Alan Cross’ weekly music picks: Some familiar voices rock the airwaves

Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 performs onstage during the Strange 80's concert at The Fonda Theatre on October 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, Calif. Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

It’s one of the busier New Music Fridays in some time — so busy that coming up with just five picks was rather confounding.

Here are the tunes I settled on.

1. Sum 41, Blood in My Eyes (single)

Three years after the comeback album — and following many, many months of touring — the new-look Sum 41 announced this week the release of their seventh album, Order in Decline, which is due July 19. Based on what I’ve heard so far, this could be the heaviest and most aggressive thing the band has ever done, which is saying something. The video for the first single will resonate with anyone who (a) feels like an outlier and (b) hates their job.

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2. Three Days Grace, Right Left Wrong (single)

Three Days Grace, who, like Sum 41, have undergone some lineup changes, continue to charge forward. Right Left Wrong, the latest single from the Outsider album, is the 15th 3DG song to reach number one on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart. That’s an all-time record for any band, including Van Halen. And can you name another band from the Peterborough area with more than a billion streams on Spotify? No, I didn’t think so. The group sees about 3.9 million monthly listeners on the platform, making 3DG one of the most-streamed rock bands on the planet.

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3. The Cranberries, In the End (album)

This one is an eerie listen. The Cranberries were in the process of recording their eighth album when singer Dolores O’Riordan was found dead in that London hotel room. But before she died, she completed almost all of the vocals for the record. Once the shock of her death began to subside, the other three members of the band looked at each other, wondering what they should do. After reviewing Dolores’ vocals, they decided that the best way to honour her memory was to finish the record, building everything around the material she left behind.

4. P!nk, Hurts to be Human (album)

Easily the biggest pop album of the week. She calls this album an “optimistic departure” from the subjects explored on 2017’s Beautiful Trauma. The second single, Hustle, was co-written by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons who also provides some guitar. Other guest appearances on the record include Khalid (the title track) and country star Chris Stapleton (Love Me Anyway).

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5. Danko Jones, A Rock Supreme (album)

I’ve always been mystified as to why through 23 years of making records and touring, Danko Jones remains bigger outside of Canada than he is here at home. That just seems … wrong, somehow, especially since Danko consistently delivers no-nonsense, meat-and-potatoes rock’n’roll. A Rock Supreme features of a bit of AC/DC chunk mixed with a solid dollop of confident swagger.

Bonus Tracks

London Calling: Squid, Houseplants

A word of caution: You are either going to love this track or hate it with all your soul. Squid, a five-piece from Brighton, is best categorized as some sort of art-punk outfit with a Dadaist fascination with potted plants. I’ve seen this single described as “deliberately erratic.” That’s about right.

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Undiscovered Gem: Bon Villain, All the Way

Here’s the latest from the Toronto-based electronic trio who take cues from artists like MGMT and Big Data. Momentum is building.

Throwback Track: I Mother Earth, One More Astronaut

The current IME reunion seems to be sticking — a good thing, considering that they were one of the best Canadian alt-rock bands of the ’90s. This single from Scenery and Fish (1996) helped propel that album to sales of more than 400,000 copies in this country alone. They’re touring again this summer, which includes a stop at the Roxodus Music Fest northwest of Toronto in July.

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Alan Cross is a broadcaster with 102.1 the Edge and Q107, and a commentator for Global News.

Subscribe to Alan’s Ongoing History of New Music Podcast now on Apple Podcast or Google Play

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