Three weeks into 2022 and the year is off to a good start: we've been blessed with new singles from Scorpions and Ghost, and we're celebrating by drinking wine from a suitcase.
But first, congratulations to a trio of rock titans who've brightened the last seven days. First, the Damn Truth, whose Only Love single grabbed first place in last week's competition, Second, The Hellacopters, making second place their own with Eyes Of Oblivion (opens in new tab). And third? Strike Me by Blacktop Mojo (opens in new tab), which finished third. Obviously.
And now, on with this week's show. Don't forget to place your vote at the foot of the page.
Yelawolf & Shooter Jennings - Make Me A Believer
The first single from the new collaboration between hip-hop star Yelawolf and Americana outlaw Shooter Jennings, Make Me A Believer is a driving, life-affirming first statement for their upcoming album Sometimes Y. Think Cheap Trick meets The Strokes, in a desert. “When you’re a kid in school, they teach you all these rules about spelling,” Shooter says, “but then they tell you about ‘sometimes y,’ which calls the entire system into question. Suddenly everything’s out the window and you can do whatever you want. That’s what it felt like making this record.”
Rot TV - Stone
Having started playing together in a Blue Öyster Cult tribute band, back in 2016, these young Aussies know a thing or two about classic rock - and how to mess with it in the most irresistible way. This latest taste of their upcoming album Tales Of Torment (on sale 18 February) is a fabulously filthy, leering knees-up that adds a touch of punkoid Rolling Stones swagger to their cauldron of good-time nostalgia.
Scorpions - Rock Believer
More than a decade after that ‘retirement’ announcement (between them they’ve since described said announcement as “stupid” and “wrong”, among other things), Hanover’s finest have navigated the pandemic and made a new record, which comes out next month. Rock Believer is the title track, calling to all followers like a benevolent rock minister, preaching the gospels of twin-lead guitar and heartfelt chorus action. By the end you’ll be a believer, too.
Wille & The Bandits - Good Stuff
These Cornwall-based roots rock’n’rollers come bearing a warm cupful of bourbon, sugar and swagger – i.e. feel-good new single Good Stuff. Built on a monster groove with atmospheric layers of bottleneck slide, shimmering organ and harmonies, it all leads to a big singalong chorus that’ll make you wish summer would hurry up and arrive already. Lives up to its name, in other words.
Creeping Jean - Don’t Touch Tomorrow
Brighton’s Creeping Jean peddle the sort of gnarly yet hooky alt rock that marries garage fuzz with harmonious Beatles sensibilities (fans of fellow Brighton-ites Demob Happy will appreciate this) creating something that feels both snarly and super-sweet. “This is a track that shows how we can sit on hard hitting riffs but then it can switch to a three part harmony,” the band say. “We really feel this is the creeping jean sound and it’s different to what’s out there currently”
The Blues Against Youth - Particle Filter Blues
This one’s a good old fashioned fix of bone-rattling, guitar-jangling delta blues, with a whiff of madness that the old Mississippi masters would doubtless approve of. Not to mention a video with a drummer playing one-handed, swigging liquor with the other. All of it cooked up by Italian blues-punks The Blues Against Youth. Fancy some more? Check out their album, As The Tide Gets High And Low, out 28 January.
Jack J Hutchinson - Halo
A NWOCR favourite with a caseload of smoke, rhythm and riffs up his sleeve (he has big sleeves…), Jack incorporates a dose of contemporary radio rock vibes into Halo’s chorus – adding brightness to his grizzled bluesy heft. “I wrote the chorus after listening to a load of Abba in lockdown last year,” Jack says. “I was really in the mood for some upbeat, Scandinavian pop...and so the results are a bit of a bonkers mash-up of heavy rock and upbeat hooks.” Fellow guitar-slinger Kris Barras directed the video, and you can check out Jack’s new album, The Hammer Falls, on 4 February.
Ghost - Call Me Little Sunshine
Judging by new Ghost single Call Me Little Sunshine, we're tempted to think that upcoming album Impera will be the one where they consolidate everything they've learned so far and produce the most Ghost-like album imaginable. It's got everything: Spooky choirs, an Abba-meets-Blue Oyster Cult melody, a chorus purpose-built for enormo-crowds, us-against-the-world lyrics, and a rare outing for the name "Mephistopheles." Demonic, yes, but entirely cuddly.