Curated by Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampWelcome to another edition of the Über Rock Singles Club, which we have managed to keep up-and-running despite the numerous Covidications which we all have had to endure over the past 20 months, in order to bring you the hottest new sounds around. And once again we have another hitlist of superb sonic experiences to tickle you sonic senses, with 19 of my favourite tunes to have found their way on to the ÜRHQ deathdecks over the course of the past fortnight…

And we’re kicking off in truly epic with Finnish progressive power metallers Battle Beast introducing us to the ‘Master Of Illusion’ on the absolutely sumptuous first single from their forthcoming new album, ‘Circus Of Doom’, which is due to impact in January. Once again, it features a titanic vocal performance from Noora Louhimo, and the accompanying video is suitably rich and vibrant:

A double dose of guitar shredding action with our next couple of selections. The first comes from Nita Strauss, who is proving that she is far from ‘Dead Inside’ with this magnificent collaboration with Disturbed frontman David Draiman, who brings an extra level of pathos and drama to nu-metal-tinged slice of classic rock:

Now, if we’re looking to bring some guitar god action to the turntables, then who better to bring than the one and only Slash. Fresh from rocking arena across the USofA on the latest Guns ‘N Roses tour, the man in the hat has plunged straight back into action, re-uniting with Myles Kennedy and his fellow Conspirators to tell us that ‘The River Is Rising’, the first taster from the project’s forthcoming fourth album, rather imaginatively (sic) monickered ‘4’. It’s another classic, crunching rocker that lies somewhere between the sound of the two main protagonists’ “other” bands, with a hint of Zeppelin thrown in towards the end:

From two established artists to some new kids on the rock ‘n’ roll block, and we tried ‘Closing The Gates’ but Long Island metallers Monochromatic Black stormed straight through them and levelled ÜRHQ’s defences with their hard-hitting brand of progressive nu-core, which lies somewhere between Arch Enemy, Jinjer and Venom Prison in its passionately-delivered aggression:

A total change of mood now with The Neverlutionaries, the latest project from Christopher Harold Wells, who spent seven years fronting industrial rockers Peasants Of The Apocalypse before taking a complete change in direction and returning to his love of psychedelia and shoegaze, teaming up with the likes of Kenny Olson, Nick Baglio and Jaimeson Durr along the way. This funky little track is the fourth single to be lifted from the project’s forthcoming debut album:

A change in mood now, as Missouri punk rockers Dan Vapid And The Cheats are sharing feelings of ‘Guilt And Relief’ on the second single to be lifted from their new album, ‘Escape Velocity’. Vapid is a veteran of the Missouri scene, having played in a plethora of local bands over the years, but is now set to make his own, emphatic individual stamp on it, and wider audiences, with his blend of Midwest-style Americana and catchy pop punk:

Talking of scene veterans, LA Guns – the version fronted by Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns – are urging us to ‘Get Along’ on the latest single from their forthcoming new album, the aptly titled ‘Checkered Past’. It’s a surprisingly melancholic, acoustic-led offering, characterized by Lewis’ instantly recognizable vocal: style:

At the opposite end of the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum we find German heavyweights Rage, who are proving that they can still produce quality ‘bangers as they teach us a lesson in ‘Arrogance And Ignorance’ on this track from their current album, ‘Resurrection Day’:

The ‘Body Count’ is mounting, thanks to the latest single of that name from emerging metalcore heroes TheCityIsOurs, who have emerged from a transitive year with a highly impressive and declarative second album, ‘Coma’, of which this is a powerful taster (beware, though, the video contains flashing imagery):

One of the most surprising albums to have come our way this year was that from the lockdown project named Heavy Water, featuring the father and son partnership of Biff and Seb Byford. It was surprising, in a pleasant way, because it shows a very different side of Byford senior, who by-and-large took on very much a supporting role.  The latest single is the blues/gospel-soaked ‘Tree In The Wind’, one of the few tracks on which Biff takes on the lead vocal duties:

Another album which ignited by fires earlier this year was ‘Invicta’ from Skarlett Riot, which showed a massive progression in the band’s sound and a group of musicians unafraid to push their musical boundaries to the limit. A prime example is latest single ‘Black Cloud’, which sees them melding elements of classic and progressive metal into a metalcore framework with passionate aplomb:

Another change in musical tone, and another visit to the other side of the Atlantic, where Long Island-based one-man project Blonder is aiming to prove that he has a ‘Heavy’ side with his latest single, which merges grunge, guitar-pop and post-punk to almost hypnotic effect:

Miami pop punks Top Tier declare that they are ‘Leaving This Behind’ with their catchy latest offering, which will appeal to fans of the likes of All Time Low, A Day To Remember and Neck Deep with its blend of crunching guitars and infectious harmonies and chorus:

Talking of catchy, the husband-and-wife duo who make up The Courettes certainly caught our attention earlier this month, with their brand of garage-grunge-meets-Sixties-dreampop, as epitomized on this, the latest single from their recently released third album, ‘Back In Mono’:

Atlanta provides us with our final stop-off on our trip through America’s garage land, and it is here that the Killer Hearts are introducing us to a ‘Dynamite Tramp’ with another infectious slice of classic sleazy punk that definitely your toes tapping and your fingers twiddling that invisible fretboard:

Our penultimate offering sees us back in ÜR’s home city of Belfast, where Paper Tigers have emerged from the darkness of the past 20 months in fine fettle, as exemplified by new single ‘Blue Light Trails, a powerful slice of power pop with a suitably jangly riff and deceptively fragile-sounding vocals which counterpoint the song’s underlying fragility:

We’re coming full circle, as we started off in Finland, and that is where we are returning for our final track this time around. Lordi have always been fun, combining tongue-in-check histrionics and OTT showmanship with songs so infectious the entire NHS goes into high alert every time they release a new single – and that is what they have just done as they take us to the ‘Borderline’ on their very own ghost train, which also transported them, and thus us, back in time to the early ‘70s and an earlier, entirely fictional incarnation of the band:

That has nicely put us in the mood for Halloween: it’s hard to believe that its just a week until our favourite day of the year, and so I’ll be back then with a specially themed edition of the Singles Club… Until then, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and stay spooky \m/

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