Another week glides into view, and rock just keeps on rolling. We've narrowed this week's shortlist of new releases down from several hundred possible candidates to a final eight, and now, just like last week, and like the previous 363 weeks, we'd like you to pick your favourite.
But first, here's last week's grand prize winner Myles Kennedy, whose Get Along galloped away with the big prize, while The Struts & Paris Jackson's Low Key In Love cantered into second place ahead of Royal Blood's Boilermaker, which trotted into third.
Yola - Diamond Studded Shoes
An irresistible soul tune wrapped up in buttery, sunkissed americana with toe-tapping shades of Carole King and Tina Turner – complete with countrified, Allman Brothers-style slide and a fun, stylish video – Diamond Studded Shoes makes an utterly lovable gateway for newcomers into Yola’s world (and surefire catnip for existing fans). On-the-money stuff from the Bristol-born Phantom Limb singer. We played this when it came out last week and it just made us feel good. We hope it does the same for you. Bewilderingly, upcoming album Stand For Myself is being released on 8-track tape.
Mammoth WVH - Feel
Wolfgang Van Halen continues to stoke the fires of anticipation for his debut LP with Feel, and it’s another resounding winner. Lest we forget WVH wrote, played and sang everything on said LP, and this latest cut finds him comfortably holding his own on all fronts. Drums gallop with skill and ferocity. Vocals soar and lower in all the right places. Guitars drive the whole thing with grungy, Foos-meets-Alter Bridge aplomb. That first single (former TOTW winner Distance) really wasn’t a fluke, huh?
J Lee And The Hoodoo Skulls - Let Your Hair Down
Jason Lee Barratt and his Hoodoo Skulls ride into Tracks Of The Week today with a bluesy hip-shakin’ earworm – which they’re describing, not without reason, as “fifties rock‘n’roll dance floor sensibilities clashing with eighties stadium rock hooks” – taken from upcoming album Beggars Soul. What are you waiting for? Let your hair down (actual or proverbial) and get your groove on. Fun stuff.
Cedric Burnside - Step In
Cedric Burnside is the grandson of the great RL Burnside, and Step In, recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, TN, is proof that the blues runs thick in his blood. A modern day take on traditional Mississippi hill country blues, it's a vivid tale of adversity, anguish and atonement, all powered by the kind of hard drivin' boogie that made the family name. There is also a puppy.
Twisted Illusion - Hatred Is A Virtue
Like a splash of metal theatre with your Monday coffee/tea/beverage of choice? And a shot of Rainbow, if Rainbow teamed up with Rush? Plus a generously shrieky serving of Iron Maiden in the chorus? Manchester progressive metal troupe Twisted Illusion combine all this in Hatred Is A Virtue, only they do it with the sort of punchy, catchy tune that pop fans could sing back just as happily as metalheads or prog fans. If you like what you hear there’s more to come on their new album, Temple of Artifice, out next month.
Prosperina - Boot
From chorus shrieks to stomping boots, our next entry is something a little more menacing and ominous, but deliciously so, courtesy of these progressive grungy Brits. Hailed as “an anthem for the disenfranchised Left”, it packs mighty guitar chops with seething lyrics. A heavy, commanding fusion, it makes us think of Soundgarden caught in a dystopian kaleidoscope with Tool and Idles – while the animated video kinda calls to mind the latter's Kill Them With Kindness.
Buckcherry - So Hott
Josh Todd and co are back with brand new album Hellbound in June, and this is the first taste. How the video for So Hott (yeah, with two f***ing Ts!) was made in 2021 is anyone’s guess (girl wears little, posts pictures, gets a load of ‘likes’, drooling men flock to her… sorry, did the last ten years just, like, not happen??), but the song itself is an absolute banger which is why it’s featured here. Built up from a proper classic rock party riff, mixed with the salacious edge that made Crazy Bitch and Lit Up such anthems, it gets an awful lot very right. Just rethink the tone of the vid next time, eh fellas?
Todd Rundgren & Sparks - Your Fandango
Your Fandango finds two of the rock intelligentsia's leading lights come together for a song that mentions the world "fandango" no less than 60 times, but also rhymes "libido" with "indeedo", so who's counting? The press release describes the song as a "masterful piece of polyphonic pop that elegantly layers Spanish music, Neopolitan cantatas, baroque fugues and glam rock for one truly epic composition," and frankly, we couldn't have put it better ourselves. So we won't.