We’re currently counting down the best tracks of the year, right until the point where 2015 expires in a pool of booze and recrimination. One rule: only one track is featured per artist. Today, we examine numbers 80-71.
80: Europe – _War Of Kings _
This is a slow burning, heavy tune that reflects the modern Europe approach. The melody is still clear sighted, but the build up is moody and sparse.
79: FFS – Police Encounters
A witty tale of seduction involving a Harlem cop’s missus, this was one of the sparkling, staccato highlights of the Sparks-Franz summit meeting that was FFS.
78: Bryan Adams – You Belong To Me
Fifties rockabilly met timeless sentiment on this breakneck travelogue, which found a heartfelt Adams hopping night-trains and boarding aeroplanes to reach his lady. It takes a special songwriter to make it all sound so effortless.
77: Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind - _Boil Yer Blood _
The demise of The Jim Jones Revue was soothed by the title track of his new band’s debut EP: a ragged stomp that sounded like the members being rolled down a hill in a dustbin. Consider our blood boiled.
76: Imperial State Electric – Maybe You’re Right
Led by The Hellacopters frontman Nicke Andersson, this sounds like 60s pop being played by an early 00s guitar band. Two lovely minutes of head-bobbing happiness.
75. Muse – Psycho
Muse announced their darkest and heaviest album to date, Drones, with this dirty great beast of a single – a glam-rocking monster-truck boogie complete with apocalyptic lyrics about doomed love and mass brainwashing. Party time!
74: Eureka Machines – Human
Frantic foot-on-the-monitors power punk with some awesome Beach Boys-esque harmonies and at least one gratuitous key change. There’s no-one in British rock who sounds quite like this strangely underrated Leeds band.
73: A Thousand Horses – Smoke
A big, sweet, Southern rock hug of whisky-soaked longing, soulful backing vocals and the kind of hats Lynyrd Skynyrd would approve of.
72: Therapy? – Deathstimate Disquiet
Conceived by Andy Cairns as Therapy?’s take on Portishead covering Sabbath, this haunting, affecting reflection upon mortality closes out the Northern Irish trio’s finest album since Troublegum with the doomiest riff of 2015.
71: The Yawpers - American Man (Spotify link)
Behind that faux-patriotic title lay a song of festering resentment, with Nate Cook taking down his hicksville Texas hometown. “It’s about patriotism,” said the frontman of this wistful country rocker, “to the point of psychosis.”