Tracks of the week: new music from The Darkness, Joyous Wolf and more

Tracks Of The Week
(Image credit: Press materials)

Hello all, and welcome to this week's bountiful selection platter of new rock treats. First of all, however, there's the important business of last week's top three. In reverse order you voted for these guys:

3. The Virginmarys – Northern Sun 

2. Whiskey Myers – Bitch 

1. Thirteen Stars – Running So Long 

Congratulations to Thirteen Stars who emerged victorious! And similarly to Whiskey Myers and The Virginmarys, who followed closely behind in second and third places. Now, let's see who secures your votes this week. Get listening, get judging, then get voting (at the foot of this page), right after a spin of last week's victors Thirteen Stars...

The Darkness - Heart Explodes

Kicking things off in grandiose, glittery yet thoughtful style we have The Darkness – captured here during their recent run of mahoosive shows with Ed Sheeran. Heart Explodes is one of our favourite tracks on triumphant new album Easter Is Cancelled though, as Dan Hawkins explains, it’s actually been in the bag for a while: “That song has been around since before Permission To Land. We played it at really early gigs. We tried recording it for every album, but it never worked. The difference is that Rufus plays on it.” 

Lovehoney - Victory

One of the coolest things to come out of New York in recent years, Lovehoney mix the rawest, heaviest end of The White Stripes with hearty dollops of garage in this (hitherto unreleased) short, frenetic fix of delicious noise. Filthy, sexy rock’n’roll, with no frills or fucking around. Like what you hear? Check out more on their new EP Cruda.

Electric Mary - It's Alright

It begins with olde blues strains on a crackly radio, but It’s Alright is a much fatter, beefier beast. The subject matter, however, is rather more sobering; it’s a song about anxiety and depression, and the positive elements of talking about them. “I want people to understand that if you open up about your problems you will find you have a lot of people that will support you,” singer Rusty says.

Adam & The Metal Hawks - Turn Around

Led by gloriously afro-ed singer Adam Ezegelian, these Long Beach hard rockers make the kind of thumping, catchy noise Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen might have made if they’d moonlighted as a dirty garage band. Which, we reckon, makes them well worth your time. 

Samantha Fish - Kill Or Be Kind

The Kansas-born blues rock guitar-slinger channels suave, soulful flavours of Amy Winehouse and Beth Hart on the title track from her latest album. Classy stuff, with a whiff of Santana in the solo section – the kind of restrained, tasty display that prizes quality over quantity.

Joyous Wolf - Quiet Heart

As the likes of The Struts, Greta Van Fleet, Starcrawler, Bones UK etc etc have continued to blossom - young rock bands with style and showmanship, and the tunes to back it up -  we’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing Joyous Wolf join the pack. Now released with a natty new video, this standout track from EP Place In Time is an unabashedly confident rock anthem. We can’t wait for their debut LP.

Marisa And The Moths - Skin

‘Cute band name’, you say? Trust us: there’s nothing moth-like about these guys. Featuring satisfying (yet sparingly deployed) lead flashiness from virtuosic six-stringer Sophie Lloyd, it’s the sort of sharp, chunky modern hard rock that makes you think of Halestorm, Foo Fighters and In This Moment, alongside touches of various classic rock heavyweights.

Playing For Change - The Weight

Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr and an all-star cast – including Marcus King, Lukas Nelson and other singers and instrumentalists from all over the world – assemble for this cover of The Band’s 1968 classic. With so many people involved this may sound a little chaotic in principle, but it's a thoughtful, soulful rendition.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.