Curated by DJ Astrocreep
Despite the rays of light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the past 16 months of isolation and generally being shit upon from great heights having been somewhat dimmed in the past week, with the annnouncements that the easing of lockdown restrictions in some parts of the ÜK had been postponed by between two weeks (in Northern Ireland) and a month (in England), the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out with increasing pace, trial live events such as this weekend’s Download Pilot taking place and the remaining roadmaps seem to actually present some form of direction and pathway back to at least a semblance of the normality we enjoyed before the pandemic wrecked chaos on our collective and individual lives.
But, despite all the doom and gloom which has prevailed upon us over the past year and a bit, one positive has remained constant – and that is the amount of terrific new music which has come our way, as demonstrated by the continuing tsunami of submissions we receive for our ‘Singles Club’ feature… Yes, another constant throughout the vagaries of inconsistent and often hard to stomach lockdowns is that the 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 – although the gremlins got a hold of ÜRHQ’s calendar, and we actually managed to miss an entire week! However, it did give us time to fully restock the bar (Monk has a case of Maker’s Mark stashed away in the basement in case things go tits up again!), we’ve finished refurbishing the sound system and made sure the volume controls on the mixing desk go all the way to 100 – and, with almost 750 submissions, it’s been a busy old couple of weeks, sorting the submissions through the melting pot to bring you our choice cuts! But, the doors are finally open, the pumps are primed and it’s time for music in our virtual speakeasy.
Let’s start with a rather unusual act in postcards from new zealand, as their weird experimentalism reveals some rather ‘tortuous unwindings’ (yes, they spell everything in lower case). Experimental prog is about as close as I can come to defining it – definitely that opening of the night DJ’s choice style track!
While we’re on weird and experimental, Mr Bungle have made a habit of being exactly that for many years now and ‘Eracist’ is definitely a chip off the old block! I feel that no further introduction is needed for these talented guys!
Teeange Bottlerocket have been creating likeable punk music for a long while now and their latest ‘Ghost Story’ is another high energy, fun-filled track like we’ve come to expect from the Wyoming punkers!
Power-pop-punk may be a bit of a mouthful but Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets have crafted the perfect such song in ‘Tijuana Jail’, a cautionary tongue in cheek track about the perils of crossing the Mexican border!
Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri may have been involved in music for almost as long as I’ve been alive, but they are still spitting out top quality tracks, as can be heard in the second single from their new project Stöner. As they say themselves, ‘Shit don’t change… ‘Rad Stays Rad”!
I’ll admit Billy Boy In Poison were an entirely new act to me, but with single ‘White Hills’ that is definitely not going to stay the case. Danish death metal adopting an almost blackened sound at times, it is pure power and aggression injected straight through your ear drums!
Mastiff are something else entirely. Part noise, part metallic hardcore, they are unashamedly loud, ferocious and wanting to shred your ear drums apart with their fearsome riffs. Not for the faint of heart, their aural assault seems ‘Endless’!
Sleep Token are rightfully building quite a name for themselves, combining melody, hard hitting riffs with progressive pattern shifts. ‘Alkaline’ doesn’t just pass the acid test for inclusion, it reinvents how it should be measured!
Continuing the melodic approach, Beachheads (who feature two members of the mighty Kvelertak) are crafting some rather ear-catchingly perfect power pop in new single ‘Jupiter’. Highly likeable and listenable, it’s a lovely piece of something appealing for your ears!
Another chip off the old Rum Bar Records line of ridiculously good power-pop sees us taken in the aural delights of Geoff Palmer, who has created another piece of a melodic soundtrack to a lazy sunday afternoon!
Going back a bit heavier now and Tommy Concrete is experimental in the purest sense of the term. ‘The Blind Man Shines Light On The Truth’ may be a bit of a mouthful, but he has plenty of good stories to tell with his lyrics, while a Devin Townsend meets NWoBHM style solo barely begins to describe the musical approach of this track. An artist with definite ability in songwriting.
At The Gates should be an act who need no introduction. The death metal veterans are back with ‘The Fall Into Time’, another slice of gutteral riffage that showcases quite how they’ve managed to be ahead of the curve for so long.
Some pretty fine metallic hardcore next as Immunity prove they are not some ‘Trainwreck’ in their latest track. Mixing melodic and agression in fairly equally parts vocally into pounding drums and riffs, there is plenty to admire in this song!
Bristolian nu-metalcore act NO:IR prove they are not ‘Spineless’ in a track that seems to owe much to Korn, dragged through a more modern metalcore approach in a strangely appealing manner.
The Chuck Norris Experiment may find themselves at ‘The End Of The Great Credibility Race’, but this punk n roll track is an in your face song that you won’t be able to help wanting to shout along to by the end of the first chorus!
You may know Sami Yaffa from his work with the New York Dolls, Michael Monroe or Hanoi Rocks, but this debut single from his first solo album shows that this most definitely should not be ‘The Last Time’ we hear of this talented hard rocker!
Manchester’s Witch Fever have a sound that seems inspired by the early, punk-infused tracks of Nirvana, such as ‘Negative Creep’ dragged backwards through some horror to create something quite different sounding and forboding in ‘Reincarnate’.
Blood Red Shoes have graced these pages on more than one occasion before and ‘Misery Loves Company’ is just another excuse to admire their heavy alt-rock approach that is infused with equal parts melody, ability and catchiness in a manner that will leave you wanting to have this song on repeat for hours!
Some post-punk now as Ropes Of Night see ‘Another Closing Door’ in this track that would fit well alongside The Mission’s prime years catalogue. For a debut single, it shows great promise of what could come in a well written, hook fueled introduction to some clearly talented musicians.
You may have heard of Andrew Hung before, or at least his slightly bizarre band Fuck Buttons – well, this is a melodic slice of weirdness that bizarrely feels uplifting despite its message of ‘Goodbye’ – I certainly hope that’s not the case, as will you after hearing it!
Our penultimate track sees us take in the delights of Crobot again, with their cheery message of ‘Everyone Dies’. The highly talented heavy blues rockers have created a doozy of a ballad alongside Stix Zadinia of Steel Panther that will leave you feeling as high as the heavens on their tongue in cheek video!
Our final choice was a shoe in ever since I heard the album. Nad Sylvan released ‘Spiritus Mundi‘ earlier this year and ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ was one of my picks from the release. Stunning soundscapes, melody galore and just utter songwriting and musical ability combine to create a work of true beauty. The perfect way to close out a bumper edition of the Singles Club.
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 action once again 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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