Category: CD Reviews

The Über Rock Singles Club – Awesome August (Volume One)

Well, with a few exceptions, the pathway out of the dark tunnel that has been the past 16 months finally seems to be getting clearer day by day, as we slowly take those vital steps back to at least a semblance of the normality we enjoyed before the pandemic wrecked chaos on our collective and individual lives. Yes, there are still some restrictions in place in some parts of the Über Kingdom , but the signs are increasingly positive, not least in terms of the summer festival season being up-and-running again, and the light on the horizon is growing ever brighter – and it’s not just ‘cos we’re being blessed with a rare sunny summer!

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Seether – ‘Wasteland – The Purgatory EP’ (Fantasy Records)

How many of you, when you hear the name Seether, think to yourselves: “Ah yeah, they did that song with Amy Lee that one time”? Jonny B must admit that was all that came to mind for him. Our man thinks that in his head he’d penned them down as one-hit wonders and left it at that. So, naturally, he was surprised to see that Seether have just dropped a new EP, one that closely follows their most recent album ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ which was their eighth full-length album. So it looks like JB could be about to completely smash through his preconceptions as he takes a dive into ‘Purgatory’ to see what he’s been missing all these years. ..

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Speedbilly – ‘Raise Hell, Praise Dale!’ (Self-Released)

Whatever the fuck happened to Saturday night television? I mean, it used to be fucking awesome. ‘The Dukes Of Hazzard’. ‘Wonder Woman’. ‘Starsky And Hutch’. ‘The A Team’. ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’. Appetisers for ‘Convoy’ or ‘Smokey And The Bandit’ as the feature movie. Those were the days. Piles of shite, each and every single one of them. But the sort of shite you enjoyed rolling in and coming up smiling afterwards. Now confined to the darkest recesses of cable television, it’s the sort of shite that the three guys from Minneapolis who make up Speedbilly grew up on.

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38 Special – ‘Wild Eyed Southern Boys’/’Special Forces’ (Snakefarm Records)

It could be argued that, in these ‘BLM’ and ‘Woke’ movement days, the southern rock heroes of yore could now well be regarded as something of an out-of-date anomaly, an unacceptable throwback now seen as politically incorrect and thus deserving to be consigned to the rubbish bins of history, alongside all those statues ripped down and the other attempts to expunge the events of past generations. But they do say that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it, and its perceived mistakes… which brings us neatly to these two vinyl re-issues and one of the worst examples of an historical music mistake…

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Eradicator – ‘Influence Denied’ (Metalville)

Not to be confused with the Birmingham crüe of almost the same name, German quartet Eradicator have been kicking around the European thrash scene, and evoking the spirit of both the Bay Area and Teutonic progenitors of the genre’s sound, for 12 years now, during which time they have put their collective noses to the grist mill and self-released four albums, to growing amounts of recognition and success – factors which have now led to them finally landing a record deal with those nice chaps at Metalville.

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Vial – ‘Loudmouth’ (Hassle Records/Get Better Records)

Vial: a small glass receptacle used to store medicine. Advertised as a band that hates “run-of-the-mill… bratty punk” and who will “put out what others won’t pick up”, Vial are also described respectively as indie, honk rock (whatever that is) and ‘not a girl band’. When you first see them, they look like four young, vibrant individuals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota who look too sweet and happy to cause any snash. So why do Vial so vehemently insist that they’re not a girl band. Well, it’s because they don’t all identify as girls and the assumptions and judgements about who they are as individuals, and as a band, are a big part of what they have to shout about in ‘Loudmouth’.

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Attack of the Rising – ‘Game Changer’ (Weapon Records/Vanity Music Group)

If you asked someone to think of the most powerful forces in the world, you’d probably get the standard answers of air, fire, wind, and water. Some may even mention nuclear reactions or gravitational force. Kris E would like to add her own answer to the mix and that is music. Think about it for a moment. What else has the power to move humans to tears, fill their hearts with joy, make them laugh, and bring them together in amazing ways? Heavy metal, in particular, possesses this unique quality, as fans of all backgrounds, races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds gather for the sole purpose of rocking out. Los Angeles rockers Attack of the Rising are a perfect example of this, taking their “One Tribe!” motto to the metal masses.

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Boozewa – ‘Deb’ (Self-Released)

Earlier this year, Jonny B found himself with an unexpected event of ‘First Contact’ with Boozewa, a project that was born from sheer pandemic boredom and restlessness. At the time, he recommended delving into the earlier works of Backwoods Payback to keep you satisfied for a while if you found yourself won over by Boozewa. Well, that advice was clearly a little bit premature because, a mere six months later, Boozewa have continued channelling their boredom and frustration into another release in the form of a two-track single – ‘Deb’.

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Moon Machine – ‘Moon Machine’ (Self-Released)

Moon Machine. From an American perspective, that’s got to bring to mind the 11 space flights of the Apollo programme, the impressive Lunar Excursion Module and the enormous Saturn rockets that helped propel astronauts to the moon. An engineering challenge of incomprehensible scale and complexity. The studio-based band whose debut LP bears this name hail from Boston, Massachusetts and seem also to have a lot more to them than meets the eye.

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Hardwicke Circus – ‘The Borderland’ (Self-Released)

As the resident Cumbrian (by location, not birth!) at ÜRHQ, Jonny B tends to be the first port of call for bands hailing from the remote Northern bastion. Today is one of those days, and JB finds hmself whisked off to the county town of Carlisle to check out the debut full-length album from Hardwicke Circus. These guys are certainly not clowning around though as they have been building up some serious buzz with their energetic live shows, so it’s about time our man checks them out and sees what they have to offer…

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