Every month in Classic Rock our High Hopes feature focusses on new bands we believe have the capability of going on to achieve big and bold things. In the past, we’ve featured Black Stone Cherry, Rival Sons, Airbourne, Cadillac 3, Halestorm, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Royal Blood and many more.
And in 2018? There’s a healthy number of fresh faces to get excited about this year. Here are just a few we’ll be watching out for…
Continuing to prove that southern rock sells in large quantities on both sides of the Atlantic – and that it’s way more than some novel cowboy-yokel niche – these Nashville gents thrilled London’s Forum when they supported their pals The Cadillac Three in November. Listen to single It Ain’t My Fault for a taste and you’ll see why – it’s fantastically likeable.
This year Brothers Osborne return under their own steam. Their new album is scheduled for release in the spring via Snakefarm Records, and they undertake a headline UK tour in May. “The UK has become one of our favourite places to play,” enthuses John Osborne. “We’re thrilled to be doing our first ever headline tour there in May. Can’t wait!”
Recently signed to Spinefarm/Universal, these British hard rockers release their debut album, Ain’t Always Easy, on March 2. Purveyors of the kind of riffy hard rock that worked so well for the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Stone Broken just might be one of the current crop of homegrown talent that make major progress in the coming year.
In February/March they tour the UK and Europe as headliners, joined by special guests Jared James Nichols and Bad Flowers.
They’re sparky, spiky and disgustingly young, and just to rub it in they’ve got the chops to back it all up. We enjoyed 2017 singles Ants, Let Her Be and I Love LA – not to mention the band’s blood-spattered live shows in London, spearheaded by gurning beanpole singer Arrow De Wilde (described, aptly, by Classic Rock’s Dave Everley as “what would have happened if Ozzy Osbourne and Patti Smith had got together sometime in 1975 and had a kid”).
Now the LA punkoid rockers’ self-titled debut album is set for release on January 19 via Rough Trade Records. Also, keep an eye out for details of gigs, at which there will likely be more blood-spattering and straitjacket antics.
Professor And The Madman
This was a pleasant surprise when it cropped up in our inbox. Professor And The Madman are a new band but the members are industry veterans: Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Rat Scabies (The Damned) and Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & The Hot Rods, UFO). So they’re a total punk band, peddling an aged, possibly low-rent brand of the music they made their names with, right?
Wrong. New album Disintegrate Me, due for release on February 23 via Fullertone Records, is an infectious cocktail of power-pop/rock, 60s British Invasion and melodic psychedelia. It’s rich, quality stuff. The band released two largely overlooked indie albums in 2016, but 2018 looks set to be the year they break into the rock sphere. Or they certainly deserve to, anyway. Here’s hoping they come over here for some gigs.
- Stone Broken – "There are worse people to be compared to than Nickelback"
- Our TeamRock+ offer just got bigger. And louder.
- Introducing The Brothers Osborne: "Rock’n’roll is about attitude"
- Leeds noisescapers Koyo on blending sax, drugs and angry cows
This young British progressive quintet created new, incendiary ground between Pink Floyd and Radiohead (plus moody touches of Opeth and My Bloody Valentine for good measure) with their self-titled debut in 2017. This year they’re taking their formula to the masses in a major way, starting the new year with an appearance at January’s Rockaway Festival.
New single Jettisoned is due out in March, while in May they release the album Live At RAK Studios, available as limited-edition vinyl, CD and download. KOYO follow that with UK dates and summer festival appearances, after which they head to the US and Japan to tour in October. Oh, and they begin recording their second album as well.