Album Reviews

Ugly Kid Joe – Stairway To Hell Review

Released By : Evilution Records

Genre : Sleazy Hard Rock

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Whitfield Crane – Vocals

Klaus Eichstadt – Guitars

Dave Fortman – Guitars

Cordell Crockett – Bass

Shannon Larkin – Drums



01. Devil’s Paradise

02. You Make Me Sick

03. No One Survives

04. I’m Alright

05. Love Ain’t True

06. Another Beer

Of all the bands you expect to see come back from the dead, UGLY KID JOE would have to be one of the least likely. After two fantastic albums and one average album the band disappeared into thin air with nary a whisper. After a while frontman Whitfield Crane resurfaced with his new band, modern alt. metal group MEDICATION which also featured Logan Mader from MACHINE HEAD and a pre-METALLICA Robert Trujillo. After that act dissipated we were introduced to ANOTHER ANIMAL, where at least some of the old-school rock vibe Crane was known for was brought back into play, alas this group also didn’t last very long at all.  Who knows the real reason why UGLY KID JOE decided to reform now after all these years, but they have, and they have released a brand new E.P titled STAIRWAY TO HELL, showing that the band’s love of parodying album and song titles is still in full-swing.

Overall the style is a bit of mixed bunch that takes elements of what the bands first three albums offered up and combines them into a modern-ish sounding take on the traditional hard rock formula, with just enough cheekiness and fun to not have to take it too seriously. Opening track, and the band’s first single in sixteen years, DEVIL’S PARADISE is a ripper. Sound-wise this track is most comparable to the MENACE OF SOBRIETY era, and features Crane dropping a vocal that at times sounds like an exact replica of the late and great Bon Scott and at other times almost like Perry Farrel. YOU MAKE ME SICK takes things right back to the earlier days of AMERICA’S LEAST WANTED both stylistically and lyrically, maybe even the spiritual successor to EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. NO ONE SURVIVES heads a little close to the MOTEL CALIFORNIA era, but it’s actually better than almost every track on that particular album. I’M ALRIGHT is straight-up early nineties hard rock with a great little bridge section that once again recalls the spirit of Bon Scott and adds some sleazy rock too. LOVE AIN’T TRUE is one of the weaker numbers here and includes a guest spot from two members of fellow nineties funk-metallers FISHBONE, it’s not a back track but it really does feel like a relic from an era that wasn’t all that amazing to begin with. ANOTHER BEER is an acoustic country rock ballad done in a similar vibe to MR. RECORD MAN. Once again not a stunning song by any means but these sort of tracks are perfect for filling up E.P’s anyways.

The return of UGLY KID JOE can only be a good thing in the modern day rock market, and while the E.P itself is a bit of mixed bag of both pearlers and a couple of less than stellar tracks (aren’t all E.P’s like this anyway?) I will wait to reserve my true judgement on the success of their return until they release the inevitable comeback album.


Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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One thought on “Ugly Kid Joe – Stairway To Hell Review

  1. They have 68 hours left to get their film clip financed for I’m Okay.

    If you want to help Ugly Kid Joe reach their goal, amounts start from $2.
    Be a producer =] Get in there and help them do an independant release!
    Kickstarter Ugly Kid Joe


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