We'll start with an announcement: Congratulations to Scarlet Rebels, whose Take You Home took home last week's prize for the Greatest Song In Rock'n'roll Over The Last Seven Days.
Such was their dominance that the two bands in second and third place, Crazy Lixx (opens in new tab) and Green Lung (opens in new tab), were closer to the song at the bottom of the chart than they were to the Scarlet Rebels at the top. For that, we salute them. And their followers.
But what does it all mean? It means we go again. Here are this week's contestants.
Eric Gates feat. Joe Bonamassa - I Want My Crown
In which modern blues greats Eric Gales and Joe Bonamassa engage in an old-fashioned guitar duel. There's no crossroads in sight, and it all takes place under in a boxing ring under the watchful gaze of celebrity referee Keb Mo. Away from the pugilism, I Want My Crown is a taut, funky thing indeed, but it's the solos where the action really happens, as JoBo and ErGa's fleet fingering dominates the ring, so to speak.
Dan Reed Network - Starlight
Dan Reed returns with his Network and a new song, Starlight, which is quite the banger. If we were describing the song to an alien familiar with the production work of Robert "Mutt" Lange, we'd say it was kinda AC/DC meets Def Leppard, with the drive of the former allied to the latter's big choruses. Either way, it's as lively as an electric eel, if not livelier. There's a new album on the way (Let’s Hear It For The King is out next March) which is, says Reed, "the heaviest, funkiest and most melodic DRN album to date." One can only imagine.
Surfbort - Happy Happy Halloween
The excellently-named Surfbort proclaim they "don't believe in google", which is ironic, because we just googled them. Smart-assery aside, we're impressed with the NYC band's contribution to this year's Halloween celebrations, Happy Happy Halloween, which sounds like it just walked off the CBGB stage in about May 1976 and straight into a deal with Sire Records. It's cartoonish, sure, but it's all the punk rock you'll ever need this October 31.
The Drippers - Overload
Time for some serious rock action with Gothenburg tykes The Drippers. Overload starts with the sound of a revving motorcycle engine - one of our favourite rock'n'roll cliches - and the red-hot action does not let up from that moment. It's like Motorhead covering The Hives covering The Detroit Cobras covering something they haven't covered before, and it's absolutely pumped full of full-throttle goodness. You can almost smell the burning rubber.
Shaman's Harvest - Under My Skin
Riff of the week comes from American rockers Shaman's Harvest, and while Under My Skin might suffer from diminishing returns over the course of its three minutes and 23 seconds, there's no doubting the rocket-fuelled thrust of those opening bars once the guitars really kick in. It's kinda in the same ballpark as Filter's classic Hey Man, Nice Shot, and it all bodes well for upcoming album Rebelator, which is due next March.
Nathan James - Appetite
No, not that Nathan James. This Nathan James is, we're told, a "photographer rockstar" who's captured stars like Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Machine Gun Kelly, Avril Lavigne and Post Malone for all eternity. Now he's on the other side of the camera, where he's "manifesting his creative influences into a unique musical identity." Or at least that's what his public relations people tell us. What does that mean? Well, the pink-haired snapper sounds like he's been listening to nu-metal and industrio-goth (we just made that up), which may not make him unique per se, but the end result is jolly dramatic.
Marvel - One Common Enemy
Mysterious masked Swedish trio Marvel are about to celebrate their 20th anniversary, and One Common Enemy finds them rocking just as hard as they did on debut album Five Smell City back in 2005. "One Common Enemy is our take on getting older, losing touch with your friends, your passions and whatever used to make you happy," say the band, cheerfully. "It’s a rallying cry meant to wake ourselves and others up from the comfortable golden slumber we enjoy as everyday clerks. It will probably be a painful awakening but it will be worth it!” We hope so, Marvel. We hope so.
Well Hung Heart & GayC/DC - It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)
Bon Scott may have outwardly macho, but he wasn't afraid of camping it up: Former manager Michael Browning once booked the band into a gay club in Melbourne, where Scott apparently won the crowd over by brandishing a whip. It's a vein that's been mined to the full on this cover of IALWTTT (IYWRNR) by tribute act GayC/DC, who've roped in Well Hung Heart singer Greta Valenti and guitarist Robin Davey for the occasion. The end result is a little straighter - for want of a better word - than you might expect, but the video adds some serious sparkle.