The Rolling Stones: "Doom and Gloom"

The Stones' first new studio recording since 2005's A Bigger Bang opens as expected – with the rough, lowdown stammer of Keith Richards' guitar – and moves like old times, propelled by the straight, brisk swing of drummer Charlie Watts. "Doom and Gloom" is also grimly perfect for this election season, like a tough-bastard spawn of "Start Me Up" crossed with the hard red rain of "Too Much Blood." Mick Jagger snarls and sneers through a long list of bad mojo – including zombies, wartime, eco-armegeddon and drunk assholes on planes – taking only a quick break at the end of the chorus for some dancing in the ruins. He spends more time, in the second verse, squeezing every drop of bitterness from the word "screws." "Doom and Gloom," produced by Don Was, is unusually stark for a Stones single – all pulse and paranoia, peppered with Ron Wood's short feral barks of lead guitar. But it sticks to your skin like chicken wire.

Listen to "Doom and Gloom":