Congratulations to Tuk Smith, whose Reckless Hearts swept it all away by winning last week’s Tracks Of The Week contest.
New song Ballad of an ill-spent youth – also the title track of the band’s upcoming debut album – beat stiff competition from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedowns Ain’t watered Downot (opens in a new tab) and The Bourbon House resonate (opens in a new tab) to win one of rock’s brightest awards.
This week, it’s still up to you. Eight suitors. A voice. Only one winner. Let’s do this.
The Pinx – You are not the only one
You may not yet know Atlanta, Georgia rockers The Pinx, but after this catchy little monster, you might want to know more. you are not the one is taken from their just-released fourth self-titled album (described by their producer as “a rock ‘n’ roll muscle car you don’t want to stop driving”) and it gets enormously very good, mixing gnarly southern- sharp garage riffs with touches of grungy dirt and dreamy psychedelia. Pleasant.
Billy Idol – Cage
A tight, propulsive punk rocker with a warm heart, Cage finds Billy Idol and guitarist/partner-in-crime Steve Stevens in splendid shape – apparently channeling two years of pent-up energy (boosted by last year’s excellent performance Side of the road EP) into the kind of contagious, enjoyable earworm you’d really hope to see in a setlist. And hopefully we will, when Idol comes to the UK for arena shows in October. In the meantime, his new EP The cage releases September 23.
The Struts – Fall With Me
Kick off with drums and a ‘uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh‘ chorus you’ll probably love or hate (and definitely remember), the first taste of The Struts’ new record is the kind of vampy stomper Muse might have dreamed up in a new wave club. Glam guitar rock, with a few twists. “Obviously it’s always going to be a guitar record,” lead twirler Luke Spiller said of the album in this month’s issue. classic rock“it’ll still be The Struts, but it’s kind of lo-fi and offbeat, like Talking Heads on steroids.”
Baz Francis – The World Beyond His Feet
In the 90s (and briefly again in 2019, with the TOTW participant panda eyes) he ran The Mansion Harlots. Now Midlander Baz Francis is back with this beautifully plaintive and bittersweet new single. If you’re a fan of such overlooked pop rock masters as Pugwash and Chris Catalyst (and you also had a soft spot for Jellyfish and Crowded House), this one’s for you. Quiet heartbreak, beautifully executed. Do you like what you hear ? Discover Baz’s new EP, Wake up to mourningwhich is out now.
Clutch – Knockdown Range
Thick with bluesy swagger and eccentric, bearded beef, Slaughter Beach is not a sunny affair of buckets and spades. “The words of Slaughter Beach were inspired by a nighttime stroll along the southern Delaware Bay,” says voice/lyricist Neil Fallon. “Strange things are happening there.” Let’s just say the video takes that inspiration and works with it – hard and far. Will the rest of the new album follow? titles such as Skeletons on Mars, mountain of bones and Nosferatu Madre suggest that it will.
Lissie – Sad
If Stevie Nicks raised a child with Amanda Shires, it could have been Lissie – a Midwesterner with her heart in Nashville and an ear for sweet indie/Americana tones, as reflected in the emotive and haunting Sad. “Sadness is being angry at someone who hurts you,” she says. “To want them to feel remorse for what they’ve done, as well as some self-awareness that even though forgiveness is on the horizon, they need to feel the effects of their actions.” She comes to the UK for shopping in September and October.
Big Big Train – Last Eleven
The first new song to emerge from Big Big Train since the tragic death of singer David Longden and the introduction of Albert Bravin, last eleven proves – if nothing else – that Big Big Train still sounds like Big Big Train. Impressive intro has a slight whiff of Genesis Dance on a volcano about it, as if to reassure worried fans that the new man isn’t announcing an unlikely new direction. Instead, a familiar base is established, business is business as usual, and business is clearly strong. Bravin’s voice exudes a confident warmth, and it’s a real joy to be back with the band. The journey continues.
The Hu – Black Thunder Part 2
With a song so epic it had to be split into two parts, Mongolian sensations The Hu are on familiar ground on Black Thunder (Part 2), throwing the innocent bystander straight into battle. Horses run, swords fly, fountains of blood roam the sky, and the band plays their instruments as chaos unfolds around them. All of this wouldn’t mean anything if the music wasn’t up to snuff, but it’s as dramatic as the visuals, and if there isn’t a spike in horsehead violin sales during this business cycle. album, we will gladly eat our yurt.