Last week’s winners were Black Star Riders, followed by Ritchie Blackmore in second place and Black Sabbath in third. Who, then, will push your buttons, capture your imagination and generally bring a smile to your face this time round? Listen in, then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page…
Rolling Stones – Ride ‘Em On Down
Kristen Stewart stars in the Stones’ latest video (a post-apocalyptic setting of urban decay – with a really nice car, and Stewart dancing round some petrol pumps). This cover of Chicago blues shuffle Ride ‘Em On Down – cut/renamed by Eddie Taylor in 1955, after Bukka White’s original Delta version in the ‘30s – is another deliciously authentic, ‘lived-in’ cut from Blue & Lonesome. Lush.
Ryan Adams – Do You Still Love Me?
Oh my, Ryan Adams is releasing a new album! In February! Much excitement! Especially if it’s all on a par with this stirring, skyward-reaching first taste. Creating a similar, ‘free-spirited everyman’ vibe to his self-titled previous album, Do You Still Love Me? makes a promising first impression.
Ginger Wildheart & Ryan Hamilton – Fuck You Brain
“This is a very vulnerable time of year for sufferers of mental health issues, and suicide sees a marked increase over Christmas and New Year,” says Ginger of this seasonal awareness-raiser – part Wildhearts/Eureka Machines pop rock, part Georgia Satellites swagger, several parts uplifting rock’n’roll. The perfect shot of feelgood energy to plug into if you’re feeling low this winter. Plus all proceeds go to Samaritans, so what’s not to like?
Queensrÿche – Hellfire
‘Geoff Tate was so much better!’ crieth one camp. ‘Fuck you, the new guy’s awesome!’ proclaims the other. Fronted by vocalist Todd La Torre since 2012 (following Tate’s acrimonious departure), Queensrÿche nonetheless continue to preside over a divided fan base. Still, the brooding heavy metal of Hellfire suggests the Tate-less line-up have the right idea.
Aaron Keylock – All The Right Moves
The bluesy guitar wunderkind goes all Southern on this cheerfully boisterous opening track from debut Cut Against The Grain – an album that’s far more ‘rock’n’roll’ than ‘purist blues’. We saw him live in London this week and he was flippin’ great. Well worth checking out next time he’s at a live music establishment near you.
Def Leppard – We Belong
Depending on your tolerance for sugary ballads (and for slightly bizarre, computerized videos, with the band’s faces wafting around on giant banners), We Belong could either be the best or worst thing you hear this week. Cliched? God yes. But since when have Def Leppard let that stand in their way? The first time we heard this, we balked. Now, we’re a bit in love with it.
Moon Duo – Creepin’
For a song inspired by “the image of Death creeping up on someone”, Creepin’ is surprisingly chipper. Yes there’s a backline groove of woozy, slightly trippy mystique, but basically the Oregon duo have a proper earworm on their hands. Fans of Pond, Toy, Tame Impala and the like will enjoy. And anyone with a penchant for catchy psychedelic pop-rock.
Cortes – Facing My Fear
With their debut EP dropping early next year, London-based trio Cortes are whetting our appetites with this cool, groovy piece of indie rock. Imagine a younger, more ‘street’ Rival Sons, teamed with The Strokes, and you’re in the right ballpark. Ones to watch out for in 2017.