“I think music in itself is healing,” said Billy Joel once. “It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” We agree with Billy, and we hope you’ll be touched by this week’s collection of hot new tunes.
The Chemistry Set – The Fountains Of Neptune
The brilliantly named Chemistry Set are gearing up for the release of new album The Endless More & More - released in January on the equally brilliant Fruits de Mer label’s Regal Crabomphone imprint — with this kaleidoscopic space epic, which marks the precise spot in the musical ether where Eastern mysticism meets neo-pysche meets driving riffery meets the 1960s. It’s quite a trip.
Jenn Vix and John Ashton - Woman With No Fear
A low budget affair vid-wise that makes you shout “Jenn, you might be ‘walking around at four in the morning’ and ‘have ‘no fear’ and but bloomin’ look where you’re going” as she mooches about in the dark by some sea and a few pillars looking the wrong way with her hat pulled over her eyes. Anyway, ignoring personal safety, Rhode Isand rocker Jenn’s sultry low tones suit this DIY grungey groover, pepped up by Psychedelic Fur axe fella John Ashton.
Workin’ Man Noise Unit - Yeah, I Was Hynotised
The first words on the Reading band’s website are ‘who are these arseholes?’. They clearly have a high opinion of themselves. Chins up, fellas - your no-nonsense, klangtastic, sweaty R’n’R is just the working class nihilistic drone we were looking for this weekend. Does what it says on the tin of din.
Amy Lee - Going To California
Mrs Evanescence follows her covers of U2’s With Or Without You and Portishead’s It’s A Fire with this faithful reproduction of the Led Zeppelin classic. While her breathy vocal might initially jar with those familiar with the Sandy Denny-fronted source material, it’s performed with such obvious affection for the original that we can’t help but be impressed.
Skunk Anansie - Love Someone Else
The first single to be lifted from upcoming sixth album Anarchytecture, Love Someone Else starts off like Garbage (the band, not the stuff that goes to the dump) and ends up at the disco. This is a mile away from their Britrock roots, but Skin’s vocals still thrill, and we’re promised that the album will be “brimming with punchy riffs”, so perhaps it’s a curveball rather than a fully-fledged identity crisis.
The Unchained – Tattoos And Cigarettes
Famous Underground singer Nick Walsh hooks up with fellow Canadians The Unchained, who describe themselves as “Toronto’s most interesting instrumental groove rock band.” The result is a song that isn’t nearly as glamorous or as sleazy as the title suggests, but is instead a big old prog-metal mess of juddering riffs, spiralling solos and deliciously complicated changes of rhythm.
Dream Theater – The Gift of Music
When the band unveiled this song on their Facebook page, responses ran the full gamut, from “Yes. Yes. YES!!! The old Dream Theater is BACK!” (Chris Inman) to “I have to say, I’m quite upset” (Corey McDonald) via all points in-between. We’re neither as delirious as Chris, nor as unhappy as Corey, but very much stuck in the middle. Like Stealers Wheel.
Chase The Day - Pariah
London alt-rockers Chase The Day describe Pariah as being made up of “swinging RATM style riffs and lush harmonies,” and indeed it is, with equal doses of crunch and chorus. The band’s album is Tabula Rasa, which is out this Friday, and the singer has a particularly lustrous beard.