While the nation's attention has been on Scotland, we've been keeping an eye on the rest of the globe, ensuring that the very best in new rock gets the attention it deserves. This week, 37.5% of the best comes from Sweden.
Marc Ford — Dream #26 After twiddling the faders on Phantom Limb’s final LP, Marc Ford’s Holy Ghost saw the tables of production swiftly reversed as he roped in the Limb to play on his own collection. Dream #26 is from those recordings, and is the type of sweetly-strummed Americana that — in the absence of an office campfire — had us toasting marshmallows over the radiator.
Crucified Barbara - I Sell My Kids For Rock’N’Roll “I sell my kids for rock’n’roll”, sing this feisty Swedish quartet, “sex, late nights and alcohol”. Brilliant! What a manifesto to live by! And we don’t even think they’re joking! Actually, ISMKFRNR is a great song, with bits that rock hard and other bits that are rich in melody. They tour the UK in October, and we’re selling our kids so we don’t have to pay for a babysitter.
Bad Barber — The Blame Game More Swedes. This lot say they’re “the perfect combination of the two best types of rock’n’roll that exists today”, but we think they’re doing themselves something of a disservice. The Blame Game is a beast of a ballad, a sweeping epic that actually contains at least five different kinds of rock’n’roll. Or maybe six. We lost count. Either way, it’s a glorious great big noise, and we like it.
Nuns — Beautiful Little Fool Nashville’s Nuns are fronted by the brilliantly-named Hank Hanewinkel III, yet there isn’t a hint of either country or western in this rather psychedelic slab of Weezer-meets-the-Beatles pop-rock. Bonus fact: Hank wrote this track after watching Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
Skogen Brinner - Mr Fantastic If these four Swedes weren’t so freaking good we’d think they were having a laugh with their Focus haircuts and wardrobe, 50p video (where the drummer mimes to air drums and shoves a bit of snus into his gums midway) and toilet-flush climax. But their thumping brand of ‘hard rock junk glam sausage out the wrong end’ is a velvet tinmine classic in-the-making.
Rolling Stones — Star Star Just ten seconds into this racy clip for The Stones’ potty-mouthed classic Star Star (the band have always used the song’s original title, Starfucker), Mick Jagger does something with his left leg that had us gasping for air, before hitting the rewind button and gasping for air once more. This athletic magnificence is only amplified by Jagger’s ballet shoes and half-hearted wrestling of an inflatable penis that appears later in the performance.
Anvil — Eat Your Words “Metal on metal, it’s what I crave, the louder the better, I’ll turn in my grave”. So sang Lips & Co. back in 1982, and 32 years later there’s no sign of compromise from the thrashing-mad Canadians, despite the worrying lack of dildo during the solo. “Burning Fire!”, they shout. “Go retire!” See?
Shaman’s Harvest — Dangerous We didn’t think this was very good at first, then realised we were watching the pre-roll advert for car insurance. Once we got to the song itself, we were pleasantly surprised by the thudding hard rock on display. The band say, “We work hard, make babies, drink too damn much, and we’re not afraid to rebuild and start over when we get God-smacked.” Do they mean gobsmacked? Perhaps we’ll never know.