Rock Done Right: An Arkells Primer

Whenever I’m listening to new or unfamiliar music I always look for something different or unique or original in it, because what’s the point of listening to something that sounds like dozens or even hundreds of other artists? But innovation obviously isn’t the only thing that makes an artist stand out.

There are bands that don’t really break much new ground at all, but they’re just so damn good at what they do that they’re impossible to ignore. That’s the Arkells. They sound like a hundred other bands, but 99 of those other bands wish they could sound as good as the Arkells.

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This is a band distinguished by good songwriting, great vocals and solid Rock sensibilities. Having first hit the scene in 2008, the Arkells have consistently distilled the best elements of 20th Century Rock into new bottles without a whiff of nostalgia or imitation. With all the different styles of music that can fall under the Rock umbrella, the Arkells deliver the real thing, pure unadulterated Rock.


Oh, The Boss Is Coming (2008)

Take their first and still maybe my favorite hit, ‘Oh the Boss Is Coming!”. Right off the top you can see why lead singer Max Kerman is considered one of the best in the business. Shouting out the title line cold before the band kicks in is such a Seventies Rock trope, but you’ve got to have the pipes to make it convincing and Kerman sure as hell does.


Leather Jacket (2014)

There’s a thousand indie bands that have made songs that sound like this, but not many can deliver a hooky chorus that sticks like this one does.


Private School (2016)

The band is good enough to know you can’t keep mining the same ground over and over again, and so have adopted some modern sounds without losing their old-fashioned Rock edge, in this case their delicious, cynical edge.


Knocking At The Door (2017)

Their latest single brings a horn section in, making their big sound even bigger. Kerman shows off his vocal gifts from real nice melody to some metal-gauge ripping. These are hella good Rockers that all Rock fans should know about.

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