Cats in Space - Only In Vegas
With ELO back on the rails and more popular than ever, it was only a matter of time before other bands started to clamber aboard the newly refurbished Pop Rock Express. Cats In Space are busy shovelling coal into the firebox with Only In Vegas, a song featuring ELO/Steely Dan levels of smoothness, polished to a gleaming sheen, with harmonies and pristine guitars and whatnot.
Eric Clapton - Can’t Let You Do It
Slowhand/God is back with a slick three minutes and thirty four minutes of chugging acoustic blues. Recorded with legendary producer Glyn Johns — the two haven’t worked together since 1977 — it has the kind of timeless, graceful feel that only comes a performer with absolutely nothing left to prove.
Band Of Skulls - So Good
From blues rock roots grow pulsating, stylish new takes on rock’n’roll. Or they do if you’re Brit trio Band Of Skulls, releasing new single So Good – not so much a rock song as a magnificent disco of funked-up guitar and head-nodding beats. ‘So good’ indeed…
Manic Street Preachers - Together Stronger (C’mon Wales)
The Manics celebrate Wales’ long overdue return to the international football tournament stage with a punch-the-air-anthem that sounds like their greatest hits condensed in to four minutes while managing to name check the entire first team and shoehorning Gareth Hale into the hook. Tidy!
Tequila Mockingbyrd - I Smell Rock N Roll
Melbourne is the arts capital of Australia, and Tequila Mockingbyrd — known as Estelle “Big Hair” Artois, Jess “I-can-do-flips-n-shit” Rizzle, and Josie “Womble” O’Toole to their mothers — are its hard rocking’ queens. I Smell Rock N Roll (great title) was filmed on a troop-entertaining trip the band made to the Middle East last year, and is as as spiky as a crateful of angry kangaroos.
The Struts - Kiss This
Just as we began to wonder if the US had claimed them for good, The Struts announced a bunch of summer UK dates – and released a shiny new acoustic video for Kiss This. It’s got more of a mellow swagger than the plugged-in version, but that doesn’t stop it being super sparkly. Roll on July.
Goat - I Sing In Silence
“It was an intense experience where we could visualise our art,” say Henrik Nyblom and Christofer Högberg of Goat’s latest video. “It’s a short trip of the life spectre. Look close and you might find easter eggs.” We’re none the wiser after that, frankly, but it’s always a pleasure to hear from the genre-smooshing Swedes. Perhaps the finest Scandinavian afro-psyche freakout you’ll hear all week.
King Harvest & The Weight - Unstuck
Perhaps this a new paradigm in band naming, with King Harvest & The Weight being named after not one but two songs by The Band. Whatever next? Kashmir & The Crunge? Back In Black & The Jack? Either way, Unstuck finds us back at the top of this week’s selection, boarding the AOR train with a slice of rockin’ harmony tucked under our arm. It sits somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Hall & Oates, and we’ve started saving for a yacht.