By DJ Monk
Well, we warned you that we were going to skip a week, as DQ and myself were taking a well-deserved holiday, but now we’re back and kickin’ ass once again, and to thank you all for your continued support we have a truly epic edition of the Singles Club, with no fewer than 17 fine slices of rock ‘n’ roll pizza for your aural and visual delectation… so, let’s dive straight into the sonic action, shall we?
And where better to start than the latest offering from one of the Über Kingdom’s finest rock ‘n’f’n’ roll bands, The Quireboys? Their exploration of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ is the first single to lifted from their forthcoming – and rather excellent, if we say so ourselves – new studio album, ‘Amazing Disgrace’. It’s a slice of true old-school blooze from Spike, Griff, Paul and Keith, fuelled by a honky-tonk vibe and driven by a cool, backstreet strut of a staccato riff, topped off with Spike’s usual cheeky vocal. TBH, it’s not the best song on the album, but is mouth-watering appetizer nonetheless:
We move from one legendary frontman to another, in the form of the ever-enigmatic Perry Farrell, and the first track to be lifted from his imminent new solo album ‘Kind Heaven’, which features contributions from his former Jane’s Addiction bandmates as well as members of The Cars, The Foo Fighters and the late David Bowie’s backing band. Farrell himself describes ‘Pirate Punk Politician’ as “a good old-fashioned protest song about today’s strongmen and their tactics of oppression”.
Next up is erstwhile ÜR fave Ryan Hamilton and his new project, The Harlequin Ghosts, with the story of ‘Mamcita’. The second single to be taken from forthcoming debut album ‘This Is The Sound’ – being released via Steve Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool label on 31 May, it’s a short, sharp blast of punked-up rock ‘n’ roll energy guaranteed to get your blood pumping and you head nodding in appreciation:
Finnish glam tour de force Plastic Tears take a slightly darker path with the appropriately titled ‘Dark Passenger’, taken from last year’s brilliant ‘Angels With Attitude’ opus – an album I described at the time as “a collection of 11 songs crammed to the brim with a combination of punk and sleaze attitudes that drips from the top of singer Miqu December’s distinctive black bandana to the tips of his worn-out cowboy boots… evoking the spirit of Monroe and Valo as much as that of Rotten and Bator”. And he does just that on this powerful nitrous burst of rawk ‘n’ brawl, in a song which lyrically explores dual personality, and specifically when the dark side makes you do things you wouldn’t want to do”
‘My Life My Architecture’ is the latest single to be lifted from Skinny Lister’s fourth studio album, ‘The Story Is…’ and is released just ahead of the second leg of their latest UK tour, which kicks off in Edinburgh on Wednesday (3 April) and finishes at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on 11 April. They also play Belfast and Dublin on 14 and 15 June respectively. Of the song itself, co-vocalist Dan Heptinstall describes it as “an empowering song about being in control of your own destiny, creating your own story. It’s our nod to existentialism and freedom of choice”:
Next up we have the latest product from the new collaboration between Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick and the Dollyrots’ Kelly Ogden, who prove that they are ‘Doin’ Alright’ on this slice of country-infused power pop, the second single to be extracted from their just-released album, ‘Sittin’ In A Tree’. Think Dolly Parton duetting with Louden Wainwright and you’re sort of in the right territory:
- Bowling For Soup play The Telegraph in Belfast on Wednesday 24 April.
Our next selection was going to be ‘The Last Call, the new single from those bonkers Barcelona emigres StOp sTop!, and the first to be taken from their forthcoming new album – but, unfortunately, we’re not allowed to share it just yet… BOO! So, we’ll move swiftly along to team up with Death Blooms and their newbie, ‘Filth’, extracted from their forthcoming new EP, ‘You Are Filth’. When the opening of this track first uncurled itself from the ÜR speakers, it prompted The Dark Queen to stand bolt upright and demand “who the fuck is that?” such is the immediacy of its impact. Described by vocalist Paul Barrow as a song about “f*cking c*nts”, it’s aggressive yet melodic, snarling like a cornered panther and punching harder than Tyson Fury:
Hot off the back of a barnstorming set at HRH AOR, Manchester’s self-styled “dirty southern rock n roll blues mavericks”, Gorilla Riot, have just dropped ‘Half Cut’, the first preview track from their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled new album, due later this year via Off Yer Rocka Recordings. It’s big, it’s beefy, it’s bold – and it’s bloody good:
hands up if you remember The Stray Cats? Well, to mark their imminent 40th anniversary Messrs Setzer, Rocker and Phantom are about to release their first new album in 26 years – the appropriately named ‘40’ which arrives on 24 May – just in time for a run of live dates in this corner of the Überverse the following month. ‘Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me)’ is everything you would expect from the original rockabilly rebels, and really needs no further introduction before you hit that “play” button:
Talking about long over-due returns to action, Bay Area thrash legends Sacred Reich have just finished recording their first new album – the suitably named ‘Awakening’ – in more 20 years. The project has seen the return to the fold of original drummer Dave McClain, following his own departure from Machine Head last year. Unfortunately, founding member and guitarist Jason Rainey subsequently has had step down due to health concerns, to be replaced by Joey Radziwill – who, at 22, wasn’t even alive the last time Sacred Reich released an album! The first product of this revival is a split single with Iron Reagan, with SR’s contribution being ‘Don’t Do It Donnie’ (and it’s not hard to guess who that’s a swipe at):
- Sacred Reich return to the UK at the end of November/beginning of December, with a run of dates starting the Underworld in Camden. Details HERE.
The political theme continues with ‘November Man’, the new single from Filthy Friends, the band featuring Corin Tucker and Peter Buck. It’s taken from their new album, ‘Emerald Valley’, which is released on 3 May via Kill Rock Stars. The video speaks for itself, so we’ll let it do just that, shall we?
Next up, we have some Poison-esque acoustic-led sleaze in the shape of the new video and single ‘I Wish You Were Dead’ from the UK’s very own Takeaway Thieves, which the band have dedicated as “a love song to the elite”. It combines another acerbic anti-establishment lyrical theme with a slice of hard-hitting, down ‘n’ dirty rock ‘n’ roll groovin’… Definitely another that gets the coveted UR seal of approval:
Next up, we give you some ‘Harsh Truth’ courtesy of the fantastic Employed To Serve. This is a single which deserves to be heard, purely and simply for the brutality, and simplicity (sic) of its message, addressing as it does the issue of suicide in young people. As the band themselves say “lyrically, ‘Harsh Truth’ is an anthem for the ill-represented masses who are struggling behind the veil of positive social media posts. The world is a better place with you in it, so stay alive and seek help as it’s always there.” Respect due.
Despite having been forced to cancel his recent Irish tour, our next contribution comes from garage bluesman John J Presley and his beautifully atmospheric ‘Riders’, the third and final single to be taken from his brilliant ‘As The Night Draws In’ album. The video, filmed in the Californian desert revels in a suitably majestic interpretation of this moody track which echoes Nick Cave as reverentially as it does Brant Bjork.
As we race towards the end of this instalment of the Singles Club we have some advice for you – and that is that you ‘Better End The Heartbreak’… Why? Well, because Sheffield pop punks Your Life & Mine are back in action after a quiet 2018, with a new single (natch) and an album due later in the year. We’ve only got one word for this little ditty: earworm!
Out penultimate offering has been bothering the speakers here at ÜRHQ for a few weeks now, but it’s been worth the wait to bring it to you, as it is the first new material in more than a year from the sisterly duo by the name of The SoapGirls, who take us on a trip down a ‘One Way Street’ with this bright and breezy slice of power pop action that takes us back to the heady days of Transvision Vamp with its combination of catchy-as-fuck pop riffs and cheeky sexual innuendo:
We end on something just a bit special, and that is the debut solo single from The Answer frontman Cormac Neeson. ‘Broken Wing’, taken from his forthcoming ‘White Feather’ album, is written about his beautiful young four-year-old son Dabhóg, who was born three months prematurely and with Down’s Syndrome. Neeson, one of the nicest and most genuine guys you will ever meet in this normally horrible old music game, subsequently has been named a special ambassador for the Northern Ireland mental health charity Mencap, to whom he will be donating a percentage of the profits from both this beautiful single – the video for which depicts Neeson being tattooed with the image of three chromosome 21, the distinguishing genetic feature of Down’s Syndrome – and soon-to-follow album:
So, there you have it, folks. It’s actually quite a thought-provoking selection this time around, but again we hope that there is something for everyone’s tastes, and that you have enjoyed checking out all the songs we have selected this time around. DJ Astrocreep will be back in a fortnight’s time with his choice of the tracks that have annoyed his aural cortex in the intervening period, so, until then – keep ‘er lit and keep ‘er between the hedges \m/