Curated by Monk
It’s hard to believe it’s been a fortnight 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 bumper pick of the crop – actually, it’s one of our biggest clubs in a long time, with just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 250+ submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so, and once again hopefully containing something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious artform we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…
Our opening delicacy is a Heavy Salad, who serve up a groovilicious slice of fuzzed-out psyched-up power pop which turns the whole notion of “garage rock” on its head by turning it into “garden rock” (an analogy which will become obvious when you watch the video) and expressing ‘The Wish’ that there are better times ahead with the lead preview from their forthcoming debut album, the Christophe Bride and Ross Orton-produced ‘Cult Casual’:
Next up, a cool slice of upbeat stoner rock that could hail from the beaches of California but in fact emanates from the darkest heart of Yorkshire, from where Psychlona return to the club to take us to the ‘Edge Of The Universe’ with their latest spacerock anthem, the third single to whet our appetites, in the most delicious way possible, for their forthcoming album, ‘Venus Skytrip’, which is due to land (sic) via Ripple Music on 21 August:
A total change in mood next, as we once again check ourselves into the asylum and make our way to Ward XVI, where we find young Psychoberrie coming of age and, in her own words, “comes to a realization… After being dealt a poor hand during childhood her innocence undergoes a malevolent transformation from a devout Christian to renouncing her faith, as God failed her in her desperate times of need, [she] now turns to Lucifer, burying her former innocent self she emerges powerful, determined and fueled by hatred, vowing to take on the work of the Devil himself…” The result is the first chapter the next instalment of the tales from the lunatic fringe, as revealed in full on the Preston combo’s new album, ‘Metamorphosis’, which is being released on an unsuspecting world on 25 September:
Some more musical madness next, as we check into the company of ‘The Crazy Loco Loquito’, taken from the forthcoming album ‘The Greatest Flamenco Sleaze Glam Band Ever’ – the title of which should tell you everything you need to know about Lee Mark Jones and his band of Gypsy Pistoleros:
Next up, we return to Über Rock’s birthing ground of south Wales, where we enjoy some ‘White Noise’ courtesy of classic rock power trio Häxan and the adrenaline-fuelled latest single to be extracted from their just released debut album ‘Nine Lives’ (look out for our verdict on that tomorrow), which is guaranteed to get your head banging and your toes tapping nearly as quickly as you can down those beers in the limited time available to us:
Jamie Lenman is no stranger to these pages, which makes us wonder why he declares that he doesn’t want to be our friend… oh, wait, it’s his new single, lifted from his new mini-album, ‘King Of Clubs’, which is being released in September. The accompanying video features a myriad of guest appearances from the likes of Frank Turner as well as the members of Black Peaks, Arcane Roots, Haggard Cat, Wargasm, Orchards and Ithaca:
The mysterious Draagyn continues to bend genre boundaries with her mellifluous new single, ‘A Night Between Two Days’, which sees her melding a shapeshifting collision of prog-rock, black metal, doom and ethereal wave in a manner which is as hypnotic as it is challenging. This latest offering sees the avant-garde, multi-instrumentalist collaborating with drummer Jon Rice (Uncle Acid, Job For A Cowboy, Umbra Vitae) and bassist Corey McCormick (Promise of the Real):
Sticking with the prog and slightly avant-garde theme, keyboard wizard Derek Sherinian releases his latest solo album in September. The first taster to come our way is the majestic ‘Empyrean Sky, which also features legendary drummer Simon Phillips and Sons Of Apollo bandmate Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, while the accompanying album includes guest appearances from the likes of Steve Vai, Tony Franklin and some bloke called Joe Bonamassa:
Another legend has just sauntered up to the bar, in the shape of blues guitarist Walter Trout, who tells us that he is ‘All Out Of Tears’. The song is a collaboration with singer Teeny Tucker, brought about by the death of her son, and the result is a suitably haunting and emotional piece of music about loss, grief and the feelings evoked by the loss of a loved one:
Another change in both mood and location, as we travel to South Africa for a slice of dynamic sludge ‘n’ roll from a new band to the ÜR pages, Ruff Majik, who are asking ‘Who Keeps Score’ on the Kyuss-meets-Tarantino lead single from their third album, ‘The Devil’s Cattle’ – from which we’ll hopefully hear more before its scheduled release at the end of October…
Another new name to ÜR is that of Leeds power trio Magick Mountain, who introduce us to their retro-fuelled, fuzzed-out brand of psychotic proto-punk by raising the spirit of the ‘King Cobra’, an absolutely mouth-watering for their debut album, ‘Weird Feelings’, which they’ve been beavering away on during lockdown with a view to an October release:
More stoner-infused grooves up next, as we travel back across the Atlantic to Montreal, where The Naked High are determined to prove that they are the ‘Jewel Of The Crowd’ with a single originally released in their homeland last month but now being given a push internationally. The track is taken from their latest EP, ‘Tap Into The Evil’, which was released this past May.
Another complete change in musical hue now as we delve deep into the folk tales of Finland, and the portrayal of the Devil therein, as folk-influenced black metallers Hiidenhauta, who present us with the story of ‘Riidenlieko’ on the first single to be lifted from their forthcoming concept album, ‘Riivin’:
Another change in mood, and a highly impressive slice of groove metal that will most definitely appeal to fans of Lamb Of God, Pantera and MachineHead. Hailing from the febrile breeding ground of North Carolina, WoR lay it down with intent on ‘Predator’, stalking the deepest reaches of your aural cortexes with the declarative lead single from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Prisoners’: on the evidence of this, they won’t be taking any when it impacts on 7 August.
Next up, we have one of the greatest, and most innovative, metal acts to have emerged from Scandinavia, In Flames, who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their groundbreaking ‘Clayman’ album. The forthcoming expanded re-issue (extremely imaginatively titled ‘Clayman 2020’) features a number of rerecorded fan favourites, one of which sees them drawing us a ‘Pinball Map’:
We keep things heavy, and there is definitely no danger of us going to ‘Sleep’ while Dubliners Jet Fuel Chemistry are kicking up their particular brand of alt-metal noise. This is the second single from their forthcoming debut EP ‘Sign Of The Times’, and definitely lays down a marker for great things ahead for this highly promising young combo:
Another change of mood, and we disappear once again down the prog rabbit hole, in a way, with Bristolian electronic art rock combo Poisonous Birds, who have just released the title track of their forthcoming new EP, ‘We Can Never Not Be All Of Us’, which is due for release on 14 August:
Another band returning to the club for the second time in a month are Pennsylvanian nu-core champions elect Tallah, who have turned on the ‘Red Light’ with the furiously insane third single from their debut album, ‘Matriphagy’, which comes out at the beginning of October. The song, and the accompanying video, continue the development of the album’s conceptual storyline, while at the same time plotting the upward trajectory of expectation towards the eventual emergence of the full product:
We keep things decidedly hardcore, especially in attitude, as Body Count subject us to ‘Thee Critical Beatdown’ on the latest single to be lifted from their ÜR-approved latest album, ‘Carnivore’. Need we say more? No, I didn’t think so…
We stay in the city of angels, but take a distinct left turn into the territory of the Death Valley Girls who make a return to the club with their dystopian punk/occult glam rock. They take us a trip around ‘The Universe’ as they continue to spread their self-styled “space gospel” in advance of the release of their new album, on which they hope to place us ‘Under The Spell Of Joy’ when it comes out in October
Taking a diversion down the left-hand path for a few minutes, one of the undoubted pioneers of, and most innovative voices in, the progressive black metal genre undoubtedly is Ihsahn, who once again has demonstrated his iconoclastic individuality with his pair of new EPs, the already-released ‘Telemark’ and the imminent counterpointing companion piece ‘Pharos’, from which he introduces us to the ‘Spectre At The Feast’ on this haunting and majestic lead single:
We’re heading towards last orders now, so get the pints in while you can still take ‘Another Breath’ – which also happens to be the title of the latest single from ÜK death metal titans Ingested, which has the added bonus of a guest appearance from Crowbar frontman Kirk Windstein. It’s the fourth single from what is promising to be their absolutely huge new album, ‘Where Only Gods May Tread’, which is released on 14 August.
We end this week’s edition of the club with another bunch of visitors from across the pond, in the form of punk-up Canadian hard rockers King Bull and the lead single from their forthcoming debut album – and we can think of no better way to sign off than with this wonderfully in(s)ane slice of snarly power pop:
Well, that’s your lot for this 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 this Sunday afternoon sunshine. We hope you agree that it’s been another eclectic collection, and that you found something to tickle your earbuds and drive you to explore some new musical horizons. Until next time, when the big lad by the name of DJ Astrocreep will be back behind the death decks, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StaySafe!
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