Review Summary: IMO this EP is a excellent way to for Ugly Kid Joe to demonstrate their bratty wit, wonderful instrumentation and humorous song matter to the world, showing much promise for the band. All the characteristics that mold together for this EP are also amplifi
I remember the day a year and a half ago that I first heard this EP. My family was moving houses, and we were all crampt in the car on a bright, sunny summers afternoon next to our very annoying dog, and various possessions we could not cram in the boot or fit on the roof of our tiny car. My uncle's mammoth collection of various cassettes featuring various metal albums, compilations and EPs from back in his band days in the early 90s.
So as I rummage through them, I find this tape featuring a rather grotesque, bratty looking child giving the finger to an unknown antagonist, a beer bottle hidden behind his back in his left hand.I ask my dad in the passenger seat to put on the tape so I can find what this 'Ugly Kid Joe' is, and what inspired this seemingly random image on the cassette jacket.
It is then, only seconds later, after the ejection of a Deep Purple compilation tape that the introduction to "Madman" reaches my ears, and I suddenly become perplexed by why the relatively normal sounds of theme park bustling is rudely interrupted by gunfire and screaming. As quickly as the intro started, it is cut out by a brilliant guitar riff that sets the pace from much of the album to come. this song to me at the time, and still today seemed to end too quickly for me to peice together the high pitched vocals that present lyrical rants about Disney Land and madmen brandishing weapons and having agendas. It is by this stage that I am completely mezmerised by this sound that seems to me like an almagamation of Black Sabbath and the Little Rascals, both on speed.
The next track begins, and "Whiplash Liqour" reaches my ears. this seems to be a song about metal music and drinking alchohol heavily. This track also seems too short for me, but only ever so slightly falls short of the opener "Madman", because it is kind of repetetive in the riffing and lyrical department, and the sudden stops may frustrate other listeners to some extent.
Track 3, "Too Bad" then opens with an airy pop-metal riff. This song soes not seem to short as the first two did, as the brilliant guitar solo (courtesy of the great Klaus Eichstadt), which adds to much of the length of the song. The rythm section (consisting of Mark Davis; Drums and Cordell Crockett; Bass Guitar) is strong throughout as with all the songs and Whitfield Crane's high pitched Ozzy Osbourne influenced vocals are great as well. However this song is a great showcase of what Ugly Kid Joe is to the core and is one of the best on the EP.
The next track, and one of Ugly Kid Joe's most famous songs of all, "Everything About You" follows the amazing Metal riffing of the album so far with a clean guitar intro, changing the pace to slower, airy hard rock atmosphere for just some of this song, until the breakdown shortly after the simple guitar solo, which features jazzy guitar chords, drumming, and quasi-rapping, before returing back to the hard rock chorus. It is no suprise that this song was released as a single, and also to high mainstream success, even being featured in the Wayne's World soundtrack.
And finally, the closing track "Sweet Leaf/Funky Fresh Country Club" begins, with the very famous and familiar riff of the Sabbath classic, with a slight schange to Crane's usual vocals, instead favouring a kind of crooning style; contrasting his bratty,semi-rapping vocals from the previous tracks. At the 2:14 mark of the song, it bthen bridges into the "Funky Fresh Country Club" part of the song with a short guitar riff before an amazing slap bass part dominates the rest of the song, with only drums and bass for some time before a jazzy clean guitar joins in. This part of the song encompases basically all of the elements of the previous tracks into this one song. IMO Ugly Kid Joe's BEST song ever. However after the song finishes, it has a 25 second joke outro of speed metal riffing and grunting, another example of Ugly Kid Joe's bratty humour, parodying what the mainstream media seems to think heavy metal is (at the time this was released anyway).
And so ends an excellent EP by a truly great band. I recommend this EP to anyone who is listening to metal for the first time, as the poppy style of metal will get you prepared for the much heavier stuff out there.
-Some songs were too short to enjoy properly
"Everything About You"
"Sweet Leaf/ Funky Fresh Country Club"
Track by track rating:
"Whiplash Liquor"- 4/5
"Too Bad"- 5/5
"Everything About You"- 4.5/5
"Sweet Leaf/Funky Fresh Country Club"- 6/5 (I really love this song)
Overall Rating: 4.5/5