what now" is this the end for this semi-underrated band" unfortunately yes. However, according to band's official myspace page the band re-united (in 2010) and might be recording a new album.
After the breakthrough album of theirs, (America's least wanted) Uglies pumped up the volume, creating heavier riffs while leaving the humour behind, in their secondary album 'Menace to Sobriety'. Being unsucessful in sales, reasons i don't know why, the band was forced to cancel their contract with their record label due to the low sales of Menace to Sobriety.
In their 3rd, Motel California, i think the band is influenced by the newly formed heavy riff bands. However what they created on this album was, very familiar to the upcoming Y2K's heaviest influence, Nu-Metal. The riffs and the long repeated lyrics,short and fairly important guitar solos, angry vocal performances of Whit Crane proves this. In addition to all these reasons, Whit, after Ugly kid joe's split up, formed a short-lasting nu-metal supergroup called 'Medication'.
The only song that reminds us the former UKJ sound on the album is 'Would you like to be there"', has the most subtle air a song could have had, moves you into a mellow mood and wanna make love and dream and everything. To me it's an epic song and what UKJ should have been creating on their last record.
Other outstanding songs on the album are Bicycle Wheels,Sandwich and Dialogue. They are short in length and the formation of the lyrics are not as they used to be in the former UKJ albums. The song Undertow lyrics are more poetic than any other UKJ songs which surprises in a positive manner.
Even though the new direction of the UKJ was not liked by the fans, to me Motel California is still an underrated album and a must listen album which accidentally or willingly influenced the upcoming Nu-metal genre.