I said at the start of the challenge that I was going to predominantly look at the chart success of songs in the UK as a key indicator of whether they deserve a place in this year-long run down – and one of the main reasons for this was because I didn’t want to disqualify bands like this one.
This is the brilliant Grace Potter & The Nocturnals; a Vermont group that produce an outstanding mash up of rock n’ roll/folk rock/blues rock/scuzzy roots and alternative rock that I’m really liking. They’ve had quite a bit of success over in the US but not much in the way of interest over on this side of the pond, which is why they get a slot on this list.
I love the balls-to-the-wall snarls from Ms Potter which rides over some seriously funky throwback hard rock guitars to create something that sounds both contemporary and retro. It’s something that needs to be blasted out of a stereo while you’re swigging a bottle of Jack Daniels and destroying your throat with Marlboro reds at an impromptu backyard shindig: a decision you’ll probably regret the next day, but which you’ll nevertheless have the time of your life actually doing.
The song I’ve chosen is Paris (Ooh La La) from their 2010 self-titled album and it’s an absolute belter of a tune. Awesome riffs and doo-wop backing vocals abound, while Grace’s lead vocals are amazing – a kind of mix between Karen O, Sheryl Crow and Nutbush City Limits-era Tina Turner sound that slices through the tightly-packed instrumental like an industrial buzzsaw. This is rock n’ roll as it should be sung: loud, boisterous and full of attitude with nary an ambient background synth in sight.
Crank up your earphones and enjoy.