The best new rock songs you need to hear right now, including Mdou Moctar, St Vincent, Danko Jones and more

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

In a week when the annual Brit Awards ceremony confirmed once again that there's no accounting for taste, out Tracks Of The Week contest played host to a spectacularly tasty battle. 

Coming out on top were New Orleans' finest rock/blues/folk/soul combo Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse, with Satisfy Your Queen, while Manchester's Little Strange came second and the combined force of Orianthi and Joe Bonamassa was good enough for third. Congratulations to all of them. 

And now it's on with this week's rumble. Enjoy the rock. 


Mdou Moctar - Funeral For Justice

The man dubbed the Sahara’s answer to Jimi Hendrix is back, following 2021’s brilliant Afrique Victime, and he’s on electrifying form. The title track of his new album, Funeral For Justice is a hypnotic kaleidoscope of heavy, jagged blues and worldly psychedelia, with Niger-based Moctar addressing African leaders directly: ‘Retake control of your countries, rich in resources / Build them and quit sleeping’. A tight, compelling return.

Bad Nerves - You’ve Got The Nerve

Coming at you at a gazillion miles an hour like Blitzkrieg Bop getting made over by I Should Coco-era Supergrass, You’ve Got The Nerve signals the impending arrival of the Essex power-pop punks’ anticipated second album – Still Nervous, out in May. “Prepare your ear drums for tinnitus and for no other rock band to ever seem interesting again,” says frontman Bobby, exuding an infectious level of confidence in his band’s forthcoming release. “Rock and roll lives; guitar music is never dead. Fuck you!” Fuck yeah!

The Karma Effect - Wild Honey

Anyone missing the king-sized blues rock grooves of early Temperance Movement might want to give these guys a spin. Fresh off the rising Brits’ new album Promised Land, Wild Honey is a chunky, old-school rock’n’roll boogie with swaying hips, indoor sunglasses and its eyes firmly on enormodome stages – even if its heart feels entrenched in some low-ceilinged bar somewhere. Groovy, sassy and super-fun. Nothing new, of course, but sometimes you don’t need new.

St Vincent - Broken Man

Annie Clark – better known as art rock maverick St Vincent – delves into a Nine Inch Nails-esque cocktail of velvet, broken glass and thick groovy distortion on this urgent, alluring taste of her next album, All Born Screaming, which comes out in April. “There are some places, emotionally, that you can only get to by taking the long walk into the woods alone – to find out what your heart is really saying,” Clark has said. “It sounds real because it is real.” 

Danko Jones - Waiting For You

A no-bullshit fistful of heavy rock’n’roll with which to seize the day, the week, or the month even. Tight, red-hot riffage and middle-fingers-up attitude are the key ingredients in this surprise new single from Danko, which originally came to life in the Electric Sounds album sessions. But this is no half-arsed offcut; it rocks hard, fast and totally furiously, with a smile playing at the corners of its mouth. Much like all the best Danko Jones ‘choons, for that matter. Well played, DJ.

The Georgia Thunderbolts - Rise Above It All

Building on their raw country/southern foundations with a layer of scuzzy hard rock protein, The Georgia Thunderbolts make a stong opening case for their next record (due later this year) on Rise Above It All.  "Alone we can do wonderful things. Together? We can reach immeasurable bounds,” says vocalist TJ Lyle. “Be kind. Be courageous and even in the darkest of nights, always chase the light! There’s no limit to what we can achieve. Together we can and we will rise above it all."

Earth Tongue - Bodies Dissolve Tonight!

Fresh from supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in New Zealand, Wellington duo Earth Tongue have released the first single from their upcoming second album Great Haunting, due to arrive via In the Red Recordings in June. Bodies Dissolve Tonight! doesn't stray too far from what we've heard from Gussie Larkin and Ezra Simons before, which means overclocked fuzz guitar carving out a gigantic riff and a shared vocal/chant from the pair that sounds as if they're in a mead-induced pagan trance, ready to embark on a long evening of crazed effigy burning. Catch them at Desert Fest in London this May if you're going, for they're a wonder to behold. 

Joe Lynn Turner, Marty Friedman, Jah Wobble & Chester Thompson - Moonchild

This cover of King Crimson's Moonchild comes from an unlikely meeting of musical minds, as former Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner hooks up with ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, longtime Public Image Ltd bassist Jah Wobble and Zappa/Weather Report/Genesis drummer Chester Thompson. Nearly 10 of the song's 12-and-a-half minute length are devoted to some rather enigmatic noodling from Friedmamn, and very good it is too. It's taken from the upcoming Reimagining The Court Of The Crimson King album, which sees Robert Fripp & Co.'s debut reworked by the likes of Todd Rundgren, Arthur Brown, Nik Turner, James LaBrie, Carmine Appice and Steve Hillage. It's out in April via Cleopatra Records.   

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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