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The Best Rock Albums Out This Week - including Gregg Allman, Lionize & more

New releases out this week include prime cuts from Neil Young, Death From Above, The Quireboys, The Dream Syndicate, Threshold and more...

This week's collection of freshly-pressed wallet emptiers are upon us, ready to add more foundation-threatening weight to those nice IKEA units you bought a few years ago that they don't make any more. And here's the highlights...

Gregg Allman - Southern Blood

It’s not often anyone has the (albeit heartbreaking) luxury of being able to map out their own memorial, and Allman leaves us with his head held high and a record of rare beauty.

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Lionize - Nuclear Soul

The storytelling anthems are sprinkled with muscular Hammond organ and in the case of Fire In Athens, underlined by Thin Lizzy-esque guitar melodies. Election Year welds scorching social comment to sassy, rhythmic power. Nuclear Soul proves that Lionize are a great band in their own right.

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Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown

The general flair of Commencing Countdown may bring to mind great rock groups from the seventies, such as Thin Lizzy, Rush, Scorpions and Deep Purple, but the Berlin band’s compositions and the warm, analogue production of their new album are both contemporary and modern.

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Death From Above - Outrage Is Now

Death From Above certainly kept moving on their third full-length album, Outrage! Is Now. While gleefully maintaining the car-wreck intensity of their punkified disco rock, the hooks got hookier, the weirdness got weirder, and the wildness got, well, wilder.

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Neil Young – Hitchhiker

Recorded between Zuma and American Stars and Bars as a solo album in a single session, the resultant performances are truly breathtaking and passionate. The simplicity of a single voice and guitar captured here is as pure and powerful as it gets, with only Young, Briggs and actor Dean Stockwell in the room at the time of recording.

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The Quireboys – White Trash Blues

Of course, the Quireboys were throwing in bluesy touches since the beginning – there were boogie-woogie piano rolls and Chuck Berry riffs ways back on their 1990 debut A Bit Of What You Fancy.

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The Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here

Then the eleven minute title track, with its ruefully fated protagonist, spidery keyboards, jaggedly interlocked parts and mantric end, proves decisively that this Dream isn’t over.

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El Goodo – By Order Of The Moose

The results are rarely less than swirlinglylovely, suffused with incense and peppermints. I Sit And Wonder and It Makes Me Wonder (they’re big on ‘Wonder’) could be covers of period hits, the latter featuring saucepans being hit to the beat of The Ronettes’ Be My Baby, and Byrds harmonies.

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Threshold – Legends Of The Spires

From brutish riffing and futuristic AOR sheen on Small Dark Lines and the surging, explosive Trust The Process to wildly catchy turboballadry of State Of Independence and audacious extravagance on climactic epic Lost In Translation, this is the finest set of songs the band have ever written and a genuine milestone for the modern prog-metal scene.

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