From Oxford to Texas and many other places that don’t have an ‘x’ in their name, we’ve scoured the globe to bring you the very best in new music from the last week, and here it is, delivered in a handy, webpage-shaped wheelbarrow.
Def Leppard - Man Enough
Some say it sounds like Another One Bites The Dust. Phil Collen has said he was aiming for a Billie Jean vibe. To our ears it’s also got something of Golden Earring’s Twilight Zone about it. Either way, this a glistening chunk of disco-pop-rock as sleek as a newborn seal pup with a chorus bigger than the moon.
Steve Vai - Dark Matter
With a wibbly-wobbly guitarwork like a Stevie Ray Vaughan from outer space, Steve Vai’s Dark Matter is from his new Modern Primitive compilation, which collects material recorded between 1984’s debut album Flex-Able and 1990’s Passion And Warfare. Despite being from the past, it still sounds like it’s streaming in from some distant future, one in which we all live on other planets and eat food in pill form and have sex without ever touching.
Little Brother Eli - Who You Do
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, Oxford’s sharpest dressed men Little Brother Eli have released another of their Zeppelin meets Black Keys meets Rival Sons blues blusterers, and very good it is too. Frontman Alex Grew is on particularly impressive form, with a fierce, irresistibly funky vocal.
Gypsy Sun Revival - Solar Breeze
And we’re back into space again, as our new favourite practitioners of other-worldly psychedelia Gypsy Sun Revival freewheel their interplanetary way across the galaxies with the outstandingly trippy Solar Breeze. The wah-wah work is especially stellar.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dark Necessities
There are bad Chili Peppers and good Chili Peppers, and Dark Necessities is very much from the latter version of the band. It’s a driving, slow-to-crescendo slice of cinematic funk melancholia with a video featuring Flea playing bass in a sink filled with dirty dishes and some nice lady skateboarders scraping their knees fairly severely.
Purple - Love Maker
A dangerously spiky contribution to this week’s round-up from Texan garage-rock punksters Purple, which somehow cross-fertilises Old Dirty Bastard’s Baby I´ve Got Your Money with Toni Basil’s cheerleader classic Mickey to give birth to their own Love Maker. There’s no way it should work, but it does.
Lords Of Black - Lady Of The Lake
Anyone unsure of whether new Rainbow man Ronnie Romero can tackle those big Dio numbers should give this a twirl. It’s Ronnie’s band Lords Of Black covering 1978’s Lady Of The Lake, and they don’t so much tackle the song as much as wrestle it to the floor and punch it repeatedly in the face.
Crobot - Not For Sale
“It’s a cry to hold on to our own humanity,” says Crobot frontman Brandon Yaegley of new single Not For Sale, “never letting anyone else manipulate our destiny. Who paid your debt to be here? No one… and my soul is not for sale.” Well, quite. Neither is ours. Not For Sale is wild and heavy and grooves like a plough being pulled by a hard rock horse.