What a week it's been here at Tracks Of The Week Towers. A veritable battle royale took place between Crashing Wayward's Disco Kills and the all-star NWOCR line-up and their version of Massive Wagon's Tokyo, and the former won by the slenderest of margins, demonstrating that what goes on in Vegas (they're from Vegas, see) doesn't actually have to stay in Vegas at all. So well done to them.
And well done to Rich Rageny And The Digressions, whose Heartbreakers Don't Try fell across the finish line a distant third. In our eyes, you're all winners.
But it's Monday, so we don't care anymore, because we've got a new battle set up and ready to go. Listen, enjoy and vote below.
Ghost Hounds - Between Me and the Devil
Where to start with Ghost Hounds? Slash is a fan, they've opened for the Rolling Stones, and founder Thomas Tull not only plays guitar, but is also an actual billionaire, having produced such films as Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong. Sounds like they probably know what they're doing, right? Absolutely correct. New single Between Me And The Devil arrives slick and fully-formed, pumped full of southern sass and swagger (although they're from Pittsburgh), with singer Tre Nation clearly a star in the making.
45ACIDBABIES - Only Class6 From Now O
The all-caps band name and song title might scream ‘hipster indie kids’ more so than ‘proper rock’ (whatever that really means…), but don’t be fooled; this jutting, garage-primed glitterbomb of pop rock from the Netherlands is catchier than herpes and sweeter than candyfloss. If Pond and Royal Republic teamed up with Alison Mosshart on vocals, this is the sort of vibe you’d expect. Nice.
Frank Hannon - Ride Strong
The Tesla guitarist rocks out like a muthafucker in biker leathers on this chunky chuggernaut of a song. With a video full of dirt bikes and sports cars, riffage to raise hell and lyrics about ‘kicking ass,’ ‘standing your ground,’ ‘coming in hot’ and other similarly chest-beating affirmations, it’s enough to make the hard rock elite and He-Man proud. Turn it up. Ride strong. Ride hard.
Shaman’s Harvest - Bird Dog
The Missouri rockers return with their first new song in four years, and it’s a smoke-wreathed blend of outlaw sensibilities, desert blues and gravelly storytelling. “It's definitely a cinematic thing — if nothing else, it's a colour or just one little scene in my head,” says singer Nathan Hunt. “In my mind, I was envisioning a lot of these small towns—like a railroad town or a farm town where people don't want to farm anymore. And it just goes to shit, and then you have the opioids come in and everyone becomes a zombie.”
Blackberry Smoke - All Over The Road
With their latest album, You Hear Georgia, hitting #1 on Billboard's Americana/Folk, Current Country and Current Rock Album charts, it felt like a good time to bask in the delights of this rollicking, feelgood time capsule of Stones-via-Allmans rock’n’roll – breaking off for a spurt of hazy tripping in the bridge to satisfy any Deadhead urges. Happy stuff from one of the most consistently rewarding bands out there.
The Blips - Inside Out
Recently selected by Steven Van Zandt as the "Coolest song in the world" on his Underground Garage Radio Show, The Blips' Inside Out is the kind of refreshing musical juice that might have been squeezed if Tom Petty and Blondie had made music together. It's power pop with a distinct southern twang and, according to the band's earthly representatives, it's "what happens when five frontmen form a band". The Blips' self-titled debut album is out now.
Cardinal Black - Jump In
More musical magic from the unearthly fingers of guitarist guitarist Chris Buck, as he returns to the project that got him noticed in the first place, Cardinal Black. We featured Tell Me How It Feels last month, and new single Jump In shows that they're very much a force to be reckoned with. A ballad with a hefty injection of soul, it's smart, it's sultry, and it's effortlessly smooth. The solo, as usual, is stellar.
Velvet Insane - Sound of Sirens
From upcoming album Rock ‘N’ Roll Glitter Suit, Velvet Insane's Sound of Sirens is, say the band, "strongly influenced by The Beatles and 60’s pop music." Which is probably why it reminds us of Oasis. But wait! Come back! There's more going on here than a lame if lucrative appropriation of other's peoples' songs, and Sound of Sirens is a genuine, arms-around-your-boozy-mates singalong with a video set in a bedroom filled with Kiss and Ozzy Osbourne posters. So that's nice. The album's released via Wild Kingdom on July 16.