Happy Friday, happy Classic Rock-returns-to-the-shelves day and happy birthday if it is your birthday. All kinds of happy, essentially. So it’s fitting that we’ve got a spread of excellent new tunes to celebrate – from established veterans and brand new newbies alike. Last week’s winners were The Sleep Experiment, followed by My Dynamite in second place and Steve Hackett in third. But which is your favourite? Listen in, then cast your vote at the foot of this page…
The Godfathers – You Don’t Love Me
They’re here to make you an offer you can’t refuse, maybe even tell you that revenge is a dish best served cold… OK, shall we stop the shameless quotes and look at the music? The alternative punkoid rock Brits are back and brimming with gusto – plus some sparkling tuneage, as this gloriously feelgood number confirms. We love it.
Mastodon – Show Yourself
Atlanta’s hairiest have made a cracking new album, Emperor Of Sand (with Brendan O’Brien back on producing duties) that reflects on sobering themes like mortality, life, and cancer. It’s heavy stuff. But if the upbeat, melodic-but-mighty Show Yourself is anything to go by it’s also a celebration of Mastodon’s whole journey – in all its multi-textured rock n’ metal glory.
Vodun – Bloodstones
Part West African voodoo, part blues-based riffage, Bloodstones is a compelling shot in the arm from this heavy psych trio. Genuinely creative and highly capable of satisfying straight-up rock cravings. Weird and wonderful.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Keep On Growing
How about some vintage Derek & The Dominos, revived by one of the 21st century’s best blues rock teams? Aww go on then. This is a delicious Southern-sizzled slice of warm n’ rootsy feels, with soulful backing and all the bluesy ‘70s guitar tone you can shake a stick at – Derek Trucks pours strains of the Allmans and Clapton into some joyously effortless soloing.
The Picturebooks – Our Own Little Hideaway
A steely, spoken-word taster from this bluesy rock duo, fresh out of the grittier end of Nashville – or that’s what you’d think, if they weren’t actually German. Expect motorbikes, heavy chains, wild-eyed blues and guitars that sound like they were cooked up in a tin shed. In a very good way.
Bleeker – Where’s Your Money
Don’t let the sweet faces fool you: Bleeker can thump out proper rock’n’roll with the best of ‘em. Until last year these Canadian youths played moodier, grungier tunes as Bleeker Ridge. Minus the ‘Ridge’ bit (and a couple of line-up changes later) their sound is altogether sharper, brighter and bigger. Pop rock sugar, turbocharged by guys raised on many shades of heavy.
Sheepy – 15 Songs (In An Hour)
Their name sounds more like a children’s TV character than a vehicle for frenetic hard rock. But then again, names can be deceiving. Nevertheless, the fact that this track is called ‘15 songs in an hour’ goes someway to qualifying the slightly manic energy herein; which propels forth into a tasty charge of punk, noisy pop and crunchy guitar.
Greg Graffin – Making Time
He made his name as a punk rock forerunner with Bad Religion, and has lectured and written about life science, dinosaurs and evolution. Now, he’s turned his hand to Americana as a soloist, and it sounds gorgeous. One to enjoy with a cuppa on a beautiful sunny morning (*chilly, London-based writer falls off chair paralysed with laughter*) or whenever you need to soften your mood.