Another week at the rock'n'roll coalface has passed, and another Tracks Of The Week competition has retreated into the sunset. This one was a triumph for Bristol-born blues belter Elles Bailey, whose Mumma And Me clearly struck a chord with voters as it wrestled its way into the number one position, leaving Derby's finest The Struts trailing ever so slightly in its wake, while bungee-jumping New Zealanders Black Smoke Trigger came third.
This week's entries are below, and we hope you their splendour. Please vote at the foot of the page.
Michael Catton - Gas On The Fire
Danish/British singer (formerly of Danish melodic rockers Tainted Lady) Michael Catton teamed up with Glenn Hughes guitarist Soren Andersen – also, incidentally, his neighbour in Copenhagen – to make his solo debut, from which this scorching, Van Halen-y whirlwind of giant guitars and big-haired bravado is taken. If you don’t think 1987 has been topped, as a year in music, this is for you. More of this to come soon on the aforementioned debut, Point Of No Return.
Lucifer – At The Mortuary
One for those of a more 70s-leaning disposition, now. “Witness this Sabbathian mass in glorious black-and-white,” says Lucifer’s press blurb, of At The Mortuary’s suitably ghostly video, “which revolves around all things that really matter - love, death and dancing in graveyards.” All that comes out through the music, together with grooves and guitars that weave in swathes of early Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. Riffy retro fun, veiled in black lace, candles to hand.
Troy Redfern - Getaway
On this advance taste of his next album, due in 2024, British slide guitar-slinger Troy Redfern mixes the spirit of T.Rex’s Get It On with dirty, ZZ Top-esque blues rock – all of it nicely roughened, like something cooked up in a shack in rural Texas, solo rattlesnake slithering past. “The new songs embrace more of the rockier elements of my writing and playing,” Redfern says. “ I’ve also given myself the creative freedom to explore and feel out other styles or aspects of my writing that have not been heard on any of my other albums."
We Are Scorpio ft. Talib Kweli - Supa Dupa Star
Gnarly, groovy rock riffs and rapped poetry rub shoulders on the new single from this Detroit duo – poet/musician Jessica Care Moore and singer Steffanie Christian, with a guest star in the shape of hip hop legend Talib Kweli. Built on a tale of “nostalgia for simpler times, as lyrics reflect on a past relationship with someone who turned unrecognisable with newfound fame”, Supa Dupa Star reflects Moore’s formative years of listening to Led Zeppelin, Hendrix and Grace Jones, shot through with urban bite and soul.
Blue Stragglers - Fool’s Errand
"A song for the hopeless from the forever hopeful,” Sussex-based trio Blue Stragglers say, of this beautifully angsty, distorted alt.rocker (also the title track of their upcoming EP) that pummels its way into your skull. A heavy, atmospheric marriage of dark shadows and angular intensity. Or, as they tell it, “the fuzz-filled bastard son of Mellon Collie era Smashing Pumpkins and Absolution era Muse."
DeWolff - Rosita
Sixteen-minute single? Ohhh go on then… The beautiful thing about Rosita – the piece de resistance of the Dutch trio’s latest album Love, Death & In Between – is that it’s totally fat-free, even with all its extra players, brass blasts, backing harmonies, guitar solos and general everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. A soulful ensemble effort with a proper, heartwarming melody at its core, like Little Feat with a Motown twist. Listening and watching the accompanying video, you’ll wish you were in the room with them.
The Hives - Bogus Operandi (From the Grave)
Opening with a squeal of feedback and a succession of ringing power chords, Bogus Operandi (From the Grave) begins as if Sweden's finest have suddenly taken a unexpected turn towards doom rock, but business as usual is swiftly resumed as a typically boisterous riff clambers into view. Bogus Operandi originally came out a few months back, but a second video with the band members playing from within their own graves was always going to grab our attention, and so it came to pass.
Kalandra - Bardaginn
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Norway's Kalandra have a new single, Bardaginn, and it couldn't be any more epic if it comprised entirely of longboats advancing through a storm while Ride of The Valkyries plays over the stereo. It begins with ethereal voices and slowly winds its way into something of immense power, conjuring up images of swollen seas, driving rain and howling winds, and it's all sung in Old Norse. "The song explores the paradox of life's seeming meaninglessness, yet the inherent human inclination to fight for something, or someone, and how it's a complex and multifaceted aspect of our nature," say the band, cheerfully.