Curated by Monk
As the temperatures start to climb towards something resembling what is supposed to be summer, it’s hard to believe it’s been a fortnight since the Singles Club opened its virtual doors and we fired up the death decks with a selection of the finest single-track releases to have come our way in recent weeks. Yet, here we are again with another bumper pick of the crop – actually, for the second successive iteration it’s one of our biggest clubs in a long time, as once again we have just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 250+ submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so, and again hopefully containing something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious artform we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…
We’re breaking you in (quite literally) with Halestorm, who are releasing a new EP this coming Friday (14 August). As its title suggests, ‘Reimagined’ is a collection of what the band describe as “re-envisioned, re-upped and reconstructed” tracks from their back catalogue, as well as a cover of the Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston classic ‘I Will Always Love You’. The lead single features Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale in a powerful duet with Evanescence’s Amy Lee, recorded, pre-pan(dem)ic live in the studio, of which Hale says: “Amy brought new meaning to this song, turning what was once just a love song into a statement of unity and support for each other.”
We change the mood and get decidedly heavier next, as London melodic death metallers Dying Vision give us their extremely pissed-off take on the ‘Human Condition’ with the second single from their forthcoming second album, ‘Death And Its Slaughter’, which is released at the end of this month:
Talking of ‘The Human Condition’, that is the title of the seventh album, due at the end of October, from southern rockers Black Stone Cherry. The Kentuckians this past week announced the rescheduled dates for their planned ÜK tour, which had been due to take place next month but now will do so next September.
We travel to the West Midlands now in the company of Wolf Jaw, who have decided to mark a rather unusual anniversary – that of the theft of their van and all their gear – with a tribute to their fans and the help they received in the wake of the incident:
We’re moving just down the road from Cannock to Stoke-on-Trent to meet up with groovers Psyence, who have a slightly psychedelic/grungy/proggy edge to their brand of alt-rock, as evinced on their tasty new single, ‘Tusk’:
We defy the latest international travel restrictions and jet over to the boot of Europe to be set on ‘Fire!’ by the debut offering from the wonderfully names IT’sALIe, the first taster from their upcoming debut album, ‘Lilith’, which is due in September and has been produced by none other than German hard rock legend Mat Sinner, who also co-wrote some of the songs. It’s a very strong introduction to this hot new talent:
Our next stop is the City Of Angels where we grasp the 3 Headed Snake, who have us walking a ‘Tightrope’ with this cut, their first new music since their self-titled EP back at the tail end of 2018. The band may be a relatively new name, but its members have quite a formidable pedigree, which is proven by the confident and strident offering:
Another new name but again one backed up with plenty of proven talent is Fleetburner, a project put together by the Dutch session guitarist Kevin Storm, known for his work with Equilibriun and Shining, among others. He has teamed up with former In Flames bassist Peter Iwers and Kalmah keys man Veli-Matti Kananen and enlisted the support of the likes of Dark Tranquillity’s Christopher Amott, Sirenia’s Nils Corbaron and Madder Mortem’s Agnete Kirkevaag for the self-titled debut concept album, due later this year – and we’ve happily accepted their invitation to be one of the passengers booking in for the trip:
Now, changing a vocalist can be a brave move for any band, but that is exactly what Swedish melodic death metallers Loch Vostok did last year. ‘When The Wolves Have Eaten Everything’, however, proves that the band have lost nothing of their hunger and is a defiant statement of intent from the new look line-up:
Another complete change in mood for our next offering. The eclectic talent that is Mark Lanegan has teamed up with dark wave maestros IYEARA to remix his entire ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ album from last year. Retitled as ‘Another Knock At The Door’, the result emerges later this month, but in the meantime the collaboration has reminded us that ‘She Loved You’ with the second single to be lifted from the opus:
There is no doubt that one of the most productive hotbeds for death metal is Sweden – it must be something to do will all those long, dark winter nights. And it is from there that Lik have re-emerged with their tale of ‘Decay’, the brutal lead track from their forthcoming third album, ‘Misanthropic Breed’, due for release at the end of next month:
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a busy year for London groove metal newcomers After Smoke Clears, who have just dropped their fourth single in less than eight months. They also have their debut album on the way before the end of the year: but, in the meantime, they continue to impress with their reminder of how we have become ‘Machine Dependent’ with this excellent slice of technical death-dealing:
We keep the needle very firmly in the groove with the renascent Anti-Mortem. Based around brothers Rado and Nevada Romo, the Oklahomans released their debut album back in 2012, while still teenagers, before band split following the subsequent touring cycle. However, drawing on their experiences with UR faves Texas Hippie Coalition, the brothers are back, revitalized and ready to prove they’re not a spent force – which they certainly ain’t, if this tale of ‘Old Washita’ is anything to go by:
We’re heading to the land down under now, where we team up with the brilliant Shotgun Mistress and their ‘Glorious Machine’, which sees them earning a well-deserved return to the Singles Club playlist with their “spit on the floor ‘cos it’s the only time it’s cleaned” brand of cocksure glunk ‘n’ roll – and another single which once again begs the question “when the feck can we expect the album guys?”
We stay down under but switch genre quite drastically as we encounter some melodic death metal ‘Hatred’, courtesy of Mr.Kill and this banger from their new EP ‘Day Of Reckoning’, both of which are guaranteed to stretch your neck muscles to breaking point while at the same time embedding themselves in the deepest recesses of your aural cortexes for quite some time:
‘Do You Accept’ our new single was the question asked of us by French postcore progressive metallists Memories Of A Dead Man, another band returning to studio action after a prolonged absence. Of course we do, as it’s a stonker and one which has been well worth the wait as the Parisian combo lay the groundwork for the release of their sixth album, ‘(re)M.A.Z.E.d’ this coming October:
Another question for you now, and that is ‘What You Call A Dream’? Well, German indie-infused post-punk newbies Kid Dad have the answer with this, the ‘Truman Show’-themed third single from their forthcoming debut album, which comes out in a couple of weeks’ time…
Alt-rock newcomers Pave The Jungle hail from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and are preparing to release their debut EP at the beginning of October. As part of the build-up, they give us an insight into addiction and the mind of the ‘Habitual Thinker’ with this, their second single, which combines elements of US-style garage indie and post-punk miens:
As we head towards our final few selections, psyched-out Italian surf rockers Mad Dogs have delivered us a ‘Postcard From Nowhere’ (I think that’s somewhere south-east of Naples!) by way of preparing to testify on their third album, due in October.
We now enter the ‘Terror Zone’, with the well-named new single from Ecuadorian metallers Black Sun, who found themselves in exactly that destination when their singer upped and quit during the sessions for their forthcoming new EP. Fortunately their producer, Nino Laurenne, acted quickly and accessed his ‘phone book, calling up mates like Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica, Noora Louhimo of Battle Beast, Mr Lordi and, in this case, former Firewind frontman Henning Basse to help bring the project to fruition:
As Kevin rings the bell for last orders, our penultimate offering sees us coming ‘Face To Face’ with The Vendettas, who prove once again that they’re definitely putting something in the beer down in Melbourne, as they are the latest bunch of hard rockin’ party-startin’ rockers to emerge from the city’s garages and into the seedy spotlight of the Uberverse… but, hey, we like what we hear and we’re gonna keep on listenin’ as long as they keep pumpin’ out tunes of this quality:
As we neck our last couple of pints, it’s almost time to unleash ‘Anarchy’ – and there is no better soundtrack than this slice of the musical equivalent from old school Las Vegas punks Gob Patrol, who raise the flag once proudly waved by the likes of Black Flag, GBH, Minor Threat and The Germs and march proudly forward with it…
Well, that’s your lot for this iteration of the Singles Club. Yet again, we’ve drunk the pumps dry and the optics are running low, so it’s time to neck the dregs and feck off to enjoy what’s left of this Sunday afternoon sunshine. We hope you agree that it’s been another eclectic collection, and that you found something to tickle your earbuds and drive you to explore some new musical horizons. Until next time, when the big lad by the name of Astrocreep will be back behind the death decks, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StaySafe!
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