We’ve found a bunch of particularly lively new stuff for this week’s Tracks Of The Week battle, and we hope you’ll come and enjoy their company over the next seven days. They are listed below, listed in no particular order. And why is that? That’s because we’ll leave the rankings to you, dear rocker. So don’t forget to choose a favorite, and vote at the bottom of the page.
But first, our heartfelt congratulations to Heat, whose Hollywood single triumphed in last week’s battle for rock gold. Finalists were Monster Truck golden woman (opens in a new tab) and Black Star Riders Better than Saturday night (opens in a new tab), although they are all winners in our eyes. Apart from the losers, of course.
Whiskey Myers – The Wolf
ZZ Top fans take note: there’s a new little old band from Texas in town. The Whiskey Myers are cut from a new kind of southern fabric, though you can hear the desert sand and the spit and saw guitars of Gibbons and co. The wolfspliced with big horns – a driving ingredient of the upcoming new album Tornillo, initiated after meeting a visiting mariachi band. A grizzled but rich and moving thread of battle scars, blue-collar trials and intentions not to fuck me.
Porcupine – Return of the Rats
Perhaps the hardest moment of Porcupine Tree’s surprise return (Closing / Continuationout this week), The return of the rats comes with the kind of creeping menace, jagged edges and heavy guitar chops reminiscent of the 2002s In absentia registration. “Rats are politicians who express an interest in the public but, ultimately, only want to run away,” says Steven Wilson in an interview with NME. “Having lived through Brexit, Trump and Boris Johnson, it was not hard to be depressed by what is happening in the world.”
Clutch – We strive for excellence
Need a little groove in your life? Maryland’s beloved purveyors of the fattest, hairiest grooves north of Tennessee are here to help. Huge, generously bearded and generously doused with Jack Daniels, We aim for excellence will put hair on your chest and deepen your voice to the gravelly beefy levels of Neil Fallon. fallon says:We aim for excellence looks back fondly on the summers of his childhood filled with big plans gone wrong, inexplicable bruises, unhealed wounds and, of course, the timeless wisdom of Evel Knievel. And that’s right. Evel Knievel was, after all, renowned for his wisdom.
Starcrawler – She said
“She says was one of the first songs written for this album”, explains singer Arrow De Wilde, of this vaporous punk mix of power-pop, indie rock and grunge flavors. “It was at the start of the pandemic and Henri came to my window and played me the demo, and we wrote the lyrics together like Romeo and Juliet. That’s what really started the writing process for this album, and it was such a powerful moment that we wanted to name the record after this song.” The album of the same name will be released in September.
Datura4 – Back to Hoonsville
Datura4 hunt down a darker, dirtier kind of psychedelic boogie than their Western Australian cool mates (Tame Impala, Pond..), and their latest single blends Jim Jones-esque villainy into a hypnotic, mind-blowing shuffle – featuring Aussie bluesman/slide guitar star David Hole. The dirty guitar tone and feedback create cool sonic chaos in the song,” frontman Dom Mariani said. “I felt like Link Wray was looking down from above when I was recording it.” Excerpt from the brilliantly titled Neanderthal Jamwhich comes out in August.
Tim Bowness – Only A Fool
Possessing one of those eerie, dreamy voices that sound like they’ve come from another galaxy – even when singing deeply human things – Tim Bowness has a knack for twisting just when you think you’ve got it. Written and produced by Tim and Brian Hulse (of Tim’s 80s indie band Plenty), Only a fool is a thrilling, rhythmic marriage of post-punk urgency and burgeoning electronic landscapes. You could say it’s like hearing Black Star-era Bowie at a club with Anathema, but Bowness’ voice is so unique (and, therefore, a little Marmite-y) that he never sounds much like anyone else.
Cruel Intentions – Venomous Anonymous
The title track from the second album by Swedish/Norwegian rock ‘n’ rollers The Cruel Intentions, Venomous Anonymous has a real Sunset Strip swagger, with all the buoyancy and swagger of the early Bon Jovi but with some extra muscle. You might remember singer Lizzy DeVine of sleaze rockers Vains of Jenna, who moved to California in the mid-2000s, where they toured with Poison and ended up signed to a label run by Donkey starring Bam Margera. But back to the song: “There’s a party inside tonight,” the chorus goes, “nanana na na na nanana na na na yeah.” And so to speak all of us.
Måneskin – If I can dream
Taken from the soundtrack to Bazz Luhrmann’s new film Elvis, Måneskin’s cover of Presley’s 1968 classic is, frankly, stunning. The original was one of The King’s greatest performances, a tour de force triumph with full orchestra and choir gradually ending in an exultant and emotional climax. Måneskin’s version is the opposite, with the instrumental backing stripped back to the essentials, but Damiano David’s vocal strength is such that the band’s cover retains all the dramatic impact of the original. Goose bumps.