Check out what TeamRock.com, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock have been listening to during the past seven days, then vote for your favourite below!
**FOUR YEAR STRONG – I’m Big Bright Shining Star **Four Year Strong’s self-titled fifth full-length is their best to date, and sees the Massachusetts pop-punks on fine, fiery form. It’s all because of songs like this, which blister with emotional urgency and catchy, powerful hooks to create a muscular and manly, but not macho or meatheaded, version of the genre.
SONNY VINCENT AND ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT - Unlock Originally recorded in 2003, this collaboration between original NYC ’70s punk Sonny Vincent and members of the influential San Diego sextet Rocket From The Crypt was lost for over a decade after a studio fire, but was recently rediscovered. And a good thing too, as this blast of raw, visceral and untethered rock’n’roll ably demonstrates.
**JOHNNY MARR – I Feel You **The highlights of Johnny Marr’s post-Smiths career all involve other bands. First, he joined Modest Mouse, then The Cribs. Then he released this cover of the Depeche Mode classic for Record Store Day. It might lack the sinister edge of the original (or even the Placebo version) and sounds like Oasis, but we’ll roll with it.
**BLACK PEAKS – Crooks **This second ever single from this ambitious Brighton four-piece wraps up a whole bunch of heavy-handed influences – Mastodon, The Mars Volta, Refused – crushes them into a pulp and rebuilds them into this behemoth of a track. Half ethereal tenderness, half punishing power, Crooks demonstrates nothing but this band’s full potential.
REFUSED – Elektra “Nothing has changed” barks Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzén on this pulsating barrage of angular post-hardcore riffery. Which is to say everything has changed – Elektra is the first new song from the seminal Swedes since 1998, when they declared themselves “fucking dead” months after releasing the genre-defying The Shape Of Punk To Come. Never say never, eh?
**VEIL OF MAYA - Mikasa **One of tech-metal’s most explosive bands are back with a new singer and more jaw-shattering poly-riffs. The Illinois quartet will release their new album, Matriach on May 12. Best take the following week off to recover.
**NIBURU - Apsara **Taken from their album Netrayoni, here’s 10 minutes of ritual psychedelic sludge. Perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons – or the ideal soundtrack to eternal torment.
**CANCER BATS – Hail Destroyer **Currently decimating everything in their path on their co-headline tour with While She Sleeps, the Hammer team is still buzzing after the Toronto riff alchemists’ set at the Kentish Town Forum on April 30.
Black Moth – _Looner _Let’s get the legal bit out of the way first: this video is NSFW unless you work in a pervert factory. But once you’re past the “I understand and wish to proceed” button, Leeds’ finest crunch their way through a track whose riffs are as monumental as Mount Rushmore itself. They sound like the Pixies, if the Pixies were fronted by Satan, and Satan were a lady.
**ALBERTEEN - A French Connection **A cool, darkly 60s-evoking piece of garage rock, and homage to Folkestone’s noted outputs – i.e. the original Miss World contest, and the Channel Tunnel. Ooh la la…
JOSH TAERK - Here’s To Change This song is a by a nice young chap who looks a bit like early Kevin Keegan. We can’t vouch for his footballing ability, but Here’s To Change is a thumping chunk of radio-friendly AOR featuring the legendary John Oates on backing vocals, and is as smooth as a freshly-shorn ewe.
SWEET BILLY PILGRIM – Just Above Midtown Jerry Ewing, Editor: “Having witnessed a fine performance at Desertfest last weekend, Sweet Billy Pilgrim’s blend of 10cc-like awkward pop and more progressive passages went down a treat. This, from their excellent new album Motorcade Amensiacs (out on May 25 through Kscope) is further evidence the band are maturing into one of the finest modern progressive thinking acts Britain has to offer…”
**NORDIC GIANTS – Rapture (featuring Beth Cannon) **Natasha Scharf, News Editor: “Taken from Nordic Giants’ slightly delayed debut album, Rapture combines almost every opposite into one seamless track. It’s dark but light, experimental but accessible and I love Beth Cannon’s vocals. The rest of A Séance Of Dark Delusions is equally as hypnotic and will finally be out on Monday through Kscope.”
KONTINUUM – Breathe Hannah May Milroy, Deputy Editor: “This track is from what could potentially be from my favourite album of the year – beautiful, gothy post rock from Iceland.”
THE READER’S CHOICE: LAST WEEK’S WINNER
Can you hear the popping of champagne corks and general victory coming from the Hollywood hills? That’ll be We Are Harlot whose song Dancing On Nails brushed off last week’s competition as though they were biscuit crumbs from a freshly laundered tablecloth. Check out the video below…