Danish prog, Welsh alt-rock and good, old-fashioned American rock'n'roll: we're going around the world in eight plays today. But before all that, it's time to take a look at the winners of last week's vote. Hearty congratulations to all who made it into the top three, especially Leeds post-punkers FEHM who nabbed the top spot.
3. Sleaford Mods - Stick In A Five And Go
2. Cedric Burnside - Ain't Gonna Take No Mess
1. FEHM - The Sea To Come
The big question now, of course, is which of this week's songs will find itself catapulted to glittering glory – and the only way to work that out is to listen to each of the tracks below. But first, let's take a look back at last week's winner.
Toto - Hash Pipe
So, Weezer covered Toto and we put it in our tracks of the week. Now Toto are covering Weezer, it seems only right to stick them in here, too. This cover takes the 2001 hit and – unsurprisingly – Totos the fuck out of it, chucking in some unmistakably 80s synths, widdly diddly guitar solos and other such trademark Toto flourishes. Toto's Steve Lukather says of the whole affair: “My 30-something kids were flipped over Weezer recording two of our songs as they are fans and we picked Hash Pipe. The irony that we were smoking hash before these guys were alive was not lost on us – and the other is it has a killer melody and a great groove. We give you our version, with a little of our thing on it like they did their ‘thing’ to ours. It is an unlikely collaboration, but some of the best ones are unexpected.”
Shinedown - Get Up
Shinedown enter introspective mode with this new single taken from album Attention Attention, a mid-tempo rock ballad which delves into personal struggles with mental health. On the track, the band say: “We don’t want people to feel ashamed about what they’re going through. You’re not going to be defined by your failures. You’re going to be defined by the fact that you didn’t give up. The song is for the world in a lot of ways.”
Black Moth - Pig Man
Fresh from a European tour with US grunge legends L7, Black Moth return with this riff-driven bundle of squalling noise and destruction, which has a historical lesson at its heart. On the track, the band say: "Most people know of the atrocities committed towards women in 17th century New England in the Salem Witch Hunts. To this day, women are ‘slut-shamed’ and outcast for possessing their own innate power and sexuality. A lesser known story is that of the ‘Pig Man’ hunts that obsessed the congregations of New Haven. The poor dears in their infinite repression managed to convince themselves that certain men were secretly in league with the Devil to impregnate barnyard animals. The offspring would be Satan's children walking the earth, wreaking destruction in their orderly Christian society. It seems the arrival of a deformed pig foetus was enough to incriminate the farmhand for ‘buggery’ and lead to his brutal execution. In a sick, paranoid society, no-one is safe.'
The Joy Formidable - The Wrong Side
The latest track from the Welsh alt-rockers upcoming album Aaarth, this propulsive, angular new single is rich with poppy hooks and irresistible melodies. On the song and video, the band say: "This is our second collaboration with Boston-based creative studio TRLLM. We love their imagination and, like all our favourite artists, they’re not afraid to make it weird. They had the background to the song, how lyrically it’s pieced like a collage from memories and snippets of time, and they used that, along with the album artwork to create this experimental, multi-coloured dream sequence that we think captures the essence beautifully."
VOLA - Smartfriend
Danish proggers VOLA take aim at modern technology with their new single Smartfriend – and more widely on upcoming album Applause From A Distant Crowd – with this crunching, futuristic, swirling epic. On the song, the band say: "We spend a lot of time trying to present ourselves in a flattering light in the pursuit of continuous applause – even if it’s a distant applause from those you may not connect with away from the screens. I think our songs develop in the most natural way if I let my emotional response to the music dictate what the lyrics should be about rather than following any kind of plan."
Skating Polly - Camelot
Skating Polly are a band with some serious punk credentials, having already collaborated with X legend Exene Cervenka. Here, the impressive collabs continue apace, this time with Bratmobile's Alison Wolfe making a cameo in the video. On their raucous, punk-flecked grunge racket, the band say: "I met one of the most horrible, intolerable, numb-nut, scum of the earth humans last year, who treats women like dog shit using his frat boy etiquette, and this song is dedicated to him. There’s three voices in the song: the voice telling Mr. Frat Boy Lancelot to fuck off, the voice narrating the sad story of who he preys on, and the voice mimicking Mr. Frat Boy Lancelot’s ideal gal and the lengths she would go to be his miserable, underfed, trophy Barbie wife."
Cursive - Life Savings
Saddle Creek alumni Cursive bring that unmistakable early 21st century emo sound bang into the late noughties here, with this dramatic, experimental take on prog-tinged post-hardcore. The band say of the track: "This song reminds me of machinery, maybe a train that keeps chugging forward, or perhaps a printing press printing 'money'. It also feels as though it's burdened with a heavy weight and, for many of us, the weight of worrying about money can be all consuming."
Soulfly - Evil Empowered
Soulfly yet again prove that if you cut them, they bleed heavy metal. With this song which is equal parts thrashing riffs and impossible guitar solos, they sing about the antichrist, the devil winning, absolute power corrupting all – basically everything you look for in a good, old-fashioned metal song. On the song, the band say: "For this one, we really tried to retain the groove of early Soulfly as well as my love for the heavy, fast stuff I’m into – like death and black metal and some hardcore."