This concert is a tribute to the bands and sounds of the 70s and the 80s. Contemporary rock bands of Singapore paying their respects to the decades that brought forth not only legendary bands but of also sub-genres of heavy/hard rock and heavy metal.

The title “ROCK ON” is appropriate for this tribute concert. Rock, in the Singapore context, or at least in the context of Singapore “Mat Rock” culture, has always been about distortion guitar-based music. This tradition of Rock is ongoing both worldwide and locally with the emergence of new bands and newer forms of heavy distortion guitar-based music. This is reflected in the line-up of bands performing at this event, which ranges from traditional hard rock to metalcore.

One may ask, “ What has modern chugga-chugga metal and rapcore has to do with 70s and 80s rock? “. Well, the truth is A LOT. The heavy chugging rhythms of Pantera, Machine Head and Sepultura  as well as today’s metalcore bands has its roots in BLACK SABBATH( just listen to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Into The Void ). The low-end detuned guitar style also originated from the 70s. BLACK SABBATH, again, was guilty of that.

You hate NU-METAL and the mixing of rock and rap? You consider that “a bastardization of heavy rock/metal”? You consider that “a diluted form of hard rock”?

Well, blame LED ZEPPELIN then. ‘Immigrant Song’ was a prototype Nu-Metal song, with its chugging riffs and jump-beats and this was way back in the 70s.  And what do we have in the 80s? AEROSMITH shamelessly laying down the foundations for rap-rock with rap group RUN DMC with the song ‘Walk This Way’. And yes, don’t forget ANTHRAX with PUBLIC ENEMY….”I’m the Man” anyone?

The point above is not about defending Nu-Metal and other forms of modern rock. Neither is it about shifting the blame for today’s mutants to yesterday’s heroes. It is about trying to show the connection between present and past heavy-guitar music forms. There is no present without the past. There would be no Hammerfall without Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or Helloween. There would be no Dream Theater without Deep Purple. There would be no Dimmu Borgir wihout Kiss. There would be no Tom Morello, Head and Munky without Jimmy Page and Steve Vai. In short, consciously or otherwise, present genres of rock were created by the legends of the past.

And I am not forgetting “Mat Rock” bands of the 70s and 80s era. No braders and sisters, Brader Rock is not a Western-centric rocker ah. But there is a quota to what I can write, so next time we do a feature on the Mat Rock bands, ok?!


by Brader Rock