Staff Playlists: Mainstream Rock Radio

Staff Playlists is a music feature that allows our contributors to curate a playlist of their choosing. Up this week is music contributor Blake Michelle

In video game criticism there is this rather silly theory known as the “Batman Singularity.” It proposes that any main character in an action-adventure game (THIEF, WATCH DOGS, etc.) becomes closer and closer to just straight up being Batman, from the gadgets to the costume to the backstory to the morality. I feel like such a thing must also exist in modern rock music, where every rock band is trying to shave off anything unique about their sound in order to appeal to a beer-swigging, chest-thumping, football-worshipping male demographic.

As a result, mainstream hard rock and heavy metal has become an incredibly derivative and interchangeable listening experience full of overdependence on distorted riffs and face-palm worthy lyrics that try to sound macho and bad-ass. The Billboard Mainstream Rock charts have therefore become more of an indicator of what is being used for WWE promos and themes of sports teams then it is an indicator of any matter of quality.

However, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s bad. As such, I bring you a playlist of songs that have had success on the Mainstream Rock Charts over the past six years, with some of them even topping the charts, that, in my incredibly biased opinion, are good. Each of these tracks bring something to the table that deserves your attention, whether it be cinematic electronics, metal rockabilly, or haunting atmosphere, and don’t deserve to be written off as having been written specifically to be in the soundtrack for the next MADDEN.


Unqualified, unfiltered, unbiased, but not uninspired reviewer of whatever these people tell me to review.

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