As we stagger into the new year, blinking and fat, our resolutions already lapsed, at least we can rely on The Power Of Rock to clear the cobwebs and sharpen the synapses. 2015? It’s already looking good.
Marilyn Manson - Deep Six The self-styled ‘god of fuck’ returns – on flying form – with new LP The Pale Emperor in January, from which this menacingly sexy number is taken. The video spirals into something rather like the snake scene from Beetlejuice crossed with a giant hoover, but it’s still pretty badass. A reminder of the fist-thumpingly cool hard rock that ole’ Brian Warner is capable of.
Razer - The Things You Do
Razer come from Phoenix, Arizona, and describe themselves as sounding like “the swaggering spirit and musicality of 70’s/early 80’s hard rock fused with modern sonic horsepower”. These are clearly very ambitious claims, but The Things You Do is indeed such a beast, coming on like a sinister Dazed And Confused crossed with Alice in Chains crossed with something else very exciting we can’t think of. Watch this space, we very much suspect.
MOODOÏD - Heavy Metal Be Bop 2 Mental dreamy psych prog from France; the same land that brought you the croissant, the chocolate croissant, Gojira, Gerard Depardieu and a lot of very good fromage. Taken from Moodoid’s debut LP (Le Monde Moo), it’s a surprisingly infectious addition to the French cultural tapestry.
JJ Grey & Mofro - Santa Claus, True Love, & Freedom Yeah yeah, we know, Christmas has come and gone, but it’s always Christmas in our hearts, and this track is great, a glorious mish-mash of gospel, soul and blues rock stylings with some severely good singing. JJ is heading to London from Nashville in March to play the Academy (other European dates are available), and we suspect it’ll be a bit good.
SOTO - The Fall Jeff Scott Soto may well be the singer with the most cluttered curriculum vitae in all of rock, having performed frontman duties for the likes of Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Talisman, Tempest, Takara, Humanimal, Queen Extravaganza Human Clay, Kryst The Conqueror, Redlist, The Boogie Knight, Soul Sirkus and Steel Dragon to name but 14. Now, the singer lends his surname to this new project, ably assisted by the likes of Gus G and Joel Hoekstra.
Toundra - Oro Rojo Our brethren over at Prog mag have been onto this gang for a while, so let’s start 2015 with a big fat proggy bang, and a breathtaking instrumental from Spanish four-piece Toundra. If you like what you hear, catch the magical Madrilenians (yes, that’s the real term for someone from Madrid) around the UK in February.
Blackberry Smoke - Living In The Song We’ve been listening to the new Blackberry Smoke album in the office, and are able to report that it’s very good indeed, full of proper tunes with proper choruses. This track, sneaked out by the band over Christmas, is a perfect example, full of yearning and sadness and melodic southern twang.
Brian Johnson & Billy Joel - You Shook Me All Night Long Here’s a bit of fun: when pint-size piano-tickling Bronx crooner Billy Joel brought in 2015 at his Orlando Florida gig, he had AC/DC gargler Brian Johnson waiting in the wings for a special turn. Here’s a fan’s eye view of the results. Happy New Year!