Anyone watch Eurovision? No, us neither. Apparently it was quite good.
But not as good, clearly, as our Tracks Of The Week, a roundup of the freshest new music that stretches well beyond Europe's borders and deep into the furthest reaches of the rockosphere.
But first! Congratulations to last week's winners, the mighty Halestorm, who celebrated their new album crashing into the UK Top 10 by beating SMKC's April Fool (opens in new tab) and Gaupa's RA (opens in new tab) in a race to the top of the podium.
Will Halestorm win again this week? Well, no, they won't, because they're not in the running. But here are the eight tracks that are – don't forget to vote!
His Lordship - All Cranked Up
The garage-fresh brainchild of guitarist James Walbourne (The Pretenders, The Pogues, The Rails) and Kristoffer Sonne (Chrissie Hynde, Willie Nelson), His Lordship play with the urgency of men being chased with flaming torches and gallons of petrol. A ram-jam barrage of 50s rock’n’roll mania, shot through with punk venom, All Cranked Up (the song and the EP from which it’s taken) is one of the most energising things you’ll hear all year - if you like your energy with a side of debauched, unclean living. Catch them on tour up and down the UK all this month.
The Sheepdogs - Scarborough Street Fight
When we saw these guys live in London, back in March, this song had the biggest reception of the night – despite the fact that, at that point, almost no one in the room had heard it. Seriously, everyone went nuts for this track. Listening now to the monster, 70s-fuzzed riff that powers the whole thing, it’s not hard to see why. One of the dogs’ gnarlier tracks, in a catalogue often characterised by smooth, sunshiney textures, it’s a catchy crowd-pleaser with dirt under its nails and trouble in hot pursuit.
Märvel - Hot Nite In Dallas
Moon Martin’s 1978 number gets a fully revved makeover (and a spelling tweak) at the hands of Sweden’s masked, umlauted fun-meisters. An oomphy, Marshall-stacked beefcake, it takes the bare bones of the original and fattens them up with beer, bravado and biker leathers. “After 9 albums of high energy rock ‘n’ roll and more than 9000 hours inside our latex masks we know what Märvel is about,” the band observe. “We’re ageing like a fine wine yet we’re as vital as a pack of lovesick tigers.” Well, quite. Their new album, Graces Came With Malice, is out now.
Royal Republic - Diggin’ It
Royal Republic apparently get a lot of requests for wedding greetings. So far they’ve declined these, until now. “To make up for all the disappointment that we so carelessly have caused all you lovers out there, we figured we’d write you guys a love song instead!” And so they have, albeit on their own machine gun-riffing, dancefloor-primed, raunch-over-romance terms (long-term fans will detect vibes of 2016’s Weekend Man in both the sound and the video). It’s a love song as much as Pour Some Sugar On Me is. As romantic as a big sign saying ‘COME AND GET IT!’. And it’s tremendous fun. Who knows? Maybe ‘will you marry me?’ will be usurped by ‘are you diggin’ it?’ as more people hear this.
Starcrawler - Roadkill
These LA freakniks made their name with blood-spattered live shows, propelled by wire-thin, straitjacketed singer Arrow De Wilde – described in Classic Rock as what would’ve happened if Ozzy Osbourne and Patti Smith had a kid in ‘75. It was mad. Unpolished. Just what you want from a bunch of rock kids starting out and declaring themselves to the world. Now a little older and signed to a major label, they’ve swapped the shlock for a driving combustion of Go Gos, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and 70s punk-meets-90s indie tones.
The Black Moods - The Cure
"To me, The Cure is the bluesiest song we have," says vocalist/guitarist Josh Kennedy, of the Phoenix trio’s moody latest single; a lush yet primal marriage of emotion and Zeppelin-infused blues rock heat. “It came together very naturally and has all the sex appeal in it. It’s a love song about something being so good, but so bad for you at the same time. She’s Bella Donna.” Their new album, Into The Night, is out on June 3.
Måneskin - Supermodel
The astonishing rise of Italian glam rockers Måneskin continues. In 12 short months they've gone from surprise Eurovision winners to a band with more monthly streams on Spotify than Metallica and a headline show at London's 20,000 capacity O2 selling fast. Supermodel is more of what's got them to this point, with a ludicrously charismatic vocal from Damiano David and a chorus that shines 24-carat gold. Two and a half minutes of cocky, melodic greatness, and not a second of it wasted.
The Last Internationale - 1984
1984 was premiered on live music streaming platform Veeps at the beginning of the year, but now it's available for the rest of humanity to enjoy. The first single from The Last Internationale's upcoming TLI 3 album, 1984 is inspired by the George Orwell novel, and thus comes with suitably hard-hitting lyrics. "No peace when you're looking for shelter," sings Delila Paz, as the song crashes and soars around her in a swirl of gospel-tinged industrial blues chaos. "More lies, hollow / More graves, shallow / When hate echoes, cattle follow," she concludes. Yikes!