Curated by Monk
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!
One constant throughout the vagaries of inconsistent and often hard to stomach lockdowns has that the ÜR Singles Club has remained open for (virtual) business throughout, bringing you our selection of what we regard as the best new sounds to have come our way every fortnight – with a few special events thrown in for good measure! So, it’s time to once again fire up the death decks and see what joyous gems the past fortnight has brought our way, with my selection of my favourite tunes from among the almost 500 submissions which we received over the course of the further two weeks…
So, without further ado, it’s time to ‘Start The Show’, and helping us do just that is the inimitable and irrepressible Danko Jones, with his boisterous, energetic and thumping declaration to “get me on stage ‘cos I’m ready to play…”. And so are we, so let’s turn the volume up as high as it will go and get this rock ‘n’ roll party in style:
Next up, fresh from their triumphant appearance at last weekend’s Steelhouse Festival, Florence Black are giving us the ‘Sun & Moon’ with the bright and breezy latest single issued to preview their forthcoming, long overdue debut album, which is definitely shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated NWoCR releases of the year:
Keeping things in the NWoCR, the Black Country’s Liberty Lies have come roaring back into action with their first new music in two years – and it didn’t take too long for this infectious slice of stonking hard rock to find (sic) it’s way onto the Singles Club playlist:
Another band preparing to ‘Breakout’ back into the sunlight after the COVIDications which have dominated our lives for the past 18 months are Dead Man’s Whiskey, who keep the momentum going with this slice of classic hard rock, complete with a driving riff, another impassioned vocal performance – oh, and some ever-welcome cowbell action… that’ll do for me, boys…
One guy who has been making one helluva an impression here at ÜRHQ is Jason Payne. Together with his Black Leather Riders, his debut single earned our ‘Video Of The Week’ award earlier this summer, while the follow-up EP simply blew us away with the force of a tornado ripping through a Midwest farm. Well, JP now makes his Singles Club debut, and in emphatic fashion, as he is ‘Breathing Rage’ and punching holes in the walls (well, the place needs redecorating anyway) in good old-fashioned no-nonsense classic metal style:
We’re off on the first leg of our quarantine-defying virtual international travels now, heading across the Atlantic to meet up with another band who have been making a helluva an impression over the past year or so: Hearts And Hand Grenades. Despite having released their debut album this past January, the New Yorkers aren’t sitting on their laurels, as the follow-up full-lengther is due to impact – and we mean IMPACT, with the force of a planet-destroying asteroid – in November. BY way of a very appetizing taster they are prescribing us some ‘Bad Medicine’ with the punchy and energetic lead single:
We’re down to the Lone Star State now, and entering the company of a truly ‘Wicked Woman’ to whom we’re introduced by southern-infused grungers – or grunge-infused southern rockers, you pick – Blacktop Mojo, who serve up another tasty slice of heavy-ass riffage with the second single from their forthcoming self-titled album:
It’s Pride weekend here in ÜR’s hometown of Belfast, so in that spirit we welcome back, all the way from the City of Angels, dystopian punks Death Valley Girls, who are declaring ‘I Am Man Too’ as they challenge gender stereotypes with this punchy new single that isn’t actually a new song… Confused? Well, the track is actually from the band’s second album, ‘Glow In The Dark’, which was originally released in 2016 but is now being given the re-issue treatment, hence this rather timely reminder of the evolution of the band’s Riot Grrl-meets-pop punk sound:
We stay in California to introduce ourselves, ever so politely of course to the aquadolls, who in turn regale us with their tale of a ‘Disappearing Girl’, on which they beautifully combine both the psychedelic and surf-rock elements of the SoCal sound into one lovely, summery little package:
We head north now, and across the border, where we walk the ‘Streets Of Doom’ in the company of Montreal glitter punks and self-styled “most elegantly decadent rock n’ roll unit of the 21st century” Dangereens, who possess a sound that harkens back to the heady days of first generation glunk, with a high-energy toe-tapper that evokes the spirit of T-Rex and The Sweet in fine style.
Next stop on our international travels in the Land Of Oz, and especially the especially musical vibrant city of Melbourne, where we’ve been invited into the company of Clowns: however, these guys definitely aren’t messing around, as they get straight to the rock ‘n’ roll point with their rambunctious tale of their liaison with a young lady by the name of ‘Sarah’. I’ve said it before: I don’t know what they’re putting in the beer down under, but I’d love a dose of it, as it seems to have sparked a massive upswing in creativity of late:
We stay down under but travel to Brisbane to hook up with old school punks Kombi Killers, who are introducing us to ‘ScuMo’: not that the “gentleman” in question needs any real introduction, as they are referring to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who went on holiday to Hawaii while bush fires raged across the country, claiming the lives of 75 people… but, then, that’s politicians for you, isn’t it?
Last year, DJ Astrocreep introduced us to a young Norwegian singer-songwriter by the name of Helene, aka Hells. Well, ten months after that initial meeting, she has re-introduced herself, so to speak, with her new single, which explores ‘Hell In Disguise’; it’s a beautiful combination of fragility and acidity, and the sort of track that would sit comfortably alongside the likes of Paramore while also appealing to fans of the likes of Billie Eilish:
I mentioned the summer festival season at the top of this week’s feature, and it’s very gratifying that we’re now less than two weeks away from the mighty Bloodstock! Irish heavyweights Words That Burn are preparing to enter the ‘Den Of Lions’ that is the event’s ‘New Blood Stage’. They have presented us with a taste of the smackdown the audience can expect with the dynamic and knock-out blow that is the title track of their forthcoming third album:
Talking of Bloodstock, it’s been a sort of “will they/won’t be able to play” story for Ukrainian tech-groove behemoths Jinjer – but, the good new is that they are heading to Catton Hall in just under two weeks’ time, and we have a feeling they won’t need a ‘Mediator’ to help them rip up both the stage and the field, as they are one of the most eagerly anticipated bands of the weekend, and this new single is a guaranteed pit-opener:
Another of the most powerful female voices in metal at the moment is Justine Jones of Employed To Serve, a band who just get stronger and stronger with every new release, and are one of the most electrifying live acts on the circuit – which makes next year’s tour opening for Gojira and Alien Weaponry one of the most stoked events of 2022. New album, the appropriately titled ‘Conquering’, is released next month:
We’re heading into the final section of today’s set, so it’s time to travel back to R’s birthplace, where we find Grand Collapse unleashing their ferocious and uncompromising brand of hardcore punk ‘Without Let Or Hindrance’. The song certainly lives up to its title, as it is a guaranteed neck-breaker:
Well, we need a bit of a rest after that selection of headbangers, but we can never get ‘Sick & Tired’ of Micko & The Mellotronics, who meld the grooves of The Kinks and The Stranglers to superb effect, producing a psychedelic-infused slice of alt-punk that is as catchy and summery as it is danceable:
Well, it wouldn’t be an edition of the Singles Club without some good old-fashioned Boston-style garage rock ‘n’ roll from our good friends over at Rum Bar Records, and this iteration is no exception, as the one and only Jerry Lehane has sauntered in just in time for last orders. The Dogmatics frontman has brought with him Dicky Barrett, of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, to regale us with tales of their ‘Drinking Life’… I think we might to compare notes on that front JL, but in the meantime thanks for bringing us this rather excellent little slice of bar room bluesiness to round out this week’s proceedings:
Well, that’s your lot for latest 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 take a break to restock the bar and recharge the batteries before delving headlong back into the rock ‘n’ roll action in two weeks’ time, when the big lad by the name of Astrocreep once again (hopefully) will be beaming down from some mysterious corner of the Überverse to take charge of the deathdecks and bringing you some of the hottest new sounds from around this hoary old rock ‘n’ roll planet… Until then, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe!
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