There are closely fought battles, and then there are closely fought battles. And last week's Tracks Of The Week conflict was definitely one of the latter, as Skid Row edged out Rammstein who edged out Amanda Shires in a thrilling campaign for musical supremacy.
So well done to all of of them. But especially to Skid Row, and their winning entry The Gang's All Here. Below, you'll find a new selection of runners and riders as we start all over again. Don't forget to vote at the foot of the page!
Gun - Backstreet Brothers
Glasgow rock stalwarts Gun know what people really want, and they deliver on Backstreet Brothers. Bright, breezy and super catchy, it’s a bit like hearing AC/DC, Bryan Adams and U2 having a proper, old-school knees-up over a few drinks - and who, if they think about it, wouldn’t want to be at that particular gathering? (fans of Texan singer/songwriter/previous TOTW regular Ryan Hamilton may also find a familiar trace in Dante Gizzi’s voice) Check out their new album, Calton Songs, when it comes out in October.
Muse - Will Of The People
Landing somewhere between Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People and Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit In The Sky, Muse’s new single is an addictive, glam-streaked romp through some of rock’s juiciest spots. Will Of The People is fictional story set in a fictional metaverse,” Matt Bellamy says, “on a fictional planet ruled by a fictional authoritarian state run by a fictional algorithm manifested by a fictional data centre running a fictional bank printing a fictional currency controlling a fictional population occupying a fictional city containing a fictional apartment where a fictional man woke up one day and thought ‘fuck this.’” But yeah, it rocks.
Walter Trout - Ride
The title track from Walter’s next studio album (on sale in August), Ride operates on the edges of blues rock’s sun rays; those subtle spots where darkness becomes light. Silky smooth but full of life, it dances with blues, soul and southern rock, with whispers of the Allmans’ classic instrumental Jessica in the background. Walter has led an eventful life. He’s been to hell, much of which he processed during the making of this new record. Now, he’s back and savouring every second. “This album is definitely a musical ride,” he says, “and I certainly tried to cover a lot of ground. But, really, life is kind of a ride too, isn’t it? And I want to live mine to the fullest.”
Alan Parsons - Uroboros ft. Tommy Shaw
Iconic producer Alan Parsons is joined by Styx vocalist Tommy Shaw on this sample of his sixth solo album, From The New World (out July 15). It’s a big prog rock pairing, and happily it doesn’t disappoint. Mixing groovy, moody Pink Floyd flavours with cascades of old-school, synthy magic dust. Best of all, it’s built on a melody you can/will hum along to without thinking. Also, is it just us, or does the repeated ‘and it’s alright’ in the verses make you think that they’re about to go into the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive?
Mark Tremonti - My Way
Before you run away weeping at the thought of another cover of this unkillable song, we implore you to give the Alter Bridge guitarist’s take a spin. Indeed, for a guy who’s very much a guitar player first, it’s incredible how naturally Tremonti slips into the Sinatra role – swapping some big band tropes for pretty acoustic guitars, but otherwise honouring the blend of poise and passion that’s kept My Way in people’s hearts for so long. Yes it’s been done about twenty million times already. But sometimes you just need to hear a stirring, from-the-gut classic sung beautifully.
Fantastic Negrito - Nibbadip
Imagine finding yourself derailed by the news that your family history was entirely different to the one you'd been told all your life. Well, that's what happened to Xavier Dphrepaulezz, a.k.a. Fantastic Negrito, and he was able to turn the drama into a spectacular album – White Jesus Black Problems – which came out on Friday. Backboned by a Stonesy vibe and some insouciant whistling, Nibbadip is a highlight, with Prince-like squeals and a sense of delicious, playful buoyancy that's entirely at odds with the life-changing subject matter.
All Them Witches - Acid Face
The latest in All Them Witches' Bakers Dozen series of online releases, Acid Face is a brilliant 18-minute jam that attempts to relive the frenetic, cartwheeling energy of Santana's iconic Woodstock set from 1969. "Nothing compares to the energy or sound that Santana was putting out back then," says drummer extraordinaire Robby Staebler. "The routine was simple - hit record and go until the wheels fell off. Acid Face gives me that sense of explosive percussive energy that they brought into the world and gives the excitement of layering grooves that push forward through time."
Isyana Sarasvati - My Mystery
Here's a question no one has ever asked before: what would Muse sound like if they from Indonesia and had a female singer? Well, Isyana Sarasvati is the answer. A graduate of Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and London's Royal College of Music, she's worked as an opera singer in the past, but new single My Mystery is the full-blown modern prog rock experience, with riffs that stutter and thrash and lurch all over the place, and a vocal that veers from pop to Kate Bush to something altogether more ferocious. Like this? You're not the only one: she has a million followers on YouTube.