Twenty One Pilots – My Blood
Columbus, Ohio duo, Twenty One Pilots have enjoyed global success ever since their 2015 breakthrough album “Blurryface” and their Grammy award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance should tell you all you need to know about how high up your gig bucket list this pair should be.
The Wombats – Bee Sting
The fusion of Merseyside and Scandinavia, The Wombats had a huge breakthrough with the brilliant “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” in 2007 making them an instant indie-disco hit and in truth have in some ways been trying to sustain the incredibly high standards set a decade ago. New single “Bee Sting” hits The Wombats sweet spot but a slightly more considered tempo with the catchy riff and vocal harmonies in play, but with a more mature sound. This is a great single speaking to the disenfranchised masses of 2018.
Nothing But Thieves – Forever & Ever More
Comparisons to Muse, reinforced by 3 different periods of support of the stadium rock behemoths, is as huge a compliment as it sounds. In just 3 short years, NBT have built a significant and devoted fan base and I can attest from multiple personal experiences that they are a live force to behold, both from the devastating rock orchestral noise they are capable of producing, but also arguably the best live singing voice I’ve ever heard from mercurial front-man, Conor Mason. If you already love NBT, “Forever & Ever More” is a banker.
Rothwell – Stop Calling
Bristol’s emerging talent, Rothwell, plans to make 2018 a big year for her career and if she keeps writing contemporary pop tunes as good as “Stop Calling”, good luck stopping her. You could be forgiven for believing this single had been penned by any of the biggest artists in the world right now and Rothwell intends to be sharing a stage with them sooner rather than later.
Crooked Man – Take It All Away
Richard Barratt aka Parrot aka Crooked Man is a Sheffield based producer and new track “Take It All Away” shows that whatever he wants to call himself, he’s one talented human. Clear disco influences (Nile Rodgers could be jamming the guitar on this one) fuse with contemporary dance beats on this fantastic toe-tapper which should have the fans dancing in the aisles from Dundee to Guildford.
Hamzaa – You
With a soulfulness that defies her 19 years, Hamzaa intends to be a force to be reckoned with in the music business and if “You” is anything to go by, the world is her oyster. A vocal style that suits this smooth modern R&B track perfectly, you could as easily hear Hamzaa singing on almost any style of track. The biggest compliment I can pay her is the echoes I hear of Amy Winehouse and hope for all of the success with far less of the personal battles for this exciting new talent.
Muse – The Dark Side
If Nothing But Thieves are the apprentices, Muse are undoubtedly the established masters of symphonic rock music almost literally designed to be played loud in the largest of spaces. Matt Bellamy’s vocals are arguably the most recognisable in rock today and the effect-laden combination of his and iconic bassist Chris Wolstenholme’s guitars driven on by Dominic Howard’s intelligent, yet relentless drum beats give Muse a sound that is truly all their own and a noise that few, if any other 3 piece bands come close to.
The Struts – Body Talks (feat. Ke$ha)
In total honesty The Struts have passed me until “Body Talks”, which, looking at their resume says way more about me than it does them. They have opened for The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, The Who and Foo Fighters whilst enjoying success both sides of the Atlantic. Not bad for a band formed in humble Derby. This collaboration with Ke$ha suits their glam-influenced style perfectly and having heard this, I will now be setting about acquainting myself with a back catalogue whilst slapping my own wrists for missing it first time round.
Ghetts & Kojey Radical – Black Rose (explicit)
Sometimes music just feels important and as a white male sitting here writing this to the fanbase of a vast majority white sport I am cautious of being sanctimonious or patronising. Simply put, this beautiful love song from Ghetts to his young daughter speaks to a most critical issue many minority groups face in a climate of mobilised and excused bigotry and prejudice based on falsehoods on both sides of the Atlantic. The day a song like this isn’t necessary will be a day to celebrate.
IDLES – Never Fight A Man With A Perm (explicit)
Given the necessity of Ghetts “Black Rose”, it is little wonder than the anarchic and anti-establishment sensibilities of punk are so alive and well in 2018. The second Bristolian entry in this week’s jukebox, but very much unlike Rothwell, “Never Fight A Man With A Perm” is an unapologetically in-your-face, punk rant designed to unsettle as much as it is to inspire. If you miss Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Ramones, New York Dolls et al, then you will love this track from IDLES.
Spring King – Let’s Drink
A second appearance in as many weeks for Spring King, but how could we argue with a sentiment like “Let’s Drink”. A grunge-esque riff opens the track in a strangely familiar style and from there, whilst there’s nothing remarkable or significantly new, this will please rock fans across different style preferences.
Michael Brun – Spice (feat. Kah-Lo)
If one track is going to divide opinion in this week’s Jukebox, it’s this unrelenting BPM Friday/Saturday night dance floor filler, “Spice”. Some will love it, I imagine more will hate it, but I’m afraid it captured our inner crap-bar-cheap-drink-chav and we’re not sorry for that.
The Kooks – Kids
There was an explosion of British bands in the mid-2000’s and the scope of ongoing success has varied hugely. From the stadium filling exploits of the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and Muse to the relative label-less struggles of Kaiser Chiefs and the disbanding of Keane, The Kooks have fallen somewhere in the middle. 2005’s Inside In/Inside Out was an instant pop-rock classic with tunes that became quickly iconic and remain so today, but they struggled to maintain their mass-appeal thereafter. Time can be a healer both for music fans and bands and with “Kids” it would be hugely prejudice to describe it as anything other than a success in the pop-rock arena with some nods to the 60’s bands that broke the genre.
John Grant – He’s Got His Mother’s Hips
Occasionally a song grabs you for little more than intrigue. This is certainly true of John Grant’s (formerly of The Czars) latest effort. Raised in Parker, Colorado, Grant formed The Czars after a stint living in Germany. Now writing and performing under his own name, “He’s Got His Mother’s Hips” is a jaunty, desperately 80’s inspired pop tune with no small amount of Right Said Fred influence. Give it a try, you might just like it.
Sloes – Drown Them Out
Based in London, Sloes were born out of the song-writing exploits of Jerome Clark and Jo Milnes whilst travelling through Columbia. The additions of Paul Hand and Luke Coare were complimented by the element that helps Sloes stand out versus other similar bands in violinist Katie Milnes. Gentle, easy and really rather nice “Drown Them Out” is easy listening perfect for any relaxed playlist.
WSTR – Crisis
The most Ice Hockey obvious track on our Jukebox closes us out nicely this week in a fast-paced 3:16 of perfect-for-a-highlights-package punk-rock. In-spite of the distinctively North-American sound, WSTR are from Liverpool and have grown in presence since 2015. For the Kerrang/Blink 182 fanbase, WSTR are perfect and more like “Crisis” will only maintain their ascent in their genre.