|The Uber Rock Singles Club|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 10 June 2012 05:00|
It has not gone unnoticed here at URHQ that following the deluge of singles and LP's that engulfed us around the time of Record Store Day back in April, things have gone a little quiet on the vinyl frontier. We've heard stories of releases being delayed due to the overwhelming demand for vinyl (case in point The Nomads most recent album which Dom reviews later this week) and also that in the aftermath of RSD 2012 there's not been a lot of disposable income left to spray around our local record emporiums. Whatever it is causing this drought of new platters for this edition of The Singles Club I've tried to pick out some of the best stuff I've either purchased or been sent since my Record Store Day diary to give you a sneaky peek of a few releases that might not have made it into the mainstream press.
In saying that I do however start in the mainstream, and with the major Festival season now upon us I thought it only right that I kick off this edition of the Uber Rock Singles Club with a look at a recent live 7" from Metallica. This little curio was hidden away "FREE" inside the band's recent 'XXX Fan Pack', which was released in conjunction with a 30th Anniversary souvenir edition of the Metclub's So What! magazine detailing the series of Metclub shows at the Fillmore back in December 2011. The package here in the UK is being widely distributed in collaboration with Metal Hammer so you shouldn't have too much trouble tracking one down. The two tracks that make up this release then are actually pretty cool sounding (for those of you familiar already with Metallica's Live Download website they have that type of polished soundboard quality) and as a Metallica collector myself I have to say it is well worth picking up. The A side sees Animal from Anti-Nowhere League "come out to dinner" for a savage sounding 'So What!' Whilst on the flipside you get a run through the Black Album's 'Through The Never', a tune a few thousand of you will most probably have heard live last night in a little field just outside Derby. Whilst I can't seem to find any reasonably priced versions of this available online right now there does appear to copies of the magazine still available in the UK high street in retailers such as WH Smith's, so if you are looking for a flutter on the vinyl stock market right now this is about as good a place as any to start.
Next up we have a double 7" collection of skinhead /Oi! /streetpunk bands courtesy of Randale Records rather conveniently titled 'Hooligan Classics Vol 1'. Now this really is a tasty compilation given the calibre of the bands involved, (I picked my copy up from Step 1 Music and copies are also available from Mainstage Merch too, so you won't have to look very far for your copy) and it kicks off with perhaps the best of the four tunes on offer with Control reinventing Motorhead for the terrace generation in the form of the instantly memorable 'Tribal'. This band just seem to be getting better all the time and I cannot wait to hear the follow up to 2011's superb 'Punk Rock Ruined My Life'. On the flipside to this first 7" I get a great introduction to The Chosen Ones from New York, who with the gravely streetpunk of 'Lafayette' actually end up reminding me a hell of a lot of The Disasters, which is always good in my book. I most certainly want to hear more of these guys.
Then moving over to the second 7" the A side introduces me to the world of another excellent band On File. This 4 piece Scottish skinhead outfit deal me up a slice of classic UK flavoured bootboy music in 'Just Another Yob' complete with mandatory gang backing vocals. Seemingly inspired by Merrydown and Tenants lager this bunch of hellraisers certainly make for a messy night in - or out. Flipping this second 7" over I come to the almost mandatory inclusion for every Singles Club, that being of course, a track from Lars Fredericksen and The Old Firm Casuals. This time around its 'We Don't Bury Our Dead' which is a real stormer of a track with a no fucking around straight into the chorus approach reminiscent of Lars' other band The Bastards. I'm still no nearer to getting that debut Casuals Album I so desperately crave am I, so as I've alluded to before it might just be a case of digging out a C60 and away I go.
Which is something the mentalists at Baldy Longhair Records have been doing for quite some time now with their ever impressive and ever growing roster of bands. However with this 6 track 33 1/3 rpm split 7" from The Disconnects and Crazy & The Brain they are breaking with their tradition of releasing cassettes as their format of choice by unleashing this very interesting coupling of bands on a variety of differently coloured waxes. With only 500 of these babies in existence you'll need to be quick though, as when they are gone they are gone. Of the two bands included here it is The Disconnects who connect most with me, they play a scuzzed up mix of buzzsaw punk rock guitar and infectious three chord pop that Uber Rockers everywhere really should hear (and you can right here), and in lead track 'Wake Up Dead' they have a stone cold classic of a tune. That's not to say that Crazy & The Brain are not a quality band either mind, it's just that in light of the more in your face approach of the Disconnects the Crazies come over perhaps a little more Velvety (as in Underground) in their approach to their music which if I'm honest knowing what lies on it's flipside has me unfortunately swapping back over to listen to The Disconnects. For $5 plus shipping this is a great value for money release that I suggest you check out right now.
Hotfooting it back from the U.S and touching down in mainland Europe, another label that has hell of a lot in common with the Baldies work ethic is Pop The Balloon from France. Regular readers may recognise the label name being associated with a single release by UK punkers The Adjusters (R.I.P) from a few years back, but I first got in touch with Fabien and the Pop gang just before Xmas trying to find out a little more detail behind a possible limited vinyl release from the awesome Biters, more of which in a second. But in the meantime whilst conversing with the guys at Pop they recommended I check out a 7" from French rockers Brand New Hate as it might just tick a few of my uber approved boxes, and you know what? They weren't half right too. Released back in 2011 'Little Suzy' is a blinding tune chock full of Johnny Thunders guitar licks and some fantastically gravely lead vocals from Daddy O'Velvet (now that's what I call a stage name) which will leave a lot of you out there stomping your creepers about the place like the demented love children of Baron Von. Flipside 'Sick Town' is a much mellower Stonesy affair that gives this release a nice rounded feel to it an not unlike perhaps those old Babysitters or Bounty Hunters releases you have locked away in the attic....
Staying with the Pop The Balloon label for our final release this time around, and I have the extremely complicated story behind this latest release by the Biters to explain. Okay granted, this might not be a single, but the tale behind this release actually reads like a movie script (I'll take the easy way out here and say check out the Pop website to read it in full, as they tell it a hell of a lot better than I ever could), and it is to Fabien and the Pop guys credit that it is getting a release at all, such is their commitment to the Biters cause. So in light of the guys services to vinyl I just thought it rather fitting to give 'It's All Chewed Up OK?' a huge uber approved thumbs up as it not only brings together the Biters last 2 EP's (which Dom Daley has raved about previously elsewhere on these very pages) into one cost effective handsome coloured vinyl package but it also adds a CD version of the album for those who prefer that type of thing plus a whole host of stuff to pin and stick about the place.
To finish off I'll just say that anyone who has not heard the Biters yet needs to wake the fuck up and check out the best powerpop band to come out of the US since Tsar, and I'll leave you all now to go make the vinyl purchase of the year.
See you next time folks.