Last week’s Tracks of the Week winner was Jimmy Ragazzon with Evening Rain, followed by Steve n’ Seagulls with November Rain (lot of rain last week…) in second place and Steven Wilson’s Happy Returns in third. But who will you select from this week’s delectable cookie jar of rock’n’roll crunch? A classic double-chocolate, or the weird one with the ingredient you can’t pronounce that looks rather appealing?? Dive in, then vote at the foot of this page.
Metallica - Dream No More
This week Metallica put up videos for ALL the tracks from their new record Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. Apparently eight years without a new album has incited them to make up for lost time, as this massive offering to The Internet suggests – including the commanding Dream No More, one of the album’s chord-crunching, more mid-tempo highlights.
Pretenders - Alone
There aren’t many songs that celebrate being alone. Just think of all the tunes that have eulogised being in love, or part of a twosome, and compare them to the ones that say “yeah, I like being alone! What are you gonna do about it?” as this does. Bit of an imbalance, wouldn’t you say? Chrissie Hynde thought so, and promptly addressed it with this upbeat, fizzing piece of rock’n’roll.
All Them Witches - Bruce Lee
A wonderfully dark, imaginative piece of puppetry and animation accompanies this new one from eclectic Nashville psych group All Them Witches. Anyone who saw their video for last year’s Dirt Preachers will know they’re not strangers to filmic weirdness, and it’s the perfect partner for their heavy brand of trippiness – mixing early BRMC-ish noise into bluesy psychedelia.
Aaron Keylock - All The Right Moves
He’s still in his teens but blues rocker Aaron Keylock knows his way round a six-string with more skill and panache than a lot of players twice his age. This propulsive track from his upcoming debut album (out in 2017) has just what you want from a young player with that much ability; bags of energy and gusto, without the dry, chin-stroking quality some blues guitar types fall into.
Other Animals - Oh Lordy
It starts off all soft and pretty, but don’t let that fool you. Oh Lordy is a big ol’ hard rocker - a bit like a less nostalgic Rival Sons, with that blend of soulful vocals and big, stylish riffage. Watch out for the unexpected violin and flute (plus some more pronounced trumpeting) as the video progresses…
Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Spiders
The ex-Motorhead man and his bastard sons (well, they’re not all his sons, but most of them are) have another headbanger ready for you. While the year has undoubtedly been tough for Phil, following his pal Lemmy’s passing, this sounds like the life-affirming shot of fun he probably needed. Watch out for more…
Kieron James - Hounds Of The Barrier
Our online editor described Kieron James as “like a pagan Elliott Smith”. He had a good point, if this macabre video and melodious, earthy yet slightly other-worldly song is anything to go by. Blending acoustic folk, alt rock and an ear for original melody, it’s different and really rather good.
Tess Of The Circle - I’m Not Ashamed
Mixing grungy alt rock cool with classic-sounding sensibilities, I’m Not Ashamed escalates into pleasingly noisy chaos (fuelled by raw, impassioned lyrics) before climbing back down to a plaintive closing note. There’s a big record collection’s worth of influences streamlined in there, but it works – and has earned them a few nods from mainstream radio. Nice.
The Debut Albums Quiz: how well do you know these legendary career starters?