This week's new singles, reviewed by Aidan Moffat

Special guest reviewer and former Arab Strap man brings a gruff, beardy perspective to this week's new releases

Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man (Mute)

I'm not even going to bother to describe this. If you don't know who Grinderman are, you can't know who Nick Cave is, in which case you're beyond hope and may as well sell your ears on the black market. He's been recording for 27 years now, but Grinderman's second album might be his best. The B-sides - an aimless Josh Homme remix and a live version of the A-side – are negligible, but this is by far the classiest, sexiest, noisiest and best single of the week.

Kings Of Leon
Back Down South (RCA)

I've successfully managed to sidestep these southern-fried snooze-rockers thus far, and on this evidence it seems I've dodged a very boring bullet. Do none of their songs have choruses or is this one special? It lumbers along with little dynamic, a contrived hayseed hoedown showcasing indescribably execrable lyrics. Seriously, lads, you must be quite rich by now – buy a rhyming dictionary.

Yes! (Memphis Industries)

Yes! Indeed! From the opening fuzz, everything about this sounds filthy, and I can foresee it soundtracking many a post-kebab one-night stand over the summer. I don't use music in the boudoir these days, but I can just about picture myself grinding along to this psychedelic sex-rock in some lucky girl's dawn-lit bedroom near the end of last century, with a heart full of love and a belly full of Buckfast. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Shook Down (Self-released)

Shook Down appropriates the "alternative" rock sounds of the late-80s and early-90s, the very sort of music I loved as a teenager, which affords me the confidence of a fairly informed judgement. I'm afraid to say that I wouldn't have liked it then either. It's making all the right noises – accurate guitar, bass and drum sound; vocals mixed far too low; limp but likable lyrics – yet with no hint of distinction. And why sound like yesterday when you could sound like today? Or, even better, tomorrow? I've already got some Sebadoh records, so I don't really need any pretend ones.

The Boxer Rebellion
The Runner (Canvasback/Atlantic)

I expect this stodgy indie-rock will worm its way into the hearts of many a worse-for-wear reveller over festival season. On its own, it's innocuous and vaguely hummable, but its video is among the most desperate promos I've seen. It's like an Agent Provocateur ad with more nipples and lesbianism, but at least an Agent Provocateur ad is trying to sell you the stuff you're looking at. There might be a certain pocket of readers scrambling for YouTube already but please contain yourselves and don't bother.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat's album Everything's Getting Older is out now on Chemikal Underground

Aidan Moffat

The GuardianTramp

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