If you wanted any further evidence of the inexorable rise of Italian glam rockers Måneskin – beyond the millions of streams and the sold-out arenas – look no further than our most recent Tracks Of The Week competition, which saw the band beat The Sheepdogs' Scarborough Streetfight (opens in new tab) and The Last Internationale's 1984 (opens in new tab) to claim top spot after a fiercely-fought contest. It's all downhill from here, surely.
This week, we go again. We've got big hitters in ZZ Top and Journey, up-and-comers in Mother Vulture, and plenty of old stagers and in-betweeners. Don't forget to vote at the foot of the page.
Mother Vulture - Honey
Flirting with a hot mix of styles and refusing to settle with any, Bristol firebrands Mother Vulture are on fierce form with Honey. Blending fuzzy, thick-set riffs, basslines and big beats with vocals that walk a tightrope between sassy and brutal, it’s a hooky taster of their lip-smackingly unhinged rock shows. Intrigued? Catch them on tour in the UK tomorrow at the Head Of Steam in Newcastle, and on Wednesday at the Black Heart in London. You’ll have fun, trust us. Later this summer they'll be at Bloodstock.
Journey - Let It Rain
Melodic arena titans Journey are back with a surprisingly epic number that doesn't so much hark back to their radio-friendly hits as much as it does head off into the blues-rock territory of earlier times, on the back of a riff that slithers and grinds and squelches and could quite happily soundtrack Godzilla tearing a town apart. “We are excited for our new single release Let it Rain as it offers a sampling of what the next new chapter of music we have in store on our new album Freedom,” says guitarist Neal Schon. The album will emerge on July 8 via Frontiers Music.
Larkin Poe - Bad Spell
We caught these blues rockers live at a sold-out Shepherd’s Bush this month (one of so many repeatedly postponed tours happening right now) and it was frickin’ great – old favourites, classy covers and this brand new newbie. Conceived as a woman’s response to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put A Spell On You, it’s deliberate, nasty and riddled with deliciously raw blues swagger. Like thick treacle spiked with arsenic. Check out this and more on their next album, Blood Harmony, which is out in November.
Drive-By Truckers - The Driver
This is one of those seven-minute rock tracks that really justifies its length (we played it once and immediately wanted to play it again; always a good sign). Every note counts in the Truckers’ dark, creeping smoke swirl – inspired by soul-searching late night drives with loud music – built on a dirty, chugging guitar backbone, Patterson Hood coming over like an outlaw Tom Waits through dark, deadpan storytelling. Their 14th album, Welcome 2 Club XIII, is out on June 3.
Joanne Shaw Taylor - Can’t You See What You’re Doing To Me (live)
Classic bluesers in search of the good stuff would do well to check out Joanne’s take on Albert King’s 12-bar tour de force. It’s taken from her new live album, Blues From The Heart (recorded at the Franklin Theater in Tennessee) – a fitting title for someone who understands that blues, when done right, is a passionate, from-the-heart thing. “It was an incredible evening and a show I’ll never forget,” says Taylor. “I’m so proud of the film, and I’m honoured to have been joined by some of my friends for this special concert.”
Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners - Wasted Times
Not being one to sit still musically for more than, like, five minutes, Ginger’s back – this time with The Sinners (initially formed in August 2019, when he teamed up with Neil Ivison and Nick Lyndon from the band Stone Mountain Sinners) and a loose-limbed fix of goodtime, country-fried rock’n’roll. It’s a sweet, Stones-y debut with a folk heart and moonshine in its blood. A cosier contrast to the Wildhearts’ incendiary mix of pain, power and politics (clearly there’s a time and place for both, right?). Catch GW&TS on the road across the UK through June.
Dub War - Vibes In The Place
Back in March, Benji Webb's old band Dub War (the one he was in before Skindred) released a new single, Blackkk Man, and a month later followed it up with a cover of Max Romeo's classic War Ina Babylon featuring the late, great Ranking Roger. Both tracks are from the band's upcoming album Westgate Under Fire – due in August, their first in 25 years – and now they've unveiled a third song, Vibes In The Place, which picks up right where they left off in 199-whenever-it-was. It's got funk, it's got dub, it's got sirens, and it rocks harder than a tractor on a see-saw.
ZZ Top - Tube Snake Boogie
Tube Snake Boogie is another track recorded live for ZZ Top's That Little Ol’ Band from Texas documentary, and it's kinda fitting that Dusty Hill's last hurrah turned out to be an album of back-to-basics versions of the songs that gave the band their career. Dusty considered Tube Snake Boogie the band's ultimate party song, and Billy Gibbons clearly enjoyed the recording. "It was, in a very real way, a return to our roots," he says. "Just us and the music, no audience of thousands, no concession stands, no parking lot social hour, no phalanx of tour buses. Just us and the music."