The best new rock songs you need to hear right now

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

In a week in which we learned that Hawk Tuah Girl might be a better leader of the free world than either of the official candidates for the job, our Tracks Of The Week competition was a handy reminder that the world isn't entirely insane. So congratulations to all those who took part.

Most of all, congratulations to Massive Wagons' new hit single Missing On TV (below), which beat out stiff competition from Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse's Wild Woman and Orange Goblin' The Fire At The Centre Of The Earth Is Mine to be crowned this week's official world leader pretend. 

Below, eight more candidates are ready for some rock'n'roll mid-terms. Vote now. Vote hard. 

Massive Wagons - Missing On TV (Official Video) - YouTube Massive Wagons - Missing On TV (Official Video) - YouTube
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The Wild Things - Drunk Again

With Pete Townshend on co-production duties and having played Madison Square Garden for their first US gig (opening for Kiss), you’d expect these UK rockers’ new single to be at least a bit good. Happily, it’s very good. A big-hearted, shout-along rock’n’roll anthem with a rootsy twang, as the band put it “Drunk Again is the kind of set-closing rock and roll grenade that snaps strings and blows speakers.” The vampire-inclined among you might also recognise singer Sydney Rae White – a rocker-and-actress who initially met Townshend when she and Wild Things guitarist Rob Kendrick starred in the Quadrophenia musical – from seasons 3 and 4 of Young Dracula.

Drunk Again - Official Lyric Video - YouTube Drunk Again - Official Lyric Video - YouTube
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The Hot Damn! - Automatic

Automatic is a bit of a different vibe for us,” drummer Josie O’Toole says of this sassy, slightly leftfield (but still reassuringly addictive) latest piece of the Marlow-based pop rockers’ upcoming album Dancing On The Milky Way. “Just when you thought you had us pegged as either very angry or far too happy... we've had another mood swing and so here we are with a big fat slice of grit and determination, sprinkled with glitter and chaser of cowbell for good measure.” All that, plus a gloriously low-budget video in which the band travel to space and do battle with aliens and a really massive cat, armed with what look like water pistols. You probably have to watch it.

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Zeal & Ardor - Fend You Off

Swiss-American maverick Magnuel Gagneux is the mastermind behind ‘black metal blues’ outfit Zeal & Ardor. Now, on this haunting new single, he and his band stretch into fresh territory with delicate, creepy glockenspiel that moves into melancholy wooze and layers of simmering rage. An enveloping, progressive step forward for them. "Another colour joins the tapestry with Fend You Off," says Gagneux. "By now, it might be apparent that we're sharing new sides of ours’. This is us at our core honest and vulnerable. We hope you like it. Stay strange."

ZEAL & ARDOR - Fend You Off - YouTube ZEAL & ARDOR - Fend You Off - YouTube
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The Georgia Thunderbolts - Crawling My Way Back To You

Boasting one of those gorgeous, thoughtfully crafted melodies that shifts in ways you don’t quite expect – and packs a whole lotta old soul in the process – The Georgia Thunderbolts’ new ballad makes a strong case for their forthcoming record Rise Above It All (out in August). Southern rock for the broken-hearted, when you just need a song that says ‘I see you, I’m there, I get it’.

The Georgia Thunderbolts - Crawling My Way Back To You (Official Lyric Video) - YouTube The Georgia Thunderbolts - Crawling My Way Back To You (Official Lyric Video) - YouTube
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Dead Posey - Welcome To The Nightmare

Heavy alt-rock with a set of industrial teeth, Welcome To The Nightmare finds this LA duo making like The Pretty Reckless at their angriest with a pounding taste of Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People. Thematically it’s a protest song through and through, taking aim at “the deep-seated issues plaguing modern America” with a healthy quota of fire and vitriol.

Welcome to the Nightmare - YouTube Welcome to the Nightmare - YouTube
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Jupiter Cyclops - Between Worlds

Intergalactic desert rock from Arizona now, courtesy of beefy energizer four-piece Jupiter Cyclops. Spinning treacle-thick riffs, fuzz and freakoid tales of far-out dimensions, Between Worlds makes a convincing case for their next album, Age Of The UFOnaut, which comes out in July. If Kyuss and Crobot had a baby, and fed it early Black Sabbath and NWOBHM records, it might have sounded like this. 

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Fantastic Negrito feat. Sting - Undefeated Eyes

If you were looking for something to show how the music industry is still operating in catch-up mode following the pandemic, look no further than the new single from Fantastic Negrito, which was recorded before lockdown was implemented in 2020. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that Undefeated Eyes features the man born Born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz duetting with former Police frontman and tantric sex enthusiast Sting. The song was recorded at the former's home studio in Oakland, CA, and finds the pair swapping lines on a smooth and sultry blues with enough soul to take it all the way to the church, and perhaps beyond.     

Fantastic Negrito feat. Sting -- Undefeated Eyes - YouTube Fantastic Negrito feat. Sting -- Undefeated Eyes - YouTube
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The Sweet - Burning Like A Falling Star

Released as the 75th birthday of band leader Andy Scott rolls around, Burning Like A Falling Star finds The Sweet in fine melodic form indeed, with a riff that crunches like a cheese cracker and a chorus that soars like an eagle borne aloft on gossamer wings, or thereabouts. The heavy lifting is comprehensively handled by excellent frontman Paul Manzi, the former Cats In Space/Arena star who's spent much of the last decade either in the band or not in the band, depending on when you look. Lovely stuff.  

Sweet - Burning Like A Falling Star (Official Video) - YouTube Sweet - Burning Like A Falling Star (Official Video) - YouTube
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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.

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