Last week found two Tracks Of The Week contestants going head-to-head across the internet, as blues mistress Elles Bailey did battle with pop-rock maestro Thomas Walsh. War was undoubtedly waged, but it was a polite and reasonable war, with Bailey eventually emerging triumphant. So congratulations to both of them, and to Blackberry Smoke, who weren't too far behind.
Here's your winner again, and then it's on with another show.
The future belongs to our latest eight entries. They're below. Enjoy, and don't forget to vote.
Palace Of The King - Down On Your Luck
Aussie rockers Palace Of The King have gone through various sonic twists over the last few years, veering into fuzzier shades of retro oomph in the process. Now they return to their roots with this catchy piece of low, slow blues rock’n’roll, all Wild West mushroom trips and honkytonk swagger. "This song is a celebration of our roots in Americana and Blues rock, infused with our collective passion for storytelling through music,” frontman Tim Henwood says. “We hope it resonates with our audience as much as it did with us during its creation."
Måneskin - Honey (Are U Coming?)
The Italian wunderkinds plant themselves assertively in noughties rock soil with Honey (Are U Coming?), a driving, insistent shot of post-punk revival guitars and juicy basslines, carried off with the sort of debonair confidence that’s kept them in a steady stream of arenas, stadiums and festival stages since live music recommenced. In one sense they’re very much rockstars for the present age, but there’s an old Hollywood glamour in their manner that keeps them reaching back generations – hopefully forward as well. You genuinely wonder what they’ll do next.
Chris Catalyst - Emergency
Eureka Machines mastermind, Ugly Kid Joe guitarist, Sister Of Mercy, former Nameless Ghoul, Ginger Wildheart compadre of yore… Yorkshireman Chris Catalyst has worn many rock hats over the last decade or so. Now he’s flying under his own name with this first taste of his new solo album, and it’s a banger. A fine, fighting demonstration of the bittersweet pop rock he does so well – a driving, riffy anthem with a heart of gold and a fierce set of teeth. Want more? Check out the aforementioned album, Mad In England, which comes out 6 October.
The Courettes - Tough Like That
Husband and wife duo Flavia and Martin Couri (aka retro freakniks The Courettes) return with this punchy, fuzz-laden fusion of 50s rock’n’roll and insistent garage riffage – natural companions for the world of mod boots, red lips, James Bond spotlights and beehive hairdos in the accompanying video. Plus a streak of raw soul in Flavia’s voice. If Tina Turner made a psychobilly record it would have sounded like this. Catch them on tour across the UK this month.
Steven Wilson - Economies Of Scale
With Porcupine Tree’s last shows done and dusted, Steven Wilson turns his attention to his next solo adventure, from which this atmospheric, enigmatic piece is taken. Electronically driven but laced with piano and acoustic guitar strums (Steven plays almost all instruments on this particular track himself) Economies Of Scale builds from quirky, jerky beats into an enveloping world of its own, with a plaintive melody and a climax of cascading vocals. It made us think a little of King Ghost from 2021’s The Future Bites, but with a more expansive, organic heart – nodding to the immersive activity that awaits on The Harmony Codex.
Sons Of Liberty - Time To Fly
“We love the challenge of creating the best new music that we can as much as we do performing live,” SOL guitarist Fred Hale says, “but most of all we just love spending time together and meeting all of our friends wherever we go”. That camaraderie emanates from this fuzzy mix of beefcake southern rock and biker swagger (the British group’s first with new singer Russ Grimmett); the sound of five rock lifers, bonded for life over beers and Molly Hatchet records, and having the best time. Dead simple, dead effective.
Grant Haua ft. The Inspector Cluzo: Pukehinahina
In a collaboration we really didn't see coming, fleet-fingered Māori bluesman Grant Haua has hooked up with French blues duo and professional organic farmers The Inspector Cluzo for Pukehinahina, which starts off with an atmospheric te reo chant before launching into a churning blues that's as much a lesson in New Zealand history as it is a rattling, fiery piece of rock'n'roll. "Researching the battle of Pukehinahina filled me with a sense pride that brought me to tears on occasion from the sheer badassery of what my tipuna (ancestors) achieved," says Haua. "The amazing contribution of Mathieu and Laurent from The Inspector Cluzo brings even more rage to that piece of music." New album Mana Blues is out later this month.
Michael Des Barres and Kris Rodgers - Bounce Back Baby
Another collaboration we didn't see coming, as former Silverhead/Detective/Chequered Past/Power Station frontman Michael Des Barres hooks up with Portland musician Kris Rodgers for Bounce Back Baby, a song as bright and breezy as the title suggests. Des Barres's voice sounds a little frayed in the quiet passages, but it soars with effortless precision when a little more oomph is required, and the result is buoyant, life-affirming piece of radio-friendly rock. "Writing music for Bounce Back Baby was really organic," says Rodgers, "because Michael’s lyrics speak so positively to rising up from adversity, like we have all had to do in recent years."