Another day at Rock Central, and we've sifted through actual mountains of new tunes to select the baddest and best on offer this week. And what peaks we've climbed! There's weird Aussie psych, controversy from Germany, some swaggering rock'n'roll from the Manchester precinct, and too much more for our tiny brains to consider before we get to the end of this sentence.
You can vote for your favourite in the delightfully user-friendly poll below, but first, here's a round-up of last week's top rankers, in reverse order.
- Neal Morse Band - Get Behind Me Satan
- Chuck Norris Experiment - Spin It Round
- The Underground Thieves - White Noise
So congratulations to the Neal Morse Band and to the Chuck Norris Experiment for filling out the Top Three, but the top prize goes to mysterious Southern California desert collective The Underground thieves, who topped the vote with White Noise, a tender yet epic chunk of Glamicarna (we just made up a new genre).
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Comin’ Round The Mountain
Kick off your Monday in good sunshiney company, with former Black Crowe Chris Robinson and his trippy americana n’ jam-peddling beardos (as in the guitar-based ‘jam’, not the fruity preserve…). So damn sweet and laid back it should come with a health warning.
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Boogieman Sam
Christ it feels like only yesterday that we were watching these far-out, psychedelic Aussies playing to a modest crowd at London’s Rough Trade East. Now, in a relatively short space of time, they’ve risen from bizarrely named oddballs to Ally Pally-headlining oddballs, with a devout, handsomely sized following. Listening to this cheerful, harmonica-wailing mix of bouncy bluesiness and Tame Impala nods, it’s not hard to see their appeal.
Rammstein - Deutschland
We won't pretend to know what the fuck’s going on in this new video from Til, Richard and co – beyond the basic German-history-with-Tudors-and-lasers-and-cannibalism-and-space (yes, space…) premise, but the track is a good, commanding dose of the kind of menacing yet melodious panache they do so well. It's the visuals that truly startle, though, and there's little wonder it's spawned so many column inches. What does it all mean? Does it provide any answers, or is it just asking questions? Is there life on Mars? Why do birds suddenly appear? Who knows?
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - On To The Next
Guitar hero Tyler Bryant has honed his craft over the last couple of years, supporting the likes of AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith at enormous shows across the globe, marching onstage every night determined to wow audiences there to see someone else. This song, a fuzzed-up blast of high-octane blues rock with the momentum of a stray meteor, is an attempt to capture that excitement. And with a verse that sounds like a cross between Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and Aerosmith's Bolivian Ragamuffin, it most assuredly succeeds.
Saint Agnes - Move Like A Ghost
Jack White’s legacy has been wide-reaching, and these guys are one of our favourite results of that legacy. New single Move Like A Ghost is a brilliantly jagged blend of feral guitar blasts, banshee cries and super cool garage and blues. Sexy, noisy and stylish in equal measure.
Gorilla Riot - Half Cut
Dirty, oomphy hard rock’n’roll from Manchester rockers Gorilla Riot now, with lashings of snarling, bluesy swagger. Think of the gnarly sweet spot where blues rock meets the grungy likes of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, and you’re on the right track. And how many rock lovers wouldn’t want to be on that track? It’s a pretty tasty track, let’s face it...
Cormac Neeson - Broken Wing
Beautiful solo track now from The Answer’s frontman, written for his four-old-son, born three months prematurely and with Down’s Syndrome. Part Celtic lilt, part impassioned Southern rock gravel, it’s genuinely heartstring-tugging (can’t lie, we almost welled up at the line: “he don’t need to fly/that’s alright, neither do I”) and unsurprising to learn that Neeson’s said of the record from which it’s taken, White Feather: “I know I've written a collection of songs that mean more to me than anything I've ever done in the past”.
Velvet Volume - Honey
Punchy, attitude-packed garage rock from Danish siblings Velvet Volume, in which early ‘00s guitar bands, Riot Grrrl and riffy classic rock collide. Ace bass lines too. Loud n’ filthy but strangely sweet (appropriately enough…). “It was very natural for us to play the rock genre,” the band have said, “there’s something in its simplicity and brutality that made it very honest to us.”