This week: featuring bands from both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Plus Finland. And Sweden. And elsewhere.
Black Stone Cherry - White Trash Millionaire
Head-nodding, hooky highlight from the Kentucky rockers’ first live DVD – filmed in sunny Birmingham. Flashing lights, smoke jets and a huuuge singing-along crowd all contribute to a buzzy, big-scale vibe – reflective of just how far they’ve come, in terms of popularity this side of the pond.
Casablanca - Closer
Casablanca’s new album (a concept, apparently) features all sorts of strange creatures, including The Phantom, Sister Sundown and The Death Organ, which all sounds frankly terrifying, but Closer is a fairly joyous, old-fashioned rock romp that belies its sinister subject matter.
Ugly Kid Joe - Hell Aint Hard To Find
Like a grungier version of Frosting On The Beater-era Posies, this is Whitfield Crane & The Gang’s first new track off a studio album in 19 years, and very good it is, too. Crane says the song “tells a story of what’s right outside your door,” which in our case is one of London’s busiest thoroughfares and a pub none of us like very much.
Michael Monroe - Old Kent Road
Old Kent Road may be the title, but Brighton was the location for the video for this feisty, fizzing number. Monroe (like all of us) isn’t as young as he used to be, but OKR is imbued with youthful joie de vivre throughout. Rock’n’roll as it should be, with a lascivious riff and tight leather pants.
Kitten Pyramid - High Five Scuba Dive
Burton on Trent’s finest (and weirdest) return with an oddball symphony of strings, avant-pop and prog strains. With a video that starts and ends with a chicken, it’s by turns cute, strange and sad – and weirdly poetic, in its own experimental way.
Lucero - I’m In Love With A Girl
Fact: Big Star’s I’m In Love With A Girl is one of the greatest songs ever written about anything, let alone love. And while Lucero may have replaced the original’s aching poignancy with something a little more rigid, the song is simply too good to ignore. And besides, Big Star’s Jody Stevens features on the recording, so it’s been officially sanctioned.
Monster Magnet - Watch Me Fade
“Watch Me Fade features one of my favourite musical combinations,” says Monster Man Dave Wyndorf. “Heavy, old school organ and fuzz guitar. When I hear that sound I want to sing like some mad preacher.” Now there’s a church we’d like to attend. Teach the gospel and pass the communion wine, please.
TesseracT - Survival
With their usual tide of bombastic djent mastery seeming to be held back in favour of something more deliberate and hooky, Survival soundtracks a man on the run from some sort of evil dystopian empire - but who’d have thunk Derbyshire would be the backdrop to this Escape From New York-style thriller? Epic stuff.