It’s not a bird. It’s not a plane. This is Kapow! – 15 punch-packing new tracks from today’s rock heroes, starting with the twang of spandex… and it’s tenderly affixed to the cover of the 210th edition of Classic Rock.
The Darkness - Barbarian Lock up your daughters, as the Lowestoft rockers return with a pillaging new single (the album is out in June) and a chorus that Justin Hawkins claims will “make grown men shit directly into their pants”. Only one way to find out… From Last Of Our Kind
Dan Patlansky - Backbite The darling of South Africa’s domestic blues scene might just infiltrate the mainstream with this rocket-fuelled shuffle. “I got sick of singing about whisky and women,” notes Dan Patlansky. “Backbite is like a traditional blues song – but more modern.” From Dear Silence Thieves
Scott Weiland And The Wildabouts - White Lightning Seven years since Happy In Galoshes, it’s a thrill to hear Weiland’s tannoy vocal and twisted humour on this jagged stomp. It’s a great appetite-whetter for Blaster, the forthcoming album described by the singer as a “labour of love”. From Blaster
Beth Hart - Might As Well Smile Not so much a song title as a memo-to-self, as the LA chanteuse draws a line under her considerable demons with her eighth album’s brassy standout. “When I’m low, I count my blessings,” explains Hart, “and the next thing I know, I’m smiling again.” From Better Than Home
Todd Rundgren - Evrybody With its ice hockey synth and no-brainer chorus – ’Evrybody! Clap your hands!’ – the rock lifer’s latest track gets us doing exactly that. Expect more industrial-strength hooks on this month’s Global album, described as a “contemporary fusion of rock, soul and EDM”. From Global
Joe Bonamassa - The Ballad Of John Henry (Live) It’s a brave bluesman who bookends a set of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf covers with his own material, but on At Red Rocks, the title track of JB’s seventh album stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the standards. From Muddy Wolf At Red Rocks
Biters - Restless Hearts Championed by Green Day, signed by Earache and citing the golden era, Atlanta’s rabble-￼￼rousers look likely to sink their teeth into this year’s singles chart with their ode to the all-nighter. ’The sun is coming up, but we don’t care,’ roars frontman Tuk. ’Smash your fist into the air!’ Is that an order? From Electric Blood
FM - ￼You’re The Best Thing About Me Look elsewhere for your irony, as the veterans roll out the big chords, harmony riffs and a questing vocal about ’climbing mountains’ and ’crossing seven seas’ in pursuit of that special girl. Sneer all you like, but you’ll be shrieking along by the first chorus. From Heroes & Villains
Shawn Smith - On The Banks After Brad, since Satchel and post-Pigeonhed, the Seattle man’s first solo album felt like a fresh start. With spring-heeled strings and Macca-esque piano, this sunny-sideup stunner is the standout, practically parting the rain clouds. From Let It All Begin
The Crunch - Neon Madonna With a line-up comprising alumni of Cockney Rejects, Sham 69 and The Clash, The Crunch line-up drips punk pedigree. This loping ska rocker is their strongest release so far, with a chorus so sunkissed that you might not notice the apocalyptic lyric-sheet. From Brand New Brand
King King - Rush Hour Having swept last year’s British Blues Awards, the Glasgow quartet announce bolder ambitions with their third album. “I wrote Rush Hour when I was 16,” says Alan Nimmo of this reflective cut, “about the pressures of life, and feeling like you were suffocating” From Reaching For The Light
The Vintage Caravan - Crazy Horses It starts with the thud of a blunt object, takes flight with a swaggering riff, and has you by the balls by the time Óskar Logi Ágústsson orders you to ‘rise and shine’, like the world’s most menacing alarm clock. Another step up for the Reykjavik trio. From Arrival
Stoneghost - Let Sleeping Beasts Lie The sinister calm amid the blitzkrieg of the Bromley quartet’s debut, this slow-burner opens like the evil twin of Nothing Else Matters, with simmering guitar and veiled-threat vocals, before igniting at the three-minute mark. From New Age Of Old Ways
Gov’t Mule - Bitch (Live) The Mule have thrown endless curveballs of late, slipping their jam-band reputation with a volley of anniversary releases taking in jazz, dub and prog. This is the pick of a Stones covers set in Philadelphia, and takes Mick ’n’ Keef’s 1971 classic to the wire. From Stoned Side Of The Mule
Robben Ford - Cause Of War The five-time Grammy nominee cites the “goodtime feel” of his latest album. Presumably, he doesn’t mean this blues-rock stomper, on which bad-tempered guitars joust beneath a vocal about a girl with ’claws unfurled, like daggers made out of pearls…’. From Into The Sun
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