Curated by DJ Astrocreep

The Uber Rock Approved stampWell, it looks like the rays of light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the past 14 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!  In that spirit, today we once again open the Club doors for the first of three back-to-back editions over the next three weekends… OK, in many parts of the Überverse we’re only allowed to drink outdoors for the moment, but at least the sun is shining, so we’ve once again hauled both the bar and the speaker system into the car park – just in time for the arrival of our first guests…

And we start with some industrial metal in the shape of Eggvn, with the Mexican darkwave duo preaching the gospel of the ‘N.B.O.’, or the new black order in this electronic overlaid heavy riffing machine of a track!

Brainstorm are looking to ‘Escape The Silence’ in their latest track, with a sound that takes on the mantle of some of Britain’s best NWoBHM acts such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, adding in something of their own to create a really top-notch song that rocks with the force of a ten-ton hammer!

Some heavy fuzz and vocal melodies now from Bala in their hard-rocking stoner song ‘Rituais’. Featuring what is clearly a myriad of influences from hard rock to riot grrl to pop-style vocal melodies, it’s a well-worked mash of musical goodness.

Blackberry Smoke have pushed their way into our Singles Club before and do so once again here with bluesy track ‘All Rise Again’. Plenty of grit, a strong hint of southern rock and plenty of ability combine to a top-notch track.

Let’s speed it back up now, with skate punk from San Diego’s own Wanted Noise, as they look forward to ‘More Sunrises’. A feel-good track designed to make you thinking of the summer months ahead in an earworm number!

Speaking of more skater orientated stuff, The Offspring are back, telling us that ‘We Never Have Sex Anymore’ with a track that even adds a bit of brass to the backing of a ridiculously catchy single.

Let’s step a touch heavier now, with some melodic black metal from Burning Darkness, who tell us of the ‘Chiropteran Demon’ who take an old school, evil-sounding approach into a rather earworming track.

Keeping it heavy, pagan metal legends Thyrfing present the tale of ‘Jordfard’ for our delectation, showing their broody side with this masterpiece. It may have been eight years since their last record but this is a strong showing of why honing to this level takes time.

Storm the Empire are starting to carve a name for themselves and this ‘Leap Of Faith’ is quite an easy one to take when they combine the best in modern metal and melody so well!

Psych proggers The Vintage Caravan are maturing like a fine wine, as they show their ‘Sharp Teeth’ in this latest absorbing track. Combining melody and rocking riffs wrapped in a classic prog-rock approach, this is another track of real class!

Islands are rather a gorgeous sounding act, with their latest single ‘Carpenter’ demonstrating a sound that almost blends The Cure into New Order in rather luxurious fashion to create a subtly ear pleasing track.

One man melodic punk act Steel Bridges tells us ‘I Remember My Beating Heart’ on this uptempo, very appreciable number, demonstrating a good level of songwriting in creating this very catchy song!

No Breakfast Goodbye are telling us ‘No Dice’ with their latest punk rock effort, as their up-tempo breakup anthem conveys a better approach to something ending than some of its more insipid counterparts.

Boston garage rock ‘n’ roll veterans Watts are acting a bit ‘Shady’ on their latest single, with a chilled-out approach to garage rock n roll. Bluesy vocals merge with a capable band to make a song you can’t help but find yourself nodding along to!

Twisted Illusion are definitely creating just that appearance in ‘Imitate Me: Part 1’ with a rather melodic take on prog-infused hard rock. The track bodes well for their collective future in a very strong showing and would serve as an excellent introduction to their work!

We move on to the occult sounding Merlin, with a snippet – albeit a five minute one – of their headbanging inducing ‘Merlin’s Bizarre Adventure’. Ozzy-like wailing vocals mesh with fear-inducing riffs to create a doom-laden track of true class.

Our penultimate track brings Source to our attention, showing none of ‘The Insipidness’ but instead merging an almost Tool-like approach into proggy hooks and mesmerising vocals that merge in and out of layers.

Well, that’s last orders called, so let’s go for something a bit more laid back to send us on our way and enjoy the phenomenal talents of The Picturebooks and a guest appearance from Lzzy Hale (who seems to have been collaborating with just about everyone in the rock ‘n roll Überverse over the past year) in huge anthem ‘Rebel’ which blends some heavy blues rock into some phenomenal – even by her own high standards – vocals from Lzzy.

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… but we’ll have to do so in double quick time, as I’ll be back this time next week with a special edition of the Club… As regular readers will know, each of these special editions has a theme: so, what is this week’s? Sorry, you’ll have to set your alarm for next Sunday lunchtime and come back in an hour or so to find out… Until then, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe!

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