Another seven days have passed in the ever-changing, ever-exciting world of rock'n'roll, and what have we learned? Well, we've learned that Leicester rockers Skam are slightly more popular than Irish duo Seafoam Green, at least according to the results of last week's Tracks of the Week competition.
So congratulations to both of them. And congratulations to Garbage, whose No Gods No Masters romped home in third place.
Without further ado, let's crack on with this week's battle. The choices are below, the voting mechanism is at the bottom of the page, and we hope you enjoy the show.
Ayron Jones - Take Your Time
Seattle’s hot new guitar star also has a gorgeous set of pipes and a strikingly mature, no-punches-pulled ear for a good song. All of which gets aired on this searing new ballad from upcoming album Child Of The State. There are moments when his playing here makes us think of Hendrix’s The Wind Cries Mary, others that call to mind Soundgarden at their most moving… One of the exciting new guitar heroes around today.
Cardinal Black - Tell Me How It Feels
If you like stunning, Stevie Ray Vaughan-rivalling (yet totally effortless) displays of six-string mastery, and you don’t already know about Chris Buck, listen to this happy marriage of modern soul, buttery pop and bluesy sensibilities. We last saw Chris playing with two-piece Buck & Evans, but back in 2010 the Welsh guitarist was in Cardinal Black, who were spotted by Guns N’ Roses manager Alan Niven. Impressed, Niven whisked them off to Arizona to become stars. One way or another it didn’t work out and the band separated… until now.
Steven Wilson - Anyone But Me
Originally destined to be the closing track on his latest record, The Future Bites (though anyone who's listened to that album in full will likely agree that the more lo-fi choice, Count Of Unease, was a much better fit) Anyone But Me is basically the sound of Wilson processing the ills of the modern age by diving headfirst into his Beatles records. All angelic harmonies, timely lyrics and sun-dappled arrangements, it's an affirmation of the pop heart under the production prowess.
The Record Company - I Wanna Get High
The latest in a winning streak of cool covers from the LA-based trio (INXS’s Devil Inside, Big Mama Thornton’s Ball And Chain), Cypress Hill’s I Wanna Get High gets an expansive makeover without losing the loose-limbed grit and shadows of the 1993 original. Capitalising on bassist/producer Alex’s wide-reaching compositional background (fun fact: pre-TRC he played on and co-wrote Tupac Shakur’s 2002 track Mama’s Just A Little Girl) and singer Chris’s falsetto refrain, it’s a smart, super enjoyable reimagining of a piece of hip-hop history.
The Picturebooks ft Lzzy Hale - Rebel
The raw bluesed up rock duo have announced a new record, The Major Minor Collective, for release in September. As the title suggests it finds the band teaming up with a bunch of friends, including Halestorm’s very own Lzzy Hale, who lends a lion’s roar to this heartstring-tugging power ballad. “I am so grateful to The Picturebooks for bringing me into their world and giving me the freedom to express my personal journey of rediscovering myself,” she says. “And I know that, in times like these, this song will bring the listener hope for the future and the confidence to survive whatever that future becomes.”
Blackberry Smoke ft Warren Haynes - All Rise Again
Govt Mule chief Warren Haynes soars harmoniously over the top of Charlie Starr's honeyed southern tones on this cut from Blackberry Smoke's new LP You Hear Georgia (out in full at the end of this month). Boot-stomping, bourbon-soaked fare with a pensive heart, we could see ourselves enjoying this somewhere fun on a Saturday night and while watching the sun go down, lost in thought...or something.
KK’s Priest - Hellfire Thunderbolt
Long-time fans of KK Downing’s work with former band Judas Priest will doubtless be delighted to hear that his new band look and sound exactly like Priest, and their video is exactly what one might expect from a band who want to recreate the vibe of classic Judas Priest, with former Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens shrieking away out front and a Richie Faulkner-alike on second guitar. Marvellous times.
Billy F Gibbons - My Lucky Card
Billy Gibbons is back once again like a renegade master, powering his way through My Lucky Card, a lascivious, low-slung blues with a video shot at Pappy & Harriet’s Legendary High Desert Honky-Tonk, a famed barbecue restaurant and music venue near Joshua Tree National Park. It's the kind of song that makes you want to move to the desert and open an armadillo farm.