This week we sent the end-of-year edition of Classic Rock to the printers. This is the issue in which we traditionally look back at the previous 11 months and choose the best of everything: albums, tracks, books, live shows, all sorts. If we were to display the same degree of forensic rigour to the last week, looking for the next new rock tracks, we might come up with this lot. Ooh, we already did.
Last Giant - Donner Blitz At certain points Donner Blitz does sound like two different songs are playing at once, but we at CR Towers are nothing if not open-minded, as well as easily bemused and slightly deaf. So here are Portland’s Last Giant. We didn’t actually know that giants were on the endangered species list but we’d like to make sure that this particular one, with its quirky, perky post-punk rock’n’roll swagger, lives to a ripe old age.
Feral Ohms - Super Ape This monstrous version of the Pink Faries’ tune features Ethan Miller of Howlin’ Rain, Chris Johnson of Drunk Horse, and Josh Haynes of Nudity. If there was a Venn diagram of this song, the intersection would come at the point where the punk circle, the sludge circle and the psyche circle collide in an enormous shower of sparks.
Dirty Thrills - No Resolve Gene Simmons says Rock Is Dead, but this feisty crew of London whippersnappers are willing to take on the God of Thunder. “Dirty Thrills are the miracle proving there’s life after death”, they say. “For those who fear that the genre has been consigned to a place relevant only in history books and old scriptures, Dirty Thrills are the prophets of modernization, mixing old school style with electric flair.” Yikes! Watch out Gene! No Resolve is a fat, bluesy bundle of rock ‘n’ roll, and it does sound very much alive.
Houndmouth - For No One
This song contains our favourite lyric of the week, namely, “Go and take the millions, take the derby hats, and stick ‘em up your ass”, which we take to be searing indictment of the current state of wealth distribution, but we could be wrong: after all, we’re wrong every other week. Either way, For No One is a rather sparse acoustic thing and a very lovely song, although you may be surprised by the ending.
Sons Of Bill - Big Unknown We don’t know who Bill was, but by if his Sons’ music is anything to go buy, he must have been an absolute sweetheart. Part acoustic Americana, part rootsy classic rock, several parts lush arrangements… This beautiful nugget from Charlottesville, Virginia, is the stuff of soothing, simmering-down Friday evenings – less good if you’re in the mood for getting off your tits at a massive rave. Or similar. Anyhoo, it’s probably the sweetest thing we’ve heard all week (without being sickly). Give it a spin and enjoy ensuing feelings of warm, fuzzy benevolence.
Kampchatka - Ain’t Fallin Kampchatka are named after the most mysterious place in the world, a remote Russian peninsular home to volcanoes, ferocious-looking brown bears, and an extremely violent prison population. All these things combine in the sound of Kampchatka, the band, who are actually from Sweden.
Purple - Thirteen If rock’n’roll is partly about in-your-face attitude and thumping great riffs, then Purple deserve to heard heard by every rock’n’roll lover. This video looks like it was shot in about the time it took to play the song back, and you won’t see a more energetic performance this side of a children’s party where all the kids have drunk too much soda and eaten too much cake and are jacked up on sugar and chemical additives.
Faith No More - Motherfucker What can we say about Faith No More apart from the fact that they’re back? Not much, as it happens, apart from the fact that their first song in 17 years is sweary great beast that starts with a sinister heartbeat, continues with some guitar string scratching, advances with some military snare, and reminds us a bit of the Bloodhound Gang when it all gets properly started. Despite this, we’re delighted they’re back.