We’re currently counting down the best tracks of the year, right until the point we reach the number one position. We’ll stop there, because there’ll be nowhere else to go. One rule: only one track is featured per artist. Today, we dissect numbers 50-41.
50: The Rockit King – Alls You Got
From pretty well out of nowhere, these sparky Michigan rock’n’rollers’ third LP dropped onto our desks this year. Thank god it did, because it’s fabulous – this charismatic opener especially.
49: Devin Townsend Project – Rejoice
When Devin Townsend isn’t farting around with alien puppets, he writes some pretty bloody cool rock songs. This one especially, from 2015’s Z2 double album, is a powerful, original blend of heavy and new-agey sensibilities.
48: Gentlemans Pistols – The Searcher
With members of (hardcore Northerners) Voorhees and Carcass in their number, it’s surprising what a melodious, 70s-ish brand of rock’n’roll these guys make. Shut your eyes and it’s like the heydays of The Who and The Sweet never ended.
47: Nordic Giants – Rapture
The enigmatic Brighton-based avant-rock duo’s first full-length album A Seance of Dark Delusions hinges on this stormy prog-folk epic, a panoramic audioscape of soaring peaks, steep gradients and ethereal female vocals
46: W.A.S.P – Scream
Crucifixes, skulls, fire, graveyards, BLEEDING skulls, more fire… Overkill for anyone else, totally justified for this crunchy, 80s LA metal knees-up.
45: Tax The Heat – Highway Home
Sharp suits and even sharper tuneage come on tap with these Bristolians. This single blends slick rhythm n’ blues with hooky hard rock to modern, more-ish effect.
44: Saxon – Queen Of Hearts
A monumental slice of Saxon style metal, with the pace varying from a full-on blaze to a more sedentary stride. It’s all held together by the trademark Biff vocals.
43: Eagles Of Death Metal – _Complexity _
Pre-Paris, the Eagles’ goofy good-times abandon was exemplified by this opener from Zipper Down, which rides on squelchy fuzz-bass, Great Balls Of Fire piano and Gregorian monk chants.
42: The Pretty Things – Dirty Song
The Rn’B greats of early-60s Britain prove they’ve still got it. Phil May and co sound as hypnotic as ever on this smoky, downbeat highlight from their 2015 LP.
41: David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock
The Endless River out of the way, it became clear where the Pink Floyd guitarist’s passion really lay. The excellent title track bears Gilmour’s inimitable axe tone, woven into a smooth, sophisticated piece of tuneage.