Tracks Of The Week: new music and videos from Judas Priest, Toto and more...

a collage of artists

Happy new year folks, and welcome to the first Tracks of the Week of 2018. We hope you’re primed and ready to ruthlessly judge a fresh batch of new rock’n’roll, but first let’s look at the previous edition’s top three in reverse order:

3. Alice Cooper – The Sound Of A

2. Lovehoney – Feelin’ No Way

1. Voyages – New Years Day

Congratulations to those guys for winning you lot over. But who will do the business this week? A big fish or a brand new newbie? Have a listen, then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page. Before that, however, how about a spin of our new year-welcoming winners Voyages? Go on then, let’s ‘ave ‘em…

Brothers Osborne – Shoot Me Straight

We thoroughly enjoyed these guys when they packed out London’s Forum last year, in support of their Nashville compadres The Cadillac Three. This year they’ll be returning on their own terms – releasing their new album around spring, and touring the UK as headliners in May – and if this hit of countrified roots rock is anything to go by, we can see it being rather a good one for them.

Judas Priest – Lightning Strike

Yeaaahhhh! New Judas Priest! Now THAT’S how you shake off those cobwebs and hangovers still lingering from the holiday season. Lightning Strike offers precisely what you’d want from Messrs Halford, Tipton, Faulkner, Hill and Travis; propulsive riffs and drums that gallop like metal-head horses, larynx-shredding cries and fretboard flashes, and lyrics about nightmares from hell, walking through fire and (of course) “waiting for lightning to strike”. Bang on.

A Perfect Circle – Disillusioned

Anticipation builds for the alternative rock masters’ new album as they release this enveloping latest taste. Moody yet smooth, it’s lifted by carefully placed keyboard touches and soaring chorus guitar – not to mention invitingly brooding (without being laboured) lyrics.

Toto – Spanish Sea

This hitherto unreleased number from the AOR giants is imbued with sweet, swaying Africa-esque flavours (plus some tasty falsetto and vocal harmony action in the bridge) – and can be soaked up as part of their greatest hits release, 40 Trips Round the Sun, which is out in February. Yeah, we’ll have some of that.

Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee

The Pineapple Thief (feat. The Anchoress) – Fend For Yourself

The Somerset contemporary progressive types teamed up with singer/fellow KScope signee The Anchoress for this beautiful, slightly slower version of Fend For Yourself – originally from 2016’s transportive LP Your Wilderness. Growing from a base of delicate piano, it’s soothing, expertly woven-together stuff, ideal for winding down with red wine at the end of a long week.

Dead Man’s Whiskey – My Year

One gutsy London group’s resounding ‘fuck you’ to the uncertainties and struggles of life as a new, growing rock band – with the strident declaration “this will be my year!”. Taken from debut album Under The Gun, this stomps forward with steely, pensive verses, weighty guitar grooves and grit-laced, rallying-against-the-world vocals. And some good, dirty swagger.

CRASHDÏET – We Are The Legion

It starts softly enough, but don’t let that mislead you – back with bite (and a quality new singer, Gabriel Keyes, confirmed last month) the Swedes mix 80s-nodding hard rock with metallic menace and shades of sleaze. And they do it very loudly. Have a good weekend all!

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.