What we’ve been listening to this month
1 Collide Black Country Communion Back in business again, this ‘supergroup’ have never sounded more cohesive. One of the cornerstone songs on the album BCCIV, it sees Glenn Hughes’s vocals neatly complementing Joe Bonamassa’s powerful guitar work. Or is it the other way round? Whatever, there’s an unmistakable charisma that makes it a stand-out celebration.
2 She’s Got To Be Somewhere David Crosby Seventy-six-year old David Crosby’s career renaissance continues apace with his third post-CSN album release. This track, Sky Trails’ smooth-as-silk opener, marries the effortless slickness of Steely Dan with the punchy brass of Chicago, as Crosby’s characteristically ageless vocal chills your spiritual chardonnay while oozing class.
3 Stand By My Girl Dan Auerbach Black Keys man (and collaborator with many) Dan Auerbach has a new solo album, Waiting On A Song, from which this super-catchy ode to a murderous housewife is taken (hop on to YouTube to check out the video. It’s a hoot). Think southern soul with slick pop-rock sensibilities.
4 Bondurant Women The Texas Gentlemen Lush piece of 70s-ish southern goodness (plus added seaside-friendly warmth) from a bunch of guys who originally got together as a backing band for singersongwriters, including Leon Bridges, Nikki Lane, Shakey Graves and many others. Ones to watch out for.
5 Nomad Death From Above Toronto’s one-time ‘79 duo Death From Above weigh into their Outrage! Is Now third album with this raging statement-of-intent riff monster that bulldozes from one crescendo to the next. Part-firestorm, part maelstrom, some say it’s punk, but it’s got Tony Iommi written through it like a stick of Brummie rock.
6 Weakness The Dust Coda There are pleasing whiffs of Black Stone Cherry and Monster Truck – plus a load of hearty soul – in this beefy, catchy highlight from London’s The Dust Coda. Keep an eye out for the full, self-titled album, due for release on October 27.
7 The Seven Primus Always oddball, never conformist, Primus are engaging yet bizarre on this song from new album The Desaturating Seven. It’s all based on a children’s story about goblins stealing the colours of the rainbow. Which is typical left-field stuff for this trio.
8 Rebel Blitzen Trapper Portland group Blitzen Trapper’s sunshiney-but-smart pop-rock acquires some dark country overtones in this new track taken from upcoming album Wild And Reckless (due on November 3). We loved their last album, 2015’s All Across This Land, so it’s great to have them back.
9 Recovery Is Learning Kim Seviour Once the voice of Touchstone, Kim Seviour is now out on her own – and she’s never sounded more individual and passionate. Recovery Is Learning, the title track of her debut solo album, is haunting and expansive, bringing out the colour and timbre of her voice. There’s drama and empathy, as Seviour opens up her soul here in a way she has never has before.
10 Going, Going, Gone The Professionals Punctuating an immense and relentless high-calibre rhythmic assault with toothloosening, punchy solos, this is exactly what you’d expect of any track featuring Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Billy Duffy. Going, Going, Gone – a paean to the joys of the nicked guitar – finds Cookie’s reborn Professionals in blinding form.
11 Tin Foil Hat Todd Rundgren feat. Donald Fagen A recommendation from David Crosby, who promises you’ll “laugh like a fool”,
Tin Foil Hat finds the venerable Rundgren taking a beautifully observed pop at a mystery figure with ‘tiny little hands’ who’s apparently ‘tweeting like a teenage girl’, whoever that could be. Controversial, yet candy-coated by Steely Dan man Fagen’s trademark honeyed vocal tones.
12 Sacred Horse Enslaved Once the masters of the Norwegian extreme metal scene, Enslaved have moved increasingly towards a more progressive sound over the past several years. This track, from the album E, continues the journey. Intricate, envelopingly atmospheric yet still with an edge, here’s Enslaved capturing a momentous spirit.
13 Powderfinger Neil Young Recorded at Malibu’s Indigo Studios in intimate surroundings – Young accompanying himself on acoustic guitar – and intended for ‘76 release, Powderfinger boasts a raw, untrammelled power beyond the reach of electricity. Ultimately shelved, it was ear-marked for Ronnie-era Skynyrd until fate intervened.
14 Fast & Frightening L7 With their ‘rags to riches to rags’ documentary Pretend We’re Dead rampaging over the horizon, what better time to recall Sparks, Finch, Gardner and Plakas at their redraw, ferocious peak. This war-painted, live-in-Finsbury Park B-side assault features a wheelie-popping L7-alike heroine with ‘so much clit, she don’t need no balls’. Nice.
15 Favourite Pleasures Gun The title track of the Scottish band’s new album, it has their trademark ability to combine smooth hard rock with funk and a huge dollop of melody, but there’s a freshness here that prevents it from being a mere throwback. This belongs in 2017, as Gun show how to balance respect for their past with a desire to be contemporary.
16 Pimp The Tubes They were an amazing, big-draw live band (headlining Knebworth ’78) back in the day, but all the make-up, costumes and props would have meant jack shit had they not also had some killer songs like this orchestrated, cinematic gem from Young And Rich, one of the albums in their newly released collection The A&M Albums.
17 Still Of The Night Whitesnake The opener of the just-released reissue of Whitesnake’s gold-plated 1987 album, and one of the best Led Zeppelin ‘tribute’ tracks ever recorded. It’s got the thumping riff, the unaccompanied vocal-wail verse, the Whole Lotta hi-hat-and-cymbal-pings mid-section breakdown, strings… Coverdale and co. rarely sounded as good.
Dan Auerbach: southern soul with slick