In the spirit of full disclosure, Tim Jamison, the lead singer of Ultraman, has written columns for razorcake.com, I’ve skated with him when he’s flown out from St. Louis, and, yeah, there’s bias. Ultraman’s been around since the days of Black Flag, owes equal measure to the first wave of American hardcore (Flag of Democracy, Minor Threat) and the second wave of more melodic hardcore (Bad Religion, Sick Of It All). It’s not a rote transcription; more of a long distillation and coming to healthy grips of being a much older band with a different worldview: naiveté hardening into the pragmatic determination of families, kids, houses, and getting old while still believing in punk, that type of thing. Much like The Crowd’s , and The Descendents’ , the band forges a new chapter instead of trying to merely re-tool or just revisit previous successes. There are several standout tracks, like “Decision” and “Fall,” that are so good that you can’t help thinking that if the roulette of time and place was different that these guys would be on the tip of more folks’ tongues. That said, the CD’s extremely generous in that there’s thirteen new tracks, plus five tracks from a previous band (of which all members of Ultraman were in at one time or another), and video footage. Glad to have this in my collection.
–todd (New Red Archives)