Album Reviews

Flotsam & Jetsam – Ugly Noise Review

ugly noise_cover

Released by: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Thrash Metal



Line Up:

Eric ‘AK’ Knutson – vocals

Edward Carlson – guitar

Michael Gilbert – guitar

Jason Ward or Michael Spencer – bass

Kelly Smith – drums



1. Ugly Noise

2. Giddy Up

3. Run and Hide

4. Carry On

5. Rabbit’s Foot

6. Play Your Part

7. Rage

8. Cross the Sky

9. Motherfuckery

10. I Believe

11. To Be Free

12. Machine Gun


My love of thrash metal is no secret. If you read my concert reviews or look into my musical collection you will see a decided lean towards all things thrash. Though I hold more allegiance to the more classic bands than a lot of the newer vanguard carrying on that classic sound, there are plenty of new bands I enjoy immensely. It’s tough to ignore the fact that so many of those classic bands like Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, and Overkill are putting out music just as incredible as their classic catalogs, and in some cases better material. One band from back in the day that had some minor notoriety if for no other reason than losing a member to a veritable legend in the metal world are back and ready to prove themselves musically why they should be remembered for substance as opposed to the loss of a band mate. I’m talking about Flotsam & Jetsam.

Known more for supplying bassist Jason Newsted to Metallica after the tragic loss of Cliff Burton than much of their musical output folks missed out on some great music. Starting off as a pretty heavy thrash band and gaining some rotation on The Headbangers Ball with their video of the Elton John classic “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” (thanks in part to folks wanting to check out the prior band of the new Metallica bassist) Flotsam and Jetsam seemed on the verge of ascending to the heights that the aforementioned bands reached. Later on their sound shifted considerably, moving away from their original sound. The music was still good, but I lost interest in it myself. After some line-up changes and a period of dormancy for the band, Flotsam & Jetsam are back with their new album Ugly Noise. Though still not necessarily within the trash sound, they have at least gotten back to a sound closer to what brought me to them years ago. There’s just not enough of that sound to totally draw me in. The band sounds great together again giving good performances. My biggest complaint with the album is the songs. There simply aren’t any that really stand out to me, which is a shame. I mean, they’re not bad songs so much (well there are a couple I felt were a drag,) just nothing standout that made me appreciate the actual return of the band as much as the initial excitement of seeing that they had a new album coming out.

If Flotsam and Jetsam are a band whose career you have followed the whole time, then you may likely enjoy the new album Ugly Noise more than I did. The only moments I really appreciated where those brief shining moments of thrash that I enjoyed so much from their first couple of albums. Sadly it’s just not enough to make me want to listen to this album over and over again.


Written by Chris Martin

Ratings    Chris    5/10

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