Tracks of the Week: new music from Black Stone Cherry, Chickenfoot and more...

Tracks Of The Week

Last week’s winners were the Virginmarys, followed by Richie Kotzen in second place and Chuck Berry in third. Well done to them – excellent tunes in very different ways. This week we’ve got the return of Anathema, Chickenfoot doing a blistering Deep Purple cover, Black Stone Cherry in drag and much more. Now how could you resist that?

So sit back (or lean forward over your laptop/iPad/mobile device), listen, absorb, then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page.

Peace out, rock on…

Black Stone Cherry – Cheaper To Drink Alone

Kentucky’s finest get their cross-dressing game on in this speed-dating video extravaganza. The sight of four men chatting up female versions of themselves was always going to be slightly surreal – and we can’t pretend we ever expected to see John Fred Young in pigtails – but it’s fun to see these (often rather earnest) guys goof around a little.

Bobaflex – Hey You

Well, who saw this coming? Back in the late 90s/early 00s, West Virginians Bobaflex were forging their way in the nu metal scene, supporting bands like Disturbed and Nickelback in the process. And now, many years and financial headaches later, they’ve produced this gorgeous Pink Floyd cover – using their own melodic heaviness to celebrate, not smother, it’s subtle charms.

Anathema – Springfield

Beautiful first cut from the Liverpudlians’ upcoming (“semi-autobiographical”) album The Optimist. Building from a simple, plaintive melody line (elevated by minimal but spine-tingling vocals from Lee Douglas) it grows into a moody, soaring piece of innovative rock – moving and original.

Chickenfoot – Highway Star

“This is a song we all grew up on,” beams Sammy Hagar on this cut from BEST+LIVE, “listening to this fuckin’ song saying ‘I wanna do THAT!’” Indeed, watching Hagar, Satriani, Anthony and Smith blast through the Deep Purple classic, it’s almost as if they’ve become excited teenagers again – albeit excited teenagers who can really play. Nice.

Delta Howl – Reach The Shore

Lush, folksy debut single from Black Country duo Delta Howl – mixing pretty country with touches of Springsteen and stirring guitar slides. Who knew Dudley had such a soulful side? We’re all ears for their next tunes…

Neon Animal – Bring Back Rock ‘n’ Roll From The Dead

Happy Friday, yer filthy (Neon) Animal – makers of this hooky mix of dirty glam and boot-stomping rock’n’roll. As mission statements go Bring Back Rock’n’Roll From The Dead is simple yet effective, and delivered with enough Iggy-esque sass to raise impressed eyebrows and genuine smiles. Tasty.

He Is Legend – Air Raid

It starts out pensively (in a ‘gentle Mastodon’ kinda way), but don’t think for a second that that’s where it ends. Spacier, atmospheric verses veer into the most brilliantly fierce, propulsive chorus, complete with planet-sized riff and gritty, melodiously mad-man vocals. Hard rock/metal with brains and brawn.

Body Count - Black Hoodie

Sometimes, for the mightiest metal and hard rock, only anger will do. Ice T is f***ing livid in Black Hoodie, and the song is all more fearsomely in-your-face for it. Flanked by head-thrashing, monstrously satisfying guitar and carefully placed gunshots, it’s commanding, provocative heaviness at its best.

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.