Chosen 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 and BoJo’s much-vaunted roadmap 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 artists the length and breadth of the Überverse rise to the challenge of entertaining us and raising our spirits higher than the International Space Station at the peak of its orbit… And there definitely is the promise of plenty more to come, if the inbox here at ÜRHQ is anything to go by…

In that context, as the rock ‘n’ roll year that is 2021 enters its second quarter, with its DMs firmly planted in the mire and muck of the chaos around it, there has been a healthy slew of new music pinging itself our way, and especially the continuing tsunami of submissions we receive for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ award… Yes, another constant throughout the vagaries of inconsistent and often hard to stomach lockdowns is the amazing level of adaptive creativity that bands and video directors have continued to show, often in the most adverse of circumstances.

After viewing all of the entries – and,yes, we did watch each and every one of the almost 200 submissions we received this past week alone – at the end of the day (or night, depending on where you are in the Überverse), there could be only one winner… And this week’s champion of champions once again finds us asking the question: “what the fuck are they putting in the beer down on the south coast?”. Yep, Hampshire and the surrounding counties have become something of a creative hotbed over recent years, and one prime exemplar of this are Broken Links, an alt/indie-oriented trio from Eastleigh who trace their musical pedigree through an amalgam of likes of Muse, the Manics, pre-industrial Depeche Mode and meshing in elements of power-pop along the way.

The band – Mark Lawrence (vocals/guitars), Lewis Betteridge (bass) and Phil Boulter (drums) – have been together since 2008 and to date have released three EPs and two albums, with their third full-lengther, the assertive and declarative ‘Conflict::States’, being released at the end of the month.

The album is a statement on the lack of choice which we face in our everyday lives, and latest single, ‘Replicas’ looks at one aspect of that theme – the perceived need for people to be someone, or something, they most evidently are not, but follow the latest social media-induced trend as to what is “hip” and “trendy”, be it “waking up” or whatever. As the band themselves explain:

“Identity is a beautiful thing. Have one. This a catch-all for anyone or anything wasting time plagiarising the identify of someone/something else or following some trend. What’s the point? It can’t be maintained forever, spend time creating your own identity. Anyone or anything fake, is exposed in the end.”

The video strongly reflects that underlying message, with its clever use of masked figures chasing the three band members, with the messages on their masks changing scene-by-scene, and, despite being shot in the open air, a sense of the claustrophobia that many aspects of modern society bring into our own desires to break free and be who we want to be. And it’s all the more impressive when you realize that it shot entirely on iPhones!

Well, there you go. That’s our latest ‘Video Of The Week’ winner in what promises to be another traumatic year for the music business. But, as ever, we at ÜRHQ will continue to do our best to shine a light into your darker corners by bringing the brightest new rock ‘n’ roll sounds to lighten your mood and uplift your soul. So, until next week, #StayAtHome, #KeepTheMusicAlive, #CrankItUp and #StayTheFuckSafe…

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