We watched the Superbowl last night, and we have a question: what kind of name is The Weekend, anyway? Still, it's nice to hear Siouxsie And The Banshees pumped out to a worldwide audience of millions, albeit in sampled form. Hope it earned her a few quid.
We digress. It's Tracks of the Week time, and you know what that means? We're going to congratulate last week's winners, L.A. Witch. And we're going to congratulate LEVARA and Ricky Warwick, who didn't win but weren't far off.
Read on for this week's runners and riders – you can make your choice at the bottom of the page – but first, here's L.A. Witch again, with their tournament-winning classic Motorcycle Boy.
The Treatment - Rat Race
The Cambridge rockers are back in our lives, in our ears and in our faces (in a good way), and they come bearing the opening track from their upcoming album, Waiting For Good Luck. A big, hearty bruiser of a tune, pepped up with an 80s sheen, it sounds like something Def Leppard and Bon Scott-era AC/DC might have concocted in some sweatbox of a club somewhere.
Ayron Jones - Mercy
If you don’t already know Ayron Jones, you’ll probably be hearing his name a lot more in the coming months. One could compare him to a heavier, grungier Gary Clark Jr – in the sense of his knack for seamlessly mixing hip hop sensibilities with old school blues – but Ayron is very much his own man. Listening to the commanding Mercy shows, we'd say he’s got one ear to the collar-grabbing blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan and another to the heroes of his native Seattle. Plus a touch of Michael Jackson in his vocals.
Jacob & The Dazey Chain - Traces
Rising guitar kid turned legit singing/songwriting force to be reckoned with, Jacob Reese Thornton is joined by Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters) on B3 organ and Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) on bass for this blissed out cascade of lusty strumming and Oasis-esque flower power. 'It's amazing what can change in a day' he sings. Aw shucks; even if only for a moment, you do kinda believe him.
Code Orange - Autumn And Carbine
Normally this Pittsburgh gang err a little too much on the metal side for us (though if that’s your jam they’re totally worth checking out), but we can’t get enough of Autumn And Carbine. Hardcore vocals are ditched in favour of melodic drawling, as the band make like a heavy Alice In Chains – all thick, dirty swagger with a dystopian sci-fi video to match (think The Matrix, Blade Runner, Terminator etc etc in some sort of cyberpunk computer game universe, with a bunch of Orwellian nods).
Skindred - It’s A Crime
This previously unreleased Skindred tune (written circa 2007’s Roots Rock Riot, which is being reissued in April) is an urgent, kaleidoscopic mesh of punk, rock and reggae sensibilities. In other words, the incendiary British-come-Jamaican fare we’ve come to know and love 'em for. Frontman Benji Webbe says of the track’s inspiration: “I live in a neighbourhood (Newport, Wales) where back in the day, a lot of people were working hard and getting ripped off in life and then there are others who are just hustling and selling this and selling that. It’s just a crime that hardworking people don’t get what the thieves/criminals get.”
Those Damn Crows - Sick Of Me
"My worst enemy, my biggest critic, the hardest, meanest person I know is nearly always myself,” TDC singer Shane Greenhall says of this driving, cathartic opus that’ll leave fans of arena heavyweights like Shinedown, Alter Bridge and Bullet For My Valentine weak at the knees. “Sick Of Me is a duel, a constant battle with the person staring back at you in the mirror and not liking what you see and feel."
Electric Boys - Super God
Long-serving Swedish funksters are never too far away from a wah-wah pedal – and as this groovy new rocker reminds us, that's really not a bad thing in their case. "Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s Super God!" singer/guitarist Conny Bloom quips modestly of the track. "Here’s some wah-wah/conga groove to take you higher!" Go on then, we'll have some of that...
The Lickerish Quartet - The Dream That Took Me Over
Synths, danceable beats and strutting 80s guitars reign supreme on this latest number from esteemed Jellyfish alumni The Lickerish Quartet. Slick and dreamy, accompanied by footage of Eric Dover roaming dark shadowy alleys and neon-lit cityscapes. Is it a dream? Is it set in Los Angeles, or some glowing imagined metropolis? Watch/listen and make up your own mind.