Curated by DJ Monk and The Dark Queen

The Uber Rock Approved stampOrder, order… yes, folks, we’re taking orders at the bar (we’ll have two double JDs, thank you very much) as the latest edition of the Singles Club opens for business, with myself, Judge Monk, and the Dark Queen herself presiding over the latest batch of almost 300 submissions and delivering our verdict on the ones that have tickled our aural cortexes and wormed their way into our eardrums over the past couple of weeks…

And first up we have something so hot off the presses that I had to wear asbestos gloves to load it into the club jukebox, and that is the brand new single from Häxan, three ladies who have more balls than many of their male counterparts and are digging up ‘Skeletons’ with this hard-hitting, hard-rockin’ riff-fest – the first track to be released from their forthcoming debut album – that makes you wanna down your drink as fast as possible in order to get on the dancefloor and headbang like a feckin’ loon half yer age:

We keep the momentum with ‘The World Is Mine’, which is not the title of the new James Bond movie but rather the second single to be lifted from the forthcoming new album, ‘The Grand Prize’ by Worcester heavy metallers Fury. It’s got a big crunching riff that again makes you wanna headbang and punch the air simultaneously, coupled with a huge hook and a superbly singalong chorus. And just listen for that drum break at the halfway point:

A change of pace now and a band who, despite hailing from Brighton on the south coast of England, came our way via our Texas correspondent. Dramalove inhabit an alt-rock territory that lies somewhere between early Muse and Royal Blood on the map of the Uberverse, and have presented us with a pleasant little ditty about love, death, destiny and, er, astronomy, by way of introduction:

Another change in gears – yes, we do that faster than Lewis Hamilton around the streets of Monte Carlo – and a touch of melodic death metal, courtesy of Finnish veterans Wolfheart, who are rising from the ‘Ashes’ with the impressive lead single from their forthcoming new album, ‘Wolves Of Karelia’, which is due to be released via Napalm Records in April:

Staying in the northern wastelands, and maintaining a tenuous link, we come to the new single from Swedish trad metallers Wolf, who ‘Shoot To Kill’ with the second track served up to preview their forthcoming (and soon to be reviewed here on ÜR) new album, ‘Feeding The Machine’, being released next month to coincide with their return to the Über Kingdom supporting countrymen Grand Magus:

Back to dear old Shit Island now and the mighty, ÜR-approved, Employed To Serve, who are reliving one of their older tracks with a newly issued remix of ‘Harsh Truth’, featuring a guest vocal appearance from Drew DiJorio of Stray From The Path, who brings a new level of aggression to what was already a hard-hitting, in-your-face tune:

A bit of pop punk now that has spent so much time in the garage that it’s got grease positively embedded in its grooves. Lucy And The Rats may be relative newcomers, but Lucy Ellis has been around the Aussie punk scene for a while (she was formerly a member of The Spazzys, who enjoyed a fair degree of success down under), and that shows with this well-crafted little ditty, which has a sort of Altered Images/Go-Gos style freshness to it:

Talking of people who have been around the block, that is one thing you can most definitely say about Francis Rossi, the sole remaining founder member of British boogie-rock legends Status Quo. As he prepares to look back on his 50+ year career with his epic ‘I Talk Too Much’ spoken word tour, he has also just released ‘Heartbreaker’, the final single from last year’s album of the same name, which saw him collaborating with rising country rock singer/violinist Hannah Rickard:

We head back down to the land of bushfires and kangaroos, where we find another jaunty little single, this time from Molly And The Krells – who, ironically, do not have anyone called Molly in their four-piece line-up – and their new single, in which they ask ‘What Went Wrong?’. It’s another pleasant slice of pop punk/power pop of the sort in which our Aussie friends seem to be specializing at the moment (maybe we should open an office down under to catch more of this action?):

We stay down under for the debut single from Australian thrash newcomers Thrash Bandicoot – mmm, I wonder where they got their inspiration for their name – who have treated us to the title track of their forthcoming ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’ EP by way of a polite introduction. If you like your thrash fast and furious, a in the mould of the likes of Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust, then you’ll cream your skintight jeans over this:

I’m starting to sense a strong theme, as we’re still in Australia for our next offering – but, who can blame us, as the continent is producing some damn fine rock ‘n’f’n’ roll at the moment. I’d say it must be what they’re putting in the beer, but at just 17 Cassidy Paris is too young to drink. However, that hasn’t stopped her producing some very mature sounding music, and she’s more than happy to share her L O V E with us with her brand new single:

Now, Gilby Clarke is definitely not Australian, but he is signed to the wonderful Oz label Golden Robot, through whom he has just released his new single, on which he tells us that ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Getting Louder’… and all we can say to that is “amen brother”:

We’re a lot closer to home for our next offering, which comes from Northern Ireland hard rockers Like A Hawk. This is a band we’ve been keeping our (hawk)eyes for a while now, and they are hoping to wake a few people up with this, the lead single from their forthcoming debut EP, the aptly titled ‘Release The Hawk’ (which was actually recorded, in true DIY style in drummer Ryan’s living room). This is a rather tasty appetizer and should help the four lads take things to the next level this year:

Our next offering is something totally off-kilter, at least in our opinion. Aether Realm are a quartet from North Carolina who profess a love of “winter, Finland and video games”. And, to be honest, before I read their bio, I would have sworn they were actually Finnish! They blend death, power and thrash metal with massive, catchier-than-Coronavirus poppy choruses that most Eurovision entrants probably would donate their livers to pen – but it works! Let’s hope this not ‘Goodbye’ but rather ‘Hello’ – especially as they are about to release an album with one of the best titles we have come across so far this year: ‘Redneck Vikings From Hell’:

Speaking of US bands who sound like they should be from this side of the pond, Wildstreet evoke the spirit of Scandinavian glam/sleaze with aplomb and energy, Erik Jayk oozing lasciviousness from his vocals with the ease of a Monroe or a Grönwall and bodes well for them delivering a highly entertaining set when they make their Über Kingdom debut at the Call Of The Wild festival:

My Chemical Romance may have announced their return, at least to live action, but that hasn’t stopped guitarist Frank Iero continuing to plough his own path, and to prove this he has just released the deeply personal ‘Basement Eyes’, taken from last year’s ‘Barriers’ album with his The Future Violents project. The accompanying video was filmed in Iero’s own basement, where he writes and demoes most of his material:

A bit of unashamed, straightforward rawk ‘n’ roll for y’all now, thanks to those wild-eyed boys who go the name of the Bootyard Bandits, who will bring a smile to even the most miserable of hungover faces with the in(s)ane ‘Shirt Potato’, taken from their forthcoming EP, the modestly titled ‘The Best Of Bootyard Bandits’, providing the perfect soundtrack for those Sambuca shots the Dark Queen is necking like the world’s supply is gonna dry up this very evening:

A wee bit of fuzzed-out, grunge-fuelled garage rock now, as Hot Snakes present us with the second in a series of seven inches to be released in the run up to their new, as-yet-untitled, album, which is due to land later this year via the ever ground-breaking Sub Pop label. An interesting aside: the accompanying video was animated by the 13-year old son of the band’s Swami John Reis:

Kevin, our friendly bar man, is starting to get itchy fingers and is looking longingly at the bell that calls last orders, so it’s time for some of the house’s special Snake Bite Whisky: we’ll forgive this Aussie mob for not being able to spell our favourite tipple correctly – but do we care when they produce high quality sleazy rock ‘n’ roll such as this? Do we heck! This time around they invite us to “drink, fuck, rock” (hey, we don’t need a second invitation to indulge in any of said activities), as they prove they are the last men standing on this latest single to be extracted from last year’s ÜR-approved album, ‘This Side Of Hell’:

Taking us into the final straight fasted than a certain previously referenced world champion is this bass-driven slice of traditional hard rock courtesy of veterans Nightblade, who tell us that it is ‘Only You’ who matters to them. It’s a damn good slice of classic rock, propelled by the aforementioned bass line and topped off with a highly impressive vocal performance from a singer who definitely knows how to use his voice:

Our final offering sees us returning to Über Rock’s grassroots, courtesy of veteran Welsh rocker Jamie Porter and his band, who are most definitely ‘Ready For Action’ with this glorious call to arms, which signs us off in anthemic style. All hail the riff:

Unfortunately, ladeez and germz, last orders have been called and the bar is now closed and the death decks turned off for another fortnight. The big lad known as Astrocreep will be back in two weeks’ time, pumping his hard earned shillings and pence into the jukebox for you aural delectation – so, until then, as ever, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er lit and keep on rockin’ with the website that excites the parts the trolls can’t reach \m/

  • All content © Über Rock. Not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of Über