Another Monday, another eight tracks to be added to rock's glittering cannon. But first, heartfelt congratulations to The Cold Stares, whose In The Night Time triumphed in last week's digital battle of the bands, romping home ahead of Inglorious's Eye Of The Storm and Levara's Ordinary.
For those not already familiar with The Cold Stares' now-triumphant In The Night Time, here it is again. And then? Onwards!
Skam - Circles
Hot on the heels of their Intra EP, Leicester rockers Skam come bearing this chunky, shit-kicking first taste of their next record, Venous (due in October). Lyrically it channels the sort of Groundhog Day-style frustrations we’ve all experienced this last year or so – but with a rousing sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Musically it’s all dirty, machine-gun riffage straight out of the 80s. Tasty.
Garbage - No Gods No Masters
Still looking and sounding cool as f**k after more than 30 years in the industry, Shirley Manson is the focal point in Garbage’s hooky new mesh of synths, industrial sensibilities and dark, angular romance. Manson says of the song (taken from the album of the same name, due in June): “I tried to make sense of the world… this song is about re-imagining our society for the future, for our children and not making the same mistakes over and over again and allowing greed to corrupt our thinking”.
Walking Papers - Creation, Reproduction And Death
Frontman Jefferson Angell says of this commanding WP tune: “I wrote ’Creation Reproduction and Death’ while contemplating how much time we have left, how we’ll spend it and who will we spend it with?" Deep subject matter for sure, but built on a dark bruiser of a groove that'll have you nodding your head and humming along for the rest of the week.
Skinny Knowledge - Sayonara
A politically driven cut from the Brit rockers’ LP Don’t Turn Out The Lights, Sayonara marries the midnight grooves of Royal Blood with the kind of pop rock chorus you’d expect from Green Day fronted by Ginger Wildheart. “I was influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement,” says singer/guitarist Andy L Smooth, “so I started writing about being in a minority, but worse; being treated like a peasant. The heart-break, the pain, and the excruciating desire to be heard, and how we need to stand up and fight against the sheer act of selfishness, and political terrorism."
The Black Keys - Going Down South
Messrs Auerbach and Carney have put their own head-swirling spin on R.L. Burnside’s punkoid country blues gem. Accompanied by a video that takes us to hallowed (yet off the beaten track) blues heritage spots in Mississippi, it’s the sound of a band reconnecting with the music they really love; the old-world sounds and the mystique therein that got them into this whole rock’n’roll thing in the first place.
Seafoam Green - Mine All Mine
Are you a fan of The Black Crowes, Blackberry Smoke, The Tedeschi Trucks band and other such purveyors of warm, first-class southern soul? You should look this way now. Derek Trucks’s slide guitar licks add extra gold dust to this sun-dappled Americana ballad from Irish duo Seafoam Green – aka Dave O’Grady and Muireann McDermott Long (the latter in particular lending gospel richness to spot-on harmonies). Lush stuff.
The Night Flight Orchestra - White Jeans
The Night Flight Orchestra were one of last bands we saw before the live scene went into hibernation last year – they even had day-glo, virus-themed t-shirts on sale – so it's good to see they've made it through with their sound intact and still partying hard. White Jeans sounds like all the best Night Flight Orchestra songs, which means it sounds like Survivor at a roller disco. And what could be more fun that that? We sincerely can't think of anything.
American Aquarium - Some Girls Do
If there's two words in the English language guaranteed to provide more excitement than "surprise album", then we'd like to hear them. Long-running roots rockers American Aquarium released one on Friday, and very good it is too. The excellently-titled Slappers, Bangers and Certified Twangers: Vol. One is a collection of covers by the likes of like Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless and Toby Keith, but our favourite is probably the rattling good-time version of Some Girls Do, originally a number one hit for Sawyer Brown back in 1992.