Curated by DJ Astrocreep (@DJAstrocreep)
It’s time to gather at our Singles Club bar for the first session of the year. The stools are dusted off, the beers are on the house for tonight and the music is a smorgasboard of the kind of thing we like to listen to across the Über Kingdom of Rock ‘n’ Roll! So without further adieu, it’s time for DJ Astrocreep to get his music head on and start to spin the tracks!
Let’s kick things off with the first single from his ‘Ether’ EP by Mark Morton, with Mark Morales on vocals. This is probably the easiest pick for me, due to reviewing both the EP and Mark live this week and being highly impressed in both settings by the musical talents of both the Marks! ‘All I Had To Lose’ is a heartfelt ballad, featuring some quite intricate guitar playing acoustic rock and plenty of melodic, soulful rock vocals.
Keeping on the melodic side, we have alt-metallers Magg Dylan next, with uplifting anthem ‘Naked Alone In The Tub’. A story about beating depression and the fight to do so, set to a modern metal sound with a couple of prog tendencies creeping in the background, combining for a charging and enjoyable song.
Let’s kick it up a notch and it’s time to get self induced whiplash as Helldown present their latest single ‘The Unnamed’ from forthcoming EP ‘In Death’s Hands’. There’s definitely a hint of Slayer in their approach, with a sprinkling of early career Metallica in the mix, giving us a thoroughly British feeling to the thrash metal greats’ approach! Look out for our review of the full EP this coming week.
Not heavy enough for you? Fine, let’s get down to some real heavy shit then, with Vredehammer‘s combination of blackened death metal and darkwave/horror synths adding some definite Nordic frostbite to things with ‘Winds Of Dysphoria’. Blast beats, riffs and growling (oh my?) provide a very in your face yet still appealing sound.
While we are at the quicker end, how about some good old fashioned punk, straight from legends Discharge, as they present previously unreleased track ‘Descending Into Madness’. Coming across like a punk ‘Ace of Spades’ there’s plenty in this track for everyone to enjoy!
Time for a breather for the moshpit, so let’s have some German alt-prog sensibilities with KOJ and their haunting new single ‘Jenny’. Melodic female vocals combining a softer, laid-back approach to prog makes for a compelling track that I admittedly kept on repeat for a few playthroughs on my first go through the submissions!
Spanking Charlene are back, after we previously took quite the shining to one of their singles, with ‘Find Me Out’ being a driving rock n roll track, in the style of the more blues influenced end of rock n soulful roll. As Malibu Lou himself puts it, they’re a little bit older, a little bit wiser and still not taking your shit!
Time to get your guyliner right and get into your leather pants – it’s time for Aussie hard rockers Black Whiskey with ‘Wild & Free’, with a sound that comes straight from L.A’s sunset strip itself! Good old fashioned 80s rock fun, able musicianship and hooks a-plenty – fill yer ears with this!
Queensryche have been around for more than a couple of years now and are back again with single ‘Inner Unrest’ coming from forthcoming album ‘The Verdict’ out in a few weeks time. It sounds like a return to the heady days of ‘Operation:Mindcrime’, which is praise for any band – even the one that originally wrote it and performed it!
Let’s up the ante again now with some Korpiklaani along with Steve Souza of Exodus in fun new track ‘Beer Kill Kill’! It’s another chip off the old Korpiklaani block and a sure fire hit for anyone into their folk or pirate metal!
Alt-rockers InMe have been around a long while now have have new album ‘Jumpstart Hope’ coming out soon – well ‘Shame’ is the latest single released from it! It’s another example of the sound that brought InMe fame back in the headier old days, with plenty of loud/soft musicals variances, set alongside some soaring, melodic vocals from Dave McPherson – great stuff!
British south coast post-punk act Beat Hotel are up next with ‘Bury It Deep’, with more than an element of psych and shoegaze to their songwriting in this track. Plenty of melody, they would fit in well with the northern ’80s alternative acts that formed the Liverpool and Manchester scene before the 90s Britpop explosion overtook it.
Irish pop-punk/alt-rock legends Ash are back with ‘Darkest Hour of the Night’, a redemptive new anthem for modern times. The usual melodies, hooks and frustratingly catchy music are present, showing they continue to create good new tracks as they celebrate their 25th anniversary!
Chester based melodic modern rockers Peaness are continuing to show some strong songwriting with catchy new single ‘Kaizen’. Upbeat, lighthearted melodies and oozing positivity, Kaizen translates from Japanese as a change for the good – well, Peaness are doing just that here!
It’s time for a debut single now, with newcomers Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts proving to be another chip off the 80s rock stone, with a sense of fun coming through the video accompanying a well crafted hard rock song in ‘What Kinda Love’.
Norwegian metallers Kvelertak are back, and this time they’ve brought a friend in Mastodon’s Troy Sanders for new song ‘Crack of Doom’! It’s another high octane melodic modern metal song from the metallers, their first with new vocalist Ivar and now with some songs in English. We think you’ll agree, they really haven’t sounded better!
Wire have been around a long while too – 40 years and 16 albums into their career now – and the influential post-punkers are still on top of their game with ‘Primed & Ready’. Melody, catchy guitar hooks and top notch music, they’ve definitely still got it!
From the old to the new with The Wants a couple of months out from releasing their debut album. ‘The Motor’ is a good example of how dark and brooding even the more modern post-punks can be, using their more modern mediums and effects, than some of their predecessors either managed or went to great lengths to achieve.
Let’s finish on some punk then with legendary outfit Mondo Generator and Nick Oliveri. Eight years since their last album, you’d think they’d never been away with the groove filled little number by the name of ‘Turboner’!
That’s your fill for this first session of The Singles Club for 2020. Last orders are rung, the bar is kicking out and it’s time to go home. Monk will be back on our next instalment, so check out his top tips for the best in the latest releases then!