Category: CD Reviews

The Über Rock Singles Club – January’s Jumpers ‘N Jivers

Ushering in the new year (albeit a bit belatedly) the way we know best, with yet another Singles Club feature, and it falls to DJ Astrocreep to make his selections… though he really wished that the over 500 submissions were not so competitive as to make it so hard for him! It’s time to pour yourself a large one, kick back and enjoy what our resident DJ has selected from a huge bag of tricks as the soundtrack for our virtual speakeasy on this occasion.

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Farmer Dave & The Wizards Of The West – ‘Self-Titled’ (Big Potato Records)

As Monk sat down to spin this, the first new album in ten years from ‘Farmer’ Dave Scher, the mystical Californian songwriter best known for his work with acts such as All Night Radio, Beachwood Sparks, Kurt Vile and Skiffle Players (as well as our own Elvis Costello), the late afternoon sun was streaming through the rooftop window of the studio at ÜRHQ – and that is quite an apposite tincture to the day, as this self-titled debut from his latest project is an early indication that it will not be long before brighter, summer days come our way…

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Dread Sovereign – ‘Alchemical Warfare’ (Metal Blade)

Alan Averill – or Nemtheanga, to give him his perhaps more recognizable stage name – bestrides the Irish death metal scene like a colossus, having been single-handedly responsible (especially in his own eyes) for placing the Emerald Isle’s contribution to the genre firmly and squarely in the centre of the global stage. He is also a man possessed of an ego as big as the Irish diaspora, not least in his derogatory attitude towards the Irish music media (which is perhaps surprising considering his own background as a journalist of some repute) … so, he won’t really give a flying fuck what we north of the border at ÜRHQ make of this, the third full-length offering from his doomier side project, will he (something he makes clear in the title of the closing track? Well, fuck him, ‘cos we’re gonna tell him, and you, anyway…

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Sonic Flower – ‘Sonic Flower’/’Rides Again’ (Heavy Psych Sounds)

The name of Tatsu Mikami will be one well-known to aficionados of the more psychedelic end of the doom metal spectrum, as the distinctive-looking bassist has towered over the Japanese scene like a modern-day Godzilla, mainly thanks to his role as the driving force behind the serial-killer obsessed Church of Misery. It could be argued, I suppose, that Sonic Flower is a long-omitted sidebar to the CoM storyline, as the first of this coupling of albums was released back in 2003, while the second has lain gathering cobwebs in a Tokyo vault for the better part of 15 years, finally being dusted down and thrust, belatedly, into the light of day.

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False Heads – ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ (Lovers Music)

London based three-piece post-punkers False Heads created quite a stir with the digital release of their debut album ‘It’s All There But You’re Dreaming’ last year, with the band netting one million streams on Spotify and over 500K on Apple Music, and gaining radio support at R1, 6music and Radio X amongst others. Plus, Iggy Pop is a fan, which can’t be a bad thing. This month sees the album re-released on physical formats, which promises to bring the album to an even wider audience.

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JoeyDiabolic – ‘Through Soundwaves Vol 3’ EP (Self-Released)

Being a lifelong obsessive of horror film and a fanboy nut for ‘90’s industrial and metal, John M was more than intrigued when this crossed his desk. JoeyDiabolic is a kindred spirit of the horror/White Zombie Fandom who has been releasing singles that meld the two worlds together for a while now (including homages to Friday The 13th and Halloween), and he finally got to JM’s happy place – the wonderful carnival that is A Nightmare On Elm Street.

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Edenbridge – ‘The Chronicles of Eden Pt. 2’ (Steamhammer/SPV)

“Well, we’ve had one greatest hits album, yes, but what about a second one?” When you’re a band that have been around as long as Edenbridge, that’s exactly the kind of question you end up asking yourself. With a career that has spanned over 20 years and resulted in ten studio albums and three live albums, there’s a lot of music to take in! But fortunately, the band released their first greatest hits ‘The Chronicles of Eden’ in 2007 that covered the first five albums, and now the aptly named ‘Chronicles of Eden Pt. 2’ is here to provide an easily digestible form of the most recent five albums from 2008 to the present day!

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Wall – ‘Wall’ EP (APF Records)

The last year has been a seriously frustrating time for everyone and people have dealt with this in different ways. Some people picked up new hobbies, some turned to functional alcoholism and others just went completely loopy. But Ryan and Elliot Cole of Desert Storm took their own frustrations of being cooped up together for months on end and condensed them down into a raw instrumental EP named after the thing we’ve all seen far too much of… ‘Wall’.

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20 Watt Tombstone – ‘Year of the Jackalope’ EP (Self-Released)

If you were asked to describe 2020 in one sentence, you could do worse than “it was a Jackalope of a year”. Death blues duo 20 Watt Tombstone were in the midst of touring with Doomstress in March when the madness of the pandemic hit. As venues cancelled shows, they headed home to Wisconsin, only to spend the next nine months watching the chaos unfold. Tough for a band who are known for their love of the road and especially given the high of their 2019 European tour. So, they put their effort into ‘Year of the Jackalope’, their third release since they took on the ‘Tombstone identity in 2001 (previously ‘The Goddams’). This EP title represents the barely believable, warped reality that 2020 became.

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Sumeru – ‘Blood Ordinance’ EP (Brilliant Emperor)

Australian heavy riffers Sumeru are nearing their first decade of output and they show no signs of slowing. Having recently changed the line-up with the introduction of Jake Willoughby on vocals, Sumeru have continued to develop since their last full length ‘Summon Destroyer’. ‘Blood Ordinance’ is a snap-shot offering that looks to showcase the punishing high tempo sludge that these Sydney heavyweights have become known for.

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Lotan – ‘Nihil Sacrum’ EP (Uprising! Records)

Lotan. The seven headed dragon, origin of chaos and the instigator of war against the cosmic order. Also, the new melodic black metal outfit formed primarily of members of Vanir and featuring others from Ethereal Kingdoms when it comes to live duties. Drawing together elements of hard-hitting death and thrash metal, sweeping melodic layering from symphonic metal and an over-arching atmospheric darkness from black metal. Lotan have cooked up a five-track EP to introduce their sound to the world at large.

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Hunted by Elephants – ‘Carry On’ (Self-Released)

This is the second album by HBE since 2019. Lockdown has obviously been prolific for them. The 10 tracks show a wide variety of influences steeped in the mysticism and musicality of bands from the 70s up to date. There is much to be admired in the tracks on show if you like bands as varied as Deep Purple and. Greta Van Fleet, rather an aural feast if the PR is to be believed.

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