Curated by Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampIt’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, with just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 300+ 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…

The big lad by the name of Astrocreep was supposed to be in charge of the death decks this time around, but he’s gone AWOL somewhere in the cyberspace of online gaming, so I’ve stepped back into the DJ booth – and I start off by welcoming back some old friends here at ÜRHQ… Yes, you can’t keep a good band down and, despite waving “tarra” (with a liberal side order of “fuck you”) back in 2017, Sheffield’s finest sons Black Spiders found an itch they can’t scratch and have returned to the rock ‘n’ roll arena in typical banner-waving fashion with their first new music in six years… and the even better news is that this is no flash-in-the-pan, as the band are fully rejuvenated and have a new album (and hopefully live dates) in the pipeline for next year. Welcome back boys!

One of the beauties of being a virtual club is that we can defy lockdowns and travel the globe at will, so next we’re heading to the land down under for the first in a trio of releases from our good friends at the Australian Golden Robot stable. The first takes us to that burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll hotbed by the name of Melbourne (just what the fuck are they putting in the beer there?), from where rising 90s-influenced alt newbies Cicadastone are taking us ‘Out Of Sight’ with the third single from their forthcoming second album, the release of which has been put back to next year as a result of the beer bug pandemic, but makes its arrival all the more anticipated, especially if this powerful track is anything by which to judge:

We travel a bit further along the Australian south coast now, to meet up with those reprobate Radio Rejects, who are telling us that they are ‘Monsters’ with their latest slice of honest-to-goodness, old-school, four-to-the-floor skate punk, who deliver on every level by combining a serious underlying message in a fun format:

More punk rock for you all now, once again from the Golden Robot stable and their Riot Records subdivision, where we find one-man rock ‘n’ roll machine Kilfeather exploding out of his garage and all over our faces with his latest barrel-busting offering, on which he takes us ‘Beneath The Silence’, which is guaranteed to have you dancing around the living room in your dirtiest pair of Y-fronts!

We stay in Australia, and tootle back to Melbourne, to hook up with hard-drinkin’ blues/funk rockers The Dead Amigos, who are telling us that they are ‘1 in 5’ (is that how many shots they have compared to beers?) with this unapologetic slice of good old-fashioned pub rock rabble-rousing:

We traverse back across the globe again, as we head north of the Über Kingdom border to north Ayrshire to hook up with another of those bands that prove two most definitely is company, Vukovi, who are celebrating the imminent release of their 2017 self-titled debut album on vinyl for the first time with a brand new single, ‘Slo’, which sees vocalist Janine Shilstone comparing the OCD to “an abusive relationship” on a poptastic little gem co-written with Spice Girls songwriters Andy Watson and Paul Wilson:

We continue travelling north, with our next stop being the granite city of Aberdeen, where The Ruptured Ducklings waste no time delivering ‘All She Wants’ with this slice of glorious, Wildhearts-esque power pop that’s catchier than a dose of the beer bug in the local student’s union:

Over the North Channel now to ÜR’s adopted homeland, and the self-described “protest punk” of Catalan!, the latest project from the insanely talented Ewen Friers. The band will need no introduction to regular ÜR readers, as we recently gave their debut album, ‘Veritas’, our seal of approval, and they’ve emphasized that point with another excellent slice of post-rock fizzy fuzziness, which is, quite frankly, ‘Ungoogleable’. Incidentally, the accompanying video was filmed at our favourite venue, Belfast’s Voodoo:

Across the Irish border to the fair city of Dublin next, where Dirty Power are seeking to defy the odds of not being able to do what they do best in the live arena by smashing their way out of lockdown with a defiant snarl and bunch of grunge-infested riffs, as exemplified on their second single, ‘Back To One’:

We travel back across the Irish Sea to ÜR’s birthplace, Wales, to meet up with another highly talented individual, this time in the form of Catherine Anne Davies, better known as The Anchoress, who is challenging us to ‘Show Your Face’, with this Depeche Mode-flavoured retort to toxic masculinity. Taken from her forthcoming second album, ‘The Art Of Losing’, she proves she’s once again onto a winning formula with this wonderful single, which features Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield doing what he does best, and that’s slinging his guitar low and dirty:

Talking of guitarists, as we sort of were, we have two contrasting styles for our next pair of offerings. The first comes from Jim Kirkpatrick, perhaps best known to regular readers for his role in AORsters FM. But, he’s also a highly regarded master of the blues, as he most recently proved on his latest solo album, the excellent ‘Ballad Of A Prodigal Son’, which we’re happy to help him (and wee Claire) give another boost by playlisting one of its highlight tracks:

A touch of proggy fretboard wankery next from a man who could undoubtedly teach Hevy Devy a thing or three about the art of widdly-diddlyness. We’re talking of course about the absurdly talented Plini, who is just about to release his second solo album at the end of this month, and has given a taste of what to expect with ‘Papelillo’… no, don’t ask what it means, or what’s going on either, but just immerse yourself in the experience:

Next, a track that actually slipped through the net for the last edition of the club, but just by the skin of its teeth, and so we thought, in ‘Retrospect’ it was worth revisiting and giving a belated spin. It comes from Stoke alt-rockers Psyence, who are laying down another clear marker with this, their impactful second single:

Next up, we’re across the pond for our first visit to the USofA, to meet up with a crüe with more pedigree than a certain brand of pet food… which is quite an appropriate analogy, as original proto-punks The Dogs trace their roots back to the late Sixties, but are proving, once again, that you can’t keep a good animal down as they explode back into life by declaring ‘Welcome To The Revolution’ on this defiant new Michael Des Barres/Martin Luther King-inspired offering:

More snotty-nosed punk now, as we travel to the US east coast, Baltimore in fact, where the Ravagers take us kicking and screaming with pleasure into the ‘Nasty Night’ with another trip back to the old-school way of doing things…

We’re taking another trip, this time to New York and the ‘Corner Store’, where we find Palberta hanging out and scaring shoppers with distinctive brand of psychedelic post-punk:

Back across the Atlantic, this time to Norway, for more punk rock action, this time from the brilliant Lüt, who clearly have nothing to regret on ‘Ingenting Å Angre På’, which is another quality slice of hardcore-infused action from these fast-rising stars of the Scandi scene:

You can’t beat a touch of NWoCR on a Sunday afternoon, and that’s exactly what we’ve got for you now, thanks to the new-look Sainted Sinners, who recently unveiled their new line-up, featuring Tygers Of Pan Tang singer Iacopo “Jack” Meille front and centre, ahead of the release of their new album, the appropriately titled ‘Unlocked & Reloaded’, from which the equally suited ‘Standing On Top’ serves as a very tasty appetizer:

We keep the classic rock needle in the groove as the wonderfully named Hunted By Elephants plead for us to let them be heard on the lead single from their forthcoming second album, ‘Carry On’, which is being released in mid-January. I’ve been lucky enough to get an advance copy of said opus, and I can guarantee you that it’s jammed to the rafters with quality riffs, and this is a very tasty morsel of what is to come in a couple of months’ time:

We keep it classic but turn the volume up, just a tad, with one of THE stalwarts of the Teutonic metal scene, Accept, who prove that they are ‘Too Mean To Die’ with the just released title track of their new album, which promises to be another banger from one of the most consistent bands ever to have picked up guitars:

We’re rapidly heading towards last orders, but we’ve time to squeeze a few more gems onto this fortnight’s playlist, the first of which is from another classic act, albeit of a totally different musical mien, in the form of Deftones, who have teamed up with Linkin Park mixmaster Mike Shinoda for a reworking of their classic track ‘Passenger’. The duet with Maynard James Keenan of course originally featured on the seminal ‘White Pony’ album, which has now been remixed and reimagined as ‘Black Stallion’, a companion piece to the soon-to-be-released 20th anniversary edition of the landmark opus:

As we head into our final trio of tunes, I can think of a lot worse ways to depart this mortal coil than ‘Death By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ – which just happens to be the title of the new album from one of DQ’s favourite bands, The Pretty Reckless. Following their first visit to the Club at the height of the first ÜK lockdown, and their brief stopover for last month’s Halloween special, Taylor and the boys are recalling what it was like to be ‘25’, with what was actually the first song to be written for the new album, penned just after the singer hit that landmark birthday… oh, to be young again (but, then, we’re all 25 at heart, aren’t we?):

Our penultimate offering now, and following his band Sevendust’s appearance in the last edition of the Singles Club, drummer Morgan Rose is stepping out from behind the kit and into the solo spotlight, with the release of his aptly-titled ‘Controlled Chaos’ EP at the end of this month. Will the lead single provide ‘The Answer’ to our Sunday afternoon blues? I think it most certainly will…

A wee of thrash to sign off with and send you on your way, drink in a suitably sanitized plastic cup and all: it comes from Nottingham ‘bangers Incinery who are making big waves here on the ÜK scene, and deservedly so, thanks to their stonking ‘Hollow Earth Theory’, of which this is the lead track and third single. I can’t think of a more incendiary (sic) way to round out this week’s explosive iteration of the Club:

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 has 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 yours truly once again will be back behind the death decks, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe!

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