Welcome to the latest edition of Classic Rock's Tracks Of The Week, in which we swim through the choppy, vibrant seas of rock'n'roll and serve up the tastiest catches. Tonnes of you voted in last week's poll, and below are the bands that made it into your top three:
Congratulations to Bang Bang Romeo! And to King Creature and Rival Sons for hard-fought second and third places. Now, time to see what this week has to offer. You know what to do: ingest, percolate, then vote for your favourite at the foot of this page. Right after you've listened to last week's champions Bang Bang Romeo...
The Virginmarys - Look Out For My Brother
With the likes of Virginmarys, IDLEs and Blinders (in their own different ways) exploring current social and political tensions in quality new rock records, there’s a good argument to suggest that the protest song is back. This highlight from new album Northern Sun Sessions is a stirring call-to-arms of a song, at once beautifully intimate and full of fire.
Dan Patlansky - Too Far Gone
One of this generation’s best blues rock singer/guitarists, Dan Patlansky produced the album (Perfection Kills) from which this cool, oomphy number is taken. For someone who spent years chiefly focused on out-noodling himself in the six-string department, this was an affirmation of his development as a creative and songwriter – not just a phenomenal guitarist. Catch him on tour in the UK throughout this month.
A Perfect Circle - So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
It might take its name from a line in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, but that doesn’t stop this upbeat, catchy APC number (our favourite from new album Eat The Elephant) from remaining grounded in decidedly organic tuneage. All accompanied by a surreal, satirically apocalyptic video that reminds us Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun. Expect dolphins and a priest, among other things.
Black Whiskey - Cheat The Hangman
There are various ways to say ‘fuck you’ to cancer. Straight-ahead, no-nonsense rock like this is a good one (BW guitarist Kex Ingles is battling the disease). These Londoners have roots in metal - and you can hear that in the deep, NWOBHM-ish crunch of the verses - but this is essentially blues-based classic rock, of the beefiest kind. Dedicated followers of fashion they ain’t, as they sing here, but riffy, protein-packed rock'n'roll? That they can do.
Bullets And Octane - When We Were Young
Exuberant, power pop/punk rock from California-based rockers Bullets And Octane. They’ve been playing for 20 years now, picking up fans on the road with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Eagles Of Death Metal, even if they’ve not quite hit ‘the big time’ themselves. Indeed, there’s a melancholic edge in the final lines, singer Gene Louis eyeballing you as he looks back to days of yore, but it’s carried off in such a way that you leave feeling somehow uplifted.
Skinny Lister - 38 Minutes
You wanna dance? No? Try watching Skinny Lister co-vocalist Lorna Thomas for a few moments, and you might just change your mind. And the whole song, for that matter, should have your toes tapping pretty easily, as it skips and bounds along amid lusty acoustic strumming and ‘ooh-ooh’ refrains. A promising early taste of upcoming album The Story Is…, which comes out in March 2019.
Accept - Breaker (live)
And now for something different: Accept, on a really massive stage, with an orchestra. Singer Mark Tornillo sounds like Brian Johnson crossed with one of the lairy monsters in Evil Dead (i.e. pretty fucking metal) and the band’s monstrous chops are flanked by a big fuck-off orchestra. Do we need another metal band with an orchestra?? Probably not, but if you like old-school heavy metal you definitely want this in your life. Check out the full package, Symphonic Terror - Live In Wacken 2017, which is out on November 23.
Handsome Jack - Baby Be Cool
We’ll leave you with something dulcet and rootsy from Handsome Jack, trimmed with brassy old soul. Honestly, this is so lovably laid-back it’s horizontal, happier chillaxing somewhere sunny than starting a fight anytime soon - though the soulful vocal gravel at work ensures we get a little zing in the mix.