge respect for a band pushing boundaries on what is possible - rather than playing safe on what's been done before.
In simple terms, this guy just brings it. And every time. We've followed Matt since 2015 on his journey from Furyon, through Colour of Noise to his new band The Coldhearts. So many great songs, but he has the voice that brings some special light and shade. 'Black Diamonds' was a rock hit we premiered and ran with for months on end, but 'Old Enough & Ugly Enough' has always been the special song waiting for a special moment. So despite a new album landing soon, we've brought this one out the rock n roll pantry for a second outing. A change of mood from Matt's classic rockers but, quite simply, this is a song that demands to be heard. We hope new ears get to hear it through this collection.
The most played song on Great Music Stories Radio during April and it's probably already a dark horse for the Single of the Year shortlist come December. Why? That's simple; no fuss, no hype, no pluggers or big marketing budgets - but people request it week after week. The rock listeners and the non-rock listers, those on socials those that live outside the tribal world. When music can transcend and stand up just as a good song, it's a great song.
Carrie Marshall from the band comments: "We’re very proud to be part of the Modern Rock series: it’s a celebration of room-shaking, heart-breaking, risk-taking music that shows how exciting, vibrant and diverse modern rock can be. And it’s about more than just music; Modern Rock is also about community and bringing people together. That feels more important than ever right now."
Many of the big voices on Volume 3 are from rising female artists and more needs to be done, in my view, to ensure female voices have a bigger share of the pie in rock. Rebecca has been a big feature of our various themed interview series during the COVID era. She sings rock and blues but it goes beyond this - her charity single cover of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' was a masterclass. Grounded, in-tune with the big issues of our world today and someone that cares - about people, about wellbeing and the role music can play to make the world a better place. In a word, Modern. We're delighted to have Rebecca's latest single 'Hold On' on Modern Rock Vol 3, the first single from her forthcoming album, out later in 2022.
“In the tide of new music, it is very difficult for an artist to get heard. So, when someone as credible a source of knowledge on new rock music as Guy puts a collection together, it is really great to be involved because you know the album will be heard by genuine enthusiasts. My track – Hold On – is the first single from the next studio album to be released later this year.”
One of the most fun bands out there that lives the free-spirit of rock n roll for a new age. prolific song writers, electrifying live and a great sense of humour too. 'Devil's Lullaby' is from the forthcoming album for a band that have twice been voted Band of the Month already this year. Adam Rigg from the band says: "Great Music Stories' Modern Rock Vol 3 is an amazingly exciting project to be part of. A who's-who of modern rock bands and not just that but the very best tracks they have to offer. It's always great to be able to be part of a musical community and this collection of songs is a brilliant way to do just that. As an artist in a challenging industry this is an effective way of reaching new ears with good taste. If you're having a Bad Day listen to Modern Rock Vol 3!"
The way a song can grow in stature out of nowhere and unannounced can be a magical thing. I returned from having a radio break to do our 'Rockshow For Freedom' to support the people of Ukraine. One show became four full evenings as more than 60 bands joined to share a message of hope, love and support for Freedom. Craig from Machines Dream did one of the benchmark interviews of this run of shows, and their 11-minute opus 'The Standing Field' became the song of the season. Initially one spin was brave for such a long song but it's become more an event than a song. An automatic choice for the finale of Modern Rock Vol 3, given the world events that the collection references. To some, Prog is often seen to be historic but in troubled times it often takes you to the places other rock cannot reach. In spirit, conscience and message - starkly modern rock.
Our Band of the Year through 2022, and recently awarded May 'Album of the Month' - Amongst Liars are another band with a breath-taking debut album. The six-minute closer 'Without Grace' got speedy-boarding straight into to the Friday show - and folks, this is what heavy rock is all about in the year 2022. Ian from the band comments: "It was a no-brainer getting involved with the Great Music Stories Modern Rock 3 album, as we as a band make a point of writing and caring about things going on in the world that affect people. The song of ours featured on the album is called Without Grace and is the end track from our debut album, which is released on 8th July 2022. We actually recorded Without Grace a year before the war in Ukraine started - it was written about the hypocrisy, needlessness and horror of war in today’s world, which resonates so much to this current situation. It is so heart-breaking to see so many innocent people dying and suffering and we really hope and pray for resolution and that there will be peace soon."
Bea has been a revelation for us during our two-year run through the length of lockdown and social restrictions. A big part of our 'Women in Rock' showcase and our 'Mental Health & Wellbeing' series, Bea Burridge fuses so many exciting influences in her music but her sound, her image and her ethos is exciting and modern. There is still some way to go to have full gender equality in rock when it comes to who's on stage at festivals - but Burridge is an artist that is helping to re-define what new and modern can be for rising rock and indie artists.
A song too long for radio? Well, it wasn't for us - and I would rate it as one of the best radio songs of the last year or so. At 8-minutes, it's one of the songs that helps explain why there's only 16 tracks on Modern Rock Vol 3. But it's a song you just can't edit, if you do you kill the song. For those DJs out there still playing to the three-minute rule, this is an example of what you are missing! Looking back, the oversight of Volume 2 was not including this song, so it was the first in for Volume 3 and it is placed where it is in the running order to deliver a seismic change of mood; a moment of widescreen reflection. Another song that has gained renewed resonance through the era of Covid and now the war in Ukraine.
A band we interviewed some time ago, but discovered them properly at Wildfire Festival in 2021. Never easy opening a festival but they were still front-of-mind by the end of that weekend. In the months that followed, we revisited the archive and many songs featured on the Friday rock show. 'Dreams of You' captures well the essence of what makes this band fresh and interesting; a young band pushing boundaries and wanting to play modern guitar music for a new generation of young fans.
What can I say about Lynne, she's become part of the DNA of Great Music Stories and few artists have gone further back with us that Lynne Jackaman. She has one of the defining voices of her generation, a voice that makes a nonsense of genre or label. She can rock, and she has done so with the best of them, and she can do pop, soul - heck she could sing the phone book and she'd make it sound sublime. 'On My Own Stage' and 'Sooner Or Later' are the signature Lynne songs from the Friday show stretching back for years, but 'I'll Allow You' shows how can rock-can-do-soul-can-do-anything. Genres sometimes imprison rather than liberate. Good songs are good songs and this track reminds us of that.
Tarraska The debut album bagged 'Album of the Month' for June 2022 and the ballad 'Prose' underlines how important a good ballad is in showcasing talent. The band comments: “We are delighted to have our third single ‘Prose’ included on Modern Rock Volume 3 for two reasons; it will get our music in front of a whole new audience which, as a relatively young band is really important. Also it vindicates the choices we made when writing this song and releasing it as a single and it encourages us to continue to create and evolve. GuyB’s project also comes at a particularly important time for us as a band, as we are preparing to release our debut full album ‘Tarraska’ out June 17th of which this song ‘Prose’ is an integral part and preceding that on June 16th we will be performing the album in its entirety and giving ‘Prose’ its first ever outing as a four-piece full rock band, instead of its two acoustic guitar live roots.”
Thirteen Stars Another long song - and it's as long as it needs to be. 'Only A Soldier' is now the longest running song on the Friday rockshow. Premiered a year before official release in 2018 and for five calendar years it has closed around 95% of Friday shows. From our former 'Album of the Year' this Hoss Thompson-penned Thirteen Stars opus had to be on Modern Rock Vol 3 and given the world context, we dedicate it to people around the world fighting for their freedom.
A dear friend to Great Music Stories, Sari's 'Ordinary Life' allows us to close this collection with a tender song on the human spirit to endure through tough times. Sari has shared many insightful interviews with us through the two-year lockdown era, her music has commented on the big issues of the day, but with Sari there is always hope on the better world we can build together. A fitting song to finish Modern Rock Vol 3.