The long Easter weekend is upon us, and with it we bring rich gifts of brand new rock goodies. Expect Southern rockers, psychedelic dudes, and the spiritual godmothers of Babymetal. Yeah, really. You don’t wanna miss that…
The Cadillac Three – Graffiti
The Southernest of the Southern have set aside the whiskey n’ women for a minute and unleashed their Springsteen side – with a sweet, stadium-hitting shot of Kings Of Leon for good measure. Written by drummer Neil Mason, it’s a heartwarming, starry-eyed ode to small town hopes and heroes (“our names in graffiti”: quite literally in this new video, in which the band follow a masked street artiste along London’s South Bank, Brick Lane and Shoreditch). Laaavely.
Brian Fallon – Painkillers
Another one with a clear nod to The Boss. The gorgeous title track from the Gaslight Anthem frontman’s solo debut now comes with a hard-hitting video – full of gritty punch-ups, creepy villains and strained relationships. All bound together by Brian’s yearning, acoustically-rooted tunesmithery. Heartache seldom sounded this pretty.
WAKRAT – Knucklehead
More in the mood for something ragey? Try this. The juddering new one from Rage Against The Machine bassist (and former Audioslave member) Tim Commerford comes with plenty of sharp, RATM fury to boot – and a nicely disorientating video. “Gimme the gun fuck the knife, I’m alright”, they sing, in the furious manner of people who probably aren’t alright. Nice.
Shonen Knife – Jump Into The New World
Still possessed of oriental palates appealingly ill-suited to accurate occidental pronunciation and a truly saccharine-sweet hyper-cuteness, the Kurt Cobain-approved spiritual godmothers of Babymetal return in typically exuberant, undeniably catchy, garage-pop style. If this doesn’t make you smile, you might as well be dead.
Undergrunnen! – Ørkesløs Fryd
They’ve been touted as Norway’s answer to The Hives (partly because they wear suits, and have slightly mad garage pop side), but there’s at least as much of a frenetic, late 60s trippiness going on in this Hendrix-tinged whirlwind. A deliciously heady, chaotic blast.
Blaak Heat – Sword Of Hakim
Time for some psych-stoner rock, courtesy of American-Parisian tripsters Blaak Heat. Drifty, directionless fuzziness, however, this is not – blending heavy Eastern mystique with Stateside desert rock oomph. Cool stuff.
Highly Suspect – Bloodfeather
They joined Black Stone Cherry, Halestorm and Shinedown as the smaller fry at this year’s Carnival Of Madness tour. Now, Highly Suspect are stamping down their identity with this commanding new single. There’s a distinct whiff of Tarantino-meets-(horror-western) Bone Tomahawk in the accompanying video (good an’ bloody, albeit not as cannibal-heavy as the latter), which adds a certain cinematic authority to this sharp, fuzzy slice of hard rock.
Andy Shauf – The Magician
And now for something a little softer. He’s been signed to Tom Wait’s label, and now Andy Shauf has teamed a video collage of trippy character (it includes cut-outs of giant mushrooms, pineapples and a 50s lady with ice cream on her head) with brooding, beautifully textured pop – nodding to the late 60s/early 70s likes of Big Star, as well as the singer-songwriter substance of Elliott Smith.