Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

May 14, 2010

The Real HorrorShow ~ Ultra Kuku

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: punk, ska, oi
Label: self-released
Year: 1996
Home: Poland

Members: Majka, Banan ~ guitars
Specjals ~ drums
Gruby ~ bass

It should be obvious by now that I don't review many punk albums, basically because it's a style of music that I just can't get into. No, I'm not a Ramones, Sex Pistols or even Green Day fan & have never been. Yes, they have a few songs I like, but that's about it. & those songs don't make me want to seek out more in the genre. The last punk album review I did got me in a bit of trouble with the band who felt I didn't understand their music & probably shouldn't have wasted my time with them even though I did give their album a good review. Actually, in a long e-mail correspondence they said I didn't understand their message & thus shouldn't review them, let alone I showed my ignorance of British naval history, but it was nice that I tried to do them a favor by reviewing the album even though I'm not a punk rocker. I'm glad I gave them a good review! So, again, I return to another punk album with Ultra Kuku ... I guess I'm a glutton for wasting time & asking for trouble! Don't answer that. & yet again, I give a basically good review to a punk album when I willingly confess I don't care for punk rock. Will I never learn? Oh well. Though I did do some reading on British naval history in the meantime. As for not understanding this band - they sing entirely in Polish! I haven't a chance if I tried considering my Polish is as bad as my ancient Sumerian or Canadian! The Real HorrowShow caught my attention for a couple reasons: their poor production gives them a very 70's sound which I like, half the album is ska which I've liked since the first time I heard it from the front row of a mosh pit where we were all going crazy dancing & they're from Poland which was once a favorite travel destination of mine & I've always had good luck with liking Polish bands. Actually, they sound like a Polish band I have a couple albums by, but whose name I can't pronounce & even if I could nobody reading this would know them. A roving bassline behind lots of strumming, versus note-based metal riffs, with an occasional guitar where you can tell some young kid is just trying to play his heart out & give it his best ... while probably wishing the production was better so everyone could hear him better ... describes most of Ultra Kuku. Supposedly this is an Oi! band but without being able to understand the political lyrics the difference between Oi! & straight ahead early Green Day-esque punk is hard to discern. For me the real highlights of the album are the ska songs, whether hardcore ska ("Honor Gangstera", "Al Capone") or with just a ska feeling ("'77"). These songs really show off what the band can do & luckily take up half the album. There's also a slow reggae-esque ballad "Stay Rude" that is a particular favorite with it's change from almost whispered vocals to shouts. If you didn't realize it, as I didn't until I was doing a little research to find out more about the band, which I didn't, they get their name from the classic book "A Clockwork Orange". I read that book a decade ago & just don't have a memory for book quotes. I can't say go out & buy this release because you probably wouldn't be able to find it if you tried, though you can check out their music, like many of the lesser known bands I review, on myspace of which you'll get to if you click on the band name above this review.

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