Rock is dead. Nonetheless, in its day it was a mighty beast and its corpse shambles on, its nervous system shattered into microscopic sub-genres, it’s money-making/shaking bits decomposed into penniless streaming. In its prime, like Steve Smith, rock permeated everything everywhere, so even though it’s heart is stilled (sorry Huey), the extremities still twitch and sometimes send us jolts of something innovative or at least interesting.

Enter Volbeat, from Denmark. Led by Michael Paulsen, with Rob Caggiano of Anthrax adding some shred, they are one of the very few straight(ish) rock and roll bands producing new music and touring, typically attached to the larger metal tours because what else is there besides metal and lame-o nostalgia?

Mix basic blues rock, power-metal twin guitar and lyrics, Social Distortion, Elvis, boogie woogie, emo, shake randomly and strain through a European that loves Americana. Michael Poulssen’s singing is kind of cliched and range limited, but you can really feel his emotions through the lyrics; gangsters, gunslingers, mols and greasers. They do fun covers too!

I picked 5 songs and queued them to the more awesome parts to keep it snappy, but they don’t dawdle much and jump right to it, give each one minute? It’s not weighty, it’s fun and original, it’s rock and roll!

Leviathan (because Sea Smith rock)

Fallen (for his departed dad, who was a big fan of the band, good man)

Sorry Sack of Bones (for the boogie and for giving me the rock & roll zombie imagery)

Dead but Rising (moar metal!)

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (because Hank Williams)