Welcome to another round of hot-off-the-press tunes from new and old faces alike. Last week's poll attracted a record number of votes, with the following bands making it into your top three (in reverse order):
3. Atari Ferrari - I Just Wanna Know You
2. Jacob Reese Thornton - Bombs Away
1. Greta Van Fleet - When The Curtain Falls
Congratulations Greta Van Fleet! And to Jacob Reese Thornton and Atari Ferrari for hard-fought second and third places. Now, who will sway the vote this week? A big fish like Slash or Halestorm? A brand new newbie? Or the song in this list that's also a recipe?? You decide, by listening to these guys then voting for your favourite at the foot of this page.
But first, let's do a victory lap with last week's first prize winners Greta Van Fleet and When The Curtain Falls...
Lee Aaron – American High
Canadian singer Aaron had a bunch of hits in the late 80s and 90s, peaking with 1989 album Bodyrock. Since then she’s veered into pop and jazz, but this new single is all sleazy Southern blues-based stomp – crescendoing into a gleefully singalong chorus, flanked by brass blasts and hard rock guitar flourishes. Not exactly a Metal Queen anymore (unless ‘Metal Queen’ means ‘predecessor for the likes of Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain’) but it’s totally rock’n’roll, and we like it.
Slash feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – Driving Rain
Slash n’ Myles have already had good years. The latter made critics and punters alike swoon over his solo debut, the former had all and sundry going apeshit at the Guns N’ Roses mega-shows... And now there’s this, our first taste of their album with The Conspirators, and guess what? That’s fucking good, too. Fans of the first SM&TC album will notice the blatant taste of Standing In The Sun in the bridge section, but it works brilliantly; paving the way for a dependably first-class guitar solo from our hatted protagonist. Check out the full album, Living The Dream, which goes on sale on September 21.
Jacob Deraps – Live Fast Die Slow
Imagine one of the most enjoyable new blues guitar-slingers you’ve seen lately. Perhaps they wowed you at one of those jam nights that ends up being surprisingly strong. Now imagine if they’d cut their teeth playing along to Eddie Van Halen, as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan and the like. 18-year-old Canadian singer/guitarist Jacob Deraps nails a deliciously choppy riff and tasty melody that reminds us (if we needed reminding) what simple giddy fun can be had with the blues. If he could turn around a whole album like this, that'd be something...
Halestorm – Do Not Disturb
Halestorm’s excellent new album, Vicious, is out today! So let’s celebrate with a spin of swaggered up highlight Do Not Disturb. Lzzy and co have done sexy songs before, but there was always a degree of coyness involved; showing or suggesting, rather than telling, so to speak. All that’s gone to hell here, and replaced with a neon-lit, ALL-the-details shag-fest. All accentuated by meaty guitar and drum strokes, and suave verse basslines.
The New Breed - The Young And The Reckless
Mixing straight-ahead rock’n’roll with a touch of 00s punk/pop rock drive (think Green Day at their most melodic), Manchester five-piece The New Breed have a promising formula at work in this upbeat new number. Delivered with refreshing urgency and swerving into pensive sections when you don’t quite expect it to, it’ll be interesting to see if they can build on this...
Black Swamp Water – Bitter Harvest
The band name offers a sound indication of what this will sound like. Beefcake guitars? Check. Tattoos, beards and a Tennessee/Jack Daniels-y logo font? Check. Chunky, earnest melody? Check. Strains of rootsy Southern heritage (in banjo form here)? Check. If you enjoy the likes of Black Label Society and Corrosion Of Conformity, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, this is totally for you. We don’t like to say there’s a formula to deducing something as individual as music, but...well, sometimes there kinda is. And we mean that in a good way. Hell, sometimes it pays to lay your cards on the table from the word go. Just look at Black Stone Cherry, Blackwater Conspiracy, Chrome Gumbo, Blacktop Mojo... .
Matt Zajic – Open Road
Now for a change of gear with singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist – and a fittingly summer-soaked one at that, to accompany these hotter-than-the-sun days of late. Blending swathes of psychedelic guitar, early ‘70s soft rock vibes and pretty pop vocal harmonies – with just the slightest bittersweet edge – it’s music for sunny road-trips and leisurely sunset barbecues.
Clutch – Hot Bottom Feeder
To finish up we’ve got the new music video from Maryland groove chefs Clutch. And ‘chef’ is the right word here (we’re not just being whimsical with words…), because when say ‘music video’ we mean ‘recipe for crab-cakes, set to music’. Which is literally what this is, and it’s awesome. Surely no one but Neil Fallon could sing such lines as “Butter up a skillet, fry 'til golden brown/Find yourself a beverage and wash it all down” and not sound like a bit of a tit. Badass rock’n’roll and culinary education? Hell yes!