Sleater-Kinney – Surface Envy

There has been precisely zero dimming of the light in the considerable time since Sleater-Kinney’s glory days as grrrly rock pioneers. Searing guitars, pounding skins and proper goddamn wailing up front. Smashing.

Ex Cops – Black Soap

Uber cool and cruisy track heralding the duo’s sophomore release and showcasing their chemistry and talent. At the accessible end of indie dreampop, it grabs this nineties kid (I want to say Garbage at a Smashing Pumpkins pace) while remaining both contemporary and timeless.

Johnny Marr – Dynamo

This is more like it from Marr. A no-nonsense, straight-up pop-rocker with a real lift in the chorus. Lovely instrumental mixing and a more relaxed vibe in the voice. It sounds like he actually likes this one, rather than simply aiming for the charts, and I do too.

Steve Bastado & the Albert Hoffman Experience – Never Over Till It’s Over

Classic Brit punk/hard rock delivered with passion, grunt, humour, know-how and an utter lack of give-a-shit for anything that’s happened in music for the last 30 years. Good, filthy fun.

Sonar Lights – Eleanor Rigby

A fat, warm, rock sound with power to burn and growling orchestral strings as a bonus. Vocals are played straight and just right, successfully avoiding both snotty whine and self-important flourish. It isn’t quite Shatner’s take on Common People but it’s an excellent, even spine-tingling update to the Beatles classic.