Scott Holiday called Rival Sons' recent single Mercy "a song that deals with internal struggle", but this week it triumphed in an external, very public struggle, topping the poll in our Track's Of The Week competition. So congratulations to him. And, indeed, them.
Not far behind was Big Idea by Spokane's Automatic Shoes, while Joanne Shaw Taylor – currently living in Detroit – completed the 1-2-3 with Sweet ‘Lil Lies, giving US residents a clean sweep of the medal positions. So congratulations to them. And, indeed, the nation as a whole.
Can anyone break the US stranglehold on this competition? Tune in this time next week to find out.
This week's entries are below. We hope you enjoy the hot rock action.
The Lazys - Rattle Them Bones
Cut from the same hairy hellraiser cloth as Airbourne, Monster Truck and others that go well with a few cold beers, the Aussies’ comeback single is raw, riff-tastic and right in your face from the first beat. Think Bon-era AC/DC, with a trucker beard. “Rattle Them Bones embodies our band's trials, tribulations, and resurrection through the pandemic and its aftershock,” singer Leon Harrison says. “It was spawned out of frustration during the pandemic, while navigating our way back to what we do best, rockin the stage!”
Europe - Hold Your Head Up
Six years on from their last studio album, Walk The Earth, the Swedish veterans are back with this tasty new track. Built on a chunky scorcher of a riff, and with Joey Tempest on enviably winning form (one of classic rock’s somewhat underrated voices), it’s a promising omen for their next album, as well as band documentary Europe – The Movie, which is due out next year. We’d be genuinely delighted to hear this in a Europe setlist, at least as much as The Final Countdown et al. And that’s saying something. They’ve still got it.
Florence Black - Look Up
These Welsh hard rockers have built up a generous stash of bruising riffs and woozy, grungy distortion over the last few years. It’s won them support slots with Stone Sour, Steel Panther, Reef and more – though, if we’re completely honest, a killer cover of Budgie’s Breadfan was probably the most memorable tune in their set. Now they’ve nailed that essential next step: a proper song that’s all theirs and feels like a hit, with the sort of bold, more-ish melody that drives the track without hiding behind layers of guitars. More like this and they’ll be laughing.
Rose Tiger - Meet Me At The Cemetery
And now for something completely different, but just as inviting. Smooth, sleek and more than a bit funky, this new single from the French-Anglo-Hispanic trio mixes slinky 80s synth-pop and 00s alt.rock atmosphere, with a 70s glam lipstick smear. The audio equivalent of a blue Slush Puppie in a velvet-lined VIP booth. Spearheading the campaign for their debut album – a dystopian conceptual epic called The End Forever – it comes with an eye-grabbing animated video that made us imagine Gorillaz infiltrating Blade Runner, via the Death Star Canteen… It’s probably best if you watch it and see.
Silveroller - Hold
Aaron Keylock has had quite a journey for a guy only just entering his twenties. By turns he’s been the precocious blues guitar kid, the blues rock singer/axe-slinging teen and the guitarist in self-titled group Keylock. Now under the name Silveroller, he’s got himself the gang he always needed. In singer Jonnie Hodson – a grinning barrel of Paul Rodgers-voiced, Rod Stewart-haired energy – Keylock has the Jagger to his Richards, the Plant to his Page. A firecracker frontman, in other words, giving him space to stretch out, loosen up, and just be the guitar player that (we suspect) he always wanted to be. Suddenly it’s all a lot less ‘blues-wunderkind’ and a lot more Blackberry Smoke, via early 70s Britain.
Kit Trigg - Goin’ For Glory
Farnham rockers Kit Trigg come bearing breezy, baggy-trousered skater dude vibes (helped by a video full of al fresco good times and plenty of actual skateboards) pepped up with 90s West Coast warmth. It’s sort of like hearing a bunch of grunge kids playing classic bluesy rock’n’roll – at a beach in Los Angeles. The shot of post-summer heat and light we could probably all use right now. Nice.
Larkin Poe and The Sheepdogs - The Chain
Yes this is a cover, but it’s such a good one we couldn’t not include it. Seriously, what’s not to love? Two sets of masterful vocal-harmonisers (each with a sibling pair), two acoustic guitars, one lap-steel, one Fleetwood Mac classic… one match made in heaven. Four minutes of West Coast sunbeams, via Nashville and Canada. Larkin Poe (the Nashville contingent of this collaboration) tour the UK later this month with Canadians The Sheepdogs supporting. Will they team up for a rendition of this? Come, make it happen…
Snayx - Better Days
"It’s all about the company you keep,” says vocalist Charlie Herridge, of the title track of the Brighton alt.rock trio’s next EP – a hooky fistful of QOTSA-meets-Blur noise and sharp edges. “Sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself, ‘Are the people I surround myself with any good for me?’” They might be playing smaller clubs right now, but listening to this it's easy to imagine them tackling just about anything. “I’m soaring with confidence,” bassist Ollie Horner affirms. “You could ask us to play Wembley tomorrow and we’d be ready to go.”