The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Amon Amarth, The Record Company, Marillion and more

Tracks Of The Week artists
(Image credit: Press materials)

Our final Tracks Of The Week of 2023 is upon upon us, and with the next two Monday's both falling on public holidays, rock's longest-running weekly battle will not return until January 8. Although we've still got some of last week's business to attend to, as we anoint The Karma Effect as our final victor of 2023. So congratulations to them, and to Liliac and South Of Salem, who weren't too far behind.

2023's final eight contenders follow. Enjoy them, and we'll see you on the other side. And in the meantime, enjoy the festive period. Merry Christmas!


Bad Nerves - Antidote

Currently on the road with The Darkness (following a US run with Royal Blood), Essex power-pop punks Bad Nerves show no signs of slowing down with this million-miles-an-hour newbie, built on a livid jutter-bomb guitar hook and lashings of wide-eyed mania. And yet it’s not all spit and savagery. Antidote, like most of the Nerves’ songs, has a sunny flipside, deftly opening into blissed-out harmonies so light and bright they seem to lift right above you. Definite ones to watch in 2024.

Marisa And The Moths - Fake It Til You Make It

Marisa & The Rockers make a welcome return to our ears with this; a hooky fistful of pop punk with its heart in early 90s Seattle. It’s like hearing Pink front a grunge band, until the end climax finds her channelling the rawer, more feral textures of her voice, Maria Brink-style. "This song is all about winging it and pretending you've got it together, even when you're hiding insecurities or doubting yourself,” Marisa says. “I hope this makes people wanna dance, whilst also reminding them of how powerful they can be!"

The Record Company – Control My Heart Blues

Some of the best things in music happen quickly, free from the weight of expectations. The lightness and ease of The Record Company’s new number embodies that idea somewhat. Produced over a laidback shuffle rhythm, and nailed in one or two takes, Control My Heart Blues finds the LA trio doing what they do better than most: atmospheric, old-timey blues made fresh and ‘now’, in the most natural way possible, with a chorus refrain that worms its way into your head and sets up camp there.

Sonny Jim - Sign Of The Times

Looking for a lovable, straight-ahead banger to see you through these frantic final days until the festive hibernation period sets in? Rock-friendly comfort food with a kick, if you will? The new single from these Welsh rockers (one of those small, DIY bands with songs that make them sound much bigger) might be just what you need, all three-chord boogieing, AC/DC vibes and a raw undertone of defiance, driven home by Jay Donagh’s vocal blend of grit and soul. Shoegazers, look elsewhere.

The Blinders - Always

Manchester’s The Blinders are the brains behind this swirl of shadowy post-punk, darkly charged and expansive, like Joy Division in a post-apocalyptic warehouse. “You experience death for the first time, especially of loved ones who helped to sculpt the person you are,” says frontman Tom, alluding to the theme of loss, a key driver of Always and its upcoming parent album, Beholder (out in March 2024). “That is life, it’s what everyone is expected to deal with.”

Amon Amarth - Saxons & Vikings

Yes this is on the metal end of the Classic Rock spectrum, but if anything says ‘yeahhh Christmas!’ like a bunch of hairy, orc-voiced Swedes singing about saxons and vikings (with actual Saxon man Biff Byford on melodic vocals) we’re damned if we know what it is. Plus the guitars are groovy as hell, and the whole thing gallops with the pace and gusto of a thousand riled up warriors charging through mythical forests with swords and the like – which is pretty much what happens in the video’s epic, Tolkien-esque battle scene. Literally nothing to dislike about that.

Kid Kapichi - 999

Typically fiery fair from Kid Kapichi, as Hastings' angriest power punks tackle racism, sexual violence, and corruption within the UK police force, all via the medium of thudding riff and searing polemic. "People have a right to feel angry and betrayed by the lack of accountability for police misconduct in this country, it’s a disgrace," say the band. "It shouldn’t take widespread public unrest, social media outrage, or protest for police to be held to account for crimes and misconduct, it should be the norm."

Marillion - I Believe In Father Christmas

It would be remiss of us to end the year without a Christmas song, and Marillion's largely faithful take on the old Greg Lake classic is about as far from Kid Kapichi's furious indignation as one could possibly imagine. But hey! It's Christmas, and we'd rather end on a note of hope. And besides, for light to shine, you first need some darkness, right? And on that deeply philosophical note, we'll bid you farewell for the year. Don't forget to vote down there ⬇. Thank you. 

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