|Flotsam And Jetsam - 'Ugly Noise' (Self Released)|
|Written by Ross Welford|
|Friday, 08 February 2013 03:00|
Flotsam And Jetsam return with 'Ugly Noise', the band's eleventh studio album, released via a PledgeMusic campaign.
The title track kicks us off in a piano-led atmosphere before a crunching riff kicks in over the top - instantly you can feel a slight comparison to the their last album, 'The Cold' - add a squealing guitar solo and you've got an opening track worthy of grabbing your attention. 'Gittyup' follows and ups the speed to a tempo more akin to latter day Flotsam - the controlled speed is there, Eric A.K's vocals still dominating their sound but you'll start to release that any chance of recreating early Flotsam is not happening (in their defence, they started being more controlled and less thrash many moons ago).
'Run And Hide', again, has a slight ethereal, slow intro that will make you realise, if you didn't before, that this band have moved on from the '80s and are now ploughing a furrow of their own making - this track could almost sum up Flots as they are these days; a Rock/Metal outfit with a foot in a thrash past but never wanting to stand firmly in with both feet.
'Rabbit's Foot', whilst not a ballad, is certainly a slowed down effort with more emotion and a surprisingly catchy chorus that will whirl around in your head for a long time - again, the vocals of A.K. are impressive and you realise he's lost no range or power in his voice over the years.
'Rage' is a strange beast in itself - it has an almost '70s disco vibe going on and although a chugging riff stands deep at the back, it's a song that you can't help but feel could be twice the song with more speed and simply put..... more RAGE! This could be and I'm sure will be, a great track for them in a live setting but the feeling that twice the speed on this one occasion could have been a benefit to them.
'Motherfuckery' sounds like Ministry have walked into the studio and taken over for 4 minutes - drum loops and anger drip through the whole track and is proof that they're prepared to try things and still have the snarl if needed. 'To Be Free', 'Machine Gun' and 'Cross The Sky' are more like what the old school fans will want to hear - constant drums not missing a beat and a guitar attack throwing shapes whilst heads bang the dandruff free. 'Machine Gun' in particular has a machine gun rattling drum attack that impresses.
The cover of this album could be the perfect metaphor for Flotsam And Jetsam: A once great, beautiful creation that has been beaten, eroded, left for dead and forgotten about..... but look closer and you'll see the innate carving, the keys played to death out of love and if you bother to listen, the sound is still there, beating slowly and waiting to be played and cared for.
Flotsam And Jetsam probably won't get new fans from this release, with many making their judgements when their third album 'When The Storm Comes Down' came out way back when, but to the small legions of fans still singing loudly and proudly.......
......it'll always be Flots Til Death.