|The Uber Rock Singles Club|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Sunday, 18 December 2011 05:05|
Since coming up with the Uber Rock Singles Club concept back in October as a way for us to continue to champion the 7" single format, things have been pretty frantic, to say the least. At times our PO Box has been almost overloaded, either with vinyl bands have chosen to send us, or with items we'd purchased ourselves. However we are't complaining as there's nothing quite like the gentle whir of the turntable and the thud of the needle dropping onto the vinyl - something that never fails to raise a smile on the faces of all of us here at URHQ.
Taking our smiles away for just the briefest of moments we open up this second edition of The Singles Club with what looks like being the last release by Italian punk/hardcore label Chorus Of One Records after 31 releases. This new 4 track EP from Minus Tree entitled 'The Lake Will Bring Everything To Light' came into URHQ with a handwritten note saying "Goodbye", and never mind how much we love a good mystery, an immediate sadness engulfed the office as each of their previous 30 releases have been of a supremely high standard.
So would Minus Tree live up to their legacy and be a fitting way for such a unique label to go out (if that is in fact the case)? Hell yeah.... Minus Tree here treat us to a typically shouty post-hardcore affair that is all done in the worst possible taste. Well produced, well played and totally brutal in their delivery just like a rabbit punch to your musical taste buds, it is the B Side track 'Bridge to Nowhere' however that sounds so staggeringly prophetic given the circumstance of this release whilst 'Desert Anchor' has me screaming out one band's name and that is GALLOWS.
Check out Chorus Of One's plethora of quality releases via their website and bag yourself a slice of puck rock history before its all gone.
Speaking of Gallows, earlier this month a very limited 7" EP entitled 'Death Is Birth' featuring their recording debut with new singer Wade MacNeil was briefly made available via their website. It proceeded to sell out within minutes of it becoming available, however a few of us at URHQ were lucky enough to bag ourselves a copy in the mad rush to hear exactly what the future of the band might be.
If the four tracks that go to make up 'Death Is Birth' are anything to go by then Gallows have just gone and done an Iron Maiden by acquiring a singer who is more than ready, willing and able to take them to a whole new level. Nothing's really changed that much regarding the aural assault you've come to expect from Gallows it's just that with Wade out front, tracks like 'Mondo Chaos' and 'Hate, Hate, Hate' have a much more authentic US hardcore ring to them, and Frank, however great a frontman/singer he was/is, never really added that to the band's music. A great place to start with this EP and the band's new direction is the 36-second blast that is 'True Colours', a song that sounds so angry it wants to rip your throat out yet somehow manages to tip its hat to Cyndi Laupers' song by the same title (give or take a U) in the process.
2012 looks like being a very interesting year in Gallows career - let's just hope that there is much more of this great stuff to come.
Staying with UK punk rock for our next 7", we are happy to say that 2012 also looks like being a bonanza year for the Cyanide Pills from Leeds, as their latest 2 track 7" 'Up Against The Wall' (on clear vinyl) is more of the fantastic Pete Shelley edged rock 'n' roll they have fast become known for excelling at. Uber Rock first raved about these guys back in 2010 and if you deal with the ever so slight Libertines influences present on both their debut album and this single's B Side, then you will be rewarded with a whole host of great tunes to be discovered within the band's extensive repertoire.
Released via Damaged Goods 'Up Against The Wall is one of those protest songs that you get when a country is on the brink of economic ruin, it's sharp, anthemic and down right essential.
Continuing the coloured vinyl theme of the last two singles, The Bonitos debut release comes in a lovely golden colour, however when you find out that ex Black Halos frontman Billy Hopeless is involved with the band you know it's gonna be more golden showers than anything else, as this is one very pissed off release.
This four tracker is being referred to by the band's record label (Skull Skates Recordings) as a "Steel Toed Boot To The Chops" and for once I have to agree and say that just about sums up this beast of a debut. This is because Billy and his Bonitos play their rock 'n' roll much more straight ahead punk than The Halos, and on tracks like 'Awkward Age' and 'She Don't Dance' you start to get visions of what Lords Of The New Church might have sounded like if they had been born into a mightily fucked up 21st Century. Every track sounds like Billy Hopeless has finally unleashed his full potential and is once again ready to fuck the world.
With the Bonitos single limited to only a few hundred copies you're going to have to be quick to get a copy of this fantastic slice of punk rock 'n' roll, but if you head over to the Skull Skates Shop right now and press the BUY button I can assure you - you will not be disappointed.
And so to the final release for this second edition of The Uber Rock Singles Club, the third single by Scando supergroup Midlife Crisis. As with the band's previous two releases Bootleg Booze have once again done a stunning job in the packaging of this 4 track EP. From the 'Damned Damned Dammed' sleeve parody through to the awesome looking slab of yellow vinyl and Stiff pastiche labels, everything about this release reeks of total class, and thankfully so does the music.
Formed just for fun by Urrke T initially during some downtime from Maryslim, and consisting of such talented fellows as Dregen, Robert Eriksson and Måns Månsson, Midlife Crisis have over the process of their previous two EP's covered songs by the likes of Menace, The Users and Slaughter & The Dogs, giving some old classics a new lease of live in the Crisis' not so subtle style.
This time around we get two covers 'Silver Son Johnnie' (originally by Swedish punk rockers Four Mandarines) that has Urrke sounding a hell of a lot like Nick Andersson when he preferred to be known as Royale, and 'First Time Is The Best Time' (by DMZ) which here is turned into a seriously shaking groove machine, and further proving there is so much great music out there it's probably going to be impossible to hear it all in just one lifetime (but we'll give it a bloody good go eh!).
However we also get two original tunes from the guys this time around too. Lead track 'Here I Go And Here I Am' is a superb slice of garage punk that is handclapped to perfection, whilst 'Dark Yellow Easy Flow' possesses that perfect Frehley-esque Les Paul guitar tone that drives every great rock anthem of our generation.
I'm hard pushed to find any fault with this single, in fact the only disappointment is finding out that it was recorded over 12 months ago leaving me wondering if there is an album of this stuff sitting around just waiting to be released.
And with that conundrum I'll leave you to all make your own discoveries in the wonderful world of vinyl, and until we next meet at The Uber Rock Singles Club, remember "it hasn't got to have a major label behind it to make it a good record, in fact if it does, it'll probably make it a shit record."
Support the underground, support vinyl, and buy these fucking singles !!!!!