Here are the best alt. rock songs you'll hear this week, featuring Depeche Mode, Creeper, Royal Blood and more
As another week rolls to an end, so new music rolls in, and today, we've got a whole hoard of good tunes for you, including a shimmering soft rock song from the Foo Fighters, some leather-clad 80s-style goth rock from Creeper, and a helpful serving of whizzing, fuzzy riffs from UK duo Royal Blood.
But before we get too ahead of ourselves in all the excitement of this UK bank holiday weekend, let's take a look at last week's results.
Out of the eight entries, we asked you to select which track you thought deserving of the best of the week, and this is what you voted for:
In our most-fiercely-contested vote yet, two artists went head to head: Irish avant-garde punk Meryl Streek and Dublin alt rockers Klubber Lang. There could of course be only one winner however, and that was Meryl Streek with If This Is Life, which racked up a whopping 51.36% of the votes, ahead of Klubber Lang's 46.25%.
With not many votes left over, the Foo Fighters took home the bronze with the emotionally hard-hitting Under You, reeling in just 0.86% of the overall vote.
To get your say on this week's selection, check out the tunes below and have a great, music-filled weekend. Happy listening!
Foo Fighters - Show Me How
The third single from upcoming album But Here We Are sees the stadium rockers tread new ground both musically and emotionally, as frontman Dave Grohl attempts to navigate a life shadowed by new grief to a backing of shimmering dream pop. As gauzy riffs sweep and flicker across rain-pattering drums, Grohl duets with his daughter Violet, as they knit together a quietly resolute emotional landscape; one that’s been marred by storm but left them both standing anew in the aftermath; ‘Wait for the sun / Say hello, maybe it will come’ they ponder, ‘please don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything from now on’.
Royal Blood - Mountains At Midnight
“It sounds so much like us and what we’re known for” bassist Mike Kerr tells NME. “As a reintroduction to us, it felt like a bold way to come back and say, ‘Hi!'”. As the duo explain, the first new single from forthcoming album Back To The Water Below is definitely something we’ve heard before; but, as with all good Royal Blood songs, it’s hampered with fuzz-soaked, mosh-igniting riffs that has us too busy grooving to care. Complete with familiar yet nonchalantly swaggering vocals, and Mountains At Midnight is yet another fine track to add to their mighty release pile.
Creeper - Cry To Heaven
If the 1987 cult classic film The Lost Boys was released in 2023, we’d imagine this new single from UK goth-punks Creeper would be at the top of its soundtrack. Campy, vampy, and deliciously flamboyant, Cry To Heaven is a decadent jumble of 80s power pop, theatre kitsch and angsty goth rock, with frontman Will Gould - sorry, William Von Ghould - pouting and coolly crooning like some kind of dandy-fied Meat Loaf. Meanwhile, synth melodies chime out, demanding to be met by a fist-clenching power stance. Accompanied by a moody video featuring an ensemble of face-painted backing dancers, this is about as 80s as you can get without strapping on a pair of leg-warmers and hopping into a time machine.
Demi Lovato - Cool For The Summer
Demi Lovato earns more of her rocker stripes with this alternative take on her 2015 club smash Cool For The Summer. After having returned to her rockier beginnings with the arrival of Holy Fvck last year, with this release, it’s clear that the former Disney star was always destined to create music for headbangers over club-goers. Now, Lovato’s impeccable vocal talents finally again sound concordant with her surroundings, with her titanic wails standing shoulder to shoulder with the track’s high-powered riffs that flash out through the murky distortion like sparks flying off an electricity grid.
Depeche Mode - Wagging Tongue
Accompanied by a striking, starkly beautiful video set in a community where rules governing interpersonal communication are strict and surreal, Wagging Tongue, the latest single issued from Depeche Mode’s triumphant 15th studio album, Memento Mori , is imbued with melancholy and menace in equal measure. “You won’t do well to darken me, with your secrets and your lies,” warns Dave Gahan, ominously. “With your piercing code of silence / Relax, enjoy the ride.” Precious few bands of their generation are still making music with this much weight and wonder.
Juliana Hatfield - Don’t Bring Me Down
An indie rock icon thanks to her work with Blake Babies and The Lemonheads, in recent years Julianna Hatfield has delivered covers albums in tribute to Olivia Newton-John (2018) and The Police (2019): now, with Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO, she’s out to pay homage to the melodic majesty of Jeff Lynne. “ELO songs were always coming on the radio when I was growing up," she explains. "They were a reliable source of pleasure and fascination.” Don’t Bring Me Down, originally released as a single in 1979, was ELO’s biggest hit in America, reaching number 4, and by Hatfield’s own admission, her take is “not a radical reinvention” but “a little more bubbly”, and an shot of pure joy.
Militarie Gun - Will Logic
Life Under The Gun, the forthcoming debut album from Militarie Gun, is one of the finest hardcore records of the year, and Will Logic, the third single to tease its June 23 arrival is another banger. Like Turnstile, Militarie Gun draw upon ‘90s alt. rock influences, and there’s traces of both shoegaze shimmer and grunge grit here. “Will Logic is meant to be pure spite,” says frontman Ian Shelton. “It’s the moment of realisation that someone is trying to take advantage of you and deciding you won’t allow it to happen. There’s some melancholy and fatigue in there, though ultimately it’s a desire for the world to be trustworthy.”
Osees - Intercepted Message
Suffering from Politic amnesia? Bored of AI-generated pop slop? Then this one is for you, our friends,” say Osees, casually dropping the title track of their forthcoming 27th studio album Intercepted Message, due in August, into the mix. A Foul Form, the prolific San Francisco band’s current album, is a noisy, gnarly tribute to the punk and hardcore bands who soundtracked frontman John Dwyer’s teenage years, but, in keeping with their ever-mutating band name, this time out the Californian crew are peddling er, ‘early grade garage pop meets proto-synth punk suicide-repellant’, with the infectious Intercepted Message billed as “a pop record for tired times.” The band are currently in the midst of a UK tour: you really should go see them if you can.