And so it's with great delight that we can announce that When Rivers Meet – a husband-and-wife roots duo from deepest Essex – have triumphed over Foo Fighters and Deep Purple in our most recent Tracks Of The Week shindig.
So congratulations to them. And here they are again. Our latest selection of movers, groovers and shakers follows.
Rot TV - Ready To Die
Australia has form when it comes to bands that play ballsy, boozy rock boogies – the sort that make you feel wasted just by listening to them. ROT TV are the latest bearers of that noble torch, led from the front by loose, louche vocalist Harriet Hudson-Clise, and coming at you in February 2022 with a new album, Tales Of Torment. If Amyl & The Sniffers formed a pub-rock band with the Damned, and listened to more Chuck Berry, they might have wound up like this. Less socio-political fire, more dancing. Dying never sounded this fun.
Tigercub - I.W.G.F.U
Another party track, albeit with a darker underbelly (to be expected, perhaps, with an initialism that we're pretty certain doesn't stand for 'I Wanna Get Fantastically Universal'...). “It's about drinking,” says mastermind Jamie Hall, “and that moment when despite my best efforts to abstain, my impulse always takes over and I say: “fuck it” let’s go big." A fuzzy, fierce contortion of riffs, melody and mania, the Brighton rockers new single is the sort of thing you’d want to hear on your first time back in a moshpit or club night – all heavy yet slinky, bass-heavy flavours of Muse and Royal Blood.
Shy Harry - Do You Right
Frontman Eric Bolton has featured in TOTW as a soloist. Now, he’s here as part of Canadian rockers Shy Harry, armed with a driving, lusty marriage of rootsy rock’n’roll and REM-esque light n’ shade. An uptempo yet pensive affair, with Bolton’s honeyed rasp front and centre, it has the sort of familiar feel that’ll make you think you’ve heard somewhere before, probably in the 90s – with a whisper of hoedown barn dust in those southern guitar jangles.
Smoking Martha - Wild And Free
More Aussie activity, this time from swaggering noisemakers Smoking Martha. Wild And Free is a groove-heavy chuggernaut that falls somewhere between The Pretty Reckless, Poison and Van Halen, with 80s guitar flashiness and a little Gwen Stefani in singer Tasha’s pipes. Like what you hear? You won’t have to wait long for more; their new album, Universe, is out in December.
Dan Patlansky - Hounds Loose
“[It’s] the Blues cliche tale of selling your soul to the devil,” the South African blues maverick explains, of this opening taster of forthcoming new album, Shelter Of Bones (due out in February), which mixes SRV-inflected blues rock with funky jabs, organ gauze and even fusion-y touches. “I’ve always been fascinated about the story of Robert Johnson and other blues men that sold their souls.”
Hixtape - I Smoke Weed
A little trip to the country now with rising rootsy singer Ashland Craft and our old friends the Brothers Osborne. Part of the brilliantly named Hix Rape; Vol 2 collection (described as “the ultimate mixtape of backroads bangers and party-friendly country anthems”) I Smoke Weed’s message isn’t exactly cryptic, but it sure makes for a sweet, sway-along mash of southern melody and campfire bong smoke.
A'priori - Chasing The Dragon
From smoking weed to chasing the dragon: it's all about illicit substances this week, it would seem. But while Hixtape's song sends a positive message about marijuana use, A'priori's Chasing The Dragon does the opposite, quite sensibly, with regard to heroin. "The drug has got a hold on you," the Blackpool rockers sing, "It won’t let go it’s killing you." Well, they've really gone and harshed our mellow, man. Still, the song is an epic. Floydian in scale, as they say.
Bros - Sad Christmas
It's our old friends in Bros (no, not that one, we're continually obliged to say), Ewan and Shamus Currie from extremely excellent retro-rockers Sheepdogs. They've released a six-track Christmas EP via digital platforms entitled Yet Another Bros Christmas, and the Shuggie Otis-esque ballad Sad Christmas is the opening tune. It might just be the saddest song we've ever heard, with forlorn organ and traditional sleigh-bell embellishment. It's so steeped in loneliness, in fact, that we may have to buy a cat. Just for the company.