Tracks Of The Week: new music from Chuck Berry, The Virginmarys and more...

Tracks Of The Week

Last week’s winners were Deep Purple, followed by Joanne Shaw Taylor in second place and Hunter & The Bear in third. This week we’ve got another spread of appetising tuneage for you, but which leaves the sweetest taste? Remember your vote could make all the difference so listen it then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page.

Enjoy, then go and have a fabulous weekend.

Chuck Berry – Big Boys

Last week we lost this king of rock’n’roll, whose guitar stylings and dulcet tones laid the foundations for so much rock to come. Big Boys is his first posthumous single, taken from his last ever studio album (the first one of his since 1979’s Rock It), and it fizzles with Berry’s inimitable six-string vigour. Gone but absolutely not forgotten.

The Virginmarys – Sweet Loretta

From old icons to new flag-bearers (albeit flag-bearers who’ve been laying down killer chops and tunes for about eight years now), the Virginmarys are back with one of their most upbeat tracks yet, and it’s ace. Summoning the grit and gall that’s always propelled their music, Sweet Loretta has a monstrously catchy chorus and a generally ‘bigger’ feel all-round. Nice one fellas.

Grand Magus – Freja’s Choice

Now for some metaaaal, from heaviest Sweden, to send you off into the weekend. On Freja’s Choice, mighty riff warriors Grand Magus pair the heavy hookiness of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest with the ‘hairier’ qualities of Manowar to satisfying effect. A robust yet melodious shot of metallic protein.

Richie Kotzen – End Of Earth

One of the most interesting Kotzen songs we’ve heard in a while, End Of Earth (taken from latest album Salting Earth) is an intriguing blend of moody modern rock, pop, guitar virtuosity, jazzy touches and acoustic layers. Spread out over six minutes, it reflects the snappier rock tastes developed with the Winery Dogs as well as his noodlier guitar geek credentials. Nice.

Clever Thing – Fixer Upper

There’s something rather suave about Brighton oddballs Clever Things (formerly associates of Bad For Lazarus, UNKLE and others). For all the raw, angular qualities of Fixer Upper there’s something decadent and stylish about it – the sort of music we imagine them playing in a dingy basement, while wearing velvet smoking jackets. Clever things indeed…

Puppy – Beast

Next up we have grungy, up-and-coming London trio Puppy – part Soundgarden, part Nirvana, several parts heavy, contemporary intrigue on Beast. The distortion is fierce, the sentiment and melody feels personal, and the overall effect is original and commanding. Ones to watch out for.

The Weeks – Start It Up

Signed to Kings Of Leon’s own label, The Weeks have a bit of The Boss about them – if the boss was about thirty years younger. There’s a cool indie edge to Start It Up, but it’s bolstered by the kind of melodic, guitar-led substance you can get your teeth into. Just when you think it might be a bit ‘young’ for you, the chorus kicks in and suddenly it’s your new favourite soundtrack for summery nights.

Pond – The Weather

Our favourite psychedelic Aussie mavericks have a tasty new album, The Weather, out on May 5, from which this title track is taken. It’s a soft, dreamy affair – more downbeat than some of their more caffeinated hits, but rather beautiful for it. The audio equivalent of stepping onto a cloud and out of this world, for just under four minutes.

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.