Ghost's new album Impera may have temporarily given them the official Most Talked About Band In The World This Week™ title, but new single Twenties could only scramble third position in last week's Tracks Of The Week competition.
Ahead of the spooky yet melodic Swedes were Nottingham's ever-excellent religious movement/classic rock deviants Church Of The Cosmic Skull – with the similarly excellent One More Step (opens in new tab) – while topping the chart were Bournemouth's Skinny Knowledge, who probably triumphed because they had Phantom Flan Flinger-style foam flans in their I Wonder video. And there's nothing wrong with that.
So here's Skinny Knowledge again, before we march once again intro the Tracks Of The Week breach (and don't forget to place your vote below).
Crobot - Better Times
Rockin' like a rockin' horse made of rock, Better Times comes from Crobot's upcoming album, Feel This, which will be unleashed upon bricks and mortar retail outlets and streaming platforms this coming June 3. The song kicks ass like a mule, if we're allowed to say that, and sounds like the soundtrack to the party to end all parties, one involving swimming pools and loud music and dancing girls and bad behaviour and other boisterous things.
Fantastic Negrito - Oh Betty
It seems there's nothing Fantastic Negrito can't do. He sings, he dances, he grows his own vegetables. And he continues to reshape the blues, this time with a song backboned by a restrained groove that threatens to explode but never actually does, until it actually does, at the 2'20" mark or thereabouts. Then it's surprisingly psychedelic and gloriously weird for a while, before heading back whence it came. From forthcoming studio concept album and film White Jesus Black Problems, out June 3 via Negrito's very own Storefront Records.
Creeping Jean - Fluorescent Orange Skies
Brighton's Creeping Jean may be the only band in history to have sold over seven thousand pairs of Converse trainers to fund their album, but it looks like all that time spent in retail may bear fruit. With refreshingly old-skool production vibes (it hasn't been polished and compressed beyond sanity's limits like so many modern rock songs), the end result is somehow a cross between something recorded while stoned at a villa in the South of France in about 1971 and How Bizarre by OMC.
Porcupine Tree - Of The New Day
Of The New Day initially sounds like a recognisably atypical Porcupine Tree ballad, as frontman Steven Wilson will happily attest. "It's a recognisably atypical Porcupine Tree ballad," he confirms. "That is until you realise that the length of the bars is constantly changing, flipping between bars of regular 4/4 time to 3/4, to 5/4 to 6/4, 11/4, so that the track never settles into any steady time." All this wild flip-flopping between time signatures isn't without purpose though, and the song build towards a climax that's focussed and surprisingly stormy. Excellent.
The Black Keys - Wild Child
Judging by this latest video it must be a lot of fun being in The Black Keys, as the heroic duo reconnect with their blue collar roots by donning costumes and working at a high school for a day. Hilarity follows, but, more importantly, some understated rockin' also ensues, as Wild Child chugs along in soulful, somewhat sassy fashion. Nice horn parps too. New album Dropout Boogie is out May 13.
Märvel - Great Man
Mysterious masked Swedes Märvel are back with the 473rd single from their upcoming album Graces Came With Malice and, just like the previous 472, it rocks like a rocking chair on a rollercoaster. Pure 10009% rock'n'roll, it's a fuel-injected, turbo-charged, overhead camshaft chunk of garage rock with a video that appears to have been shot in a barn. And we fuckin' love barns, so that's extra good.
Xander & The Peace Pirates - Leave The Light On
Xander & The Peace Pirates have been around for a while, forever on the edge of Next Big Thingness without ever taking that final step towards more widespread recognition. Will Leave The Light On be the song that does it for them? We don't know, but it deserves your time because it's effortlessly slick and as comfortable as a freshly laundered pair of pants with 7% spandex. New album Order Out Of Chaos will arrive on Planet Earth on May 6.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - (I'm Gonna) Run Away
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts are releasing their first-ever acoustic album later this month, and (I'm Gonna) Run Away – first released on 1981's I Love Rock 'N Roll album – is evidence that the stripped-down format suits the owner of rock's best haircut very much indeed than you very much. It's a little bit Stonsey, a touch Johnny Thunders-esque, a smidgen Replacements-ish, and we think you'll like it if you're in possession of a working set of ears.