Tracks of the Week: new music and videos from Starcrawler, The Picturebooks and more...

Welcome groovers and shakers to the house of fun – aka Classic Rock’s Tracks of the Week, where eight of the finest new tunes do battle to win you lot over. Tonnes of you voted in last week’s poll, placing the following artistes into your top three (in reverse order):

3. Massive - Long Time Coming 

2. Gary Hoey feat Eric Gales - Under The Rug 

1. Ataurus Minor - Starman

Congratulations Ataurus Minor! And similarly to second and third place winners Gary Hoey and Massive, you’ve all done very well. Now, let’s see who sways your favour this week. You know what to do; feast your eyes and ears upon this lot, then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page. But first, a little spin of last week’s champion Ataurus Minor’s Bowie homage. Enjoy...

Starcrawler - Hollywood Ending

Sounding more gloriously 90s-infused than a band this young has any right to, LA’s rock’n’roll children Starcrawler swap the blood and gurning for some surfy grunge-pop sunshine on new single Hollywood Ending. Seemingly their album producer, Ryan Adams, left an impression on them – and a good one at that...

The Picturebooks - Electric Nights

Imagine the dark, human son of Animal from Sesame Street on drums, teamed with a howling hairy biker dude on guitar - both of whom don’t so much ‘play’ their instruments as ‘attack’ them (having absorbed as much from David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick movies as the likes of The Stooges and The Clash), and yet still make something hooky and familiar in a wild, dark garage-blues sort of way… If it sounds unruly that’s because it is, but it really works. 

Palaye Royale - Dying In A Hot Tub

The Vegas-based brothers mix the theatre of Queen and the classic oomph of the Stones with catchy lashings of My Chemical Romance in this heartstring-tugging ballad. Taken from last year’s Boom Boom Room Side B, it’s one of their strongest songs yet. 

Saint Agnes - Welcome To Silvertown

Fearsome London-based rockers Saint Agnes deliver menacing witchery on this latest single. Imagine the darkest reaches of the White Stripes and The Kills, plus a load of twisted dreams and psychedelic trips, and you’re in the right ballpark. Warped, weird and a bit filthy, yes, but oh so tasty.

Eric Gales - Something’s Gotta Give

And now for something smooooth...yeah… Eric Gales must be just about every guitarist’s favourite guitarist, even if he’s comparatively lesser known in a wider sense. But as this mash-up of cool blues, soul, jazzy edges and politically conscious (but not preachy) lyrics shows, the man deserves your attention.

Royal Tusk - Reflection

Part brooding alt. gnarliness, several parts beefy, pretension-free hard rock, this Canadian foursome are billed as “steadfast champions of the majesty of kick-ass riffs, meaty hooks, a thick bottom end, and loud guitars.” Based on this new single, we’d say it’s a fair description. Catch ‘em on tour with Monster Truck in the UK in April.

Blacktop Mojo - Prodigal

A slow but beautiful one now from heaving rock Texans Blacktop Mojo, taken from latest album Burn The Ships. Emotionally charged chest-pounding fodder, from a seemingly very real place, it mixes the earnest, Southern weight of Black Stone Cherry with Alice In Chains-nodding wooziness. Stirring stuff.

Black Whiskey - Rebel

Apparently today is ‘Blue Monday’. While we don’t want to give too much credence to an arbitrarily picked, media-fuelled phenomenon, we agree that January can be a pretty crappy month for all manner of reasons, so let us leave you with some musical comfort food - riffy, meat n’ potatoes rock’n’roll from Oz. They won’t be winning a Pulitzer for those lyrics anytime soon (‘I like to be a bad boy/sometimes I take drugs/I’m a rock’n’roll rebel!’... and yeah, more of that) but we suspect that wasn’t the aim.