Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ugly Kid Joe - Uglier Than They Used Ta Be (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Pledge Music / Metalville / UKJ Records
Track listing:
01. Hell Ain't Hard To Find
02. Let The Record Play
03. Bad Seed
04. Mirror The Man
05. She's Already Gone
06. Nothing Ever Changes
07. My Old Man (feat. Phil Campbell)
08. Under The Bottom (feat. Phil Campbell)
09. Ace Of Spades (feat. Phil Campbell)
10. Enemy
11. Papa Was A Rolling Stone (feat Dallas Frasca)

Californian rockers, Ugly Kid Joe return with their brand spanking new album, 'Uglier Than They Used Ta Be' on October 16th via Metalville / UKJ Records. (already available to those who pledged via pledgemusic!).
'Uglier Than They Used Ta Be' is the bands first full length studio album since 1996's Motel California, that's a gap of 19 years, (even Axl Rose's Gun's 'n' Roses have shorter gaps in between albums!) so its fair to say that this album is fairly eagerly anticipated by fans of both the band and the 90's hard rock scene. So how does this album fair? Well the first thing that the listener will notice is that the songs have a certain maturity about them nowadays. The angst and anger is still present withing the bands lyrics, but the songs have a more mature, polished and dare I say restrained feel to them. The guys have grown up as song writers, maybe robbing some of the songs of that certain energy that they may have once displayed, but replacing it with a more structured and rounded sound altogether.
Opening track ‘Hell Ain’t Hard To Find’ showcases the heavy funky riffs that Ugly Kid Joe are best remembered for, the song has a mature and polished sound to it with Whitfield Crane’s voice still having that soulful edge to it, as he tells us his story of seeking and finding something different.
‘Let The Record Play’ is a great twist on a relationship breakup, by comparing the emotions to an old record back in the day. It will strike a chord with everyone who has had that bad ending, but retains a great upbeat melody. ‘Bad Seed’ has a great bass line and a great heavy riff ta boot, with the song telling us about a person’s inner turmoil and struggle to fight back, while ‘Mirror Of The Man’ is a slower laid back track, but with dark lyrics observing the state of people’s attitude towards the state of the world today.
‘She’s Already Gone’ raises the tempo again, and as the title suggests, the lyrics are once again about a relationship ending, all told via a sharp, heavy guitar riff.
‘Nothing Ever Changes’ will delight fans with just Whit’s vocals and a soft subtle guitar. Awesome song!
‘My Old Man’ the first song to feature a guest appearance from Phil Campbell (Motorhead), has one of the heaviest guitar sounds on the album, that despite being one of the albums more melodic tracks!
Phil Campbell also guests on the albums next track, ‘Under The Bottom’, which is another stomper of a hard rock track! Phil also features on the bands ripping roaring cover of the Motorhead classic 'Ace Of Spades'!
‘Enemy’ is another slow melodic track, not exactly a ballad, just that type of atmospheric tune that  Ugly Kid Joe do so well. The final track is another cover, this time being ‘Papa Was A Rollin Stone’ with special guest Dallas Frasca. It's a great song, but maybe not the best album closer that they could have chosen.
 Production is excellent, not strange as guitarist Dave Fortman has become one of the most requested producers lately (he has worked with bands such as Superjoint Ritual, Slipknot as well as on both of Evanescence's multi-platinum selling albums).
'Uglier Than They Used Ta Be' is a solid return for one of the nineties best bands and is well worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment