Tracks Of The Week: new music from Mastodon, Afghan Whigs, Saturn and more...

Tracks Of the Week

Last week’s winners were Aussie hellraisers Airbourne, followed very closely by Chris Shiflett in second place and Seafoam Green in third. Bravo to the lot of ‘em, they were delicious. But who’s the tastiest this week? An established favourite or someone a bit newer? It’s not just about the winning, it’s about the taking part… but mostly about the winning, so have a listen and vote for your favourite at the foot of this page.

Mastodon – Andromeda

The new Mastodon album Emperor Of Sand is a belter, and this is one of our current favourites from it. Packing prog metal sensibilities into the kind of full-bodied riffs and chorus melody that would have Metallica quaking in their boots, it’s a masterfully executed dose of clever, inviting ferocity.

A Thousand Horses – Preachin’ To The Choir

Nashville ensemble A Thousand Horses continue to embrace their Southern-grilled gospel n’ whiskey heritage with this lighter-swaying ballad. Sweet without being sugary, it mixes classic rock chops with the Horses’ more contemporary-sounding ear for melody. Amen and praise the Lord to that.

The Afghan Whigs – Demon In Profile

Gorgeous highlight from the Whigs’ upcoming album In Spades, which comes out via Sub Pop in May. At once melodiously mournful and deliciously dark – with enveloping layers of keys, guitar and brass – it’s Greg Dulli and co on lush form. (Warning: there is a big-ass spider a couple of minutes into this video, just to warn any unsuspecting arachnophobes…).

Saturn – Still Young

Some noisy glam rock stompiness to pep up your Friday now, courtesy of Swedish hairies Saturn. The glasses are dodgy – and they just might be the long-lost Scandi cousins of Leeds nostalgia kings Gentlemans Pistols – but the music rocks. And it sure looks like a fun party…

Blacktop Mojo – Burn The Ships

Echoing the hard American rock likes of Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge, these Texans are made of beefy stuff (they sing about burning ships for god’s sake…). Brainless beef, however, this is not; Burn The Ships has a slick intensity, combined with an arena-friendly chorus, that suggests they could be courting bigger stages before long.

Avatar – New Land

Pleasingly bonkers noiseniks from darkest Gothenburg, Avatar look like goth pirates and sound like Pantera crossbred with the Foo Fighters (and some other rock hoodoo) – on newly videoed track New Land (taken from their latest album; the appealing titled concept oeuvre Feathers And Flesh). They’re foppish entertainers and proper groovy metal bone-crunchers, which we’re liking a lot.

Dunderbeist – Tvijla

Dunderbeist are from chilliest Norway, so it wasn’t too surprising to find this video dominated by big snowy mountains and forests. It’s dead picturesque, and the music isn’t half bad either; a driving, atmospheric fest of metallic moodiness and classic rock guitar licks.

Roadcase Royale – Get Loud

Good piece of protest song action (at a time when protest-inspiring material isn’t exactly lacking) fronted by former Prince singer Liv Warfield and featuring Heart co-founder Nancy Wilson. Warfield is a star turn here; her soulful pipes lending themselves excellently to the band’s messages of feminist frustration and (ultimately) empowerment.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.