Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

ugly kid joe

CD review RICHARDS/CRANE "Richards/Crane"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in RichardsCrane, Ugly Kid Joe, Godsmack, News, Acoustic, Rock, Blues, Grunge, CD Review

(7/10) Hmmmm. What to write about this album? Not easy and even after quite some rounds of listening I'm not hundred percent sure when it comes to "Richards/Crane".

Richards/Crane is the first album out of a cooperation of Godsmack's Lee Richards and Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane. Both guys benefit from a lot of experience with their bands, something that actually should be a good base for such a cooperation.

So, how does it sound when these to guys collaborate? The ten songs on the album neither reflect one of the two 'mother bands'. Richards and Crane release an acoustic album that focusses on silent moments, nice melodies and a lot of feel. Sometimes I was reminded of music played while sitting around a campfire while other moments sound like the MTV unplugged session of grunge icons Alice In Chains ("Someday").

All this is actually quite positive and the fact that the duo get's support by Myles Kennedy on "Black & White" gives the album even an extra. However, you can feel already the 'but' that's coming. The fact that each of the songs in itself sounds good doesn't mean that the totality is great as well. After a while I had the idea that I hear the same thing only different. The album doesn't contain any peaks or breakouts. Each of the ten numbers follow a kind of the same scheme which leads to a certain state of boredom halfway. Richards and Crane forgot to release the hand break which means that the album stays in the same gear all the time.

Anyhow, good songs, good idea and next time please a bit more variation and peperoni.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Homeward
  2. Everyone
  3. Here in the Light
  4. Black & White
  5. Someday
  6. Lost
  7. Waiting for a Prayer
  8. Rainy Day
  9. Don't Cry for me
  10. World Stand Still

 

Label: Metalville

Genre: Acoustic

Release Date EU: May 27, 2016

 

 

CD review RICHARDS/CRANE "Richards/Crane"
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CD review UGLY KID JOE "Uglier than they used to be"

Veröffentlicht am 14. September 2015 von Markus W. in Ugly Kid Joe, Hardrock, Alternative Rock, Rock, News, CD Review, Classic Rock

(7/10) There is no doubt that the most successful times of Ugly Kid Joe are over. But that doesn't mean that the guys from California don't rock anymore. Actually it's fun to have them back - a bit older but still with the right attitude. It almost feels like the break having been an energizer for the five-piece.

After the comeback release "Welcome to hell" in 2013 Whitfield Crane and band mates are back with a new album called "Uglier than they used to be" - a title that shows that the guys didn't loose their sense of humor.

The start into the longplayer, "Hell ain't hard to find", is a relaxed rocker. It's kept in mid-pace and shows that the guys still sticks to their roots. It's a typical Ugly Kid Joe song - not more, but also not less.

The opener comes already with a certain grunge vibe that continous through the first four songs; something that feels new.

Things change in the second half. Hard riff rockers are on the B-side as well as a ballad called "Under the bottom". The last mentioned one is a good song but I prefer the acoustic groover "Mirror the man".

The definite highlight on the album is the Motörhead cover "Ace of spades". This version blows you away. Close to the original Motörhead version, the tune is a killer, since Ugly Kid Joe manages to get the same energy into their version than Lemmy and friends on the classic rock milestone album.

In the end each of the songs is reflecting cool hardrock as we know it from the band.

Ugly Kid Joe got mature but not old or old-fashioned. The new studio release shows the strength of the five-piece that still knows how to rock. And like said in the beginning: they might not have the same success as in the early days, but they still rock.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Hell ain't hard to find
  2. Let the record play
  3. Bad seed
  4. Mirror the man
  5. She's already gone
  6. Nothing ever changes
  7. My old man
  8. Under the bottom
  9. Ace of spades
  10. Enemy

 

Label: Metalville

Genre: Hardrock

Release date EU: September 18th, 2015

CD review UGLY KID JOE "Uglier than they used to be"
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Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013

Veröffentlicht am 20. November 2013 von Markus W. in Ugly Kid Joe, Skid Row, Live Review, News, Hardrock, Heavy Metal

A rainy, grey and cold November evening in Amsterdam. So a good day for having a hot rock show. That was almost the scenario on November 19th when Ugly Kid Joe and Skid Row played at the Melkweg in Holland’s biggest city. As opener “Dead City Ruins” joined the package. Since I haven’t seen their show (just heard positive comments) I can’t say a lot about them.

 

But I can say much more about Ugly Kid Joe. After a long intro, which was a kind of rap/hip-hop song the band entered the stage around 20:00. The sound was very good from the beginning, but there was a kind of distance between band and audience during the first song. I think that a lot of people didn’t know what to expect from the band after all those years of absence. But already with the second song the ice was broken and a good rock’n’roll party started. The setlist contained newer material like “Devil’s paradise” from the latest EP, but also the hits like “Neighbors” and of course “Cats in the cradle”.

After finishing the “Goddamn devil” the band showed their humor. Whitfield asked the audience to just imagine that the band has left now the stage. But instead of leaving the stage all band members stood still – as a statue. The band kept their postures for quite some minutes and after a few moment of surprise the crowd demanded an encore. And of course the band appreciated that and played two more songs. The first one was “Everything about you”. The final song was a Motörhead cover – “Ace of spades”. The crowd got really wild and celebrated Ugly Kid Joe. After that show we can say that they are back in business – which is very good news.

 

After a 30 minutes break Skid Row started their gig. Since Ugly Kid Joe played a real good show it was difficult for Skid Row to top this. But they managed. Actually it was a fantastic show. Also they combined new stuff like "King of demolition" with the older highlights in the bands history like “18 and life”, “Youth gone wild” and “Slave to the grind”. Skid Row had as well a cover song in their setlist. It was “Psycho therapy” from the Ramones, which was sung by Rachel Bolan. He actually did a very good job here. But I also want to mention that all band members played a fantastic show. Johnny’s voice and personality fits perfect into the band, Dave and Scott played excellent and their stage acting was great. Last but not least Rob’s drumming gave the whole band the drive and foundation which was needed. They obviously had fun and enjoyed playing together. This was also expressed by Dave Sabo who was really touched by having that strong support from the fans. Guys, you're welcome…

Skid Row was standing on stage as one unit and created an awesome vibe. They rocked the Melkweg and the around 300 visitors couldn’t get enough. I can see from time to time the discussions about having a reunion with Sebastian Bach. Nothing against Sebastian, but I have to ask: “Why?”. After I have seen the show I think, that the band has to continue in this line-up. Again, they are one unit, they are good and they rock. My only wish is: Keep on rockin'. Hope to see you guy back soon.

 

So all in all it was an excellent way to spend a grey, rainy Tuesday evening with great bands which played a fantastic show and rocked the Melkweg. More of this. This is rock’n’roll.

 

 

By the way, there are still some shows to come. If you have a chance – go there:

21.11.13 Ludwigsburg Rockfabrik

22.11.13 Saarbruecken Garage

23.11.13 Vaureal Le forum

24.11.13 Lucerne Schuur

26.11.13 Vienna Ottakringer Brauerei

 

 

Setlist: Ugly Kid Joe

  1. Intro
  2. V.I.P.
  3. Neighbor
  4. C.U.S.T.
  5. Panhandlin’ prince
  6. So damn cool
  7. No one survives
  8. Devil’s paradise
  9. Cat’s in the cradle
  10. I’m alright
  11. Milkman’s son
  12. Goddamn devil
  13. Everything about you
  14. Ace of spades

Setlist: Skid Row

  1. Let’s go
  2. Big guns
  3. Makin’ a mess
  4. Piece of me
  5. 18 and life
  6. Thick is the skin
  7. Riot act
  8. In a darkened room
  9. King of demolition
  10. Psycho therapy
  11. I remember you
  12. Get the fuck out
  13. Monkey business
  14. Slave to the grind
  15. Youth gone wild

Location: Melkweg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 19.11.2013

Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013
Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013
Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013
Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013Live review SKID ROW / UGLY KID JOE in the Melkweg, Amsterdam 19.11.2013
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Interview with Klaus Eichstadt from UGLY KID JOE

Veröffentlicht am 1. Oktober 2013 von Markus W. in Ugly Kid Joe, Interview, Hardrock, News

I was very happy that I had the chance the other day to talk to Klaus Eichstadt, guitarist from the famous US band Ugly Kid Joe. Klaus talked about the coming release of the "Stairways to hell" EP and the coming tour activities with Skid Row.

 

Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Hej Klaus, good to have you on the phone. How are you?

Klaus Eichstadt: I’m fine, thanks. How are you?

 

MHMB: I’m good too. I heard that your German is actually pretty good. Is that correct?

Klaus: Yes “I can speak some German, not that good but pretty OK" (Klaus said this in almost perfect German).

 

MHMB: That sounds even better than my Dutch. Excellent. Do you have any German roots? The name gives already the impression that it is like that.

Klaus: Yes, I have. My father is actually from Kiel in Germany and I lived there for two years. But that was a long time ago.

 

MHMB: OK. Than it was probably a feeling of coming home, when you guys played Wacken this year.

Klaus: Yes, it felt a little bit like that.

 

MHMB: Before we talk about the new EP “Stairway the hell” I just want to look a little bit back in time. Ugly Kid Joe had a huge success in the ninties with hits like “Cats in the cradle”, you were touring with Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne and some other big guys. How was it when you stopped and stepped out of the spotlight?

Klaus: We can say that it was a mutural agreement when we disbanded. We all also had other things up and running like Dave for example is a well known producer, Shannon is the drummer of Godsmack and so on. But we always stayed friends over all that time.

 

MHMB: What was the reason that you guys stopped?

Klaus: I personally was just a kind of over it. Ich hatte keinen Bock mehr. I also have to say that we had seven pretty intense years and we all wanted to stop the thing before things would become pretty bad.

 

MHMB: You guys have seen everything in those years. From very small clubs up to the big arenas.

Klaus: Oh yes. It was just crazy. We played in front of 8 people in Portland/Oregon and six month later we opened for Ozzy Osbourne in a completely sold out arena. So it was totally crazy. We went to Asia, we played in Brasil and of course all over Europe. It was just a great time.

 

MHMB: Actually Ugly Kid Joe was the perfect soundtrack for the baseball games of our local team in Germany when we had games at home.

Klaus: Oh, didn't know that. That's cool.

 

MHMB: Looking now more into the present. What was than the starting point to reunite after all these years.

Klaus: It started 3 years ago when Dave was producing a new Godsmack record. And since Shannon is the drummer of Godsmack they talked about how it would be to bring Ugly Kid Joe back to life. So they called us and since Dave has his own studio he asked us what we think about recording some new tracks. We said of course "yes, let's do it". It sounded like super fun. So we did some rehearsal in L.A. and recorded about 10 raw ideas for the songs. We also did the drums in California and than we finished it a few month later in Louisiana in Dave's studio. Dave mixed than the songs and we have chosen the ones we liked most to get them on the EP.

 

MHMB: That was a really good idea, since there is a lot of good stuff on the EP. It maybe sounds a little bit more mature than in the early days, but each song is still very much Ugly Kid Joe. And you still kept the fun in it - I just think about "Another beer". Who came up with that idea?

Klaus: Yes, true. It's a love song about a beer. That's all we need.

 

MHMB: I guess this is connected to the German roots :-)

Klaus: Oh yes, definitely ;-) No problem 'bout that.

 

MHMB: Talking about the songs on the EP. Are those new written songs or do they come from former session?

Klaus: It's actually both. Some of the songs are really old material like e.g. "You make me sick" which I have written shortly before we broke up. On the other hand there are songs like "Devil's paradise" which is pretty new. Even though the riff is older all the bridges for example are new written, like actually all the bridges on the EP. Talking about "Another beer", I have written that songs 6 years ago by just playing around with the acoustic guitar.

 

MHMB: You have added now three acoustic songs for the new release. I guess also those were new recorded.

Klaus: Yes indeed, they are. We just went into the studio quickly and it was mainly Whit, Dave and Cordell put together those bonus tracks, which is pretty cool.

 

MHMB: And I think it's interesting to listen to those songs since they give the songs a totally new atmosphere

Klaus: Oh yes. I mean that was the whole idea - to do a different version of those songs.

 

MHMB: When I heard the name of the EP "Stairway to hell" of course I was immediately reminded to "Stairway to heaven" from Led Zeppelin. Is that this twinkle in eye thing which is so typical for Ugly Kid Joe?

Klaus: Yeah, we were sitting together and were thinking about how to name the record. So we said, let's do something which we always did, let's do a 'scissoring' title. So we mixed "Stairway to heaven" with "Highway to hell". "Stairway to hell" sounded actually pretty good, so that's how the EP got it's name.

 

MHMB: Is it than also AC/DC and Led Zeppelin which influenced you a lot?

Klaus: Definitely all of us love those bands. They are just awsome and had a big impact on all us, esp.AC/DC.

 

MHMB: I also had the feeling that some songs have some funk elements which reminds me to bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Is that correct?

Klaus: They had a huge influence. Eventhough I was grown up with hardrock and heavy metal like Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Judas Priest I went at a certain moment of my life to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert and said "wow". This was something I haven't seen before. This is a totally other scene and it's not the same energy like in a metal concert, but it was just a crazy freaky crossover show. And they have that typical bass based sound with Flea as a great bass player. So with a few songs here and there we were focussing in that sense on the bass and Cordell can also do that stuff in his bass play.

 

MHMB: How was it with the first release of the EP. It was a kind of strange start, since it was available online, than it became a hard disc and so on. And I think that not many people in Europe noticed the "Stairways to hell" EP. So how did this happen?

Klaus: The originally idea was to release the EP on iTunes for ourselfs. So we did that and we were on tour in Europe when we were approached suddenly all of a suddenly by a record company in the US and they wanted to release our record and distribute it. So we said of course "Yes" to it and the EP we made was first supposed to be only for the US. But than, just a few month ago whit was talking back and forward with a friend in Europe from a label there and they wanted to release the EP for the European market. At the same time we got the chance to do the Download festival and use it as an add-on for the European version.

 

MHMB: So we can conclude that Ugly Kid Joe is definitely back in business.

Klaus: Yes, indeed. And we have also already planned a tour in autumn, when we play quite some shows in Europe together with Skid Row.

 

MHMB: What can we expect from the shows? Is the setlist already known?

Klaus: We will have a good mix between old stuff and new stuff and some stuff from in between. We will also working ona few new songs and do a few covers here and there.

 

MHMB: Is it actually a co-headliner tour of you guys and Skid Row?

Klaus: Oh yes. Eventhough we are playing first it is a co-headliner show where both bands get the same playing time on stage. We are both playing full sets and we have enough time to play plenty of songs.

 

MHMB: Taking about live concerts. You played Woodstock in Poland this year in front of hundred thousands of visitors. How was that experience?

Klaus: It is really hundreds of thousand people there and I have to say that it was great. It was fantastic. It was a great atmosphere and the crowd was fantastic, we had an awesome stage when it comes to sound-systems and it was very well organised. It's huge and I think it is one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It was pretty cool.

 

MHMB: How is it actually about new material. Are you guys writing on new songs?

Klaus: Yes, we are always trying out thing and gathering ideas. I think that we have already some stuff, but now let's first play the tour and than let's see to where this all leads to.

 

MHMB: Talking about playing live. What are countries where Ugly Kid Joe hasn't played yet but wants to play live?

Klaus: Since we have played last year in a lot of new countries like Turkey, Serbia and Israel we definitely want to play in Buenos Aires, Argentina. So far we only made it down to Brazil, but Argentina is for sure a country we would like to play. The crowd there is totally crazy and wild. When I have seen the latest DVD from AC/DC I have to say that this is probably the craziest crowd I have seen.

 

MHMB: I have a last question. Where does the name Ugly Kid Joe comes from?

Klaus: Actually it was by coinsident. We haven't really had a name for the band when we were supposed to be the opener for a band called Pretty Boy Floyd. And then we thought how cool it could be if Ugly Kid Joe opens for Pretty Boy Floyd. We all liked the idea and thought tous the name for this particular show. Than the show has been cancelled but we kept the name.

 

MHMB: Klaus, thanks for having the chance to talk to you. I'm looking forward to see you guys in Amsterdam.

 

Klaus: Thanks for having me.

Interview with Klaus Eichstadt from UGLY KID JOE
Interview with Klaus Eichstadt from UGLY KID JOE
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CD review UGLY KID JOE "Stairway to hell"

Veröffentlicht am 31. August 2013 von Markus W. in Ugly Kid Joe, Hardrock, CD Review

Ugly Kid Jow is back. After they were very successful in the beginning of the 90's, when they had hits like "Cats in the cradle" and "Everything about you" the band stopped in 1996. Than it took 16 years till the band came back with some new stuff. It was the self-produced "Stairway to hell". But the EP was also only online available and hardly to get.

Now the band decided to make a proper release out of this EP. They added three acoustic songs to the EP and in addition to that there will be also a DVD with the 2012 Download show. Sound like value for money. Since I haven't seen the DVD yet I would like to focus on the CD.

The six songs are good rockers in the mid-tempo like we expect them from Ugly Kid Joe. It is good party music even thought all tracks sound for me a little bit more mature than in the old days of the band. "I'm alright" is really kicking-ass and has one of those typical Ugly Kid Joe verses. With "Another beer" the EP has already it's own acoustic song with great lyrics. Just listen to it and amuse yourself. And the opener "Devils paradise" is another song in the mid-tempo with a lot of sleaze attitude, build on a pretty heavy riff. Good stuff.

The three extra acoustic songs are all OK. Well done and of course they include "Cats in the cradle". A nice add-on.

Ugly Kid Joe got mature (but not old) over all those years and release(d) a good EP which makes me curious for more. I'm looking forward to see them live together with Skid Row in autumn.

(8/10)

Tracklist:

Devils paradise

You make me sick

No one survives

I'm alright

Love ain't true

Another beer

Cats in the cradle (acoustic)

Would you like to be there (acoustic)

No one survives (acoustic)

Label: Metalville

Genre: Hardrock

CD review UGLY KID JOE "Stairway to hell"
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