Posts Tagged ‘Stuck’

ultraspankFor the last two weeks, we have been exploring the Nu-Metal scene which was a scene that I heavily promoted on my early college radio show from 2000-01. One of the bands that I was admittedly obsessed with back in those days was the band Ultraspank which formed in 1995 after the break up of another band. On May 30, 2000, the band would release their most critically acclaimed album Progress which featured Pete Murray (Vocals and Programming), Dan Ogden (Bass), Jerry Oliviera (Guitar), Neil Godfrey (Guitar), and former Snot drummer James “Fed” Carroll. The album was produced by the great Peter Collins who had produced albums for bands such as Alice Cooper, Gary Moore, Rush, Queensrÿche, and so many more. I can’t find much online as far as the band’s chart history or how many albums the band sold, but it is considered by some critics as the best Nu-Metal album that was ever released.

51NZls8K2bL1. Push-An cool industrial like bass riff along with some drums opens up the track and launches into overdrive as soon as the chorus kicks in. I think the track is about that fear of growing old and knowing change is taking over, but you just have to push through it. 4.5/5

2. Crumble– A cool guitar riff leads us in to this track that is about someone who realizes that they are not growing as a person like their counterpart, so they need to change it. 4.5/5

3. Stuck– A ferocious track right from the get go, the song follows someone who feels like they are stuck in a situation that is going nowhere. You can hear elements that are very similar to bands like Taproot in this track. 4.5/5

4. Feed-The opening riff reminds me of Korn’s Shoots and Ladders until the song progresses forward. the song is about someone who constantly feeds you BS and pretends to be your friend, but they prey on you because he thinks you’re weak. 4.5/5

5. Smile-Bass and drums once again open the track with a mellow guitar riff that eventually follows in this track that has a huge similarity in style to Tool especially as Pete channels his inner Maynard James Keenan. 4/5

6. Click-A rockin tune that has a driving riff that will have you grooving to it especially when the chorus hits. The chorus has a flare to it that sounds like Static-X’s Push It. One of the best tracks on the album for sure. 5/5

R-11096097-1509798523-3387.jpeg7. Jackass-A hard driving rock track that slows down the tempo for the verse to the point that it’s only bass and drums with that ominous guitar riff that comes in to signal the chorus is near. This is another amazing track on the album that seems to be talking about someone who thinks they are great, but there really a…. 4.5/5

8. Crack– A track that seems to be talking about someone who is cracking under the pressures of what life brings that they are shutting themselves off to the world. 4/5

9. Invite Yourself In– A 16 second intro to the next track 4/5

10. Thanks-A track that is purely metal and in your face as it may be one of the heaviest tracks on the album for sure. 4.5/5

11. Left-A cool track that starts off heavy, but then it gets very melodic and evil sounding which is pretty cool. It has that Tool influence to it which I think is a cool touch in a track that seems to be about someone who needs to leave the place he is over guilt for something. 4.5/5

12. Where– This is one of the best and my personal favorite Ultraspank track that I played every chance I could on my radio show. It starts off with this cool acoustic side to it then a cool programmed riff comes in before the band launches into overdrive for the chorus. I just think it’s about keeping your head up because somewhere out there is a better place than this. you just have to find it. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– The track features so many sounds that would be utilized in the scene right after it’s release and you can definitely hear the similarities with bands on the scene. This was an amazing release and it’s too bad that the band would break up shortly after the release, but those things happen. Check this one out on Spotify, iTunes, and on CD if you can find it. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five.

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comecleanI was a little torn as to what album I was going to choose to do for the album of the week this week. I was going to choose a Red Hot Chili Peppers record until I found out what happened at the Super Bowl (which I really don’t care to clear it up), but I finally think I found the record. I remember hearing about a band from Kansas City, Missouri that earned a record contract by sneaking their way backstage to hand Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit their tape. Fred loved what he heard and he signed PUDDLE OF MUᗡᗡ to his label Flawless Records. At the time, Flawless had only released the Family Values 99 tour CD and one of Wes Borland’s side projects so PUDDLE OF MUᗡᗡ’s Come Clean was the first real record the label had released back on August 28, 2001. I was not totally bought and sold on the band until I had seen them open for Korn on the Untouchables tour and so I ventured to the record store and I bought the album. The band at the time was made of of Wes Scantlin (Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals), Paul James Phillips (Guitar), Douglas John Ardito (Bass), and Greg David Upchurch (Drums) with Josh Freese contributing on drums as well. The album was produced by John Kurzweg (Creed) and Fred Durst and Jordan Schur served as executive producers.

comeclean 2The first song on the record which also served as the first single on the record is not titled The Smack My Ass song which is what we use to call it back in the day. The name of the track was called Control and it was one of those hard rocking tracks that explored the topic of vanity in an interesting way. Drift & Die was the next track on the album and it was a semi-acoustic/electric tracks that was brought over from their 1994 record Stuck. Even though it’s not the most popular song on the record, it did spend 7 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks which isn’t too shabby. Out Of My Head is the next track on the record and it’s grunge like power chords dominate the speakers that remind you of the formula Nickleback uses to get their popularity. Puddle Of Mudd gets sludge happy in the next track Nobody Told Me which has elements of Alice In Chains in the track. Blurry is a track that I call the bands power ballad and it was written primarily based on how Wes missed his son Jordan even though it is said that the track is about break up and cowardice.

comeclean3She Hates Me is a track that Jimmy Allen wrote about his bad break up from his girlfriend. There are a lot of people that believe that the band plagiarized the chord progression because of how similar it is to the Suicidal Tendencies track I Saw Your Mommy.  Bring Me Down is the next track on the record that has a sound similar to Nirvana while Basement is a full octane boosted pop version of a Nirvana song. Said‘s music would make Pearl Jam proud while Never Change has that Ten vibe to it as well. Piss It All Away has dark Stone Temple Pilots/Zeppelin like vibe to it with the acoustic guitars. I don’t think it’s the greatest album ever written, but it’s definitely a head of it’s class in the Post-Grunge category. Nickleback definitely took the ball and they ran with it to create the career that they did. This is the highest selling album that Puddle Of Mudd would ever release going 3X platinum. Scantlin has had some real legal issues over the past couple of years which may be the reason why the group hasn’t released anything since 2011 covers album. So, for a final grade I am going to give the album 3.3 stars out of five.