Here's a completely meaningless fact: we've selected nearly 3000 Tracks Of The Week since Guns N' Roses last released an album. And we gave them a six-year head start. Makes you think, doesn't it? No? Oh well.
This week's selection of rock's fanciest new bangers follows, but let's clear up last week's mess first. In third place were Dirty Honey, with their live-wire cover of Prince's Let's Go Crazy (opens in new tab). In second place were old timers Magnum, with the excellent No Steppin' Stone (opens in new tab) single. But finishing out in front were marvellous Bristolians Yo No Se, whose majestic Nova may be witnessed once more below.
Kid Kapichi ft. Bob Vylan - New England
A ferocious chunk of politically charged, Idles-style alt-rock with a sawing riff that thumps hard enough to punch through walls. New England features a cameo from the ever-excellent Bob Vylan, and while the song drops sarcasm bombs throughout, delivering a sonic kick in the bollocks to xenophobes everywhere, we're also delighted that both Bob the Builder and Postman Pat are name-checked. Possibly the most incisive thing to emerge from Hastings since the arrow that took out King Harold's eye.
Big Monsta - Falling Down
Orange County man Jimmy Hua first wrote Falling Down in his mum's garage back in 2009, but now it's finally been recorded as he originally intended it to sound. Residing somewhere in the fertile territory between power pop and post-punk, it's carried aloft by a scratchy, angular riff and features a bit that sounds like late-era Beatles and lots of other bits that don't. A full-length album will arrive later this month.
Goodbye June - Stand and Deliver
Not a cover of the Adam & The Ants classic, but a piece of hard-thrustin' Nashville rock from upcoming album See Where The Night Goes, with more than a hint of Bon Scott-era AC/DC about the vocal. "Stand And Deliver ultimately became the anthem for this entire album," say the band. "With so much uncertainty during the time it was written and recorded, we really didn’t know whether or not we would ever get to travel and play music again, honestly. It was a very strange and lonesome time and that’s basically what we used to fuel the attitude and lyrics to the whole song.”
Howard Kaye - Devil's Playground
Not a cover of the Gram Rabbit classic, but a song inspired by Kanye West's Black Skinhead and based on a drum loop provided by Royal Blood's Ben Thatcher. With a stomping glam rock beat and and verses that sound anything but glamorous, it's an unusual mix of sinister and upbeat, and there's a serious message at its heart. "Devil's Playground is a letter to myself," says Howard. "It's a song about my experience with sobriety and staying clear of the bad influences."
Battle Beast - Where Angels Fear To Fly
Finnish power metal merchants Battle Beast are back, and they're back with an anthem so thoroughly anthemic you'll be punching the air before you can say "Noora Louhimo". For it's Noora who dominates Where Angels Fear To Fly, with a vocal that stretches across the octaves and probably smashes several world records while doing so. Elsewhere there are possible choirs, a keytar, and soloing so fast Usain Bolt himself couldn't keep up. Ridiculous, but also magnificent.
Scarlet Rebels - These Days
Alongside Florence Black and Cardinal Black, Scarlet Rebels are further proof that Welsh rock is conspiring to have a very good 2022. They're also further proof that including a colour in your band name continues to feature in many a sound business plan. These Days is a strident blast of heartland rock with a chorus that soars appropriately and a powerful message: "There were daily stories in the news about the government not feeding the children of families on the breadline," says frontman Wayne Doyle. "Imagine needing to point out that it's wrong to vote for children going hungry."
Volcanova - No Wheels
Rockin' with more ferocity than a loose ferret at a trouser factory, No Wheels rattles along at about a billion mph, spitting fumes and leaking diesel all over the place. Hailing from Iceland, Volcanova released their debut album Radical Waves in 2020, and No Wheels comes from the excellently-titled follow-up EP Cosmic Bullshit. Maximum fuzz in your face, man.
The Dobermen - It's All Lies
When members of GayC/DC and the Streetwalking Cheetahs get together to form The Dobermen, it's fair to say no one's expecting freeform jazz to emerge, and it hasn't. It's All Lies is a lively piece of AC/DC-esque rock'n'roll which demands much respect for its riff, its thumping rhythm, its screeching solo, the singer's "Free Britney" t-shirt, and another political message: that the truth has been corrupted by those with power and money. Could 2022 be a stellar year for protest music? We hope so.