|The Uber Rock Singles Club - June 2013|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Saturday, 22 June 2013 04:00|
With the festival season now upon us and Record Store Day 2013 now seemingly just a distant blip on my monthly credit card bill, it’s once again time to put the needle on the record and check out some of the vinyl singles I've either been sent to review or I've picked up as a collector that I think are worth sharing with you all as fellow audiophiles.
We kick off this edition with a real (space) oddity in the shape of a new white vinyl square 7" from David Bowie entitled 'The Next Day'. I must admit that this the title track from his recent Sony Music studio LP is one of my favourite tunes off said record, and it does possess a certain 'Scary Monsters' freakish nature about it. Like all of the recent Bowie 30th anniversary singles this baby will no doubt fly out the racks so if you do want a copy at release price you'll have to be quick about it, otherwise expect to pay a small fortune for one on Ebay. What really let's this release down for me though is the fact that unlike the aforementioned 30th anniversary singles both sides of this heavyweight vinyl plays exactly the same version of track, which even for its normal retail asking price is a bit cheeky if you ask me.
Thankfully the import price tag that you’ll need to pay before you can pick up 'Songs For Slim' the new 12" from legendary US rockers The Replacements isn't quite as off putting as the above, although the five tracks contained on this red vinyl release by New West Records is made all the more tolerable knowing that some of your hard earned will going to the Slim Dunlap Fund (a fund set up to help The Replacement’s former guitarist who was left partially paralyzed following a stroke) - hence the EP's title. So what of the tunes? Well the two Dunlap tracks that make up the A side 'Busted Up' and 'Radio Hook Word Hit' actually come over like one of the bar bands on HBO's excellent Treme. Whilst the B sides (which are also covers of songs by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Leon Payne and Stephen Sondheim) all kind of swagger around on the Americana vibe that Westerberg and Stinson, Bowe specialised in their latter days as The Replacements. ‘Sorry Ma’ this most certainly is not but for the diehards it’s a taster of what possibly awaits with the band’s recently announced Canadian and US shows.
Also a mouthwatering prospect but this time for us right here in the UK is the soon to be released debut album from The Crunch, a supergroup featuring the talents of Sulo from Diamond Dogs, Cockney Reject Micky Geggus, Dave Tregunna of Sham 69 and Lords Of The New Church fame plus Terry Chimes of The Clash. Released as an appetizer for said aforementioned album 'Down By The Border' released via Legal Records takes all of the bands individual influences distills them into a quality slice of what can only be described as… um The Clash. Gone is Sulo's Rod the Mod rasp for the lead song and in its place is a kind of Jesse Malin sneer. Meanwhile flip the black vinyl 7" over and 'Gangster Radio' rips along on an almost glunk vibe, a tune that fits Sulo's lower vocal register just like a three button hand me down. I'll be interested to hear what comes next for The Crunch as both tunes on this single are catchy as hell and probably some of the best music any of them has been involved with in quite some time.
Also on black vinyl is the gloriously lo-fi 'Candy Store' from the Recordettes released via NFT Records. I just love the whole Ramones go Bontempi vibe of this 3 tracker from this Brooklyn quartet, and in the aforementioned 'Candy Store' Tony, Anna, Sacha and Dave have a sure fire radio hit, well if it were 1967 anyway. Of the other tunes on this record 'Shower Request' is an instrumental surfin’ tune whilst flip side 'John Waters Can You Please Be My Father?' not only scoops the best song title of 2013 right from under the noses of UK Decay but also dishes up the type of garage punk perfection us South Walians have been denied ever since TJ’s closed it legendary doors. This 7" was made just to have been played in sweaty clubs just like TJ’s, danced to by girls in pencil skirts, and guys with pencil moustaches - yeah it really is cool as fuck.
Also very much in the garage vibe is 'It’s A Shame', the latest 'god knows what' coloured vinyl 7" from Italian trio The Dancers. I loved The Dancers last couple of single and once again they have come up trumps with the four tracks on this VID Records release. All of the tracks here loosely resembling those cool sixties bands that would normally be found on such releases as ‘Nuggets’ or ‘Pebbles’ and as such this is the almost perfect single to slap on before popping out to see one of The Who's Quadrophenia shows. Standout track for me is actually the B Side 'When I'm Wrong' which has all the feeling of a modern day version of Holland Dozier and Holland’s 'Leaving Here' which is about as cool as songwriting can get I guess.
With no Old Firm Casuals release to rear its shaven head this edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club, we’ll have to get our kicks from this the first in an intended series of ongoing double 7” split single from Black Hole Records. Entitled ‘Mess With The Best’, volume 1 of this series brings together two tracks each from Australia’s Rust, Revilers from Boston, Guv’nors from Denmark and Germany’s Cracks & Scars for a riotous debut release. Rust kick off proceedings with their own take on Rose Tattoo meets Motorhead rock ‘n’ roll and whilst ‘Ex Girlfriends’ isn’t exactly one of their best tunes, ‘Suicide Sunday’ which immediately follows it most definitely is. Result! Guv’nors meanwhile deliver their own tidy take on ‘Punk Rock’ adding a slight R&B feel to proceedings. Be it the harmonica or the strong sense of melody in their songs, this is a new name on me and their ‘Downtown Boogie’ track is an absolute Nine Below Zero meets Quo rock ‘n ’roll boogie fest.
Keeping the quality of the streetpunk on offer on ‘Mess With The Best’ at a real high Revilers sound very…. America, whilst also conjuring up images of the type of band that play their Les Pauls at knee height, you know what I mean? This is tough stuff played with a real sneering attitude and ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and ‘8 Second Society’ make for what I thought were going to be the best tracks on this release. That was until ‘Goin’ Nowhere’ and ‘Light & Darkness’ from Cracks & Scars came steaming in all boots blazing with their Teutonic ram raid of Roger Miret’s back catalogue. Their two tracks might not be as original sounding as Guv’nors, or as rock ‘n’ roll as Rust, and they might not be as aggressive as The Revilers, but there is something about Cracks & Scars that immediately clicks with me, so as the record title states it’s time for you to decide as you really will want to ‘Mess With The Best’.
To conclude this edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club we’ve got a real exclusive for you as Chesty Malone And The Slice ‘Em Ups have given us an exclusive early preview of their soon to be released (throbbing) purple vinyl 7” ‘Destroy All Humans’, which is due out on Wrecked Records late Summer/early Fall. It’s a mighty slab of punk metal, bursting with energy as Jaqueline Blownaparte screams bloody murder over a chugging guitar riff courtesy of Anthony Allen Van Hoek. The record also boasts the kind of production that was always missing from those classic Plasmatics records making it all sound like evil personified. ‘Destroy All Humans’ really is B movie-tastic and just right for the bands long overdue inclusion on a Troma film soundtrack. There’s no let up for the B side either as anyone who heard our exclusive play of ‘Slay To Kill’ on The Uber Rock Radio Show: Edition 14 will vouch for. This baby really picks up the pace from the A side and is a furious full on attack on the senses. Seriously folks Chesty Malone And The Slice ‘Em Ups really have delivered a bloody feast of fucked up fun with this single, and I’ll be contacting Anthony for my copy (which you can do too via the hyperlink above), just as soon as I get back from a few weekends spent trudging round muddy fields in Europe.
Until the next time then children of the Überverse, I’ll leave you in the capable (and very safe hands) of our best friends - those black circles we all just love to spin!