Curated by DJ Astrocreep
Well, 2021 may have may have managed its faltering steps into the middle of its second month but already has been as much of a shitstorm of a year, if not more so, than its predecessor, with the Government apparently losing the war with the pan(dem)ic and BoJo’s much vaunted pathway out of the crisis still some way off. The summer festival season already in severe doubt following the cancellation of Glastonbury and other events looking set to fall like the proverbial dominos – with more and more tours, some already rescheduled two and three times, being put back by up to a further 12 months – at least 2021 is sharing something more positive in common with 2020, in that it already has produced some terrific new music, with the promise of plenty more to come, if the if the inbox here at ÜRHQ is anything to go by…
In that context, as the new rock ‘n’ roll year finally starts to stand on its own two feet, with its DMs firmly planted in the mire and muck of the dissolving world around it, there has been a healthy slew of new music pinging itself our way, and the number of submissions we received for our ‘Singles Club’… Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s been a just a week 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 celebration of the artform we all love more than any other, featuring a dozen-and-a-half choice cuts for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the almost 500 submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so. Once again, our playlist hopefully contains something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious music we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…
Speaking of which, first to sidle up to our virtual bar, Ricky Warwick is a name most, if not all, of our readers will be familiar with and he’s celebrating the release of latest album, ‘When Life Was Hard And Fast‘ (of which you can read a full review tomorrow) with this doozy of a track in ‘You’re My Rock’N’Roll’. Another slice of classic rock goodness from the experienced artist, doing what he does best:
Also regular visitors to both ÜRHQ and the Club, NWoCR rising stars Molly Karloff are letting us know what ‘She Said’ with their latest track, which is released in aid of Oxfordshire Mind, a mental health charity and a very worthy cause given how people are affected by the ongoing pandemic. Combining a heavily melodic approach with alt-rock worthy of early career Biffy Clyro, it’s a hell of a track and one that will hopefully benefit their community for a while to come.
Sludge overlords EYEHATEGOD are back with a vengeance in their latest swamp sludge song ‘Fake What’s yours’. Riffs that could turn coal into diamonds in the space of a single track demonstrate why they’re so highly rated in the genre.
Mexican EBM duo EGGVN were a new name to me when we received their press pack but their horror-sounding ‘La Era De La Bestia’ encapsulates what was good about the early progenitors of the movement – edge of the seat, heckle raising industrial goodness.
This seems as good a place as any to bring in some Blanck Mass, with ‘Starstuff’ sounding just like the ethereal jaunt through the cosmos that the name evokes! An electronic rock track that merges an almost euphoric sense in its hook to a dirge of noise waves at times, making a ridiculously earworming number!
I first came across Northern Ireland’s New Pagans with their previous ‘Glacial Erratic‘ EP release last year and they were one of my last concerts before Covid stopped everything dead here, so it’s good to hear they’ve been using lockdown wisely and creating new music, in the form of ‘Harbour’, released ahead of their forthcoming debut album ‘The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All’, which will be out on 19 March via Big Scary Monsters.. Another slice of melodic, atmospheric alt-rock shows why they’re rightfully picking up a whole host of new followers as they go!
Drool have produced a rather brooding ballad in ‘Lizard’, a tale of debauched excesses that are forgotten by the next day in a highly atmospheric track. Blending musical harmonies with some gorgeous soundscapes, it’s a great introduction to a talented act.
Cheap Meat have another track from their alt-punk debut with anti-Valentine’s protest ‘Lust, And That’s All’ with this track that wouldn’t sound too out of place alongside some of Smashing Pumpkin’s mid-90s catalogue. A great track that conveys some punk spirit with an approach more suited to that ’90s alternative sound.
Finish melodic metal merchants Midnight Bullet are back with some ‘Hostile Resistance’ in their latest single. Blending aggressive music with a melodic vocal approach, they’ve crafted another quality song worthy of the mighty horns!
Tallah appear to have some ‘Cottonmouth’ with their new single, the metalcore upstarts producing their own rather disturbing video for this gruesome track. Crushing riffs, guttural vocals and an aggressive, incessant pace – definitely one to keep an ear for!
Midgar are an intriguing blend of almost post-hardcore mixed with melodic rock, crafting something that seems in equal parts uplifting and a scream from the soul – something that is not the ‘Nemesis’ of each other but blends exquisitely.
Die Ek‘s new effort is a self-titled single, with ‘Die Ek’ sounding like a dystopian take on progressive doom rock, encapsulating melody in a shell of something that will get your heart racing and your mind on edge.
Black Spiders have returned not only to the Club but to creating music as well, and are looking to bring back the ‘Good Times’ with their brand of stoner rock’n’roll! An upbeat, highly enjoyable effort from the Sheffield riff masters – the best band I’ve ever found from a taxi ride after work!
In what seems like an ever-recurring trip to the Rum Bar (Records, that is), The Cheap Cassettes want to ‘See Her In Action’ in their latest power-pop opus. With a sound similar to the likes of Gin Blossoms, early REM and similar college rock, it’s a toe-tapping sing-along that will earworm you incessantly.
Wings of Desire are taking the ‘Chance Of A Lifetime’ in their new single, blending fuzzy alt-pop into a melodic distortion of their sound, creating an almost post-punk feel without losing that certain air air of something different from the rest.
Alex Henry Foster is someone I found through a live support slot last year, impressing me enough to check out his back catalog. ‘The Son Of Hannah’ is another post-rock masterpiece, very finely layered with melodic guitar hooks and almost shamanic drumming creating a haunting atmosphere.
Our penultimate track sees The Great Affairs declare that ‘I’m Alright’ with a fun, well crafted AOR track that would slot in seamlessly alongside the likes of ’80s greats Autograph and company.
To finish it up, let’s have some Man On Man fun, with self-proclaimed ‘gay love song’ ‘1983’. Another side project of Faith No More’s Roddy Bottum, it’s a sardonic slice of gorgeous indie rock, produced in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. Have at it!
Well, that’s your lot for this special 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 a surprisingly sunny Sunday afternoon… We hope you agree that it has been another eclectic collection, and that you found something to tickle your earbuds and drive you to explore some new musical horizons. Until next week, when the boss man once again will be donning his cowl and taking his place behind the death decks… keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe!
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