Burt first, last week’s winners. In third place, with 13% of the vote, were the new kings of Southern Rock, Blackberry Smoke, with Believe You Me. Looming larger in second place was the new Metallica track Hardwired, with a sound 21%, while the literal Queen of last week’s content was Beth Hart, with Fire On The Floor, which just goes show what happens when fans are mobilised to rock the vote. Beth received a mammoth 46% of all votes cast.
Bur now, on with this week’s great eight…
The Answer – Beautiful World
Oooh now this is something a bit different from Northern Ireland’s finest riff-mongers. Hitherto bastions of robust classic rock with a capital ‘C’, they’ve turned a newer, more spacious-sounding direction with this track from upcoming album Solas (due out on October 28). Opening with Eastern tinges and cinematic strains, before swelling into a big, arena-sized hit of pensive rock, it’s an intriguing taste of what’s to come.
Dee Snider – We’re Not Gonna Take It
Take one classic Twisted Sister track, dress mastermind Dee Snider in white and stick him in a desert (with a white grand piano), and you have the base for what *could* have been a terribly corny video. Except it’s not. Made for Criss Angel’s child cancer charity – with a stripped musical rendition – it would be bloody hard for all but the most cynical not to be at least a bit moved.
The Cadillac Three – Peace Love And Dixie
Another winner from TC3’s Abbey Road session – featured on their excellent album Bury Me In My Boots. Dirty and swaggering with a sporting dash of lascivious oomph, Peace Love And Dixie is so cool that frontman Jaren Johnston had to wear shades just to play it. Whatever, we’re loving it this sunny Friday. Check it out.
Baiju Dharmajan feat. Girish Pradhan – Sweet Child O’ Mine
God knows this song’s been interpreted (and misinterpreted) a LOT, but we have to say this is one of our favourites. Guitarist Baiju Dharmajan nails a masterful fusion of rock sensibilities and strong classical flavours, while Girish Pradhan (of Indian hard rockers Girish And The Chronicles) has a commanding, melodiously raw tone of which Axl would be proud. Nice one.
Thee Oh Sees – Dead Man’s Gun
“Please note the video has some very realistic special effects make-up and is not real footage of meth addicts!!” Thus warned the press release for this new vid from the psychedelic garage rocking Californians. It has a point; this is a very uncompromising piece of filming, but it pairs brilliantly with the trippy, kaleidoscopic rock therein.
Joanne Shaw Taylor – Dyin’ To Know
The Black Country queen of modern blues rock teamed up with Kevin Shirley for her new album, Wild – from which this stylish slice is taken.You’ll find distinct flavour of her bluesy compadre Joe Bonamassa (perhaps not surprising, given Shirley’s extensive association with the guy), teamed with her own tasty axework and smoky vocals. Shweet.
John Alcabean – Fire
No, it’s not a bloke called John with a guitar/keyboard/laptop/didgeridoo. John Alcabean are actually a post-punk trio from Denmark, billed as suitable for fans of Royal Blood and Wolf Alice, among others. New single Fire seems to support that claim, whilst also reaching out to a broader spread of rock listeners with its mesh of 90s indie, pop and urgent rocky riffery.
Nickelback – Dirty Laundry
The first fruits of Nickelback’s ninth album have bloomed, and they’ve bloomed into a Don Henley-shaped heap of fist-pumping hoopla, with a cover of the Eagle-man’s 1982 smash Dirty Laundry. “Sometimes you play a song in the studio just for fun,” says frontman Chad Kroeger. “And sometimes it’s so fun you have to record and share it with everyone.” Thanks, Chad!