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UGLY KID JOE - Uglier Than They Used Ta Be (2015)


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from 0dayrox2: http://0dayrox2.blogspot.com/2015/09/ugly-kid-joe-uglier-than-they-used-ta-be-2015-full.html



Finally it happened; raucous hard rockers from Isla Vista, California UGLY KID JOE will release a new full-length album titled "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be" on October 16 via Metalville / UKJ Records.


This is their first full-length studio album release in 19 years, so I was eager to hear it and the first thing to hit me was the maturity that they have gained. Yes I know we are all older, but this album is Ugly Kid Joe of today.


The angst and anger is still so much present in their lyrics, but age has seasoned this band beautifully.


Opening track ‘Hell Ain’t Hard To Find’ showcases the heavy funky riffs that UKJ are well remembered for, and has my head nodding back and front all over. Whitfield Crane’s voice still has that soulful edge to it, as he tells us his story of seeking and finding something different.


Second track ‘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. It’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head, and a highlight from the album.




‘Bad Seed’ has a great gritty bass line + an aggressive riff, and tells 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’ brings the tempo back again and as the title suggests it’s 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. It's a great song and another favorite.


‘My Old Man’ brings a much heavier guitar with the first guest appearance from Phil Campbell (Motorhead), however it's one of the more melodic songs here. Typical early UKJ, and I love it.


Phil also guests on the next track ‘Under The Bottom’, another stomper of hard rock heaviness pretty much like Skid Row 2015, and of course on the cover of Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’, a correct version coming up next.


‘Enemy’ is another slow melodic track, not exactly a ballad, just that type of atmospheric tunes UKJ does so well. The final track is another cover, ‘Papa Was A Rollin Stone’ with special guest Dallas Frasca. It's cool, but I think it was not necessary.




After 19 years of silence album wise, "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be" contains all of what was and still is Ugly Kid Joe. From the dark undertone to the lyrics to the funky heavy beats and delicious acoustic numbers, it has it all.


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).


I for one think it was well worth the wait.


Highly Recommended.


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)


Whitfield Crane - Vocals
Klaus Eichstadt - Guitar
Dave Fortman - Guitar
Cordell Crockett - Bass
Shannon Larkin - Drums
Dallas Frasca - guest Vocals on 11
Phil Campbell - guest Guitar Solos





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The Stairway to Hell EP was a fun listen. I'd be down for more.

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That song sounds like a mix of old school UKJ blended with Foo Fighters. Which is a bad mix in my books, but if they ditch the Foo Fighters influence I hope there's some okay stuff on here.

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  • 2 years later...

Never was a huge UKJ fan, but always dug the radio songs.
Having a listen to this one now and Geoff is right - very Foo Fighters, which I don't mind at all.
I liken it to the awesome FF album Sonic Highways.

First time I head the new UKJ, I kinda skipped thought it and thought 'meh', but listening to is flow through is very different and it's a pretty cool album.

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Obviously this album's title goes back to their debut EP. That EP kicked ass and I still listen to it today. Everything else has been shit.

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Not gonna claim to be the biggest fan of the band by any means, but I have loved every single album and EP they have released.

The way they mix and match styles and genres should not work, but it does.

This album and the EP before it, were like they had never gone away.

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