By DJ Monk
With this weekend having hosted Record Store Day, the annual celebration of all that is good and great about rock ‘n’ roll, and the vinyl format in particular, as well as the independent scene, your favourite kick-ass website has been trawling through it’s mountain of mail to bring you another selection of what we see as the best short-form offerings to have come our way over the past week or two… so, without further ado, let’s dive straight into our bulging mail sack, shall we?
First up, this one has actually been kicking around the turntable at ÜRHQ for a wee while now, and it comes from erstwhile UR faves Hands Off Gretel, who declared that ‘It’s My Fault’, the first single from their new album, ‘I Want The World’, just released via Puke Pop Records. It’s not the band’s fault at all, but rather that of PledgeMusic, which the Yorkshire quartet used to fund the album: like countless other artists, HOG have yet to receive a penny from the funding platform and have had to resort to fulfilling the orders themselves.
Next up we have Hull outfit Life, who are showing some ‘Moral Fibre’ with their new single. It’s an anthemic and frenetic slice of art-punk laced with sardonic and irreverent lyrics, which frontman Mez Green says are “a stinging and frenzied shut up and step aside – a tongue in cheek reflection on the music industry, that beige scene, those that pimp poverty from mummy’s detached house, those that trade in fair-trade cocaine and those that preach behind their keyboard. I’m taking the piss, but I’m deadly serious!”
Currently traversing the highways and back alleys of the Über Kingdom as support to Papa Roach, San Antonio progressive alt-rockers Nothing More declare ‘Let ‘Em Burn’ on their ferocious and hard-hitting new single, taken from current album ‘Stories We Tell Ourselves’:
Next up, one of my favourite metal bands, the mighty Grand Magus, who have come storming back with their titanic new album, ‘Wolf God’, released this coming Friday (19 April) via Nuclear Blast. For the third single to be extracted from the opus, they take us to ‘A Hall Glad In Gold’, in which they explore the question of what happens in the afterlife…
Canadian power trio Danko Jones now invite us to buckle up and take a trip down the rock ‘n’ roll highway to ‘Lipstick City’, with this storming, Thin Lizzy-flavoured new track extracted from their latest album, ‘A Rock Supreme’, due to be released on 26 April via Rise Above here in the Über Kingdom (to which they also return to play the Steelhouse festival on Sunday 28 July):
It’s been a long time coming – eight whole years in fact – but one of Denmark’s finest rock ‘n# roll exports, D-A-D, have just release their brand new single, ‘Burning Star’… and, believe us, it’s a cracker, a slice of classic glunk with a healthy dollop of whiskey-soaked sleaze on the side. But, if you don’t believe us, you can check it out for yourself:
A slice of classic hard rock next, in the shape of Londoners Black Whiskey, who prove that they are ‘Here To Stay’ with this, the fourth single to be lifted from their latest album, ‘Dry Bones’, released a bit earlier this month. One of the heavier songs on said album, in many ways it is a statement of intent, echoing the band’s survival instincts and the battles they (and particularly guitarist Kev Ingles, who was diagnosed with cancer following the release of their excellent ‘Heavy Train’ debut back in 2015) have undergone in recent years:
Another change in mood and direction now, with veteran Italian groove thrashers Extrema, who say that their new single is ‘For The Loved And The Lost’. The song is taken from their forthcoming seventh album, the appropriately titled ‘Headbanging Forever’, which is due for release on Rockshots Records on 10 May (look out for my review in due course). BTW, the dancers in the video represents “Las Cantinas de los dias de los Muertos”:
Next up, Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts are taking us ‘Home’. Readers might recognize Mitchell’s name as the former singer with Furyon, Pride and, most recently, Colour Of Noise. The second single to be lifted from his forthcoming solo album, ‘Home’ is somewhat less rocky than we might expect from his previous projects, seeing him go down a gentler, more Americana/country route. No doubt he’ll rock it up a bit though when The Coldhearts hit the road to support Hollowstar at the O2 Academy Islington on Friday 24 May, the Star and Garter in Manchester on Friday 31 May and the Junction in Cambridge on Monday 3 May.
And it’s swiftly ‘On To The Next’ one with the new offering of the same name from the returning Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. Regular UR readers will remember the Tennessee hard rockers from their performances with Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on these shores back in 2017, and their successive barnstorming appearances at the Ramblin’ Man Fair both that year and again last July. ‘On To The Next’ captures the energetic spirit of those famous live shows, and is the first single to be released from their forthcoming second album, which is due to drop this summer:
Once in danger of being consigned to the footnotes of rock ‘n’ roll history, former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has emerged from a highly-publicized five-year long battle with his personal demons with a new single, the highly introspective ‘Purpose Of Pain’, taken from his forthcoming new solo album ‘The Space Between The Shadows’, due for release in July. Stapp himself says that the single “is about seeking a higher meaning, a spiritual mentality when dealing with our struggles and life’s painful moments. There are unexplainable, dark times that everyone goes through, and that pain is real. If we can dig deep and hold on to hope during the most difficult situations, believing there is a purpose waiting for us on the others side, we can find meaning and clarity that gives us the strength to keep fighting.”
Another change in direction, quite literally, as reborn Finnish sleaze merchants Santa Cruz get all heavy metal on our asses with the appropriately named ‘Changing Of Seasons’, the first single from their new album (due in the Autumn) and also the first material to be released by the band’s new line-up. Vocalist/guitarist Archie Cruz says of the song: “[It] is about going through hell in life, and fighting your way back to the surface no matter what. This is for all the fighters and survivors out there. Musically, I found a perfect partner in crime in Kane Churko, with whom we managed to create a totally new sonic landscape for Santa Cruzwhich marks a huge step forward for the band.” Well, it’s certainly a new direction, we’ll give him that:
Next, we take a trip to Long Beach (via Melbourne) to inhale some ‘Nicotine’, thanks to the addictively grungy new offering from alt-rock crüe Of Limbo. To be honest, we don’t know a helluva lot more about these four lads, but if this single is an indicator then we’re looking forward to finding out:
Our penultimate offering comes from Bath wunderkinds Novatines and their energetic new single, which encourages us to ‘Get It Together’. And these four lads certainly have done just that, as this track just leaped outta the speakers at ÜRHQ, grabbed us by the hands and forced us to dance around the room to its infectious beat and driving riff. The band are due to release their debut album – produced by the legendary Andy Scott of The Sweet no less – in the near future, and if this appetizer is anything to go by, then I can’t wait until the main course arrives…
Last but certainly not least, we’re shaking our funky thangs on the dancefloor thanks to the infectious groove of ‘Boomerang’ by Swedish party animals Royal Republic, with the latest single from their new album, ‘Club Majesty’. Like it’s title, this is a song which will come bouncing back to you time and again, and gives us the perfect upbeat note on which to sign off this edition of the Singles Club:
Okay, that’s yer lot, you bunch of dirty, mangy Über Rockin’ movers and groovers. Until the next time, remember: keep ‘er lit and keep ‘er between the hedges. \m/