The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Blues Pills, Bill Fisher, Demon and more

Tracks of the Week artists
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London rockers The Karma Effect describe themselves as "Black Crowes vs Aerosmith, with a step-sibling called Greta Van Fleet," and with credentials like that it's no wonder they won our most recent Tracks Of The Week skirmish. So congratulations to them. 

And congratulations to Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, and to Joanne Shaw Taylor, who finished on the podium but tantalisingly short of overall victory. Perhaps next time. 

Below you'll find this week's runners and riders. Let's hope n one falls at Becher's Brook.


Bad Nerves - You Should Know By Now

Bad Nerves are best known for power-pop blasts in punk clothing, typically lasting under two minutes. With that in mind You Should Know By Now is practically prog by their standards, in that it clocks in at three and a half minutes, finds them on dreamier, moodier sonic ground with some tasty tempo shifts, and doesn’t break quite such a sweat, pace-wise. Happily, these extra trappings don’t come at the expense of immediacy – infectious pop melodies with a side of heartache, which they do so well. Another reason to earmark their next album, Still Nervous, which comes out on 31 May.

Blues Pills - Don’t You Love It

By their own admission, Blues Pills have their share of “depressed sounding songs”. So it’s a delight to find them audibly having an absolute blast on this old-timey, good-timey swirl of 60s hippie sunshine and riffed up rock’n’roll. Think Rolling Stones meets Janis Joplin, with a disco-soul kiss. “It’s something that came with age,” says guitarist Zack “We’ve been a band for a long time and with this album, and at this point, it’s firstly about having fun making music. In the earlier days there was a lot of pressure, now we’ve let all that go.”

Bill Fisher - Yell Of The Ringman

Church Of The Cosmic Skull leader by day, doom rocker by night, Bill Fisher leans into the latter gig with Yell Of The Ringman. It’s loud, it’s gnarly, it’s super-melodic but still dripping with beardy mystique… “Imagine Kate Bush and Michael McDonald wrote a yacht doom album,” Bill says (‘yacht doom’? Is that a thing?? Let’s say it’s a thing), “satirising edgelord-tech-billionaire-worship, recorded by Peter Gabriel and Tori Amos in the early 80s using an industry pre-release unit of the late 90s Yamaha PSR8000 synthesiser, several heavily distorted guitars, and a baby grand.” Cue Wayne’s World-style cry of: ‘does this dude know how to party or what?!’

Gyasi - All Messed Up (Medley)

Raised in the woods of West Virginia but destined for the stage, the leopard-printed, platform-booted Gyasi channels a hot mix of blues and glam rock in this live track – taking in slices of Lou Reed and Doors hits in the process. Part of his new live album Rock n' Roll Sword Fight (billed as his answer to The Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! or The Who's Live at Leeds), its sass comes with rich, chunky guitars and the swagger of a Keith Richards-David Bowie collaboration. 

Shannon & The Clams - Big Wheel

For all its garage-y psych/doo-wop bounce and Northern Soul edges – plus a stylishly screwy video that’s a bit Metropolis with a side of Beetlejuice – the Californian retro mavericks’ new single is rooted in tragedy. Like its Dan Auerbach-produced parent album, The Moon Is In The Wrong Place (out on May 10), it was heavily informed by the sudden death of frontwoman Shannon Shaw’s fiancee in 2022 – just a few weeks before their wedding. The resulting music is sharp and super catchy, but a proper listen reveals meditations on how “time and reality become distorted in the face of sudden loss”. 

Scarlet Rebels - Secret Drug

AC/DC’s Thunderstruck meets The Cult in the main hook of the Welsh rockers’ new single. Beefy, moreish and more expansive than their previous work, it grabs the listener by the gut with driving guitars and a soaring chorus that’s sure to go down well with festival crowds and a few beers. Admittedly the opening couplet is a bit of a clunker (‘I ain’t got a chemical dependency/It lets me live my life so normally’... come on fellas, really?!) but that aside Secret Drug is a happy marriage of classic and contemporary rock that’s whetted our appetite for their next album, Where The Colours Meet.

Demon - Face The Master

Demon might be in the running for this year's "Band who basically invented Ghost decades ago but Tobias Forge hasn't admitted to it yet" award, but such comparisons don't appear to have altered their own course much, and Face The Master is more of what they do best, which is to bake a cake of slickly produced, hard-edged AOR and layer it with demonic, somewhat ghostly frosting. New album Invincible (their 14th, not that we're counting) is due on May 17. 

Froglord - Frogman

With a plot that seems to be part Blair Witch Project and part Swamp Thing, the video for Frogland, the new single by Bristolian doom lords Froglord, was allegedly put together by struggling filmmaker Dallas Kyle, who travelled to woodland deep in Loveland, Ohio, to capture footage of the fabled frogman, a creature he'd first encountered (and filmed) as a 12-year-old. At least we think that's what the story is – it's hard to concentrate with such disturbing imagery being secreted directly into our eyes. The music's good too. A bit like The Stooges' TV Eye, but with added bufotoxins.   

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from