The Best New Rock Album Releases This Week

Alter Bridge

Alter Bridge - The Last Hero

“The Last Hero loosely explores the theme of heroism within their crunching, thrilling sound-world. Opener and first single Show Me A Leader sees the band in typical, towering form. ‘Well they’re selling another messiah here tonight/But we’re all way too divided to buy it,’ Kennedy sings. With the whole world in the shit at the moment and a highly divisive race on for the White House, it’s reassuring to hear a prominent rock band plead for good leadership.” Read the full review here.

Seasick Steve - Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground

“Now in his mid-70s, Steve takes a more reflective approach on his eighth album, letting his full-bore blues roar take a back seat in favour of compelling reflections such as the tough but tender life lessons of Maybe I Might and Hard Knocks, along with well-chosen cover versions including Glen Campbell’s Gentle On My Mind, the Harry Nilsson hit Everybody’s Talkin’ and Arthur Lee’s desperate Signed DC.” Read the full review here.

Hiss Golden Messenger - Heart Like A Levee

“The latest chapter in the HGM story sounds like the best – they always do – with all the expected mood swings Taylor and his crack band can conjure. The trick is fusing ancient and modern, American Southern Gothic style. They open in Biloxi and turn it into Dylan’s Nashville. They close out in the killer diller Highland Grace that echoes Van Morrison circa 1973. But Hiss aren’t copycats. Taylor makes a virtue out of misery that uplifts. The deep gospel of As The Crow Flies soars into clear blue sky, just as I’m A Raven (Shake Children) did on the previous Lateness Of Dancers.” Read the full review here.

Imperial State Electric - All Through The Night

“As you’d expect from the former Hellacopters man, All Through The Night is stuffed with rollicking rock’n’roll that’s as classic as the Levi 501s/white tee/leather jacket combo, as flash as a top-down Ford Mustang and as American (despite the band being Swedish) as aerosol cheese. And it’s great – some formulas just don’t need messing with.” Read the full review here.

Butch Walker - Stay Gold

“Butch Walker’s previous album, Afraid Of Ghosts, written in the wake of his father’s death, was his darkest. Stay Gold finds him facing the future by looking backwards, on a record stuffed with homages to the artists who inspired him, from Bruce Springsteen to The Pretenders.” Read the full review here.

Lou Reed - The RCA And Arista Album Collection

“Painstakingly remastered under the, no doubt, strict supervision of Lou himself (his final project before his tragic passing in 2013), the audio clarity reveals nuances, subtleties, crispness and depth formerly immersed, invisible and overlooked.” Read the full review here.

Oasis - Be Here Now (reissue)

Fade In-Out remains a pointless Doorsian frippery, the title track a crunchy Quo, D’You Know What I Mean and Don’t Go Away a brace of painfully stretched Wonderwalls, the ludicrously overblown All Around The World a 10-minute audition for a West End panto production of The Magical Mystery Tour, directed by Wagner.” Read the full review here.

Undertones - Undertones/Hypnotised (reissues)

“Their first album, reissued here in its original sleeve (unlike the October ’79 re-release including Teenage Kicks), includes Here Comes The Summer and Jimmy Jimmy and suggests the band were as steeped in glam and 60s pop as they were in punk. On Wrong Way, Feargal Sharkey’s tremulous warble is at odds with the period snarl, but in its expression of insecurity (‘Stop treating me this way, girl’) it’s just as radical.” Read the full review here.

The Best New Rock Album Releases This Week