The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including The Struts, The Lemon Twigs, Sheryl Crow and more

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

They'll be dancing in the streets of Fresno today, as news breaks that local old-skool metal heroes Haunt have triumphed in our most recent Tracks Of The Week competition. So congratulations to them, and to Silveroller and The Pineapple Thief, who didn't win, but did fill what would be called the "minor medal" positions if we actually gave out medals. Which we don't. 

Here's Haunt's winning entry again. You can almost smell the NWOBHM. 

And now it's on with this week's battle. We hope you enjoy our selection as much as we did.  


Battlesnake - Motorsteeple

Billed as a metal band “forged deep in the fiery pits of the underworld”, Australian seven-piece Battlesnake are about as weird as their namesake suggests. Happily, as shown on new single Motorsteeple, they also know to channel that weirdness into a proper banger, all machine-gun riffage, psychedelic undertones and hard rock theatre, like Judas Priest trading Dungeons & Dragons plot hooks with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Electric Six. Sounds fun – is fun. Watch out for more later in the year…

Royal Republic - Love Cop

Opening (in the video) with an Arnie quote and never looking back, Love Cop is the title track of the hard-boogieing Swedes’ next album, and it’s fearless – in a gleefully silly, oomphy, disco-Van Halen sort of way, complete with flashy guitar solo, 80s textures as far as the eye can see, and even an old-school aerobics video for added toe-tapping value. We listened to it once and had to hit replay several times in quick succession, such was its addictive pull. “LoveCop says you have the right to remain loud!” the band say. “You have the right to remain wicked. So put your hands behind your head... and dance!”

The Lemon Twigs - They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place

Riding high and hot on the heels of last year’s Everything Harmony record, The Lemon Twigs continue to pick up where Jellyfish left off at the start of the 90s – stirring sounds of the 60s and 70s into immaculately chiselled songs that are very much theirs. They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place is all starry-eyed Beach Boys pop and sepia-tinged daydreams with a bittersweet touch. Find more on their next album, A Dream Is All We Know, which is out in May.

Skinny Knowledge - Strike Out

Bournemouth pop-punk rockers Skinny Knowledge are on mightily effective form for this exhilarating shot of driving distortion and Green Day-esque brightness. Frontman Andy L Smooth says: “What would it be like to go to a punk-rock show whilst suffering from heart-break, getting punched up, but kinda enjoying it at the same time? That’s the inspiration of this song.” Its punchy parent album, twentytwo., is worth a listen.

The Struts - How Can I Love You (Without Breaking Your Heart)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, The Struts have dropped this new ballad, full of warm swathes of pretty guitars, dreamy backing harmonies and stirring pop storytelling. “How Can I Love You (Without Breaking Your Heart) is a brutally honest song that takes me right back to that moment when the phrase came to me,” Spiller explains. “It has a Rod Stewart vibe to it, which is definitely something we haven't done before. I also adore the backing vocal section, which has a Fleetwood Mac feel that’s never a bad thing. The lyric was laboured over for a long time, which I hope people will appreciate.”

Marisa & The Moths - SAD

"This song is about the shame of feeling sad while projecting a different narrative to the outside world,” Marisa says of this ardent marriage of despair and wired energy – think 90s pop-punk guitars with grungy depth, and a singalong refrain that’s part Pink, part Skunk Anansie. “It's the challenge of wearing a happy face while, internally, your world feels like it's falling apart. I wrote this song when I found myself in a situation where, despite logically recognising things to be grateful for, I couldn't escape those overwhelming emotions.”

Sheryl Crow - Do It Again 

Back in 2019 Sheryl Crow announced she wouldn't be recording any more albums, but Evolution is out next month, and Do It Again is the third single to be plucked from its predictably relaxed grooves. We imagine Crow expends a good amount of effort making her songs sound as effortless as they do, and this is typical, a smooth piece of pop-rock that contains the most serene swearing we've ever heard. "I feel like I’ve been writing this song for 30 years,” says Crow. "To me, life is one long exploration in how to live joyfully. It’s a work in progress." 

Skindred - If I Could 

Released in the wake of their Best Alternative Band win at this year's MOBO awards, Skindred's If I Could is a typically fierce example of the ragga-metal that's brought them this far, with riffs galore, some fiery preaching from Benji Webb, and a chorus that's bigger than a truck. Even after this long in showbiz Skindred are still on the up, with March finding the band headlining Wembley Arena before heading down under to play Knotfest. "It is a great time to be in Skindred," says Benji. "It truly is!”

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