Let's face it: Battle Of The Bands competitions are essentially naff.
Apart from this one. This one is a rite-of-passage, a bullet point on any band's musical CV, and a landmark on the gleaming path to rock'n'roll success. Our Tracks Of The Week are curated so that fans can discover the very best of right now, and allow bands to engage with new supporters.
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Lecture over. He's last week's triumphant trio, in reverse order.
Congratulations to them all - especially to our new champions Cherie Currie & Brie Darling - and don't forget to vote for your choice from this week's selection. But first, here's a quick reminder of our current queens of rock'n'roll.
The Allman Betts Band - Shinin'
We were blown away by these guys at Ramblin Man Fair the other weekend, so were delighted when this warm, guitar-sliding, twin-lead-fuelled number popped up. Devon Allman and Duane Betts’ illustrious southern rock heritage is clear (I mean, when you’re part of the family that wrote Ramblin Man, Jessica et al, why on earth would you not draw from that?), but delivered with enough fresh energy and personality to make the whole thing stand out in its own right.
Demob Happy - Autoportrait
We’ve been hitting ‘repeat’ on this new one – from Brighton-based alt/psychedelic trio Demob Happy – for the last few days, and we still love it. Kooky yet hooky, it’s the kind of fuzzy, stompy rock’n’roll oddball you can dance and headbang to with ease. We’ll take it.
Moon City Masters - The Price You Pay
Dulcet, sunshiney 70s nostalgia (with healthy lashings of 80s joie de vivre in the video), delivered with harmonised flair by Brooklyn twins Moon City Masters. Imagine Blind Faith having a jolly old time with the Allmans and you’re on the right track. Good clean retro fun.
Goodbye June - Universal Mega Love
We last checked out these guys when they were opening for Greta Van Fleet. We thought they were ace and are now looking forward to their new album, Community Inn, which goes on sale in October. This is the first taster; a punchy, heavy cocktail of swaggering rock’n’roll, bluesy chops and soulful howls that nod to Rival Sons and GVF.
Crobot - Low Life
Another highlight from Ramblin Man Fair – featuring, in Brandon Yeagley, one of the most watchable frontmen of the weekend – Crobot come bearing more of their newly embraced heaviness and grunge-inspired roots, complete with cheerfully daft video. The work of a band who take the music utterly seriously, but have a sense of humour when it comes to themselves. Beef, dirt and good-humoured fun all in one thwacking great rock package.
Elles Bailey - Deeper
If you enjoy the soul/blues/rock stylings of Beth Hart, you’d do well to check out this classy single from Bristol-based singer/songwriter Elles Bailey. Rich, soulful and, crucially, built on a quality tune. Like what you hear? Check out more on her album Road I Call Home, which is out now.
Wayward Sons - Joke's On You
In the wake of the story that broke over the weekend about a passenger dressed as a clown sparking a near-bloodbath aboard a cruise ship, here's just what the nation needs: a video filled with the frightful buggers. Frontman Toby Jepson may have been around the block (he used to be in Little Angels, of course), but Joke's On You is surprisingly fresh-faced, with a riff straight from the UFO book of commercial hooks and a chorus that's bigger than a cow. Lovely stuff.
The Fluffy Jackets - Everything Must Change
Featuring some slinky guitar lines from former Nazareth man Manny Charlton and bass from Neil Murray of Whitesnake (and many others) fame, Everything Must Change is a tasteful, tender ballad taken from next month's Something from Nothing album (which comes with its own documentary film). The lyrics – from Fluffy Jackets frontman Helge Rognstad – might be a little hackneyed, but the sentiment can't be faulted.