It's been another week of titanic struggle in the digital realm, as Elon Musk battles to steady the good ship Twitter and our Tracks Of The Week competition threatens to break bandwidth across the globe.
At the end of a full seven days of savage battling, Robert Jon & The Wreck stand triumphant, with Curlys Jewels' Criminal (opens in new tab) not far behind and Skinny Knowledge's Class A Dummy (opens in new tab) beating the rest into a very respectful third place. They all deserve your respect and/or money.
And now, as tradition dictates, we wipe the slate clean and start again. Our latest batch of wannabe winners are below, as is the voting form. For, you know, the voting.
Girish & The Chronicles - Loaded
Originally released on the Bangalore hard rockers’ debut Back To Earth, in 2014, Loaded has been freshly spruced up as part of a full album re-record. Back To Earth 2.0 comes out in January, but in the meantime there’s this big, bombastic, galactically confident taster – all 80s hair vibes, heavy chops and cyborgian guitar screams. If Whitesnake were kicking off now, in India, they might have come up with something like this.
Gaupa - Exoskeleton
The Swedish psych guys’ new song feels like the sort of thing you’d really hope to unearth in a trawl through some ancient, treasure-filled record shop. Its key ingredients are beautifully old-school, and yet there’s something rather timeless about it. Tuned into the present, and maybe even the future. It’s like hearing Bjork front a bluesy desert rock group, wreathed in psychedelic smoke – with a mind-bending animated video to match. Their album Myriad has just come out, so go forth and get lost in it.
James And The Cold Gun - Chewing Glass
Newly signed to Pearl Jammer Stone Gossard’s label (Loosegroove), these Welsh garage rockers have funnelled a cocktail of punk teeth and 00s guitar wave vibes into this driving new single. “The verses are a conversation with myself in the mirror at a low point where I'm re-evaluating all of my decisions,” frontman James Joseph says, “in essence, it's a song about being down on your luck but persisting anyway.”
Emergency Rule - Garden
They have feet in Classic Rock-approved bands (drummer Travis Dragani has also played in Palace of the King, as well as with fellow Aussie/blues dude Gwyn Ashton), and now Aussie hairies Emergency Garden come bearing this heavy, woozy groove-fest – mixing thick, riffcake flavours of Clutch with satisfyingly nasty vocals and clouds of marijuana smoke (we imagine, anyway…). Nice.
The Inspector Cluzo - Swallows
Our favourite Gascony farmers have released a tender, twinkly ode to the circle of life. All Neil Young-esque americana sunlight, with an emotional impact that sneaks up on you – via cute animations of birds, bugs, fields, a farmyard cat and other pastoral puzzle pieces (pieces, they suggest, that are under threat by intensified, mass production of crops and livestock). It’s softer than much of their earlier blues rock work but very lovely for it; a thought-provoking addition to the Cluzo table.
Guernica Mancini - Inception
Singer with Swedish classic rockers Thundermother, Guernica Mancini (if that isn’t a very badass name, we’re not sure what is) has been quietly brewing a solo side gig - a gutsy fusion of slick, oomphy rock and pop with punchy aftertastes of Halestorm. “Getting to do something creatively that’s completely my own is something that I’ve been longing to do,” she says. “More than anything I feel so happy that my bandmates in Thundermother are really supportive and excited for me. So now let the Guernica solo legacy begin.”
Cats In Space - 1,000,000 Miles
The third single from Cats In Space's possible Album Of The Year contender Kickstart The Sun comes in two different hues. There's the album version, and then there's this one, which features a spectacular duet between Cats frontman Damien Edwards and Space Elevator frontlady Julie Maguire, otherwise known as ‘The Duchess'. It's a piano ballad of such vastness it's only right that the video is set in outer space itself. "We knew early on this tune was always going to be a single," says lead Cat Greg Hart. "The crossover potential is huge and I think, arguably, this is potentially the most universal Cats release ever." Literally miaow.
Grace McKagan - Jimmy (Lookin’ Like Trash)
A buoyant slice of bubblegum grunge from Grace McKagan, dedicated to friend-of-the-McKagans Jimmy Webb. No, not the great songwriter, but the late New York punk stylist, who dressed everyone from the Ramones to Lady Gaga and Joan Jett, and owned the I Need More boutique, named after the Iggy Pop song. In 2019 he hosted a collection by another daughter of Duff, Mae Marie Mckagan, so the connections run deep, and Grace's tribute is appropriately warm-hearted. This is the second song to emerge from Grace's debut EP, which is due to land on December 2.