If there's one thing we've learned from the five plus years we've been running our Tracks Of The Week feature, it's that the rock never stops. You might think that new music might lose its ability to delight and surprise, but it never does, and this week's selection is no different.
But first? Last week's results are in, and we offer the very heartiest of congratulations to those who filled the podium positions.
3. Sweet Crisis - Black Magic
2. Blacktop Mojo - Can’t Sleep
1. Tarja Turunen - Railroads
So congratulations to the mighty Tarja, and to our runners-up, whose vote totals would have been enough to triumph in other weeks had the Turunen hordes not descended on mass to proclaim their queen champion.
This week's contenders are below – you can vote for your favourite at the foot of the page – but first, let's revisit last week's victor, Tarja Turunen.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - Ride
Tyler and co hit another home run on this latest slice of new album Truth And Lies. Groovy, dirty, smoky-eyed proof that all those A-list support slots (AC/DC, GN’R, Billy Gibbons etc etc) were more than earned, and that their own headline shows, as they take this new record out on the road, will be well worth checking out.
Tainted Lady - Building A Machine
The deliciously suave second single from Danish classic rock revivalists Tainted Lady. They’re already a known quantity in Scandinavia, and armed with straight ahead yet stylish goodies like this they deserve to turn heads further afield. Produced by Søren Andersen (of Glenn Hughes fame, among others), it’s a cool kind of old school deal.
Alter Bridge - Wouldn’t You Rather
Myles Kennedy gets back to rocking hard with this heavy, moody first taste of the new Alter Bridge album, Walk The Sky (due out in October). An immaculately executed display of the pensive yet balls-to-the-wall brand of rock they do so well, it’s whetted our appetite for what’s to come...
Richie Kotzen - Venom
The six-string virtuoso continues to blossom as a singer on this smouldering new solo tune. Crooning and swaying like Johnny Depp with better guitar chops – all tattoos, chunky jewellery and decadent goth features – he’s taking huge strides forward as a convincing singer/songwriter/frontman (i.e. not just a bloke who can play a lot of guitar notes very fast) before our very eyes.
Kris Barras Band - Ignite (Light It Up)
Since the release of his 2018 record The Divine And Dirty, Kris has steadily transformed from an MMA-fighter-turned-blooze-dude into a proper rock shitkicker. This ballsy first taste of new album Light It Up confirms that he’s continuing to head confidently in this direction – and that he’s got the riffs, licks and tunes to stay in people’s heads.
Pearl Handled Revolver - The Switch
UK-grown psychedelic alt rock now, with seductive notes of trippy Nashville-based enigma All Them Witches. With a wah-infused earworm of a guitar hook, sinister moments and the kind of synths that could’ve come from Deep Purple at their weirdest or even jazzy solo Steven Wilson, there’s loads to get your teeth into. And it’s all condensed into just under four minutes, suggesting that PHR are more concerned with sustaining your attention than drifting into hours of weed smoke or similar.
Laurence Jones Band - I’m Waiting
Part of us remembers so clearly seeing Laurence Jones as a kid blues prodigy that it’s weird seeing him a) with facial hair, and b) playing something that’s really not purist white boy blues at all. In truth he’s been moving steadily away from the latter anyway, but I’m Waiting is perhaps the most loosened, joyful example we’ve seen yet - mixing tasty blues rock, 70s rock’n’roll, soulful touches and his best vocals yet.
L.A. Edwards - Reign Over Me
Reign Over Me has the kind of sun-kissed Laurel Canyon sound that used to be quite the thing back in the day. An elegant bit of songwriting that conjures up images of lazy, hazy days and long, warm summers, it's the kind of song we'd listen to if we lived in California and were about to embark on a road trip up to Big Sur with a crate of cold beer in the trunk and some reefer stashed in the glovebox. Last year's excellent True Blue album was produced by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair, so there's some pedigree here, too.