|The Uber Rock Singles Club - New Year... And He's Going Digital!|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Sunday, 22 January 2017 04:30|
Another new year and (thankfully) another batch of singles for the Singles Club to divulge and cast its beady eyes (and ears) over. Sadly, what’s started to creepy crawl into the club den is the dreaded digital single or the virtual video which is fine and dandy: but some of us here still crave the 7" piece of plastic and thankfully some of the rock and rollers out there clearly feel the same.
As I was saying, this month is a right mixed bag with some fantastic offerings and some... not so fantastic. The winner, hands down is Mr Darrell Bath for the most excellent (real) offering and a jolly good three track romp he's offered up but they are very limited so you'll have to be quick off the mark if you want one. He's closely tailed by two of my favourite rock and roll lunatic frontmen in the shape of the wonderful split between Billy and Kory and in third place was the real curveball of oddballsness that is Playboy Manboy however I digress and can only apologise that The Hip Priests have nothing to offer us this month: I shall be making representations to their people and hope normal service is resumed next month so until then enjoy this little lot....
David Bowie - No Plan EP (Itunes/Spotify etc)
Never thought I'd be reviewing a David Bowie single, especially after the guy had shuffled off his mortal coil over twelve months previous: but hey any day is a good day to listen to some Bowie. Ever the chameleon shape shifter, the lead track off 'Blackstar' is up first here - all six plus minutes of 'Lazarus', complete with its sad toned saxophone solo; I find it tough not to feel sad when I watched this video, and after seeing the TV special over the holidays, where Visconti isolated David’s breathing in between sentences on this, I find it super sad; but the guy was a genius and I find 'Lazarus' a really haunting song that you can get lost in. Six minutes seems like six hours and I could quite happily listen to a six hour remix of this - superb! The other three songs on offer are led off by 'No Plan', with its slightly eastern jazzy tones - but Bowie sounds so fucking sad. 'Killing A Little Time' is a heavier more prog like tune: as the fluid guitar licks unfold the drums take on a disjointed pound that goes hand in hand with the lyrics that are full of anger.
To close this collection off, 'When I Met You' is possible the best of the three new songs and is modern Bowie in a nut shell its’ a toughie to think we'll get no more shows or records from the thin white duke and his awesome legacy is there for generations to revel in. The guy managed to remain at pace with the changes of music and cultural shifts he was there. We probably won’t see his kind again but he always kept it real and 'Lazarus' is a pretty splendid way to bow out.
Billy Hopeless & The Bad Beats/Star Mafia Boy (feat. Kory Clarke) (Snap Records)
B-I-L-L-Y! I tell you had Patti Smith been called Billy and hailed from North of the border then she might have been onto something with that Gloria song instead its left to Mr Hopeless to own the God damn thing and whilst he's tearing the tune a brand new arsehole that harmonica is certainly adding to the tension and upping the rock and roll a few more percent (like it's needed) then you flip this limited edition blue record over and those dulcet tones of Mr Kory Clarke are totally owning a badass 20th Century Boy with ripping solos courtesy of Star Mafia Boy whichever way you look at it this is a single all you cool kids will want to own any further information I'd love to pass onto you but isn't available yet.
Black Mamba Fever - 'Feeling The Strain' (Eating People Is Wrong Records)
It’s like Nirvana never happened. Whilst they might have been a long overdue killer of pomp and lavish excess they also opened the door for dour shoe gazing, beardy, check shirt wearers everywhere. All these years later we now have bands like Black Mamba Fever who have cottoned on via maybe some sonic youth and pavement which is always a good thing. I'm not saying these are dour nor are they horrid excess and I'm not suggesting they are the saviours of rock and roll but they dwell somewhere in between - 'Fake Blood' 'is Pavement lite, which is fine and a little foppish whilst the lead single isn't anywhere as near exciting as it's B side but it does sound better on repeat. I will say as well as knocking out a decent B side these boys are clean shaven and there isn't a check shirt in sight which all bodes well for the future... oh, hang one 3/4 make it through unscathed but this will grow on you with repeated plays then go check out their first single which was excellent. Good noise! and promising stuff from Steel town Sheffield.
Playboy Manboy - You Can Be A Fascist Too.
Rattling out of the speakers this is some post grunge noises coming atcha. It's quite infectious as it rattles along pounding your senses. They've got me intrigued and I delved a little deeper into who or what are Playboy Manboy and found they had previously released an album of shouty nonsense. I was drawn too, and I've come to the conclusion that they've spent too much time in the Phoenix sunshine and it's had an effect on their minds. This is the first track to surface off their soon to be released album 'Don't Let It Be', I'm gonna buy it on the strength of the title of this single and the fact it has a really fucked up trumpet solo that has won me over, the crazy fuckers! Oh, and they like hats - so that's another thing we have in common.
GagReflex - My Disregards (Secret Chord Records)
Clearly students from the church of noise, with a powerful and very prominent bassline Gagreflex don't hold back on the volume and deliver a pretty decent tune to be fair. Being the first single from the album ' A Mouthful Of Marbles'. Dealing with mental health issues and helplessness the video to accompany the song is also quite claustrophobic. With the album coming out this month as well it might be time to test your gagrelflex although I would prefer a single to come in either a 7" or 10" or even God forbid a 12" piece of plastic but I guess the kids these days are just digital whereas I'm old school in the singles club.
The Bottom Line - I Still Hate You (Independent)
Pop punkers The Bottom line have a new five track EP out and although I've never heard of them they seem to be causing a bit of a stink about shit island and have supported the likes of Gerard Way and Simple Plan. The EP kicks off like Blink 182 on speed and after that washes over you 'I Still Hate You' sounds like Busted acting tough. For a bunch of Brits thats one hell of a thick American accent on the vocalist. To be fair its well delivered but not what I'd call punk in any way shape or form it certainly has more McFly than Buzzcocks or Busted than Black Flag. Its easy on the ear and if your in your early teens I guess your mom and Dad will be disappointed with you but it might lead to other bigger brighter better bands - The singles club will keep its fingers crossed.
Darrell Bath - Greedy Green Eyes (Sunthunder Records)
Oh the joy to actually have a single in the singles club on a 7" piece of plastic with a hole in the middle. I thought for a moment I was going to be reviewing this month’s round up of singles void of an actual physical record, but like a rock and roll trouper Mr Bath strolls in late knocking and delivers what can easily be described as this month’s proud winner of the title "Record Of The Month" for January. Two originals and a Mink DeVille cover that is beautifully poured over. I won’t go into the lyrical content but I will tell you that 'Greedy Green Eyes is a monster of a song and the playing is sublime and possibly the best thing he's ever done (which, anyone who is familiar with his body of work can appreciate how bloody fine this song is). The guy has sold his soul in order to caress the fretboard with such finess and beauty and his ability to pen rock and roll is magnificent. Brilliant!
S.B.F. (Drunken Sailor Records)
Why bother giving your single a name when its just a single? Released on the fantastic and reliable Drunken Sailor this collaboration from California is a drum machine laden headfuck of noise. The guitars are raw and loud as hell the vocals are distorted but the melodies are buried but merely buried in a shallow grave for all to stumble upon. 'Paused' is like scratching a scab and enjoying it then to finish off 'Burn Both Ends' is like The Ramones if they were really fucked up or maybe from California instead of Queens and rather than get a real drummer they got a machine. Be careful kids because this will draw you in then kick you upside your head - love it! Guaranteed to get on your neighbours’ nerves from the opening chords of 'Halved Snake' to the closing clank of 'Burn Both Ends'