The results of our Tracks Of The Week competition are frequently inspiring, in that the bands who triumph often do so when competing against acts whose real world popularity far outweighs their own. They'll mobilise their fans, and their fans will mobilise their friends, and before you know it looks like the Communist Orgy Penguins, a five-piece alt.rock band from Droitwich, are more popular than the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Well, that didn't happen this week. Firstly because the Communist Orgy Penguins don't actually exist (we made them up for the purposes of the story, see), but also because the Red Hot Chili Peppers actually bucked years of trends to become a rare Tracks Of The Week winner whose fame is already global. So well done them.
ZZ Top (another band who obviously need to introduction) came in second with new single Brown Sugar (opens in new tab), while relative minnows H.E.A.T. completed the podium with Nationwide (opens in new tab). Congratulations to all.
And now, on with the show. Please remember to place your vote at the foot of the page.
Jack White - What's The Trick?
Loud, idiosyncratic and proud, What’s The Trick? finds one of modern blues rock’s most exciting gatekeepers evoking Captain Beefheart and early Rage Against The Machine, in a jagged, hard-riffing explosion of fuzz and fury. The man born John Anthony Gillis has veered in multiple directions since The White Stripes called it a day in 2011; this is the sound of him at his angular, addictive best.
The Sheepdogs - So Far Gone
We’re taking it down for this one (as in ‘a little more chilled’, not ‘slow-mo and heartbreak’). The latest earworm from the dogs’ next album, Outta Sight, So Far Gone falls into a hooky, desirable place somewhere between J.J. Cale’s Call Me The Breeze and Creedence Clearwater Revival harmonising their favourite guitars. And when they sing ‘druuuunk on a Friday… so far gone’, you can tell they really mean it. They are so far gone, and everything’s just peachy. Yeah.
Crashdïet - Together Whatever
A mighty, all-guitars-blazing crash of decadence, from a troupe of 80s-inspired Swedes who’ve been through a hell of a lot. Following the suicide of their original singer Dave Lepard in 2006, they took stock, fought back and ultimately pushed their way to the front of the nu-glam pack, opening the door for the likes of H.E.A.T in the process. Want more? Their new album, Automaton, is out on 29 April.
Sweet Crisis - I’ll Be Creepin’
This is such a juicy cover of Free’s classic that we had to share it. Guitars and beats are laid on just thick enough, and singer/lifelong Free fan Leo Robarts gives Rival Sons’ Jay Buchanan a run for his money, leaning into this rich, glam-soul stomp take on the original 1969 melody. As Leo explains, the idea sprung from a dream-like meeting with Rodgers backstage at Hyde Park, when he was singing with Queen. “Piers and I ended up in Paul’s trailer after the gig, and I started to sing I’ll Be Creepin’ to him and he joined in! A dream come true.”
Datura4 - Open The Line
The West Australian psych-groovers lay down a luscious cosmic boogie, all Hammond organ, loose-hipped Summer of Love warmth and fresh off their upcoming album Neanderthal Jam (out in full on 5 August). Full-tilt retro fun, it bounces along like a hippie hitchhiker after a really good night’s sleep, seems to finish…and then trips out for another half a minute or so of freakdom. Impossible to listen and not think of blue skies and hot, hot sunshine.
Ian Siegal - I’m The Shit
You’ll likely recognise Ian Siegal for his virtuosic chops as a bluesy axe-slinger. On this new single he’s swapped that for a wry, swaggering approach that’s pure outlaw lounge lizard – with a side of Tom Waits-esque gravel and a stylish video from Robin Davey and Greta Valenti (hotshot filmmakers when they’re not rocking out as Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse). Dark and sparse, it exudes the sort of don’t-give-a-shit elegance that suggests he does] actually care quite a bit; a cool, commanding twist in Siegal’s catalogue.
Thundermother - Watch Out
Everyone's favourite badass Swedes Thundermother are back, and they're back with a high-octane rocker and the kind of video that suggests that a night out with the band would be more fun than an illegal puppy-juggling contest held your local zoo's monkey enclosure. Watch Out rips, and it snorts, and if it had tires it would surely leave burnt rubber all over the road. It's also from upcoming album Black And Gold.
Pink Floyd - Hey Hey Rise Up (feat. Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox)
The unexpected release of Hey Hey Rise Up was greeted with predictable dismay in some quarters, but we're rising above that dreariness to proclaim the Pink Floyd of 2022 a Very Good Thing Indeed. The cause (humanitarian relief for Ukraine) is worth the fuss, the arrangement of Andriy Khlyvnyuk's original a capella performance is moving, and it feels like real anger dripping from David Gilmour's fingers as he solos. Buy it, stream it, cherish it.