Here's an actual fact: in winning our Tracks Of The Week contest last week, Rival Sons gathered enough votes to become leaders of the UK's embattled Conservative Party. So congratulations to them! We wish them luck in their new role.
This week it's another eight contenders, and more voting. Let's get started, shall we?
Those Damn Crows - Man On Fire
Bridgend’s Those Damn Crows have lurked in the wings of modern hard rock’s ‘big league’ for a while now – recorded work was good, gigs were better, comparisons to existing arena-fillers began to appear. Now, they have all the heavy, soaring, spine-tingling and riffy ingredients needed, driven by the most crucial one: a brilliant song. It’s exciting to hear. Hot on the heels of the class Wake Up, Man On Fire is another glimpse of the game-raising fare on new album, Inhale/Exhale, which is out on 17 February 2023. Fucking ace.
Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse - Watching the World Fall Down
There’s a lot one could say about how prescient this title feels these days, so we’ll just tell you what a banging track it is – sonically and visually. Accompanied by a beautifully orchestrated mix of animation, live action and stop motion (BGG’s Greta Valenti and Robin Davey are masters of the smart, superior music video), Watching The World Fall Down is a sweet, snappy marriage of bouncy pop rock, countrified and soulful sensibilities. Few responses to the global chaos of late have been this catchy, or pretty.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Terror’s Pillow
Ahhh they’re back! Our favourite porcine oddballs return with a thick-set slab of woozy, groovy rock sludge. With a name that could’ve been a great B-horror flick in another life, it’s a menacing mesh of doom, stoner and hard rock sensibilities – most of them seemingly coming from the fiery pits of hell, or a roomful of bong smoke, or both. Deliciously dense and nasty. Catch them on tour across the UK from February-April 2023.
GWAR feat Lzzy Hale - The Cutter
Ahh, nothing lifts the spirits on a Monday quite like a faceful of intergalactic gore, guts and other gruesome shit – all of it strapped together by hooky, densely distorted riffs as thick as tree trunks, covered in bloody entrails and spiced by guest warlord Lzzy Hale. You could say it’s like a groovy Judas Priest with more blast-beats and blood, but really GWAR stand in a league (and, indeed, a universe) of their own.
Wheel - Synchronise
Fresh from a North American tour with Apocalyptica, Anglo-Finnish progressive metal/rock foursome Wheel are on ambitious form with this new single – in the works for the last five years. The ambition pays off. A lush, clever but clear sprawl of acoustic and electric guitars, strings, mournful vocals and darkened ambiance, it flits effortlessly between dark, earthy folk and ethereal tones. If you’re in the market for some cool, classy new-wave heavy prog matter (the kind their new label, InsideOut, specialise in) you could do an awful lot worse.
Revelry - Part-time Playboy
These Tennessee southern rockers are not rewriting the book. Indeed, Part-time Playboy is so packed with tasty 70s Skynyrd/Zeppelin/Free/etcetc tropes (but with more of a country twist) you’ll wonder if you’ve heard it at a pub covers gig somewhere. The song's protagonist has everything you'd expect: money trouble, lotta beers, loose morals, a love of rock’n’roll, a woman who’s ‘mad as hell but he don’t give a shit’…So it’s meat n’ potatoes fare, but tightly executed with good humour and gusto – and sometimes that’s *exactly* what we all need.
Jaws The Shark - Reno
Pitched somewhere between the frantic garage rock of The Hives and the Detroit-by-way-of-Bondi punk stylings of Radio Birdman, Jaws The Shark's frenzied Reno is about "leaving a casino and jumping on an e-scooter that they for some reason had a load of parked up outside, like that’s ever a good idea, crashing it into your friend and nearly losing your front teeth in the process." We expect you can expect more of this sort of thing when the Jaws The Shark (disclaimer: not actually a shark) accompany Deaf Havana on their UK tour next month.
Sorry Audio - That's When I Reach For My Revolver
Sorry Audio – for the uninitiated, a loutish compendium of the Wildhearts-connected Grand Theft Audio and the Wildhearts-connected Scott Sorry – have recorded a version of Mission Of Burma's That's When I Reach For My Revolver, a song whose chorus has been bellowed by many a rowdy rocker in the four decades since its original release. Sorry Audio's cover doesn't add anything new to one of alt-rock's landmark tunes, but neither does it take anything away. It's certainly more fun than Moby's take.