Eight bands. Eight shades of rock. One winner, to be decided by you. Whether you're a balls-to-the-wall hard rock aficionado, blues rock fan, alt rock lover or perhaps enjoy a bit of glam punk in your life, there's something for you here.
Last week’s winners were Hawxx, followed by The Georgia Thunderbolts in second place and South Of Eden in third. Congratulations to all three of them! Check out Hawxx's winning single below, then get a load of this week's selection, not forgetting to vote for your favourite at the foot of this page.
Christopher Shayne - Any Given Sunday
A winning southern rock scorcher with the rolling sweetness of Blackberry Smoke, the groove of ZZ Top and “a blast of desert heat” – sung from the viewpoint of a hungover bloke going to church in the hopes of chatting up a girl (it’s the south, innit?). Arizona native Shayne has already opened for the likes of Shooter Jennings and The Cadillac Three, but if he’s got more tunes like this up his sleeve we’d love to see him as a headliner.
Starbenders - Cover Me
The moodier side of these fiery glam-punk Atlantans comes to the fore in the psychedelic haze of Cover Me. "Cover Me is about love’s underground,” explains singer Kimi Shelter. “The video gives you a peek into the love that we have for each other within our band. The treacherous oceans of reality have always tested the strength of our bonds, but now more than ever we’ve had to trust one another to get through the storm. We don’t go at it alone."
Girish & The Chronicles - Bad Shepherd
Need something hard, heavy and fun – preferably with a chorus you can shout, rather than sing along with – to restore your faith in humanity, the world, life choices or whatever's on your mind? This song is your guy. Still, the opening 30 seconds or so may leave you wondering if Girish and co have forsaken their metal gods. They haven’t. Bad Shepherd is ALL about the metal, with the band’s more-is-more approach to guitar beef offset by Joe Satriani vibes in the solo section.
Crobot - Gasoline (acoustic)
The grungy, Alice In Chains-esque end of Crobot’s spectrum is realised on this emotionally charged career highlight from last year’s Motherbrain. Now, in these Skype/Zoom-connected times, they’ve cut this gorgeous acoustic version. We’ll be glad to see them fully amped again (if you haven’t seen Crobot live – and like your rock heavy, funky and bearded – you really should), but this is still a pretty sweet treat.
Gorilla Riot - Still Doing Time
This slice from the Manchester rockers’ debut album Peach has a languid swagger built into its dirty, bluesy skeleton. It’s also one of the shortest, snappiest tunes on the record, “but we felt that there was no need to add extra fat to the song,” says frontman Arjun Bhishma “I feel that it’s concise, punchy, and hopefully leaves you wanting more.” Amen to that.
Wolf Jaw - Shoulda Woulda Coulda
This time last year Wolf Jaw were in a shitty place. They’d been forced to pull out of their UK tour, after their van and all their equipment were stolen. In a real lemons-into-lemonade effort, they came up with this angular yet hearty banger as a thank you to those who supported them – and a knowing aside to those who told them what they “should, would and could” have done. “It’s definitely a song of defiance that shows that it'll take more than that to stop us,” says singer Tom Leighton. “The riffs are heavy and the groove swings. It’s one of our favourites to play live for sure."
JD Simo - Love
Soulful, funked-up sensibilities give this singer/guitarist's nostalgic rock'n'roll a hip-shaking edge – as proven in the James Brown and Hendrix flavours on this new single. The accompanying video (shot by JD and friends on their smartphone) is, JD explains, “dedicated to the human condition. During these unprecedented times, I have taken great solace in having more contact with my community and peers than ever before. It is beautiful and inspiring!"
Halestorm feat Amy Lee - Break In
This heartfelt reimagining of Halestorm’s 2012 song (featuring Evanescence singer Amy Lee) is part of their forthcoming EP, comprising reimagined versions of Halestorm songs (and one cover), called...well, Reimagined. “We recorded this duet pre-COVID-19,” Lzzy Hale says, “together in the same room, live, as a full performance from beginning to end. Amy brought new meaning to this song, turning what was once just a love song into a statement of unity and support for each other. I hope you find something in Reimagined that brings you joy and hope in these crazy times we live in!"