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Tracks of the Week: new music from Michael Monroe, Reef and more

Tracks Of The Week
(Image credit: Press materials)

As we write this, Will Smith has just punched Chris Rock in the face during the annual Oscars ceremony. This isn't the kind of thing that usually happens at such prestigious events, and we hope it doesn't set a precedent: it would be awful if Thunder and Apocalyptica came to blows over the results of our most recent Tracks Of The Week competition.

It was a week where The Virginmarys took the top spot, their single The Meds sweeping all others aside. Second place went to Thunder's Dancing In The Sunshine, while Apocalyptica feat. Geezer Butler's I'll Get Through It (opens in new tab) completed the podium. 

The Virginmary's reward for winning is an encore for The Meds, and then it's on with this week's competition: don't forget to vote at the foot of the page. ⬇️ 

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Michael Monroe - Murder The Summer Of Love

Michael Monroe is a reliable force of nature, producing songs of enormous energy and spirit year after year after year, and Murder The Summer Of Love is no exception. It's a little bit Wildhearts, a little bit Saints, a little bit Stooges, and 128%, 89-carat Michael Monroe. It won't change the world, but such dedication to the church of pure rock'n'roll is surely a thing to be celebrated. New album I Live Too Fast To Die Young will be out in June. 


The Imbeciles - You’re Gonna Wanna

You’re Gonna Wanna is The Imbeciles’ Shiny Happy People, if you will (or if you won’t),” frontman Butch Dante says. “We wanted to give people a break from the absolutely shit show that is the world today.” He’s sort of right, though their song is decidedly gnarlier and rougher (in a good way) than the R.E.M classic – an invigorating, on-the-money blast of pop and rock’n’roll fresh out of the garage, like they used to make ‘em. Catch them on tour with Killing Joke this week.


Reef - Best Of Me

‘The Somerset Stones’, 90s chart stars, rock’n’roll fanboys… In their own ways, all three of those labels come screaming and dancing out of this highlight from Shoot Me Your Ace (Reef’s new album out in April). Sounding rather like Bon Scott fronting the Rolling Stones at a beach party, it detours via the sort of ‘nah-na-na-na-nah’ refrain that’s clearly been engineered for boozy singalongs – by a band who’ve generated more than most with 1997 uber-hit Place Your Hands.


The Moon City Masters - Draw The Line

On this latest 70s/80s fest of theirs, glossy-maned twins Talor and Jordan Steinberg show no signs of slowing their roll – or even really repeating themselves. If anything, they’re brought a few surprises to this latest party. Slick, warm-hearted and interesting, Draw The Line is a sweet, deceptively deft mix of nostalgia and curveballs; kinda like ELO trading licks with Little Feat, including a bluegrass-style bridge section that should feel totally out of place… but doesn’t. There really is more to these dudes than good hair and cute tunes.


The Lickerish Quartet - Fortunately

The Jellyfish alumni have struck gold with the first track off their next record, Threesome Vol. 3 (out 20 May). In keeping with the songs on their previous two (Vol. 3 will complete a trilogy of albums) Fortunately mixes the sweetest, sparkliest power pop with darkened lyrics that make for addictive listening. Expect layers of spine-tingling harmonies and the sort of melodic arrangements that come from people who are truly in love with the process of songwriting.


Xander & The Peace Pirates - We Cry

Hot on the heels of (recent TOTW entry) Leave The Light On, Keith Xander and friends are back – and, we reckon, sounding even better. We Cry is a lush, beautifully moody swirl of bluesy soul, with a cascade of Fleetwood Mac fairydust. 70s sounds applied to contemporary sentiments. “We Cry expresses the struggle of all of our human family becoming divided through this persistent illusion of separation,” the band explain. “This song is about how, when humans become divided within themselves, they imagine enemies that are not there.”


The Bloody Nerve - Episode 6 - Doin' All Day

This Nashville troupe’s new single starts out low and slow – all steel acoustic and mournful electric lines – but it’s not long before they’re rocking out. Part outlaw’s lament, part rock/soul/blues boot-stomper, it applies old southern gothic vibes to present day strife. “Doin' All Day is prison slang for a life sentence,” explains guitarist and singer Stacey Blood. “So we're using these optics to describe how we find ourselves more and more cuffed to new cultural pressures that don't come naturally to the human spirit.  There's a new warden every day, each less forgiving than the one before.”


Classless Act - This Is For You

This could be quite a year for Los Angeles-based Classless Act, having secured the prestigious opening slot on this year's big Motley Crue/Def Leppard/Joan Jett fandango. Spending a couple of months playing stadiums will be the kind of learning experience money can't buy, and new single This Is For You suggests they're ready to go to work. It's got clattering drums and a big chorus, and sounds like the 80s repackaged for the summer of 2022. As a bonus, it also features an impressive, rather elastic guitar solo from Darkness man Justin Hawkins.  

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from