The best new rock albums you can buy this week
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Faust and Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors are among the best new rock album releases you can pick up this week
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Betty's Self-Rising Southern Blends Vol. 3
"Drawn from 2015 shows in Atlanta, Rayleigh and Charleston, this album has been collated – as with the two previous volumes – by former Grateful Dead sound engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson.
At times, it’s dazzling. Opener I Ain’t Hiding is a funky meditation on the rock’n’roll lifestyle which is almost unrecognisable from the jittery rendition on the Crowes’ final opus, Before The Frost… Until The Freeze. An eight-minute take on Phosphorescent Harvest’s Clear Blue Sky & The Good Doctor also reaches peaks not scaled on the recorded version."
Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics - The Man With Stars On His Knees
"The 26-year-old has been through the emotional wringer, but his response is to come back fighting. He’s helped by a new band playing lean, hard, melodic grunge, while incorporating glam’s brighter swagger. The title track’s guitar solo especially bows down to Brian May, with harmonies that let the sunlight into an otherwise thunderous record."
Faust - Fresh Air
"Recorded in various locations during a 28-day tour in March/April 2016, this album represents the finest work from the Jean Hervé- Péron/Zappi Diermaier version of Faust in years. Enlisting the assistance of Barbara Manning, as well as Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) and Ysanne Spevack on viola, it urges its audience “Engajouez vous!” (which means something like “engage and have fun”)."
Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors – The Devil's In The Detail
"Dallas musician Ryan Hamilton is a born collaborator. In People On Vacation, his project with Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick, he allowed the latter’s pop nous to mingle with his own enviable storytelling skills. That ended, and he headed to Scotland to put together the Traitors, featuring none other than Ginger Wildheart on guitar."
Emerson Lake & Palmer – Three Reissues
"If a band split is like a divorce, then ELP’s first studio releases for nearly four years, 1977’s Works albums, were surely the equivalent of married partners sleeping in different bedrooms, living largely separate lives, but staying together just for the sake of the kids."
The Byrds – Live At The Fillmore February 1969
"The band aren’t helped by either the slightly muddy sound quality – Fillmore owner Bill Graham using The Byrds as guinea pigs for a projected live recording by Mike Bloomfield – or a set list centred on fitful new album Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde. That said, there’s a brilliantly woolly version of So You Want To Be A Rock‘N’Roll Star, while White excels on the likes of Nashville West and Time Between."
Jaguar - Power Games
"As this very scribe said of Jaguar back in the day, the guitar turns over like a bulldozer with sooty spark plugs, the rhythm section pulses out an 18-pint hangover throb, the singer opens his lungs and bawls like a foghorn, and the end result is, not surprisingly, one helluva noise."
Samson - Shock Tactics Reissue
"Third album Shock Tactics (7/10) is a mighty fine effort. Dickinson flexes his muscles at Paul Samson’s expense and storming, anthemic tracks such as Riding With The Angels are up there with the very best of the NWOBHM."
Status Quo - Reissues
"These three deluxe reissues skip from the tail of their imperial phase with ‘the classic line-up’ – 1976’s Blue For You (7/10) – to a new decade with 1980’s Just Supposin’ (6/10) and 1981’s Never Too Late (5/10). In between they didn’t co-produce themselves, so by the 80s they’d eased into a less piledriving, more keyboard-coloured pop sound."