Last week’s winners were returning prog rock veterans Kansas, with Michael Sweet in second place and Bon Jovi a close third. But who will get your vote this time? Every vote counts — so place yours at the foot of the page.
Metallica – Hardwired
Holy crap! There’s a new Metallica song! After what felt like eons of teasers and fannying around, there’s a bona fide brand new tune! From METALLICA!! Ahem… If you’re not one of the million-plus people who’ve tuned in since its grand unveiling, have a listen and see where your opinion fits in the maelstrom of ‘great!’ ‘shite!’ ‘not bad!’ and all round what-the-fuckery that’s burst forth onto The Internet. Have your say…
Green Day – Bang Bang
War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, other than providing Green Day with ammunition for some wildly successful tunes. Ardent, angry and eerily ageless (Billie Joel Armstrong is 44, people, 44…), the California trio have a new album Revolution Radio coming out in October – from which anti-war, anti-The Man oeuvre Bang Bang is taken. A dynamic sprint of punk rock and politically charged cut-outs, it bodes well for the rest of the newness to come.
Beth Hart – Fire On The Floor
Given that she’s performed over many years with Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa and Slash (among others) it’s odd to think that Beth Hart only played her first solo UK show last year. It went down brilliantly, and now she back in the public eye with Fire On The Floor. Part classy Bond theme, part velvety pain. More smoke than fire, but that’s all part of the mystery and all-round allure, innit?
Blackberry Smoke – Believe You Me
Charlie Starr and co get their funk out with this delicious cut from upcoming album Like An Arrow; like the Allmans bonding with Stevie Wonder or Sly And The Family Stone. They haven’t exactly abandoned their Southern rock’n’roll base, but it’s great to hear the fruits of their broader musical palette. Listen out for the guitar solo around 1.34, just because it’s lush.
Dead Daisies – Join Together (The Who cover)
If Dead Daisies’ hearty, well-executed sing through The Who’s “I wantcha to JOOOIIIIIN TOGETHER WITH THE BAAAND!!” doesn’t lift your spirits this grey, drizzly Friday, we’re not sure what will. It’s a loveable classic, delivered by a team with experience in Guns N’ Roses, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and others, performed in front of a very happy crowd at Woodstock (Poland circa 2016, not New York State circa 1969).
Pixies – Talent
Clocking in at two minutes and eleven seconds, it’s a short but highly effective blast of noisy, rocky pop from everyone’s favourite Nirvana-preceding lords of alternative rock. Talent might sound all sweet and catchy, but in those lyrics lurks the kind of articulate, cleverly pared-down cynicism that we love them for.
David Brent – Slough
Oh god, Ricky Gervais – master of the kind of humour so cringey it makes you want to eat your own face – has gone rock. This can only be really, really awful right?? Erm, no. Slough actually works. It’s pretty, string-laden soft rock delivered with conviction. Plus, as Gervais/Brent says: “Everything in this song is factually accurate. You might learn something.” Well, there you go.
Illust8ors – Your Animal
They used to be hard rockers BlackWolf. We even nominated them for our Best New Band award. Now they’re back after a facelift as Illustr8ors, and if Your Animal is anything to go by, it was a good move. Sharper, slicker and more contemporary-sounding, it’s a promising opening case for their new look.