Hey all, and welcome to the latest edition of Classic Rock's Tracks Of The Week, in which we scour the latest tunes and present you with a selection of the best. Whose track is the best? The power is in your hands, people. Last week you voted this lot into your top three (with the top two only separated by a handful of votes!), in reverse order:
3. Nicky Aiken And The Sons - Games You’re Playing
2. The Treatment - Hang Them High
1. JOANovARC - Jane
Congratulations to our winners JOANovARC! And bravo to The Treatment and Nicky Aiken on hard-fought second and third places. Now, let’s see who sways your vote this week; you know what to do, get listening and then get voting (at the foot of this page). Right after a victory spin of last week’s winners… Enjoy!
Suzi Quatro - Macho Man
Not everything in life can be counted on. Suzi Quatro's ability to knock out a quality no-bullshit boogie, however, can. In Macho Man, taken from new album No Control (out this week) she manages to sound reassuringly familiar - all the glam stomp of her roots worn gleefully on her sleeve - and effortlessly cool. Don't ever change, Suzi.
Tesla - Shock
To say that producer Phil Collen's Def Leppard-shaped impact can be heard on this title track from Tesla's new record is something of an understatement. And that's no bad thing. After 2014's underwhelming Simplicity, Tesla needed a shot in the arm, and it appears that that's exactly what's happened – if this precision-honed, razor-sharp display of guitar chopping and oomph-laden vocals is anything to go by.
Left Lane Cruiser - Shake And Bake
Another winning title track now, this time from Indiana's blues rock punks Left Lane Cruiser. With filthy, fuzzy guitar lines, frenetic drums and vocals scraped straight from the ashtray, it's the sort of raw music the early country blues guys might have come up with if they'd coincided with the Stooges or the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Chuck Norris Experiment - Spin It Round
Before you start making Chuck Norris jokes – not that they'd be so out of place here, alongside this hearty, driving slab of beefy rock'n'roll – it's worth noting that these Swedes are actually named after the late Hollywood session man Charles 'Chuck' Norris (known for playing with Little Richard and Dinah Washington, among others, as well as a big live record cut in CNE's hometown of Gothenburg). So... yeah, there you go. Fun track, either way.
Chris Shiflett - Welcome To Your First Heartache
Nate Mendel flew solo in 2015, ditto Taylor Hawkins the following year, and now Foo Fighters lead guitarist Chris Shiflett has a solo album in the offing - from which this dulcet piece of rootsy, heartland action is taken. A sweetly warming, singer-songwriter contrast to his day job.
Burning Rain - Face The Music
The opening riff smacks you in the face, setting the tone for this tasty cut from Burning Rain's new album of the same name. Montrose vocalist Keith St John and ex-Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich are something of a dream team here, the latter's strident pipes the perfect foil for the latter's heavy, feel-good chops and flourishes.
The Underground Thieves - White Noise
Our advice? Ignore the rather laboured opening 'drama' minute, and get straight to the song (and the videoed drive across the desert, shot at Joshua Tree) – that's where the good shit happens. An enveloping swirl of 70s glam-tinged vocals and warming, melodious Americana that grows into something bigger and almost psychedelic (organ blasts and even saxophones creep in, as the video starts to embrace giant trippy projections across the sky), it's the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter/producer Nick Perri (formerly of rockers Silvertide).
Neal Morse - Get Behind Me Satan (feat. Ted Leonard)
Neal Morse (he of many rocky and progressive noodlings with Spocks Beard, Flying Colors, Transatlantic and more) has written a "progressive rock musical" called Jesus Christ The Exorcist. Really. Naturally we're exceedingly curious to see how that turns out, but for now we're rather enjoying this first taster - which sounds a bit like Deep Purple riffing off Black Sabbath's Paranoid and the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.