Tracks of the Week: new music from Gov't Mule, Blondie, Royal Blood and more...

Tracks of the Week

Last week’s winners were newcomers Stags, followed by Anthrax in second place and Royal Thunder in third. This week we’ve got a first-class new selection to tempt you with, from legends like Gov’t Mule to modern day hot shots like Royal Blood to brand new artists. But which will win you over? You know what to do: listen, ingest, judge accordingly then vote for your favourite. Enjoy!

Gov’t Mule – Stone Cold Rage

Southern rock and so much more, this new one from Gov’t Mule is a vibrant explosion of organ swirls, funky wah-wah guitar tones, bluesy chops and articulate lyricism. ‘Stone cold rage’, yes, but with added psychedelic warmth. Taken from forthcoming album Revolution Come… Revolution Go, which is out on June 9.

Blondie – Long Time

The new wave icons are back with this highly danceable cut from upcoming 11th album Pollinator. The beats and Heart Of Glass-nodding verse scream ‘classic Blondie’, and the chorus strikes a more pensive yet catchy note. And Debbie Harry still looks and sounds enviably cool, natch.

Royal Blood – Lights Out

The UK’s trendiest noisy blues rock duo return with the first cut of their upcoming second album How Did We Get So Dark?. Will it live up to the impressive standards set by their self-titled debut, which excited the world (us included) so much back in 2014? We’ll have to wait and see, but this is a good start…

Black Lips – Squatting In Heaven

Punky, bluesy slice from gonzo garage rockers Black Lips – birthed in Atlanta at the tail end of the 90s, before much mayhem ensued (which saw them chased out of India, and become the first Western punk band to tour the Middle East, among other things), and now back on fierce form with new album Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? (out May 5). Good n’ raucous.

Samarkind – Sun Stroke Heart

Tasty, riffy debut single from this part-Irish, part-Polish, part-South African rock foursome (yes we wonder how that rehearsal schedule works too…). Soulful vocals and some flashy (yet sparingly used) lead licks add spice to beefy, ‘modern classic rock’ foundations. Nice.

Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors – Heavy Heart

Texas-based songwriter Hamilton deals in catchy, melodious pop rock, with countrified and rock’n’roll strains of his homeland. Last year he teamed up with Ginger Wildheart for charity single F**k You Brain, and now his own band present Heavy Heart; a sweet, soaring tune that builds from wide-eyed acoustic roots into a lush blend of modern rock and rootsy echoes.

Afghan Whigs – Arabian Heights

Another winner from the ever-inventive Whigs’ latest album In Spades, Arabian Heights grows from beats-heavy foundations into an intense, searing piece of alternative rock – before climbing back down for a lo-fi finish.

Thomas Wynn and the Believers – My Eyes Won’t Be Open

How about a good, properly moving ballad to finish with? A stirring dose of ‘soul rock’ from this Florida six-piece, My Eyes Won’t Be Open blends gospel-infused emotion with Southern rock power. Beautiful stuff. Happy Friday one and all!

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.