And while we’re on the subject of Lenny’s leathers, let’s start with…
Well Hung Heart - Throw It All Away A thumping hunk o’ blues rock from the Orange County trio. Throw It All Away has been prised away from the band’s forthcoming, self-titled EP for your aural benefit, and it’s a quite joyous racket to behold. We’re particularly fond of the preposterous riff at at the two minute mark.
Cats In Space - Mr Heartache This is a very stylish specimen of AOR, with keyboards that wobble and choruses that soar and voices that harmonise like E.L.O. meets REO Speedwagon round at 10CC’s house. It’s made by people who’ve played with everyone from Asia to Ian Gillan to Mike Oldfield and The Sweet (original Sweet guitarist Andy Scott is on board), so they clearly know what they’re doing. And what a great name! They’ll probably have amazing t-shirts. Everybody now: CATS… IN… SPAAAAAAACE!
Venrez - Children Of The Drones Soon to go on tour with Michael Schenker, Venrez (fronted by a guy called Ven… really) come bearing hard alt rock of a beefy, slightly pensive nature. Brandish forth your air guitars and your finest brooding expressions.
City and Colour - Wasted Love City and Colour (aka singy songwriter Dallas Green) has upped the ante and gone slightly Rival Sons-y for this first single from upcoming LP If I Should Go Before You. Richer, bluesier, grittier, and (we think) better than his largely softer earlier efforts, it’s a soulful, sophisticated piece of rock.
Blackmore’s Night - Moonlight Shadow From Speed King to Mead King, legendary Purple ace Ritchie Blackmore fires up an electric lute and welds a pile of coconut-tapping medieval riddims to the Mike Oldfield hit in prep for new album All Our Yesterdays. It may not have the hard-rock punch of Rainbow - which Blackmore may reprise next year - but after a goblet or two of our home-made Marrow Moonshine it’s very much a hey nonny yes from us.
TesseracT - Messenger Our favourite geometrically named progressive metallers return with new album Polaris in September – from which this number’s taken. They were associated with the whole ‘djent’ thing in the 00s (that metal sub-genre that seemed to be everywhere for a while, theoretically onomatopoeic for the guitar sound of similarly ‘djent’y bands like Meshuggah, though one guy said the sound was more of a ‘quackquack’… anyhoo, we digress, it was a daft name) but have very much carved their own intelligent, atmospheric brand of heavy.
Blurred Vision - All I Wanted We met the man from Blurred Vision in the pub the other night, and once he’d figured out who we were he promised to send us their new song when it was ready, and here it literally is. All I Wanted is a lightly psychedelic morsel of power pop that sounds a bit like Cheap Trick, although it’s not throwaway stuff: “It’s a reminder of how precious our here and now is,” say the band, “and why we want to relish in the positive times that life presents and shed the negativity where it clings”. And so say all of us.
Demob Happy - Wash It Down Demon Happy describe the deranged visuals that accompany this video as being akin to “some cosmic lizard wizards brewing up Dream Soda syrup as the televisual sex machine sedates our frontal lobes”, and that sounds perfectly reasonable to us. The song itself starts of with new-wavey bass before stuttering into quiet-load Nirvana territory with more than a hint of Smells Like Teen Spirit. In fact, it kinda sounds like all the greatest hits of grunge played at once, but in way that’s less confusing than we’ve just made it sound.