Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. This time around, we bring you the return of some ska legends, a remix from a cult dream pop act, something with a huge electronica/dance core, some massive stoner/doom riffs…and more besides. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy!


A band who should be well known to a lot of ska fans, Mad Caddies share more of their trademark crossover sound on ‘Baby’. With hints a polka rhythm, there are times when the number feels a little like an overspill from their ‘Dirty Rice’ album, but the feel good sound still creates something very enjoyable. The fact that the horn riffs occasionally sound like something pulled from a latter day Save Ferris tune is also a massive bonus. The manic speed and frantic vocals that drove their early work might take a back seat here in favour of a more commercial style, but the mariachi toned horns, jaunty rhythms and pop-ish hooks find the much loved band in great spirits, guaranteeing an enjoyable listen for the die-hard fan.

Sons of Silver plough their way through some superb riffs on ‘Tell Me This’. Fusing elements of classic hard rock with a garage rock intent, the track has a pleasingly hard edge throughout, but it’s the moments between the verses where the guitar launches into massive old school rock ‘n’ roll riffs that makes the recording so exciting. The addition of a very natural vocal lends a gruffness that’s pretty retro, but with the aid of a simple hook, this actually becomes the kind of single that will sound great on any rock playlist.

Better late than never: 2023 finally saw The Veldt’s shelved debut album reach the ears of their fans. Released as ‘Illuminated 1989’, the Robin Guthrie produced tracks still shimmered, but now came with a wonderfully retro appeal, since the bright guitar work captured a very nostalgic sound. Released as a digital single, ‘Aurora Bourealis’ presented itself brilliantly; a perfect snapshot of jangling dreampop from a bygone era that sounded just as strong in the present. In a further piece of promotion for the album, the track has been remixed, and although it now takes on a slower tempo and sounds very different, it’s still great in its own way. Stripping away some of the guitars, the moderate groove finds space for a bigger bassline and the addition of a drum loop inspired by Run-DMC lends the remix a slightly sultry feel. In keeping with the original cut, the vocal manages to capture a fine sound, mixing pop, soul and a pinch of rock, delivering a smooth melody to hold everything together. For those already turned on to ‘Illuminated 1989’, this will surely be a welcome bonus; for those yet to check out a fine LP, hopefully it’ll provide the inspiration to backtrack.

The riffs that fill the opening of Stefski & Hutch’s single ‘Selling Lies’ come with a tone that blends a classic, hard rock sound with a touch of stoner. Using these to power a verse against an Ian Astbury-ish vocal, the arrangement has a familiar feel, but that doesn’t mean the track is in any way tired. In fact, as it progresses, there’s plenty within the solid hard rock that really works – and seemingly, this band doesn’t have to try too hard to impress. A couple of instrumental breaks beef up the riffs, whilst chorus-wise, everything leans towards the repetitive in the best possible way. Sometimes a tried and tested approach turns out for the best, and this is certainly one of those times. In a very competitive world, this is the kind of single that could get lost in the digital noise, unfortunately, but it’s worth hearing for its chunky verse riff alone.

The ringing guitars and a few of the vocal melodies recall a modern indie sound at the time of release, but there’s not always much within Past Life Romeo’s ‘Sometimes, Most Nights’ that would appeal to fans of that style. Beyond the basic melody, this single branches off into a world of shiny pop, strange electronica and glitchy beats. That’s not to say it’s at all dance-orientated, either. You’d really struggle to latch onto a natural rhythm here. This is a number which gleefully transcends genre, dropping the listener into a world of busy electronica, which comes underscored by a heavily filtered dual vocal and occasional dream pop tone, making it difficult to pigeonhole. On some listens you might find yourself attracted to the heady rhythm; at other times you might try and find a love for the half disguised vocal, but in terms of broad electro-pop, the results here are never less than interesting.

The follow up to ‘Always’, ‘My Days’ by What Will Be conveys a very contemporary sound. Opening with a wash of keys and strummed guitar, the track sets up a mix of rock and drone, only to then find a melodic alternative rock groove where a chopping guitar and very natural vocal take the lead. The riffs that power the chorus share an almost prog rock like quality, whilst at other times the Mancunian band’s love of Biffy Clyro comes through in massive waves. The fuzzy production on this DIY single doesn’t always allow for those riffs to come through in the huge manner they really deserve, but in terms of ideas and intention, this single shows a lot of promise.

Delighting in a really heavy tone, the first half of ‘Horizon Divides’ by Negative Thirteen melds a post-hardcore tone to some classic sounding doom and sludge riffs. This, as you might expect, gives their single a really abrasive quality, but a great production sound gives everything a lift. Working through two minutes of extreme heaviness, the band shares a love for ‘Houdini’ era Melvins and classic Crowbar, before switching the mood to confound their audience with several bars of superb sounding desert rock. When losing themselves in something trippier, the echoing vocals and reverbed guitar lines have the effect of making the band’s sound appear almost cinematic, like a distant relation to Dust Prophet and Yawning Man. It’s clear that although the band’s heart often leans towards the abrasive, they’re also capable of impressive amounts of melody when required. Re-introducing the heavy riff for a big finish, this is an epic track that lovers of stoner derived metal should not miss.

Although he chooses to sing about summer along the way, there’s something very autumnal about Ger Eaton’s ‘Season’s Change’. Maybe its the track’s semi-droned arrangement and the way it feels like an audio equivalent of time stretching, conveying a feeling of slow decay. Despite this, there’s something strangely beautiful about the number and the way it slowly unravels with a fine orchestration and a choir of voices featured extensively behind the credited performer. The bulk of the song takes in a hazy, neo-psych sound that’s perfect for Eaton’s lax vocal, and although he’s previously been likened to Scott Walker, there’s something here that comes much closer to the works of acid folk artists like Linda Perhacs. This is an unexpected treat; the kind of performance that gives more on each successive play. In terms of strangely retro appeal, you’d be hard pushed to find a more interesting single at the time of release.

February 2024