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 – actually, for the second successive iteration 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 more than 400 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…

We kick things off in high gear with Canadian melodic power metallers Unleash The Archers, who are proving that they are, indeed, ‘Faster Than Light’, the latest killer track to be lifted from their recently released, and ÜR-approved, fifth studio album, ‘Abyss’, which comes complete with a video which is a wonderful parody of Stephen King’s ‘The Long Walk’:

Our second track comes from the ironically-named Dangerous Hippies – ironic in that they’re neither dangerous (well, apart from possibly in the earworm department) nor hippies, but two seasoned rock ‘n’ rollers in the form of Cody Hanson and Marshal Dutton, whose names regular readers might recognize from their time in stadium-filling wannabes Hinder. The duo have spent lockdown beavering away on a raft of new songs, the latest of which is the appropriately titled ‘Contagious Dangerous’, which is a definite radio-friendly smash in the making:

Another ironically named band are up next, in the form of ÜK punks Healthy Junkies, who are telling us the tale of their ‘Last Day In L.A.’ with the first taster of their forthcoming new album, the equally ironically titled ‘Forever On The Road’ (well, not in 2020 they weren’t!), which is due to drop towards the end of this month – and a very tasty appetizer it is too:

Some more ÜK punk for you now, thanks to London indie upstarts Honey Joy, who have just this past week released their second album ‘II’ (I bet they spent ages in brainstorming that title), which our very own Rich Hobson described as “like being blasted by a ray of sunshine while on a sugar-rush”. And, yes, it’s upbeat, lighter than a feather and just the antidote we need for these otherwise depressing times:

We stay in the nation’s capital (to coin a phrase), but switch the vibe to a more new romantic-meets-indie shoegaze one, thanks to Viscula, who took time out to submit their second single, ‘Alien Milk’, for our consideration and approval – and, after due consideration, we are happy to give this very worthy offering our coveted seal of approval and add it to today’s playlist for your delectation:

Well now, boys and girls, it’s most definitely happened again, as those recalcitrant hombres from the deep south – that’s the deep South Coast, y’all understand – The Outlaw Orchestra have once again burst onto our ‘umble pages with the latest single from their ÜR-approved debut album, the fun-filled and immensely entertaining ‘Pantomime Villains’: if you haven’t heard it yet, we recommend that you correct that there oversight and wrap yer ears around it with immediate effect… In the meantime, here’s another of the all-killer-no-filled toons to whet yet baccy-chewin’ appetite:

Seeing as we’re in the neighbourhood, we might as well hop on a ferry and pop over the Channel to The Netherlands to meet up with progressive heavy psyche power trio Bismut, who introduce us their dark, non-linear interpretation of time and space with ‘Oscuramento’, the lead track on their forthcoming ‘Retrocausality’ album. The album was recorded in a single take, and the accompanying video for this lead single combines a recent live stream rendition of the song with a visual adaptation of the record’s artwork:

We’re stopping off in Über’s hometown of Belfast for our next selection, which comes from an artist who is a favourite of both myself and the Dark Queen, the wonderful Amy Montgomery, a singer who possesses a voice that at once reminds of Janis Joplin but at the same time echoes her own fragile individuality. And this is no more clearly demonstrated than on the deeply personal ‘Intangible’, the Bjork/Morrissette-tinged title track from her pending debut EP, due for release in November. The song is a tribute to Amy’s mother, who unfortunately committed suicide after a lifelong battle with depression; the result is beautiful and eloquent:

A total change of mood, style and vibe now (well, what else would you expect?) as we travel back across the Atlantic to meet up with post-punk duo Josh Scogin and Nikko Yamada, aka ’68, a pairing who prove that two people can make as much noise as five or six with their sound that comes across like a Delta Blues reimagining of ‘Bleach’-era Nirvana or the disgraced punkish cousin of The Black Keys, as they deliver us some ‘Bad Bad Lambo’ on the lead single form their forthcoming new EP, ‘Love Is Ain’t Dead’:

We stay in the state of Tennessee where we pop in to share a beer and a chaser, or three, with Nashville scene veteransJohn Merchant and Todd Long, as they introduce us to their new project, Ghosts Of Sunset. As the band’s name suggests, the project sees the band, who are joined on this single by former Enuff Z’Nuff guitar slinger Johnny Monaco, harkening back to the big hair days of the Strip, and delivering a cautionary, and reflective, tale of the dangers which many bands emerging from that time trap faced when they signed those coveted big record deals:

The city of angels actually provides our next port of call, as darkwave post-punk trio Ashrr emerge from Covid-enforced hibernation with a declarative new single, in the form the organic and elemental ‘Waves’, the first result of locked down recording sessions which will produce a new EP and follow-up album in due course:

We remain in Los Angeles, as grunge revivalists Broken Machine are keen to introduce us to their good friend ‘Sweet Mary Jane’ on the second single from their debut EP, ‘Fly Me To The Sun’, which was released earlier this year:

We head down the I10 now, to breathe in the warm Texas air provided by War Lung, who are stinging our aural cortexes with ‘The Scorpion In The Sand’, the riff-filled second single from their forthcoming new album, the utterly brilliant ‘Optical Delusions’, which is due for release in around a months’ time via our ever-reliable friends at Heavy Psych Sounds. And, believe me, both the single and the album are as blazing hot as the terrain against which this accompanying video was filmed: you’ll definitely be needing a cold one after this little tamale:

We head north now, to the Windy City, from we were contacted by songwriter Eleanor Rose Lee, better known by her alter ego of Fever Queen, who wanted to tell us that she always puts ‘Love Last’, with the latest, laconically psychedelic, single from her introspective debut album, the appropriately titled ‘The World Of Fever Queen’, which comes out this coming week:

Back across to the Über Kingdom, and Steel City where we find a ‘Working Machine’, which just happens to be the title of the new single from gritty blue-collar rockers Perfectparachutepicture, or PPP, who draw heavily from the well of the likes of Biffy Clyro, QotSA and Turbowolf, as well as near neighbours Pulled Apart By Horses, and to tremendous effect:

A bit of classic rockabilly next, and no better proponents of the art than those there Stray Cats, who have been rockin’ towns and cites the length and breadth of the Überverse for more than four decades now, as they continue to prove, not least on this, the (almost) title track of their forthcoming live album, recorded on last year’s 40th anniversary tour and being released this coming Friday via Surfdog Records – and being reviewed by our good selves this coming week…

Another band making their deserved return to the Singles Club playlist are folk-tinged psychedelic soulsters Heavy Salad, who tell us that ‘It’s OK To Bleed’, the closing track from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Cult Casual’, which is being released later this month via Dipped In Gold Recordings. This gospel-tinged offering features a powerful performance from the band’s trio of backing singers, The Priestesses:

Australia has been becoming of a hotbed for quality glunk and sleaze bands of late, and the newest addition to the country’s growing list of hot-to-trot rock ‘n’ roll reprobates Laced In Lust, who provide a salacious taster of their forthcoming debut album, ‘First Bite’ (another clever title that!) with their first ever single, ‘Save Me (L.I.L. Woman)’, which is naughtier than a schoolgirl sneaking into the toilets of the neighbouring all-boys grammar:

As we head into the final third of this instalment’s playlist, we stay in the land down under, as alt-rock power trio Accidental President unleash their inner ‘Warrior Soul’, while at the same time paying tribute to that of Australia’s Aboriginal peoples and their virtual annihilation at the hands of so-called settlers. The hard-hitting and still socially relevant track is taken from the band’s recently released self-titled debut album.

A slice of epic, traditional power metal now, courtesy of Ayreon, who are about to release their latest concept album, ‘Transitus’. The third single, ‘This Human Equation’ further develops the album’s gothic ghost story, and also introduces us to one of it’s central characters, the Angel Of Death, as portrayed, to great effect, by Epica’s Simone Simons… and if the voice behind the opening narration sounds familiar, it should (but we’ll not spoil the moment with vague references to time travelling, Daleks and Cybermen…):

A bit of gold old-fashioned traditional heavy metal for our next pick, which comes from Portuguese revivalists Attick Demons, who are challenging you to ‘Make Your Choice’ with the latest preview of their forthcoming album, ‘Daytime Stories… Nightmare Tales’. The album is glorious slice of old school metal mayhem, which is brilliantly exemplified in this simple, no-nonsense Maiden-meets-Overkill track which captures the spirit of everything the band is about:

More traditional heavy metal, this time with a strong Sabbath overtone, as we enjoy the experience of ‘Astral Levitation’, the latest single served up by way of a taster for ‘Enlightened In Eternity’, the latest opus from US doom/stoner/groove heavyweights Spirit Adrift, due for release next month:

Our barman Kevin is starting to gets ants in his pants and wants to get home to his Backstreets Boys video collection, but before he reaches for the bell marked “last orders” we’ve time to squeeze in a couple of more quality new releases, the first of which comes from Jaded Star, the new melodic metal project from former Visions Of Atlantis singer Maxi Nil and former Iced Earth drummer Raphael Saini, who are making no secret of the fact that they are ‘Female Fronted’ with their new single, released to celebrate their signing to the fast emerging Noble Demon label. And, if you’re going to make a declaration of intent, this is definitely, and defiantly, how to do it:

The tolling of the bell is getting closer, so time for our penultimate choice, which sees us venturing into the bedrooms of our emo kids, courtesy of Crooked Teeth, who are looking back on a life that is, quite possibly, ‘Gone Forever’. The song is the autobiographical sequel to the band’s massive underground smash of last year, ‘Beg’, which sees frontman Tyson Evans reflecting on the imposed solitude brought about by a global pandemic and how it has changed so many of our attitudes to what we took for granted beforehand:

We’re letting you down easy, quite literally, for our final track, which comes from another band who are no strangers to ÜR’s pages, Candlebox, who came out of the blue last weekend with their first new material in more than four years, with this lead single from their planned new album, which is due for release, all things being equal, early next year. ‘Let Me Down Easy’ is a collaboration between Candlebox vocalist Kevin Martin and Peter Cornell, brother of the late Chris Cornell, and is a beautiful way to round out this week’s selection and send you on your way home:

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 the big lad by the name of Astrocreep will be back behind the death decks, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and #StayTheFuckSafe!

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