Today is the 249th day of 2021, which, according to our undoubtedly erroneous maths, means there's been approximately 284 entries in our Tracks Of The Week competition this year.
What does this mean? Well, it means that rock'n'roll is not only alive and well, but that it's also pumping vast quantities of glorious music into the musical atmosphere. Like a factory of rock. With chimneys made of riffs.
This week is no different. But before we embark on this week's quest to find The Greatest Rock Song Of Right Now, congratulations to The Bloody Nerve, proud winners of the Greatest Rock Song Of Last Week contest. They galloped past Melissa Etheridge's As Cool As You Try and Joe Bonamassa's The Heart That Never Waits, crossing the line like a Usain Bolt made of the purest power chords.
Dirty Honey - The Wire
If you’re going to stand squarely on the shoulders of rock’s giants in 2021, you want to do it well. Preferably lovingly, taking all that familiar, much-explored good stuff and making it sing – making it your own. Combining a beefy, AC/DC-esque backbone chug with strands of the Black Crowes and Steven Tyler, The Wire finds Dirty Honey doing just that. From the first chords through head-bobbing verses and singalong choruses, it’s terribly easy to like – a lot.
GATC - She's Heavy Metal
You want Heavy Fucking Metal? All capitals and lashings of leather, riffs, big fucking solos and the sort of screaming 80s braggadocio that could literally have come from the combined sugar dreams of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest? Then allow us to draw your attention to Exhibit GATC (i.e. India’s fast-rising hotshots Girish And The Chronicles): proof that rock’n’roll and really big hair are both doing extremely well, thank you very much.
Wayward Sons - Bloody Typical
Former Little Angels, Fastway and Gun man Toby Jepson has earned respect in recent years as producer for the likes of Saxon, Virginmarys and many more. His heart, however, was always in having a band of his own. This latest taste of his upcoming album with the Wayward Sons (Even Up The Score, out October 8) serves up 70s and 80s flavours with an immediate pop punch. “Dreams and aspiration seem to me to have been overtaken by greed fed demands of ‘I want it all and I want it now’,” Toby says of the song’s inspiration, “whether that ‘all’ has been worked for or deserved as a result.”
Goodbye June - Step Aside
You’re in for a rootin’, tootin’ and, yes, shootin’ good time with the infectious new single and guns-blazing new video from these rising Nashville stars. An advance taste of new album See Where The Night Goes (due out February 18, 2022), it’s rootsy stuff with a charismatic dark side. Plus it rocks – like, really rocks. And with a singer that makes us think of Brian Johnson, Chris Cornell and The Dust Coda’s John Drake, there’s much here to appeal to new music lovers and all-out nostalgists alike.
Kris Barras Band - Dead Horses
Things have been quieter on the KBB front of late. Now with a mostly-new band in tow (Josiah J Manning, formerly on keys, has switched to guitar) and a run of big UK shows with Black Stone Cherry in the offing, Kris has undergone something of a hard rock makeover – as this moody, muscular first taste of his next album shows. It’s still audibly him, Bon Jovi pipes and all, only with a fresh layer of beefcake distortion that says ‘arena’ more than ‘intimate blues club’. Fans of BSC and the like, listen in...
Howlin' Rain - Don't Let The Tears
A deliciously oozy, psychedelic tonic to lift the spirits, this 70s-tastic boogie from Ethan Miller and friends manages to be trippy without drifting off into stoned hitchhiker territory – as with all Howlin’ Rain music, it’s fundamentally hooky stuff. Sure to delight Deadheads, Chris Robinson fans, weirdos, beardos and anyone needing a shot of autumnal sunshine – with an aftertaste of bong smoke. There’s more where this came from on their new album, The Dharma Wheel, out on October 8.
Dillon Carmichael feat. The Cadillac Three: Pickin' Up Girls
When the Cadillac Three's Jaren Johnston isn't doing his cool thang with the band, he'll often be found writing tunes for Nashville megastars like Tim McGraw and Keith, and on Dillon Carmichael's Pickin' Up Girls he combines both worlds. Taken from Kentuckian Carmichael's upcoming second album (the first was produced by everyone's favourite fader fiend Dave Cobb), Pickin' Up Girls is proper old-school outlaw country, co-written by Johnston while his group provide the backing. A follow-up to the excellently-titled Hot Beer, the song swaggers into your ears like Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings, before removing its hat and boots and taking up permanent residence.
Smoking Martha - Liquid Sunshine
Brisbane's very own Smoking Martha sit somewhere near the middle of a pretty complicated Pretty Reckless/No Doubt/Cranberries Venn diagram, but the end result doesn't really sound like any of those bands, with atmospheric verses building slowly towards a chorus that clambers skywards. Liquid Sunshine "tells a story about the love of the sea, the sun and the memories of young love over an endless summer!”, say the band, before throwing another shrimp on the barbie.