Review Summary: Ugly Kids are now Angry.
Ugly Kid Joe, catching the mainstream attention with their first Ep, lost popularity after their heaviest album, Menace to Sobriety.
Taking the former album (America’s Least Wanted) into consideration, Ugly members play heavier riffs, matching drums to killer riffs. However, on their worldwide best selling EP they already proved that they could do. They tuned down to get more airplay, mostly because of the producers. As Shannon Larkin joins the band as the new drummer, we hear more crosses. The guitar solos are still recognisable but they are shorter and simpler.
Whit Crane likes versatility on writing. It is noticable in all 3 albums. Even though Love still remains the main subject on most of their songs, UKJ does well to perform them in the heaviest manner which puts more passion on lines.
Leaving the rather funky vocals behind, Whit this time puts a memorable vocal performance. On the song ‘Clover’ his voice is so epic that not every singer would have the courage to perform it the same way Whit does. Punching every line, not passing the thin line between singing and screaming, he proves how gifted he is.
On the semi-romantic song Milkman’s Son, as i mentioned before, he puts such an angry effort on the chorus that someone who is not familiar to the language, can think the lyrics are even violent.
As the humorous preludes and lyrics no longer exist on this second record, Whit this time looks religion from a different perspective. On the song God, he has a more serious approach compared to their hit ‘Goddamn Devil’.
On the rest of the record, the tempo goes up and down, while the lyrics vary, Whit never bores us.
UKJ is one of those bands that never got into any costumes or masks or try to fit in any genre to be popular. Therefore what they offer on their second LP is some pure heavy rock and nothing less.
It is a pity that UKJ’s record label (Mercury) cancelled their contract with the band after this solid album. However, America’s Least Wanted was a different case; the humour on the album, two world-wide hits, even the album cover caught the attention of everyone and unfortunately that is what really satisfies a record company. This album lacks in nothing but some spirit that their first album had. Nevertheless it definately deserves a better praise and reputation.