Motörhead, Bert Jansch, Mike Tramp and more line up on our office stereo…
1. Sympathy For The Devil
Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey close their new album, Bad Magic with a version of the Rolling Stones standard from 1968. Given that it’s one of those songs you just don’t mess with, the ’Head’s re-make is faithfully, loving replicated, right down to the pigeon-like ‘whoo-whoo’ backing vocals.
2. Cut The Cord
Their bro-rock image does them no favours, but Shinedown know their way around a tune. This thumping 21st-century anthem is machine-tooled to fill arenas from here to Kalamazoo. Which is precisely what it’ll be doing come the end of the year.
3. Heart Of The Sunrise
If you thought prog was some sort of airy-fairy nonsense, check out the attack of Chris Squire’s bass on parts of this 1971 epic. Squire was a larger-than-life presence personally and musically, and he’ll be sorely missed from this Fragile planet.
4. Another Baby
Take a bit of the Rolling Stones, plus a taste of The Who, and bake it with a sizzling heap of soul. Hey presto! You have this infectious, upbeat soul-rock newbie from LA. Enjoy.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
The former Gallows frontman is back, and he’s on a mission to “destroy all the terrible bands in the world,” he says. This snarling brute of pure punk passion is an excellent start.
6. Curtain Call
The goth-defining, 17-minute set piece, taken from the enduring punk pioneers’ newly expanded, 180-gram vinyl reissue of 1980’s Black Album. A sophisticated, prog esque composition that redefined the custard-pie-swapping quartet as an entity to be taken very seriously indeed.
7. Lord Of The Sky
8. Homeward Bound
Tracer Missing Dave ‘Hopalong’ Grohl? This rollin’-down-the-highway anthem from the Classic Rock award-winning Aussie trio’s new album Water For Thirsty Dogs is as good a Foos substitute as you’ll hear this summer. We doff our (corked) hats to ’em.
Eureka Machines You’ve gotta love Eureka Machines, Leeds’ champions of the perfect pop-rock harmony and literate lyric. This propulsive, quietly brooding cut from their new album Brain Waves shows they still know how to make you dance and cry at the same time.
10. Blackwaterside (Live At The 12 Bar)
Big Big Train Big Big Train are the first ever prog band to gain a Grade II listing, thanks to their trademark ‘English pastoral’ sound. This splendid anthem takes its name from the practice of wassailing, designed to scare evil spirits away from budding cider-apple trees. The ceremony involves banging pots and pans, firing shotguns and lots of singing and drinking – the kind of medieval ritual we like the best.
12. Only You
The Bohicas A gloriously sunny counterpart to the harder rock’n’roll of their debut The Making Of, complete with Beatles-esque harmonies and an intelligent turn of phrase. One to fall in love to this summer.
13. The End Where We Start
The Black Queen Members of Dillinger Escape Plan and NIN collude to make this somnambulant electronic anthem. Ignore the bit that sounds like fluff on the needle – every glitch is meant to be there.
14. Battle’s Won
Helloween The first time we heard this typically rousing anthem from the silly German thrashers we did a double take, thinking they were singing ‘Stand tall your metal swan’ – which is no great stretch of the imagination, given that they once wrote a song about heavy metal hamsters.
15. Wait Till Forever
17. Lupine Ossuary
Thee Oh Sees
San Franciscan garage psychedelians blaze through the stratosphere as John Dwyer’s guitar slashes haphazardly across the forward momentum of an undeniable rhythmic roller-coaster.