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Tracks of the Week: new songs from Ghost, Church Of The Cosmic Skull and more

Tracks of the Week artists
(Image credit: Press materials)

This week, we'll start off by congratulating rambunctious blues duo When Rivers Meet, whose latest single He'll Drive You Crazy won our most recent Tracks Of The Week competition with convincing if not consummate ease. 

He'll Drive You Crazy beat Stone Broken's Black Sunrise (opens in new tab) and Deepshade's Eat My Dust (opens in new tab) into the minor medal positions, but they're all winners in our eyes – even the losers – and we hope they all handle this wild success with the grace and humility the occasion demands.  

You can vote for this week's favourite down there ⬇️. at the foot of the page.

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Ghost - Twenties

A charismatic banger from the theatrical funsters’ next album, Impera, this is one of those songs where a lyric video is actually well worth having. You’ll want to read these lyrics. Smart, funny and definitely a bit silly, they sprinkle Twenties with an energising layer of absinthe and fairy dust. It’s the strange yet pleasing place where 80s rock meets musical theatre (the opening orchestral passage could literally have come straight off Broadway), and it’ll probably be brilliant live.

Church Of The Cosmic Skull - One More Step

There's not much that gets us excited as a new release from Midlands-based DIY cult rockers Church Of The Cosmic Skull, so we were obviously delighted when One More Step drifted into humanity's consciousness last week. It's a leisurely affair that seems to slowly ascend as it unwinds, with old-fashioned production values and a sound that appears to have been beamed in from somewhere quite celestial. We advise listeners to join Brother Bill and his flock on their journey towards enlightenment forthwith, and certainly in time for the May release of upcoming album There Is No Time


Ultra Mega Cat Attack - Stay.Go.

Cat fanciers and riff-mongers from Singapore, Ultra Mega Cat Attack are as much fun as they sound. The band name alone made us smile, so it was a delight to find that Stay.Go. totally rocked as well – it’s giddy, feel-good fodder with a thumping beat that begs to be danced to. The fact that they perform in cat masks (and clearly take themselves just seriously enough… but not too seriously) is a bonus. 


Skinny Knowledge - I Wonder

Need a simple, super-effective wake up call to rev you up this week? This’ll sort you out. On I Wonder, Bournemouth rockers Skinny Knowledge mix the shouty, sugar punk of early Foo Fighters with the harmonised power pop of Eureka Machines. The video is very silly. There are pies in faces, cellophaned cars and other forms of good-natured dicking around. Sound medicine for the soul, in other words.


Simon McBride - High Stakes

There’s a snap and a swagger to this single that reminds us of Smith/Kotzen (the collaboration between Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen). For those who enjoy their guitar heroism with a belting chorus, tasty soloing and a side of funky fusion, this is a very good thing. McBride can noodle his way round as many exotic scales and tricky techniques as the next Young Guitarist of the Year (a Guitarist magazine accolade he won aged 15), but it’s his considered use of virtuosity here - and sensitivity to the song - that shines.


Moon Tooth - Carry Me Home

Where other bands do acoustic, boot-gazing versions of their singles, Moon Tooth have done the opposite…sort of. Carry Me Home (released a mere month ago) originally had a much more contemporary hard rock vibe. Now, they’ve upped the gung-ho, retro ante and paid homage to their inspirations. A deliciously schizoid fireball, this alternate version flips through a who’s who of classic rock influences; “Hendrix, Allmans, Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Ray Charles, and Stevie Ray Vaughan all came up while we were tracking,” says guitarist Nick Lee. Fresh and fun.


Farees feat Leo Nocentelli of The Meters - The Melting

Set to Farees’s self-coined ‘wall of groove’ production style, this duet with The Meters’ guitarist is a syncopated kaleidoscope of squelchy funk, Latin vibes and Stevie Wonder-esque political ire. Plus the sort of trippy, idiosyncratic moments that make us think of Parliament/Funkadelic (‘That’s Farees right there! He’s on the drums, he’s singing, playing maracas, building spaceships, all types of shit!’). It’s not hard to see why the likes of Taj Mahal have endorsed him. 


The Hellacopters - So Sorry I Could Die

Swedish rock'n'roll veterans The Hellacopters announced their return in December with the typically animated Reap A Hurricane, but new single So Sorry I Could Die changes tack altogether. A blues ballad with an instrumental melody akin to the Screamin' Jay Hawkins' classic I Put A Spell On You, it's enlivened by an impassioned vocal from frontman Nicke Andersson and guitar solos that rocket all over the place before the whole thing expires in a squall of gentle feedback. Great stuff. 

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from