Back in the 1990s, Washington band The Posies released Frosting On The Beater. At a time when much of the state was consumed by the gnarlier end of grunge, The Posies were something else, and so was the album.
Frosting On The Beater was polished to the point where it shimmered. It was drenched in melody – they had harmonies, for a start – and yet it still possessed the kind of crunch required from bands from the great Pacific North-West. It was the type of album that its fans still speak of in hushed tones, as if they're party to some sort of enormous sonic secret.
Why are we telling you this now? Well, a week ago The Posies released a new single, Sideways, and you voted it our single of the week. 27 years on, and still shimmering,
So well done to them, and to Angeline, and to Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, who picked up the silver and bronze medals. You can hear the winning entry again below, and don't forget to vote for a new favourite at the foot of the page.
Novatines - Honey
Audibly raised on a bracing mix of Nirvana and Led Zeppelin, young Brit foursome Novatines continue their promising trajectory with this oomphy new single. A fine example of simple ingredients cooked properly, this short (but very sweet) rush of tearaway rock’n’roll – powered by a gloriously un-fussy dirty blues guitar hook – will leave you gagging for more. Why complicate things when the basics are this tasty?
The Byson Family - Hope And Pray
At the start of this year it was announced that Phil Campbell had left beloved Brit rockers The Temperance Movement. Now, the singer is back with a new band – although they've been around since his Temperance days – and a single that sounds...erm, kinda like The Temperance Movement, albeit with more feet in the American west coast than 70s Britannia (in the bridge there’s even a whisper of the psychedelic jams of the 60s ‘Frisco scene). And this is absolutely not a bad thing; on the contrary, we at TOTW look forward to seeing what they do next.
Christopher Shayne - Pour The Bottle
Described (accurately) as “hard southern rock with a blast of desert heat”, this Arizona native’s new single should come with its own brand of bourbon, such is its slidin’, swaggerin’ renegade cowboy quality. If Blackberry Smoke were raised on a rattlesnake farm, in the Sonoran desert, you could imagine them cooking up something like this. Like what you hear and want more? He has an EP due out in early 2021, from which this one’s taken.
Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts - Same Old You
You've got to feel for Tuk Smith. Of all the artistes destined for quantum leaps in 2020 (and there were plenty) the former Biters frontman must rank among the highest – with his new band assembled, new music ready to go and a mega-tour with Motley Crue and Def Leppard in the diary. Still, if this bright, breezily bittersweet pop of sugar and strife (co-written with Butch Walker) is anything to go by, it'll be worth the wait when the album finally sees the light of day in 2021.
Electric Hydra - Blackened Eyes
"The message in the text is that despite how much of a diva someone is, we are all going to end up looking the same way when we’re six feet under,” says singer Sanne Karlsson of this propulsive mash-up of Black Sabbath fuzz, twisted cabaret vibes and industrial quantities of eye-liner – completed by a music video that's part Night Of The Living Dead, part f***ed-up period drama shindig.
Empyre - Only Way Out
The rising, quietly ambitious Northampton four-piece swap guitars for a gleaming Yamaha grand piano in this haunting, rousing performance. The gear might be glossy and the delivery slick (it's not hard to imagine this on much bigger stages than they currently play), but the intent of Only Way Out still manages to feel raw in its straight-from-the-gut intimacy and heartache.
Lowlives - Gravity
Comprising former members of The Defiled, Amen, No Devotion and the Ataris, Lowlives made us think of the Foo Fighters at their angriest and grittiest on this melodic mosh-along. Accompanied by their first 'proper' music video (“the concept is basically a dumbed down Ground Hog day that follows the theme of the song", the band say) Gravity is a woozy, noisy shot of adrenalin and deep-thinking for the soul.
Matty James Cassidy - Old Souls
The new single from Northern Ireland's Matty James Cassidy bowls in with an authentically Peaky Blinders-eque video and the kind of knuckle-crunching reggae guitar stab last heard on a Rancid record. But unlike Rancid or Arf'ur Shelby, it keeps its head: brass swells and the chorus hits and the whole thing takes on an anthemic quality that reminds us of Spear Of Destiny's 80s hit Never Take Me Alive. Which is no bad thing. In the words of Thomas Shelby himself: "Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak. The fiercest storms arise from the calmest seas."