Last week was a battle for the ages, as Ginger & The Sinners took on Massive Wagons in a Tracks Of The Week battle that almost swamped global bandwidth. In the end, it was Ginger and his crime-committing friends who took home first prize – so congratulations to them – with Austin Gold holding on to a very respectable third place.
This week, we go again. We rock, and we roll, and we vote at the bottom of the page. It'll be great.
Skid Row - Time Bomb
It’s Monday, winter’s looming, the economy is… you know what, let’s not talk about the economy, let’s talk about the thing that's giving us legit cause to smile right now: Skid Row are back with another monster riffcake from The Gang’s All Here (something of a rebirth record for these hard rock/metal veterans). It’s all etched up several notches by former H.e.a.t man/Swedish Idol star Erik Gronwall, who gives an assuredly killer performance, howling and shrieking like a man with minutes to live. As some wise old sage once said (probably), oh hell yes!
The Standstills feat. Eagles of Death Metal - Motherload
In which Canadian husband and wife duo Jonny Fox and Renée Couture (Are they their real names? We hope so!) hook up with the unofficial mayor of Los Angeles, Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes, and produce a piece of rock'n'roll so righteous we'd be surprised if it didn't come packaged with a free pulpit. It's kinda ZZ Top meets Queens Of The Stone Age with a chorus the size of an adult moose and a guitar solo that slips and slides like a snake in a barrel of vaseline. We very much suspect they'll be a blast when then hit the road with Three Days Grace in Canada next month.
Ayron Jones - Filthy
"Filthy the song is about me in [the] present day and who I've become as a person and a musician," the rising Seattle blues rocker says of this gritty, ultra-groovy new single – all dark shadows, hard swagger and raw sensuality. "The music video chronicles that journey to get here, and it continues the legacy of black artists who have overcome adversity and found success through the expression of their journey and pain." As Jones also explains, the word ‘filthy’ is actually a big compliment where he’s from, making this song a celebration of counterculture, of the underdog, and of the power in being different. Catch him on tour in the UK 4th-10th November.
The Inspector Cluzo - Horizon
Our favourite French farmers (like, actual farmers – with crops and geese and a big goat and everything) are back with a pretty, psychedelia-infused serenade – all bittersweet hope and light open spaces, which climax into twisty, noisy blues rock grooves. In a sense it’s a bit like Ry Cooder joining All Them Witches, with a whiff of U2’s Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For in the background. But above all The Inspector Cluzo delight in confounding expectation; in making addictive songs with unusual flavour combinations.
Chris Catalyst - Little Wonder
The solo tune-meister/Eureka Machines frontman/Nameless Ghoul/all-round pop rock ace has reimagined Little Wonder, an all-but-forgotten nugget from Bowie’s 1997 album Earthling (I’m Afraid Of Americans is easily its most famous inclusion). Chris’s version keeps the caffeinated drum machine heartbeat, but builds it up into a warmer, fleshier affair with organ sounds, shots of guitar beef and a sweetness that sits alongside the song’s angular soul – rather than overpowering it. Find this and more on Chris’s new Bowie tribute album, Waiting In The Sky (a thoughtful cocktail of uber-hits and deep cuts) which you can pick up at MusicGlue (opens in new tab).
Devin Townsend - Call Of The Void
After the dizzying sprawls of Empath and The Puzzle, Call Of The Void comes as a calming, comparatively straight-ahead tonic – a big-hearted pop ballad, framed in gauzy new-age textures (and a good example of new album Lightwork, which comes out October 28) and messages of hope, for anyone who’s ever felt the pull of dark places. Oh, and definitely watch the video if you could use some emotional rescue remedy: his use of Youtuber RailCowGirl’s train journey footage – through snowy mountains and remote stations – is wonderfully soothing.
Handsome Jack - Let Me Know
Lean yet luscious “boogie soul” is the order of the day with these New Yorkers, none of whom (as this video affirms) are actually called Jack – though they do have a very fine set of beards between them. Ragged, swampy guitars mix with solo Chris Robinson vibes, sunny backing harmonies and enough rough edges to keep Let Me Know from slipping into hazy, bonged-out territory. In other words, the sort of good shit we could all use a bit more of. Fresh off the latest album, Get Humble, which is out now.
Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts - Everybody Loves You When You're Dead
Our old friend Tuk Smith is back with what might just be the best song he's ever written, a huge ballad that's part Mott The Hoople, part Queen, part Cheap Trick, and all end-of-the-night, brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, lets-take-on-the-world-together magnificence. "I was channeling my favourite 70s glam gods on this track, for sure," says Tuk. "I woke up one morning with phrase ‘everybody loves you when you’re dead’ running through my head, so I sat down and the piano and the song kind of wrote itself." Glorious stuff.