Things were tight at the top as last week's Tracks Of The Week competition wound its way to a conclusion, with Glasgow's Mason Hill and Damascus's About Silver at virtual loggerheads as the winning post hove into view.
In the end there wasn't much to choose between the two bands, but the results were thoroughly checked for suspicious activity, and we're delighted to announce that a free and fair election took place and that About Silver emerged as the clear winner.
So congratulations to both bands, and to the great underwear collector Tom Jones, who filled the bronze medal position but clearly doesn't need our help. And here's About Silver again.
Chris Catalyst (feat Neil Gaiman) - Make Good Art
We love this fired-up pairing of Eureka Machines main man Chris Catalyst (one of this generation’s quietly brilliant songwriters) with author/master of whip-smart fantasy Neil Gaiman. Catalyst brings the chops and tune, Gaiman brings the insightful spoken word – all of it coalescing in one explosion of punk spirit, pop melody and heavy guitars that crash pleasingly into your ears. Music for head-banging and to make you think. Like what you hear? Chris has got a new album, Kaleidoscopes, coming out in April.
Royal Blood - Typhoons
Brighton’s prodigal blues-rocking sons continue to stoke the fires of anticipation for their new album (due on sale 30 April) – this time with a strutting, boot-stomping groove so addictive it can’t possibly be good for you. Expect fuzz and sass by the caseload. If Josh Homme and Muse got stuck in a disco together, they’d have come up with something like this. How tasty does that sound?
Skinny Knowledge - Keep Me Out Of It
You may not know them yet, but trust us; you'll like this. The brainchild of Bournemouth four-piece Skinny Knowledge, Keep Me Out Of It pops out at you with the sort of no-brainer chorus seldom seen since the halcyon days of Green Day and Sum 41 (fizzed up with a dash of Eureka Machines-y sweetness). Tight, bouncy and ballsy. You’ll be singing along to the chorus like a happy addict before you can say ‘Fat Lip’.
Foo Fighters - Waiting On A War
Built on a base of sunbathed acoustic strumming – a bit like the Foos' very own Best Of You made over by the Beatles – Waiting On A War tugs at the heartstrings from the get-go, climaxing into a big, singalong rock-out. All of it powered, lyrically, by a resonant, timely blend of fear and hope for the future. It’s the sound of a band who've taken on the world, succeeded, watched their hits go stratospheric and are still capable of pulling a classic out of the bag. Which, frankly, is never a bad thing.
Gin Annie - Devil In Me
They’ve steadily simmered away since 2013, and now these Midlands rockers sound like a band who mean business. Bolstered by slick, beefcake production and mixing from Romesh Dodangoda (NWOCR fans may recognise him for recent credits with Inglorious, Bad Touch, Collateral and more, along with the bigwig likes of Motorhead, Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine etc), Devil In Me rocks like Bon Jovi in a room with Those Damn Crows. Nice.
Grande Royale feat Dregen - Just As Bad As You
Dregen has serious form with punk and garage rock through various groups – most prominently Backyard Babies and The Hellacopters, though fans will also recall stints with Michael Monroe and Tyla (of Dogs D'Amour) as well as highly charged supergroup (with Ginger Wildheart) Supershit 666. Now the busy Swede has teamed up with countrymen Grande Royale for this jet-packed blast of shouty, in-yer-face (yet deceptively sweet) garage rock'n'roll, fresh out of 90s Scandinavia with a twist of 70s London.
Accept - Zombie Apocalypse
'OK so it's about Covid, right?' Au contraire. On this cut from their new album, Too Mean To Die, the German metal titans turn their gaze on.... mobile phones. 'They're coming for us one by one!' Mark Tornillo rages like a man running through hot coals. 'We've got to kill them all!' Musically it opens like a heavy metal Phantom Of The Opera – all weighty, crunching melodrama – before galloping into a glorious hybrid of Iron Maiden's Two Minutes To Midnight and Metallica's Enter Sandman, plus Accept's own brand of Teutonic mania. Because sometimes that's what you need on a Monday in January (or indeed any day).
Orianthi & Brian Ray - The Story of Bonnie & Clyde
Brian Ray has quite the track record: musical director for blues giant Etta James for over than a decade, he's also worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Peter Frampton and Santana. Now he's hooked up with guitar wizz Orianthi for Bonne & Clyde, a widescreen epic based on the The Trails End, the poem Bonnie Parker wrote a month before the pair died in a hail of police bullets. It's as if the melody from Townes Van Zandt's Waitin' Around to Die were crossed with the cinematic ambition of Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead Or Alive, and very good it is too.