It's that time of the week again where we throw a spotlight on the stand-out tracks that had us all getting friendly with the replay button. Plus, if you're looking for new entries for your Christmas party playlist, then look no further, as these eight newly discovered tracks will have you kissing goodbye to your yearly attachment to George Michael and dancing until it's time to sing Auld Lang Syne.
Just before we get to it though, these are last week's numbers that topped the polls. Coming in at first place was Degreed's gloriously dramatic Into The Fire. And we're certainly not surprised, as what could possibly better than a hooky-as-hell chorus partnered with a (literally) explosive video featuring a truck load of pyrotechnics?
Following closely behind was Big Big Train's Proper Jack Foster, which served as a deeply moving tribute to vocalist David Longdon, who passed away tragically last month.
So let's roll on, just be sure to listen to Degreed's Into The Fire below and have a very Merry Christmas. See you in the new year with our next TTOTW list!
Bad Nerves - Don’t Stop
Bursting forth like the Ramones’ kid brothers on speed – with Supergrass’ I Should Coco IV-ed into their collective bloodstream – Essex rockers Bad Nerves offer just what we all need right now with new single Don’t Stop. It’s all over, classic power-pop style, in barely two minutes. If that leaves you gagging for more, go check out their debut album (2020’s irresistible Bad Nerves) and keep an eye out for gigs and new music in 2022.
The Hellacopters - Reap A Hurricane
Along with the Hives and Backyard Babies, these guys were the dons of Swedish rock in the 90s and 00s. Then, after 2008, they more or less vanished…until now. Captured in a grey, foggy forest clearing (with what looks a bit like a tall, skinny Darlek watching over them) this comeback siren soars in with Motörhead-style distortion, fuck-yeah guitars and a melody that says ‘yeah, we’ve got this’. Rock’n’roll as it should be. Stay tuned for a new album in April…
The Moon City Masters - Send It On
Twin brothers The Moon City Masters play the sort of warm, crafted rock you didn’t think got made anymore (evoking that Boston-y happy place between the 70s and 80s). Send It On is their latest track, released just in time for Christmas, and once again they’ve raised their own Day-Glo bar. There’s a sizable whisper of Boston’s More Than A Feeling, especially in the chorus, with its sparkly layers of acoustic and electric guitars, harmonies and summer cocktail haze. If you need some sunshine this week, this one’s for you.
Chloe Kay And The Crusade - Brokedown and Broke
Australian blues rockers Chloe Kay And The Crusade are responsible for this slinky, funk n’ fusion take on the blues, mixing liquid-smooth guitar lines with organ whirls and ultra slick beats. So slick, in fact, that it *could* have felt like an impressive-but-formulaic session jam, but with Kay’s quivering soul-rock vocals (think Bonnie Raitt in a jazz club) at the front they come out swinging, with a voice of their own – and it’s a good ‘un.
The Karma Effect - Steal Your Heart
With a name like that, you’d be forgiven for expecting these London longhairs to be a bunch of drifty hippies – all yin-yangs and old bong smoke. Except Steal Your Heart is nothing like that. Sure, it’s about as ‘current’ as a Betamax tape, but this is the sort of robust, hooky rock’n’roll that any 70s throwback group ought to aspire to these days; plus it’s got a bit of a rootsy aftertaste that sets it off very nicely. And with frontman Henry Gottelier singing his heart out like a man at his last show, it would take a harder soul than us to not warm to them.
HAWXX - Hologram
Based in the UK but hailing from Greece, Bahrain and Wales between them, HAWXX return for another bite of the TOTW cherry with this thumping, urgent collision of prog-metal and hard rock. “Hologram is a song about the looming dystopia of social media,” they explain. “We curate and self edit to create well packaged yet hollow versions of ourselves… When we are anxious or lonely, we rely on this digital pacifier, this hit of dopamine that has overpowered our human nature. We are the hologram generation.”
Kris Barras Band - These Voices
Fresh from two nights opening for The Darkness, and armed with this driving, emotive dose of modern hard rock from new album Death Valley Paradise (out in March), Kris Barras and co are wrapping up 2021 in style. “This is one of my favourites from the album and perhaps one of the most personal to me,” Torquay’s prodigal cage fighter-turned-guitar slinger says. “I wrote this over the Xmas period of 2020 and it’s about those niggling voices that you get in your head. The ones that tell you, you can’t do something.”
Rich Ragany & The Digressions - December In My Heart
It’s almost Christmas so there will be Christmas songs, many of which will be dreadful. If you can get your hands on one with some legit life to it, consider it a win. This festive offering from RR&TD is one such win. To us it sounds a bit like Texan pop-rock songster Ryan Hamilton, via the gutters of London, with Ginger Wildheart lurking somewhere in the background. Plus the homespun video features Rich dancing around his living room with toy penguins, a very tolerant cat and a giant bauble; if that’s not the Christmas spirit, what is? Happy holidays everyone!