Selected by DJ Monk

The Uber Rock Approved stampSo, it appears that summer has finally arrived, and so we’re firing up the barbecue in the Singles Club beer garden. But, of course, we need a suitable soundtrack and so we’ve also loaded the ÜRHQ jukebox with a baker’s dozen of the finest tunes to have winged our way over the past couple of weeks… So, stick that dime in slot, grab a cold one and a burger, sit back and enjoy the sunshine-soaked rock ‘n’ roll vibes…

First off, we going ‘Down By The River’ with ÜR faves The New Roses and the first single from their forthcoming new album, ‘Nothing But Wild’, which is due to drop on 2 August via Napalm Records. It’s been a busy time for the crue from Wiesbaden, with tours supporting Kiss and fellow countrymen Scorpions. And the release of the new album shows that they have no intention of slowing down. Singer Timmy Rough told us about the background to the single: “The band grew up mostly in the Rheingau. So it’s only natural that we spent the summers of our youth at the river. A six-pack, a cassette recorder and a girl you could fall head over heels in love with… and the river. That was all we needed. We put this attitude to life into the song and maybe he will now come himself from some radio on some river and belong to someone’s summer soundtrack…”

We stay in Germany for a spot of good old-fashioned heavy metal, courtesy of the veteran Sinner, who are inviting us to join them at the ‘Fiesta Y Copas’, a foretaste of their new album – their 19th in a career that spans 37 years. ‘Santa Muerte’, which is due for release in September via AFM, marks something of an innovative step, as it will see frontman Mat Sinner joined by a permanent second singer, in the shape of Venetian vocalist Giorgia Colleluori. The album also features guest appearances by a long-time friend of UR, Ricky Warwick, and, in the case of this lead single, Ronnie Romero from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow:

Back home to the Uber Kingdom next, and a total change in mood and pace, thanks to Nottingham self-style “public sector punk-rock lifers” Grey Hairs and their wonderful new single ‘Tory Nurse’. Recalling elements of The Birthday Party, The Jesus Lizard or a downer-fuelled B52s, the track is taken from their forthcoming new album, ‘Health & Social Care’, due to be released via Gringo Records on 2 August. The accompanying video takes us on a queasy trip through rural Derbyshire that sees the band tasked with delivering a body (later revealed to be a clown) to an undisclosed location; the fate of the clown is never revealed beyond disappearing into a hole in the ground, in what the band describe as “a droll and absurd attempt to address the core ideas behind ‘Health & Social Care’ and the inevitable mystery of things to come”:

Next up we have the first of two bands who last weekend were serious contenders for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ award, before being pipped at the post at the last second. ‘Brand New Numb’, by Pennsylvanian glam goths  Motionless In White, contains a powerful message about bullying and self-empowerment. It’s the third single to be lifted from their recently released new album, ‘Disguise’. Motionless In White hit the Über Kingdom (well, parts of it) in December, with a run of dates starting in Manchester on Monday 9 and finishing in Bristol on Saturday 14, taking in Leeds, Glasgow, London and Birmingham in between.

In last weekend’s “battle of the videos”, MIW were toe-to-toe with Californian power crüe Niviane and their DIY battle metal epic, ‘The Berzerker’, taken from their current album, ‘The Druid King’. Of the accompanying video, vocalist Norman Skinner told us: “All actors in the video are fans that answered our open casting call. We spent our band funds to have costumes made and to purchase all props but aside from the outfits, weaponry and effects the actors really brought this video to life. All day long on a mountain top they braved extremely cold temperatures, rain, lightning and hail without complaining once. We are very proud of how this video came out and do hope that our fans enjoy it as much as we do.” I have to say, it’s a jolly good romp:

Another change in pace, as we head back to continental Europe – rural Austria in fact – for some preenin’ and struttin’ courtesy of The Weight, who introduce us to the ‘Operator’ – and, all the more importantly, some wonderful cowbell… The result is a song that sounds more like it comes from the back alleys of Noo Yawk than the fertile valleys of central Europe, but, hey… it’s all rock ‘n’ roll and we fuckin’ love it here at the Singles Club:

More cowbell-led boogie now, thanks this time to Texan combo Holy Roller Baby and their rather excellent debut single ‘Ravings At Your Window’, a swaggering slice of good old-fashioned blooze-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll with a strut in its step and plenty of attitude in its infectious groove. Frontman Jared Mullins told us:I started writing ‘Ravings At Your Window’ during a hurricane. Not a joke. It was a literal ‘Texas Flood’ that lasted for days and was originally called ‘Rain For Days’. The song is about a pair of unsatisfied young kids constrained by the limitations that a small-town life have to offer. The guy in the story insists that today finally be the day they leave the drudgery behind and head “anywhere but here” together. His nagging insistence on making a rash decision must be crazy or seem like the mad ravings of a lunatic but come on… He’s at your window, car is ready, let’s go!”

Genya Ravan traces her career back to the early Sixties and Goldie And The Gingerbreads, widely regarded as the worl’s first all-female rock ‘n’ roll band. Having spent many of the intervening years as a highly respected producer, record label boss and most recently radio host, she has now turned her career full-circle with a new album, the highly appropriately titled ‘Icon’, due to be released by our good friends at Rum Bar Records at the end of this month. Until then, Genya warns us that we shouldn’t venture into the bathroom with this slice of classic, grungy, garage rock:

We’re criss-crossing continents and oceans, and switching genres, more often than some of our team change their underwear, and this time we’re on route to Albania, where we meet up with the country’s premier metal crue (well, so they tell us), Crossbones, who are ‘Realigning The Truth’ with the first single to be taken from their forthcoming new album ‘The Awakening’, due to be released in the near future (although they haven’t given us an exact date).  It’s a decent slab of solid metal – but, be warned, the video, which was shot behind the scenes on their recent tour, does contain some flashing images:

Back home to the Über Kingdom now and a touch of the blues, courtesy of the prodigious talent that is Danny Bryant, who has just released the rather spiffing title track of his new album, ‘Means Of Escape’, which itself is due to drop on 20 September – and I personally reckon that it is a strong contender for the blues album of 2019! Bryant says of the song: “[It] deals with the many ups and downs of a person’s life. For me, when things get tough, the one constant that centres me is music. It is a salvation for me and as the title says, my Means Of Escape.”

Next, we venture deep into the ‘Desert’, courtesy of German fuzz-driven power rock trio wolf prayer and the second single to be lifted from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Echoes Of The Second Sun’, which itself dropped this past week via Barhill Records. According to the band, ‘Desert’ reflects “the feeling of being alone and wandering through an empty desert with no specific destination in mind. Friends and family members would like to help you, to find back onto the “right path”, but you keep asking yourself: “Is this really the right path for me?” Everybody can identify itself with this situation or mindset at some point in life: the feeling of being the only one getting beaten down, to lose your grip. But in the end you are not the only one experiencing this, and you are never totally alone.” They get their message across with a damn fine slab of psyche-tinged atmospheric stoner rock that hits the spot exactly where and how it is intended:

We’re fast approaching last orders now with our penultimate offering, for which we are heading down under to Byron Bay in New South Wales, where we find Matt Swan, better known to ÜR regulars as one of the founder members of Royal Blood. Now flying solo, he’s encouraging us to ‘Sweat Baby Sweat’ with the first track from his new, self-monikered project. It’s a proper foot-to-the-floor rocker, fuelled with equal quantities of adrenaline and booze, and is accompanied by this wonderful video clip:

For our final offering, we keep the Australian connection, albeit in the shape of two émigré brothers, Axel and Jay McDonald, who moved from Sydney to Dublin with the sole purpose of putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band which reflected the traditions of both their native land and their adopted one. And, with Jailbirds they have more than ably succeeded, combining the straight-ahead swagger of the likes of AC/DC with the Celtic groove of Thin Lizzy – and no better evidence of this can you find than on ‘Thrill Of The Chase’, the second single to be lifted from their just-released debut album, ‘The Great Escape’, which emerges just in time to set the mood for their appearance on the Jager stage at Bloodstock on Sunday 11 August:

So, that’s it for another episode, folks. I hope you agree that we’ve brought you another diverse range of aural and visual experiences, with something to suit most tastes – and, hopefully, some new bands to discover and explore. Until the next time, when DJ Astrocreep will be back behind the death decks, keep ‘er lit, keep ‘er between the hedges and keep on rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’…

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