We were thinking of launching this week's Tracks of the Week competition as an NFT, because that seems to be the 'done' thing these days, but came to our senses once we realised that we had no idea how to do so. It's all blockchain this, fungible that, confusion everywhere. Modern technology, eh?
Last week's units of data included Montreal rockers The Damn Truth, whose This Is Who We Are Now was our runaway winner, followed by Wayward Sons' Big Day (opens in new tab) and DeWolff's Bona Fide (opens in new tab), proving – once again – that rock'n'roll is truly an international pastime.
So here, before we proceed with this week's digital assets, are last week's winners.
Ayron Jones - Spinning Circles
One of the more tender moments on this rising Seattle star’s upcoming album (Child Of the State, out on May 21), and probably one of the most powerful. Musically Spinning Circles makes like a really searing, soulful Alice In Chains, with a jagged chorus that calls to mind the screechy breakdown in Radiohead’s My Iron Lung. Lyrically it draws from a personal place, as Ayron explains: “we have all been in relationships that were very unhealthy, where we couldn’t get rid of the person and there was something there that kept drawing us back and forth, going in circles.”
Massive Wagons - Changes
They’re back and this time they’re playing football! And rocking out, of course. Kicking off what promises to become a familiar shitstorm-that-is-2020/21 trend – i.e. bands getting cracking on new records before they’ve been able to tour their previous one – Changes builds on the boozy, sweaty singalong good times of In It Together. ‘All for one and for all,’ in rock’n’roll form. As Baz sings; ‘It’s a nice place/being in your face.’ Well, quite.
Kitten Pyramid - 7 Day Duvet
“This album is atonement for my propensity to waffle”, says Kitten mastermind Scott Milligan, of the opus from which this delightfully weird piece of proggy pop comes. “Creatively I like to get to the point sharpish because I have the attention span of a goldfish”. Accordingly 7 Day Duvet wastes no time in hooking you into its whimsical world of off-kilter, Beatles-via-Beck sweetness, in which nonsense is the lingua franca and ‘all kids who come last... glue their hands to physicists’. See what we mean?
Paul Weller - Shades Of Blue
The Modfather is on uplifting form on this cute, concise cut from his new album (and how’s this for a title?) Fat Pop. All sweet 60s keys, honeyed pop tones and just a whiff of psychedelia rearing its head midway through, it’s the kind of deft, restorative musical comfort food we could all use (more calming ginger tea than chocolate cake, admittedly, but there’s always next week). Simple and beautifully executed. Plus the blue, starry graphics on the video are lovely.
Deap Vally - Give Me A Sign
They teamed up with The Flaming Lips last year and now the LA twosome are doing their own thing once more. On Give Me A Sign (taken from the American Cockroach EP, out June 18) Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards step into new, expansive territory, creating the sort of haunting atmosphere and anguish that Lana Del Rey and the Jesus And Mary Chain might have come up with together.
The Picturebooks feat. Neil Fallon - Corrina Corrina
Corrina Corrina's origins are shrouded in mystery. It was first recorded back in the 1920s, and since then it's been covered by everyone from Eric Clapton to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Steppenwolf, Rod Stewart, Bill Haley and Phish. This latest version is the end result of collision between German motorcycle freaks The Picturebooks and Clutch frontman Neil Fallon, with Brant Bjork bassist Dave Dinsmore hitching a ride. It thumps, it rips, it snarls, it stops, it starts, and it's as tasty as a blues burrito slathered in rock'n'roll relish.
Crashface - Cold
Charlie Hinton and Otto Balfour may initially come across as a pair of bored teenagers in this video, but their surly faces are at odds with the Tiggerish energy of the music. And by the time the video climaxes, a little less than three minutes later, we no longer care. First, the footage includes a bath full of green slime, and there isn't a single situation in life that isn't improved by the introduction of such a thing; and second, Cold is a fizzing segment of contemporary punk with a riff that bounces deliriously and chorus rowdier than a shopping trolley tossed into a jet engine.
Naked Raygun - Living In The Good Times
Chicago's greatest punk band are about to announce their first new album in three decades, and this taster – premiered by label Wax Trax during one of the most shambolic Twitch streams we've ever seen – makes it sound like they've never been away. Living In The Good Times is prime Raygun, with a riff that punches well above its weight and a chorus as suited to singing in the shower as it is for stage diving. It's like it's 1988 all over again, and there's nothing wrong with that.