|The Uber Rock Singles Club - February 2013|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 03 February 2013 04:00|
I wanted to begin 2013’s first edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club on a real high for me personally as collector, and what must also be a real high for the British contingent involved in this split single of first class smut rock. Whoever it was that dreamt up the idea of pairing The Hip Priests with The Dwarves really should be looking at getting a lifetime achievement award for services to music sometime soon that’s for sure. It’s just pure fucking genius. (You know, these guys really do bring out the Mike Strutter in me.)
Pressed up on very limited yellow as well as yellow and red splatter vinyl, if you were one of the first 25 people on the case when this baby was first delivered into the world like a fine arc of jizz back a few weeks ago then you also got the chance to have your copy in a special “Hip Priests scented” denim sleeve. Mine actually arrived complete with a white slug mark on it that a prossie with a yeast infection would have been proud of. Honestly I really would not like to guess where this slab of porno-plastic had been before it found its way to URHQ.
Of the tunes on offer here The Dwarves offer up `I Masturbate Me’ (from ‘The Dwarves Are Born Again’) which if you have half a brain you will already know it is a fine piece of hedonistic punk. Likewise The Hip Priests pull out all the stops with a new tune - ‘Motherfucker Superior’, which is a veritable skull fucker that dares you to keep your hand out your pants long enough to get your rocks off over a tune as cool as (Biff) Malibu over ice. The accompanying sleeve art courtesy of No Balls Records makes you wonder if this were the Seventies perhaps Napper of the Yard might be looking to seize this consignment of audio porn. Thankfully it’s not and this release really is “motherfucking superior” so get out there and buy it now!
Next up are Highlands trio Cleavers and their second 7” EP ‘Life Is Shit’ out via Da Da Tunes, which showcases the Sub Pop lo-fi grunge rumblings `Brian Johnson’s Hat’ and `This Rain Will Never End’ on its A side. Both could easily have been outtakes from `Eight Way Santa', with the latter also boasting an instantly memorable chorus amongst the Superfuzz bigmuff riffage that blankets the single`s lead tracks. It’s a bit of a rarity these days but however many times I play this single the auto return on my death deck never seems to work thus necessitating me to get off my arse whenever I’m listening to Cleavers, which is just as well really because flip this black vinyl bad boy over and B side `The Posters Are Falling Off My Wall` is where you’ll find all the hep cats hanging out. This tune is a serious juxtaposition to the dirge (and I mean that in the positive sense) of the previous tunes, being more like a “phetted up” Yardbirds or Pretty Things. Just remember to stay on your feet, as this one will certainly have you shaking your toosh back over to the replay button pretty damn sharp.
Keeping the momentum of this latest edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club on an anti static cleaning fluid fuelled high the debut double 7” from The Resistance ‘Rise From Treason’ pretty much lives up to the bold statement emblazoned across its sleeve that this it is indeed “The Extreme Metal Sound Of 2013” both in terms of the track and the EP as a whole . Featuring ex members of The Haunted, In Flames and Kaamos this is fierce stuff very much with one foot in the old school Swedish death metal camp whilst the other is stamped down firmly in crossover melodic hardcore territory, for proff just listen to the epic sounding `Face To Face’.
This EP really is a runaway train of heavy metal music only this one has a cargo of homicidal maniacs on board so when they bulldoze their way into your life as they do on `Slugger’ you just want to pray you don’t survive the initial impact, because if you do what is left of you will be ripped limb from limb by the EPs lead track `My Fire’. This is a track so angry it should have its own edition of the Jeremy Kyle show just to deal with its obvious “issues”. Seriously if you can’t wait for the new Entombed album due later this year if you hear one track this month then it should be ‘My Fire’ - it’s fucking insane. I take my hat off to earMUSIC for putting out such a well thought out piece of extreme metal in such a fine looking gatefold package. Highly recommend.
Unlike KISS `The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982` out via Universal, which I must admit is a huge let down for me having shelled out nearly £200 for this collection of the band’s first 29 US singles released via one of the most successful record labels of all time. Don’t get me wrong the music spread over the 7" platters is some of the best I have come across in my time on this planet, it’s just that in my hands the whole package looks and feels so bloody half arsed.
Take the accompanying book for a starter, the ‘Evolution Of KISS’ pamphlet inside `KISS Alive II’ had more interesting text in it than this effort, which even a Statto like me found nothing of real worth in during the two minutes it too to read it. Then there’s the records themselves, which whilst sounding excellent they are certainly no 180gm lush re-pressings. The sleeves also are repetitive (colour and black and white versions of the same photos – from a band who lived to be in front of the camera) and in some cases they are just plain cheap feeling, which if I was holding a well worn 1978 original pressing of `Strutter 78` I could understand but I’m not so there is no excuse for such shoddiness given this sets high price tag. I mean would it have hurt Gene and Paul’s wig fund that much to have reproduced the solo album masks as they are in my original well worn original copies on card rather than as wafer thin poster paper? Yep I know this might sound trivial but when I’m paying £200 for something that is aimed at collectors I want the real deal not some cheap imitation.
Like I said earlier collections like this make you realise just how great a band KISS once were, but when you put that music out in packages as weak as this it just further dilutes whatever love you once had for them even further. Admittedly it all comes in a very nice box, but for £200 (that’s around £6,90 a single) I wanted more than this and no by that I don’t mean I expect a blow job from Paul Stanley, just a product worthy of such a high price tag and the band’s once rich musical legacy.
Perhaps the corporate big boys should take a long hard look at how the repackaging of a band’s back catalogue really should be done without leaving the fans feeling like they’ve once again right royally ripped off, and in particular what Pirates Press have done recently with the Rancid twentieth anniversary vinyl reissues.
Firstly there was a gig only split 7” with English touring buddies Cock Sparrer (pairing Rancid’s ‘East Bay Night’ with Sparrer’s rerecording of ‘England Belongs To Me’} which appeared to be available on limited numbers and on so many different colour vinyl editions that there is not enough space left on the interweb with which to possibly capture them all.
Then came the box set, and taking another leaf from their East End touring buddies Rancid re released their entire back catalogue as 7” singles packed into a career spanning 46 disc faux leather bound box set that when I saw it also came signed by the band and with a promo baseball bat. With this career defining set also retailing at around £200 it kind of puts my KISS gripes into perspective especially seeing as Rancid have managed to do this independently for something like £4.35 per single plus add in some nice collectors touches to the package too. However for those of us who are not punk rock Rockefellers I instead plumped for also available stand alone 5x7” version of ‘..And Out Came the Wolves’ on white/red splatter vinyl. Having never owned this seminal album on vinyl before it’s rather strange how it also works as a series of singles, perhaps its due to the strength in depth of this album’s songs, but whatever it is once you are in via the first 7” of ‘Maxwell Murder’, ‘The 11th Hour’, ‘Roots Radicals’ and ‘Timebomb’ there really is no looking back.
The really great thing about this series though is if you only want to buy one single then you can, so from the ‘Essentials’ box through to the individual album sets right down to just your own fave Rancid tracks there is something here to suit every collectors budget (and who needs MP3s when you can buy like this eh?).
Of note for those of you who might not want to buy your vinyl direct from overseas is that the good people at Plastichead are also carrying this reissue series, and it was only via a E mailshot from them that I also realised that as part of this collection the very first Rancid self titled EP was also being made available once again. Pressed up on black vinyl (as are all the single 7"ers, apparently because DJs don’t like coloured vinyl). I’d never actually possessed a copy of the original trio’s first release before, and it certainly makes a refreshing change to hear Tim Armstrong actually singing on this 5 tracker rather than slurring his way through the likes of ‘Battering Ram’ and ‘The Sentence’.
So there we have it folks, another edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club draws to a close with yet another Rancid related release for you all to go out and track down. There’s certainly a glut of great vinyl releases due over the next few weeks so until the next time we meet keep your needles on the records.