It was heartening to watch people get behind Pink Floyd's Hey Hey Rise Up this week, ushering it into the gold medal position in our Tracks Of The Week roundup and raising awareness and money for humanitarian relief in Ukraine in the process. It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Well done to everyone involved.
Second and third place went to Commonwealth states Australia and Canada, as Perth's Datura4 took home second place with Open The Line (opens in new tab), while Saskatoon's The Sheepdogs brought up the rear with So Far Gone (opens in new tab).
This week? It's a new a battle. Onwards! And don't forget to vote.
Zach Tabori - Sweet Baby Angel
Forget winter, skip spring – your new ultimate summer singalong hath arriveth, and it truly rocks. A gleaming, glittery groovefest with a heart of gold and hips like Mick Jagger after a few wines, it’s sweeter than a Haribo factory and guaranteed to remain in your head forever... Or at least a really long time, as befits the happiest West Coast vibes, with one foot in Laurel Canyon and another in 70s disco.
Thunder - Across The Nation
Living up to the name of their new album, Dopamine, Thunder keep the classic rock bangers coming with this latest dose. If you play guitar (and even if you don’t, frankly) you will want to play the riff in this one, such is its more-ish meaty magnitude. Catch the band at an arena near you in May, with homegrown faces Kris Barras, Piston, Those Damn Crows and Massive Wagons in support on different nights.
New Sol - Flower Song
Remember ‘Kiss Guy’? The fan who, four years ago, got up onstage with the Foo Fighters in Austin – in full Kiss warpaint – and absolutely nailed Monkey Wrench, in gleeful fashion, while Grohl looked on in unadulterated delight and everything felt right with the world for a few minutes? Well, his name is Yayo Sanchez, and he has a trio called New Sol, who’ve released this mellow mash-up of Beatles, Bowie and ELO warmth. All sunset tones and kinda gorgeous. Ones to watch out for.
Witch Fever - Blessed Be Thy
Take a trip to the dark side via this menacing ball of fire and fuzz, with a feral soul and a backbone of beefcake punk rock. “It was literally the last song we wrote before we went into the studio,” says bassist/backing vocalist Alex Thompson, “but came together really quickly. I think it still has an essence of some of our older material, so it’s a good way to bridge the gap.” Catch them on tour in April and May.
Joe Satriani - The Elephants Of Mars
He’s boogied with hordes of locusts, surfed with aliens, rocked out with wormhole wizards and transported listeners to a whole host of other places using three chords and the truth (by which we mean ‘a gazillion chords and a load of wonderful lies’... and still rocking in the process). Now, he’s getting freaky with martian elephants. Of course he is; Satch has majored in twisting his guitar into mad shapes for over three decades now. For as long as his imagination and fingers sustain their powers like this, it’s hard to see him stopping.
Sandgaard - Believe
Here's a question we thought we'd never ask: what do you get if you cross Charlton Athletic Football Club's owner with ex-Lynch Mob/Warrant singer Robert Mason? The answer, we can reveal, is Sandgaard, a melodic rock side-project from globe-trotting Danish entrepreneur Thomas Sandgaard, who's more normally found holding high-powered meetings at electrotherapy product wholesaler Zynex Medical. It'd be easy to dismiss this as a vanity project, but Believe is undeniably slick, with Sandgaard a clearly skilled guitarist. File under "oooh, wasn't expecting that".
Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters - Sin Eater
In the era of the short attention span, we're not sure why any band would choose to add a two-minute preamble to their video during which not much happens, but stick the course and Beth Blade's Sin Eater will reward your patience. The chorus is big, the guitar solo is bigger, and Beth voice rides above it all like Boudicca tearing St Albans asunder. Speaking of provincial English towns, that preamble was filmed at Scriveners in Buxton, the only second hand bookshop we're aware of that has its own harmonium.
The 69 Eyes - Drive
Drive is the first single by Finnish vampire rockers The 69 Eyes in three years, and very good it is too, with a Billy Idol-ish vibe and a video shot deep in the heat of the Los Angeles night, as you might expect. “The inspiration came from the same pool of music I have always liked, mostly from the 80s,” says guitarist Bazie. The band are currently in the studio recording their 13th album, which will hopefully see the light of say in 2023.