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Tracks of the Week: new music from Nickelback, Smith/Kotzen, Doro and more

Tracks of the Week artists
(Image credit: Supplied press materials)

Another Monday arrives, and with it another batch of songs that show the music we love to be in the rudest of health. 

But first, last week: The Cold Stares claimed position numero uno as their own with Nothing But The Blues, while Devil Keeps Coming by The Virginmarys (opens in new tab) and Work by Snayx (opens in new tab) filled out the podium. Congratulations to all three.

This week? The choice, as always, is yours. But only if you vote. 

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Nickelback - San Quentin

The internet has been frothing with excitement – no, really – since Nickelback released a short sample of music that suggested the incoming San Quentin single might be the heaviest thing the band had ever made. Well now it's here, and you can be the judge of that, but it's definitely, defiantly Nickelback, with a monster riff and a chorus precision-tooled for arena crowds. New album Get Rollin' will be out on November 18.    


Smith/Kotzen - Got A Hold On Me

The collaboration between Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith and Poison/Mr Big/Winery Dogs axe-slinger Richie Kotzen continues apace, with a track from their upcoming Better Days… And Nights collection, which comes out this Friday. Comprised of the four tracks that made up last year's Better Days EP alongside five recorded live on tour at the beginning of this year, taster Got A Hold On Me (one of the live tracks) shows the band to be entirely as slick as you'd expect. 


Ovtlier - Living Dead

Any song that starts with a Vincent Price narration is a shoo-in for Tracks Of The Week, so Ovtlier's Living Dead - which begins with a sample of Price taken from the 1964 movie The Last Man on Earth – makes the list. "Living Dead is the embodiment of everything telling, dark and fun," says the brilliantly-named Joey Arena, frontman with the lively New Yorkers, before going on to describe Living Dead as "An animated and colourful song that sticks out from everything in our discography." It grinds, it thumps, and it's quietly melodic beneath its steely industrial exterior.  


Robert Jon & The Wreck - Old Hotel Room

Old Hotel Room is about the loneliness of being on the road,” says the Wreck’s lead singer and guitarist Robert Jon Burrison. “It’s about thinking about the one you left back home, and the struggle that one can have out there, in an old hotel room.” Recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound in Los Angeles with Darrell Thorp (Foo Fighters, Radiohead) it's a poignant, road-wary slice of life on the country side of southern rock, and comes from the upcoming live-in-the-studio collection Wreckage Vol. 2. 


Doro - Raise Your Fist In The Air

Something of a curio here. Metal Queen Doro was recently asked to reimagine one of her hits for the German TV show Music Impossible, and the result is the In Heaven mix of Doro's 2012 live classic Raise Your Fist In The Air. And yikes! It really has been reimagined, losing the original's Total Rock Power™ and coming on strong with the auto-tune, the glitchy electronic rhythms and the smooth, multi-tracked vocals. It no longer rocks, that's for sure, but it's a fascinating glimpse into an unexpected parallel musical universe. 


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Ice V

According to Discogs, Aussie psychedelists King Gizzard And The Wizard Lizard have released 43 different albums in a decade, which must make it hell to be a completist (even worse when you consider all the variants: there are 341 known versions of 2017's Polygondwanaland to collect) and while a lot of the albums have been live, next month sees the release three new studio albums. April's Omnium Gatherum (the one they made earlier this year) was nothing short of brilliant, and Ice V – a ten-minute, loose-limbed mess of afro-funk soloing and spiritual misbehaviour – suggests the standards aren't slipping. 


Kid Kapichi - I.N.V.U.

Hastings-based power-punk providers Kid Kapichi have unleashed another single from their upcoming Here's What You Could Have Won album, and it's squelchy, good-time affair that sounds like Dutch rockers De Staat might had they been raised on the UK's south coast instead of in the city of Nijmegen. And if you've no idea what that means (and why would you, it's a ludicrous comparison), here's frontman Jack Wilson to explain much better than we can. "Like Glitterati on our last album, just a bit of fun, about that social media thing of looking like you have an over-the-top lifestyle," he says. "What do you want from me? Do you want me to envy you?” Well, quite. 


Ozzy Osbourne - One Of Those Days

Or: what happened when Eric Clapton showed up on an Ozzy Osbourne album. One Of Those Days is the kind of thing that Ozzy's increasingly good at, a poignant and personal tale that somehow shines a light on his current vulnerability while at the same time celebrating everything that's been before. If this is the great man's last album – and the narrative fits the narrative – let's hope it goes to number one. Also, it's got a touch of Marillion's Kayleigh about it. Don't @ us. 

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.