In a week when the US Open Tennis Championship was won by a Chinese-Rumanian-Canadian Brit, we turn to our latest batch of Tracks Of The Week contenders to discover some Brits, a few Canadians, a sizable sprinkling of Americans, a fistful of Australians and a bunch of lovely Norwegians. A veritable United Nations of rock, ready to do battle.
Dangereens - Thieves
Need an effective pick-me-up to kickstart your week? This rip-roaring, hip-shaking glitter bomb from Montreal’s Dangereens should do the trick. Exuding the sort of 70s junkshop glam and rollicking rock’n’roll vibes that’ll have fans of T.Rex, Slade and Mott The Hoople drooling uncontrollably, it’s cut through with the sort of cocksure louche bravado that, as a band, you either have or you don’t – and these guys absolutely do.
Mastodon - Pushing The Tides
Atlanta’s Mastodon announce their new album Hushed And Grim in pummelling, powerful style with this mash-up of biting prog, whipsmart metal and hard rock – smashing your face in with the verses before opening out into an expansive, unexpectedly soaring chorus melody. The band worked with producer Dave Bottrill on the record, and his experience with the likes of Tool, Rush and Muse comes out magnificently. Excited to hear the full thing? At this stage the omens are certainly promising.
When Rivers Meet - Testify
From the opening chords of this new one from the bluesy Essex duo (not to mention husband and wife), you know you’re in good hands. These two love the likes of Bad Company and Free, and it shows in this hooky gut-punch of late 60s/early 70s British rock sensibilities. Aaron lays down a banger of a riff, while Grace lets rip on the vocal front to commanding, soulful effect. Like this and want more? Check out their second album, Saving Grace, due out on November 19.
The Darkness - Nobody Can See Me Cry
Well, actually in this video you can see them cry – all them, lined up, weeping their little hearts out as the camera pans back and forth across them for the full three minutes and twenty seconds. It’s quite an odd thing to watch. Happily the song itself is a total winner, flitting effortlessly between machine gun riffage, swooning power ballad-y touches, a big classic rock solo and tempo changes that keep you on your toes without throwing you completely.
The Dust Coda - Call Me
One of the most consistently strong groups in the NWOCR community, The Dust Coda have followed up their excellent new album, Mojo Skyline, with this hard-rocking, no-bullshit cover of the Blondie classic. In the hands of powerhouse singer/guitarist John Drake, the titular lyric feels a bit more like an order than a coy suggestion (less ‘call me, yeah?’, more ‘call me right now!’) but they wear it with charismatic confidence that makes it their own.
Amyl And The Sniffers - Hertz
Few bands capture the frazzled anger and frustration of young urban life as powerfully – or as rawly – as these punkoid Aussies. On Hertz they combine this fraught fire with thick driving riffs, marrying touches of early AC/DC with 70s punk and a dash of Sleaford Mods-y kitchen sink narrative. And with Amy Taylor contorting and dancing through street, warehouse and seaside settings in the video like a really fucked up Billy Elliott, it’s a commanding thing to watch and hear. Their new album, Comfort To Me, is out now.
Royal Blood - Hold On
A thick, euphoric groove is the driving force behind this infectious, disco-ready highlight from Royals Blood’s latest album, Typhoons. Now it comes with a commanding, gloriously cynical video centred on a motivational speaker played by Colin Hanks (i.e. son of Tom, known for his roles in ‘Dexter’ and ‘Fargo’ among others), who also directed it, plus background cameos from QOTSA’s Josh Homme and Matt Helders of the Arctic Monkeys.
Pod - It's A Long Ride
And now some prime American heartland rock from *checks notes* Hamar in Norway. Pod (nor to be confused with P.O.D.) bring this week's selection to a close with a spirited yet wistful rocker that could quietly ease its way onto a Tom Petty album without causing too much fuss. The band had a Norwegian hit back in 1998 with the excellent Motorcyclehappytrip, but split up three years later, and It's A Long Ride is their second single since reforming recently. New album III - their first since 2000's Organic - is out in November, and we're excited to hear it as we can be considering we'd never heard of Pod until about ten minutes ago.