Tracks Of The Week: new music and videos from the Manics, Zeal & Ardor and more...

We've scoured the world for the finest in new music, and are pleased to present you with this appetising selection of groovers, shakers, head-bangers and makers of delicious sounds. Tune in, check 'em out and if you like what you hear why not look up more? Or head to a gig of theirs? Either way, go forth and ingest...

Manic Street Preachers – Liverpool Revisited

How about some Manics-shaped action to start things off? Yeah, we’ll take that, especially as this is one of our favourites from new album Resistance Is Futile. Lyrically it’s about justice for the victims of the Hillsborough campaign; hardly lightweight fodder, but musically there’s a real sense of optimism.  As that rousing chorus kicks in, followed by warming bridge guitar solo, it could almost be the 90s again - in a good, classiest-side-of-Britrock kinda way.

Rival Bones – SCARS

Another hirsute, heavy blues-rooted duo, but happily these guys from North West England come bearing their own growl and personality. Hitting notes of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, but with nastier undertones, Rival Bones are a gnarly but ultimately groovy prospect – with melody to back up the beef.

BRMC – Carried From The Start

The latest cut from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new album is accompanied by a super-stylish video. From dusty roads and barren landscapes to beautiful people in a nightclub that may or may not be on fire, it’s a vibrant hedonistic hit – and the perfect compliment to the woozy yet hooky alt rock at play.

Brian James – Slow It Down

You’ll likely know him as the founder of punk legends The Damned, and as Stiv Bators’ right hand man in Lords Of The New Church. Today, however, Brian James is presenting this classic, swinging rock’n’roll slice of his solo debut, which is being reissued on April 27. The extra-astute and/or prog-minded among you may recognise drummer Malcolm Mortimore, formerly of Gentle Giant...

Zeal & Ardor – Gravedigger’s Chant

For those of you new to these guys (the brainchild of one Manuel Gagneaux, but now a proper touring band), it’s blues and gospel but way darker and grittier than you know it. Taken from the brilliantly titled Stranger Fruit, on sale June 8th.

Fantastic Negrito – Plastic Hamburgers

His backstory is so compelling you could almost overlook the music. Except you really shouldn’t, because it’s ace – as demonstrated in this sharp-eyed, tasty hit of 21st century bluesy guitar heroism, funky jabs and hard-hitting swagger. If Prince and Eric Gales got together for a jam, it might have sounded like this.

Arthur Alexander – Psycho Automatic

A sweet blend of harmonised power pop and gleaming 80s guitar stabs, courtesy of 70s/80s NYC veteran Arthur Alexander (The Poppees, Sorrows). We can’t say the sax solo after the bridge didn’t come as a surprise, but after an initial ‘what the hell?’ balk we reckon it was actually a pretty good one. Available on red and black vinyl and CD

Ryan Roxie – Over And Done

We’ll leave you with this good-time number from Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie. Hearty and bouncy with just the right amount of guitar heroism, it’s straight-up hard rock’n’roll with a slyly grinning, debonair edge. 

Have splendid weekends y’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.