1) You And All Of Your Friends - Alice Cooper
The much anticipated reunion of Alice Cooper (Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Michael Bruce) with their original vocalist – the shy, retiring Vince Furnier – resulted in two new songs. Their first studio material since their ‘74 split captures the quartet in swaggering form. Perhaps an entire album next time?
2) The Land Of Plenty - Robin Trower
The lead-off track from Trower’s impressive new album Time And Emotion, this mid-paced funky blues finds the veteran guitar hero on typically stylish and unhurried form, with his lived-in vocal having something of a Billy Gibbons flavour to it. Classy stuff.
3) Highway Tune - Greta Van Fleet
“Their influences are varied”, their publicist says of these classic rock youths from Michigan. Translation: ‘Their influences are Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin. And a bit of Wolfmother. Who also sound like Led Zeppelin.’ Still, they could pick far worse to take inspiration from, and Highway Tune is totally excellent, so we’re not complaining.
4) Weak And Weepin’ - Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown
He’s a young bluesy guitar virtuoso who’s probably never had to shave yet, but don’t be under any illusion – Tyler Bryant is a total rock star, as we saw when he played his solo Camden show t’other week. No wonder he got the Guns N’ Roses support slot.
5) Nowhere Now - Steven Wilson
On our second/third/fourth listens of the king of modern prog’s new oeuvre, this was the track that really stood out. A soaring, ELO-esque hybrid of whimsical joy and pensive depth, it’s quietly rather life affirming. Listen out for the lead guitar part midway through. It’s short but oh-so-spine-tingling.
6) One By One - Cock Sparrer
Their first studio album in a decade finds the pioneering East End street punk survivors on rare form, and its opener exemplifies why their reputation within their genre remains unassailable. One By One is a bruising sonic assault tempered by pop sensibility and lyrics that match nail-hard braggadocio with tears-in-beers terrace nostalgia.
7) Train Song - Rex Brown
Who knew? Pantera’s former bassist – and one of the Texan groove-metallers’ less notorious members – can really sing, and write a damn good riffy rock song. At least that’s what Train Song, taken from his upcoming solo debut, suggests.
8) Peace Blossom Boogy - The Babe Rainbow
Australian bong warriors The Babe Rainbow follow last year’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest single with a self-titled debut album that will encourage listeners to abandon their day jobs to go and live on communes and take up polygamy. Peace Blossom Boogy is like Canned Heat at their most stoned, versus The Beatles. At their most stoned.
9) The Light Pours Out Of Me - Magazine
The release of the astonishing seven-CD treasure trove that is Manchester: North Of England 1977-1993 offers ample excuse to rediscover one of the city’s greatest bands. Nestled somewhere between punk and prog, Magazine – still sounding as dazzling, futuristic, alien, dynamic and crisp as ever – remain eternally ripe for reappraisal. Investigate.
10) Wall Of Glass - Liam Gallagher
With the younger Gallagher turning out for One Love Manchester, singing Don’t Look Back In Anger to Glasto and sending conciliatory 50th greetings to ‘rkid’, Liam is starting to look like ‘the reasonable one’. Meanwhile, this Oasis-level lead single from As You Were could unequivocally establish him as ‘the successful one’.
11) Unfuck The World - Prophets Of Rage
Raging harder than ever at an increasingly unreliable machine, Commerford, Morello and Wilk’s awe-inspiring collaboration with Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord is as angry as you’d expect post-Trump.
12) Meet On The Ledge - Fairport Convention
Not just one of the Fairports’ best tracks, but also one of the best of the whole folk-rock genre. Elegant, beautifully melodic and strangely powerful, it features the exquisite voice of the late Sandy Denny. Play it loud and be transported to another time and place. From the new seven-disc Come All Ye: The First Ten Years.
13) Bye Bye Johnny - Rolling Stones
Exquisite brutality; transcendent thuggery: 1972’s Exile tour Stones (Jagger, Richards, Watts, Wyman, Nicky Hopkins and an impeccably in-form Mick Taylor) captured in Fort Worth, Texas for the Ladies And Gentleman concert film. Nothing offers a better definition of rock‘n’roll than this Stones incarnation doing Chuck Berry.
14) Westermarck - Charly Bliss
Indie-pop with a definite crunch; think Juliana Hatfield fronting the Pixies. Singer Eva Hendricks is pure Marmite – you’ll either think she’s cuter than a barrel of kittens afloat on a sea of candyfloss, or you’ll run screaming – but either way Westermarck is as bouncy as Tigger on a trampoline.
15) Burn Like Willie - A Thousand Horses
Nashville-based ensemble return with more countrified gusto on new record Bridges, featuring this rather tasty upbeat number that’s more southern than cornbread deep-fried in whiskey. We’re not entirely sure what the title actually means, but we do like the track. Stetsons and cowboy boots compulsory.
16) (She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ - King King
Alan Nimmo and his band of bluesy merry men are back, and they’ve gone very 70s. In a good way. This upbeat first taste of the band’s forthcoming album Exile And Grace is a joyful, rich-sounding knees-up, with tasty notes of Bad Company and Thunder in the mix. Read more about it in our Autumn Preview (p34-43).
17) Light My Fire - The Doors
And now for a little Summer Of Love nostalgia. This month it’s 50 years since The Doors went to No.1 with Light My Fire. To celebrate, they’re releasing a limited-edition replica of the 7” single released in Japan in ‘67. It’s the song that made stars of Morrison and co, and listening to it again now it’s not hard to see why. A stone-cold classic