Curated by Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampWell, it looks like the rays of light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the past 13 months of isolation and generally being shit upon from great heights may be growing brighter day by day, with the vaccination programme being rolled out with increasing pace, trial live events taking place and the various roadmaps seeming 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 year, 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 – with a few special events thrown in for good measure!  Now that we’re allowed to drink indoors for the first time in feckin’ ages, we’ve refurbed the sound system and made sure the volume controls on the mixing desk go all the way to 100 – just in time for the arrival of our first guest…

And he comes in the form of one of the most distinctive voices in modern rock ‘n’ roll; a man who has never been afraid to say what he means, and means what he says… Yes, Dee Snider is once again eloquently enunciating the feeling that so many of us have now that life seems to be getting back to some form of normality, as he declares ‘I Gotta Rock (Again)’:

Our next guests have just sauntered, ever so casually, up to the bar, and they can only be described as a mayhem-inducing supergroup from the darkest recesses of hell… Going by the collective name of the the LA Rats, please welcome Motley Crüd (sic) bassist Nikki Sixx, the master of disaster Rob Zombie and his erstwhile six-string sidekick John 5 and drummer Tommy Clufetos, who are proving that they have, indeed, been everywhere (man) with this eccentric take on the old Johnny Cash track, which itself is an appetizer for the forthcoming Liam Neeson vehicle ‘The Ice Road’, which is being premiered on Netflix at the end of next month:

Another new project made up of names who should be familiar to regular ÜR readers is Monarch! Ryan Williams, formerly of Red Sun Rising, has teamed up with James Lascu and Matt Puhy of sweary metallers Wilson and vocalist Sebastian Duke to enter ‘The Fray’ with this declarative first single, which would have been included in last week’s special ‘Debutante’s Ball’ feature if the links had been made public in time… but, it’s definitely worth the wait as the result is a very impressive slice of retro-fuelled alt-rock which bodes well for whatever else comes along in the (hopefully) near future:

We’re taking the first in a series of road trips, as we visit ‘Bedsitland’, where we find punk legends The Members, who have re-united three of the members of their classic 1978 line-up in …for the release of their seventh album. As a taster, frontman JC Carroll is recalling some advice that Joe Strummer gave him… whether or not he listened to it is another matter, but the result is an enigmatic and interesting take on the doowop-meets-Spector sound:

More punk rock action, this time from Asbury Park’s Lost In Society, who are determined to ‘Say Anything’ they damn well want to… and, you know what? We’re gonna give them the forum to do just that – and we promise we definitely haven’t stayed jaded (sic):

You know, now and again you just need a good, solid dose of heavy rockin’ action, and that’s exactly what Sons On Fire deliver as they prove that they’re each ‘Just A Man’ with their NOLA-meets-desert/stoner inflected new single, which also features some neat twists on the suvern rock mien and impresses with its simple effectiveness, combined with a powerful lyrical message:

More hard rockin’ action next, and Swiss riff masters King Zebra have teamed up with Thundermother’s Guernica Mancini to surmount the ‘Wall Of Confusion’ that seems to be encircling the Überverse at the moment. The result is a decent, old-school balls-to-the-wall Euro-metal smile-raiser with enough oomph to get those horns raised in defiance and heads nodding in appreciation:

Time to stretch those neck muscles now, as German thrashers Godslave take us into the ‘Straight Fire Zone’ with this uncompromising and highly impressive slice of metallic mayhem, straight out of the old school of hitting you straight in the stomach and leaving you a threshing mess on the floor:

We pause for a moment of remembrance, as it is hard to believe that last weekend marked five years since the atrocity of the Manchester Arena bombing. Lizzie Parry, frontwoman of rising northern progressive/groove metallers Sertraline, was at the gig, and channelled her memories, and her message of hope for the future, into the emotional and impactful ‘2205’, which was originally included on last year’s ‘Clouded Mines & Silver Lines’ EP but now has been given a stand-alone release to mark that traumatic anniversary:

We’re taking it to the streets next, and specifically those of the city of angels, where we find the Slamdinistas begging us to cut ‘em some slack… as if we would! But there is nothing slack about this damn fine slice of good old-fashioned, slide-blues driven raucousness, which definitely shows no sign of holding back in its quest to bury itself in the deepest recesses of your aural cortexes for the foreseeable future:

Time to take a trip to LA’s garageland, where The Lords Of Altamont rule supreme, as they prove with their latest slice of psyched-out punk ‘n’ roll, in the form of the second single to be lifted from their forthcoming seventh studio album, being released by the ever excellent Heavy Psych Sounds imprint in around six weeks’ time:

Now, if your rock ‘n’ roll records are in ‘Mint Condition’, then you’re obviously not playing them enough… which certainly can’t be said about everything that Boston’s Muck And The Mires send our way, as we’ve burned out multiple copies of their fantastic ‘Greetings From Muckingham Palace’ elpee, which was one of the standout releases of last year, as exemplified by this latest crowd-pleaser:

We’re hanging about in the New England locale for a little while longer, as we can’t resist the invitation from Kris Rodgers And The Dirty Gems to prove that we can still fill it with this horned-up slice of J Geils Band style party rock. Rodgers will be a name well-known to diehard UR readers as he has been a recording and touring sideman in The Connection, Scott Sorry, The New Trocaderos, Bullet Proof Lovers and Kurt Baker Band for more years than any of us probably would care to remember, and his pedigree is fully exemplified in this excellent slab of vinyl, available at all good retailers (we hope):

We head south, but stay on the US east coast, as we hit the city of brotherly love, where the Birds Of Maya are flying free with their take on the retro/psych/proto-metal sound, and we don’t need a second invitation to ‘Come On In’ and get immersed in the vibes of this positively epic tune (well, it does clock in at slightly more than seven minutes, which makes it one of the longest singles featured on the Club for quite some time – and gives me time to go for a quick wizz to boot!):

Next up, The Owen Guns are asking us an extremely important question: ‘Is This Punk?’… Of course it fucking, as the Aussie combo clearly demonstrate on this latest short sharp shock of a slice of electric boogaloo (sic) which will have you singing along to its in(s)anely infectious chorus before you even realize you’re doing so:

We stay down under, where we come across Eden James, who, despite being about to release his fourth album, has been something ‘Stranger’ to us until this pleasing little slice of bar-room boogie slammed its way into our inbox at the beginning of week. Yer man has been picking up all sorts of awards all over the Überverse, and it’s not hard to see why on the strength of this new single, which reminds me of a mellower Jimmy Barnes:

We’re back in dear old blighty for a spot of archaeology, as north-west post-punk noiseniks The Liars Club are leading the latest excavation of the tomb of ‘Tutankhamun’ with this intense, no-holds-barred sideways look at the widespread tyranny that exists within human power structures:

Another change in mood now, as Greek rap metallers Boom Dox bring Halloween to the club some five months early with their tale of the ‘Zombie’ that has been stalking their lives. Appropriately enough, the band have already won the approval of Body Count’s Vincent Price, who guests on their forthcoming album, ‘Dead Nation’, which impacts on 11 June:

Some NWoCR vibes up next, thanks to ÜR faves Florence Black, who are proving that their imminent debut album is definitely shaping up to be a banger of the highest order, as they ask ‘Can You Feel It?’ with this, the absolutely stonking lead single… And the answer to their question is most definitely “yes, we can feel it”:

As we race towards last orders, we’re taking a trip down a Wildstreet, and the NYC gothic noir sleaze rockers are blaming it all on their ‘Mother’ on the edited version of the latest single (the seventh!) to be released from their imminent third album. The full version of the song clocks in at seven minutes, but we’re a bit pushed for time, so here is the radio version which has been cut down for purposes such as this:

With the rays of light leading to the return of live shows getting ever brighter, Swedish sex symbols Eclipse are declaring “hallelujah” for Saturday nights as we used to know them, and hopefully will again sooner rather than later, with this ebullient and energetic slice of glunk-infused melodic rock which sees frontman Erik Mårtensson challenging us to tell him that we’re “not up for a good f***ing party right about now?”… hey there, bai… we’re sure a hell up for that, and you’re giving us the perfect soundtrack:

We’re sounding the heavy metal battle cry with our final pair of offerings, the first of which sees the mighty Amon Amarth proving that they are the ‘Masters Of War’ with this reworking of one of the key tracks from their album ‘The Crusher’, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year:

Signing us off for this edition are our favourite power metal boy band. Of course, that has to be Nanowar Of Steel – the only band to have won our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ a record three times! They never fail to put a smile on our faces, and they’re sending us home with a dance in our step with another (in)glorious slice of heavy metal in(s)anity, with their stirring tribute to the ‘Gabonzo Robot’. Personally, I can think of no better way to close out this iteration of the club and bid you all arrivederci:

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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