As July turns the page into August and those long, summer nights linger (unless you're in the southern hemisphere, in which case, BRRRR!), we'd like to take a moment to celebrate the fact that we're halfway through the year and rock has not stopped for a single moment.
It might have felt have felt hobbled at times, but hell, Guns N' Roses are on the road, Lollapalooza has returned, and even Fred Durst is back onstage. Nature is indeed healing.
We've got another eight reasons to celebrate below, but first, congratulations to Justin Stewart Cotta, whose Just Enough triumphed in last week's roundup, beating Joe Bonamassa's Notches and the cover of Nazareth's Telegram by the lengthily-named The Halloween Project & The Fluffy Jackets feat. Ronnie Le Tektø and Neil Murray. And here's your winner, back for an encore.
The Glorious Sons - Hold Steady
Canada’s Glorious Sons are back for another, bluesier bite of the TOTW cherry; singer Brett Emmons leading the charge with a Jay Buchanan-esque battle cry of ‘I gave you my bloody ragged soul’. Yes it’s as massive and livid as it sounds. “The chorus is one of the oldest things I had kicking around in my head,” Emmons says. “It wasn’t until a few months back, when I finished writing that bluesy, acoustic riff that you hear at the top of the song, that the melody and chorus just kind of popped back into my head and found its forever home.”
The Byson Family - Riches
Ex-Temperance Movement singer Phil Campbell returns with a stunning highlight from his new band’s debut album, Kick The Traces. Awash with sun-dappled acoustic guitars, piano lines and a shimmering mix of innocence and experience, it’s the sort of thing War On Drugs might have cooked up if they spent more time in Glasgow spinning Teenage Fanclub records.
Amyl & The Sniffers - Security
The Aussie noisemakers build on the driving, shout-in-your-ear power of Guided By Angels with this commanding new fireball. Amy Taylor makes like a punky, peroxide Billy Elliott, dancing and gesticulating her way through a darkened graveyard to a tune that’s loud, defiant, in your face and smart. Like what you hear? New album Comfort To Me is coming out on September 10.
The Cadillac Three - Get After It
Like many rock lovers, TC3 love Marshall amps and motorcycles (lapsteeler-in-chief Kelby Ray especially). So their new partnership with BMW Motorrad and Marshall makes sense, launched in style with Get After It – a fuzzed up party anthem that’s equal parts beer, gasoline, rattlesnakes and ZZ Top records, set to a boot-stomping beat. Lovely shiny bikes in the video too, plus what might literally be the first time we’ve seen Jaren Johnston without a hat.
Buckcherry - Wasting No More Time
Josh Todd and co decamp to an artfully dilapidated ghost town in the Nevada desert (with three downcast suited blokes with computers and a mean boss… it’s a metaphor, innit), for this brooding, shapeshifting ballad. Pepped up with a dash of countrified jangling and a surprisingly sweet, sunshiney chorus it’ll have you swaying along with your arms round whoever’s closest – or at least thinking about it longingly.
Little Triggers - Yeh Man
Scousers Little Triggers make like The Hives getting cheerfully wasted with MC5 and Wolfmother on their new headbanger, “which takes aim at corruption within government and by the powers that be”. Fast, frenetic and not at all refined, it finds them sustaining the rawer, noisier vibe that came with downsizing to a duo. Happily, it seems to suit them.
Florence Black - Sun & Moon
If you’re a fan of bands like Those Damn Crows and Mason Hill – young Brits channelling the moody arena-rocking spirit of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry et al – you’ll want to check out Florence Black. The Welsh rockers’ new single might start out all pretty and Waiting For A Girl Like You-y, but once the chorus kicks in it’s all hard rock muscle and chest-beating intent.
Royal Republic - Rata-Tata
Yet another ludicrously catchy dancefloor monster from the glitterball Swedes. It's as if Daft Punk had grown up listening to The Darkness. Or The Darkness had grown up listening to Chic. Or Chic has grown up listening to... you get the idea. Either way, the ratt-tatt-a-ratt-tatt-tatt, a-ratt-tatt-tatt-tatt-tatt bits deserves to be immediately placed into the museum of disco brilliance, if such a place exists, and celebrated for eternity.