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donderdag 24 september 2015
UGLY KID JOE: Uglier Than They Used Ta Be

Release: 2015-09-18
Style: hardrock
Label: /
Country: USA
Playing Time: 43’
Cat. N°: MV0086
Review by: Vera
Translated by: Vera
Rating: 8,5/10


Early nineties the EP ‘As Ugly As They Wanna Be’ appeared to be a direct hit, while also the first full length album ‘America’s Least Wanted’ was a million-seller. Ugly Kid Joe’s name was established and hits like ‘Everything About You’ and ‘Cats In The Cradle’ are carved in everyone’s memory. In 1997 the band’s split was inevitable, but the musicians remained more or less active in the rock scène.

After the reunion they appeared mainly on the stages of huge eminent rock festivals to start with, but the EP ‘Stariway To Hell’ was a little step towards new work. Finally the proper full length comeback album was launched at the world and ‘Uglier Than They Used Ta Be’ brims with delicious groove-laden rock songs, with now and then any semi-acoustic yet very strong tracks. This is really a fetching album from a fresh acting rock band that understands the art of writing captivating songs. It kicks off sturdy rocking with ‘Hell Ain’t Hard To Find’ and the grunge-tinged ‘Let The Record Play’, both graced with excellent guitar soloing. But they also manage to charm us in calmer songs. ‘Mirror Of The Man’, the melancholic ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ and surely the beautiful sung ‘My Enemy’ really surprise us. Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell belongs to the old circle of friends and can be heard in a couple of songs, amongst them in the cover version of classic ‘Ace Of Spades’. And we have another remarkable cover when you purchase the digipak: ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, once a chart buster from the soul collective The Temptations. This is classic rock at its best!


Begin jaren negentig sloeg de ep ‘As Ugly As They Wanna Be’ in als een bom, terwijl ook de eerste volledige plaat ‘America’s Least Wanted’ een grandioos succes was. Ugly Kid Joe’s naam was gevestigd en hits als ‘Everything About You’ en ‘Cats In The Cradle’ zijn onvergetelijk. In 1997 splitte de band, maar de muzikanten bleven toch actief in de rockwereld.

De reünie speelde zich eerst vooral af op podia van grote rockfestivals, maar de ep ‘Stairway To Hell’ was toch een kleine stap naar nieuw werk. Onlangs verscheen dan het ware comebackalbum ‘Uglier Than They Used Ta Be’ en dat staat vol heerlijke rocksongs met af en toe wat semi-akoestische maar heel sterke nummers. Dit is echt een aanstekelijk album van een frisse rockband die de kunst verstaat om pakkende composities te schrijven. Het gaat al stevig rockend van start met ‘Hell Ain’t Hard To Find’ en het grungy ‘Let The Record Play’, beide met uitstekende gitaarsolo’s. Maar men weet ook te beklijven in kalmere songs. ‘Mirror Of The Man’, het melancholische ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ en zeker de prachtig gezongen semi-ballade ‘My Enemy’ verrassen aangenaam. Motörhead gitarist Phil Campbell hoort tot de oude vrienden en is te horen in enkele songs, waaronder de cover van de klassieker ‘Ace Of Spades’. En er is nog een opmerkelijke cover wanneer je het digipack aanschaft: ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’, gekend van de soulgroep The Temptations. Classic rock op z’n best!


Hell Ain’t Hard To Find (3:49)
Let The Record Play (3:51)
Bad Seed (5:01)
Mirror Of The Man (3:56)
She’s Already Gone (4:21)
Nothing Ever Changes (3:23)
My Old Man (3:42)
Under The Bottom (5:47)
Ace Of Spades (2:45)
The Enemy (6:07)

Bonus track digipack

Papa Was A Rolling Stone (ft. Dallas Frasca)


Whitfield Crane: vocals
Klaus Eichstadt: guitars
Dave Fortman: guitars
Sonny Mayo: guitars
Cordell Crockett: bass
Zac Morris: drums
Shannon Larkin: drums

Guest appearance:

Phil Campbell (Motörhead): guitar on tracks 7, 8 & 9

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 24 september 2015 - 16:42:43
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