Platinum sellers Ugly Kid Joe have come back after a long vacation, and they’re ready to rock harder than ever. The California band’s new EP, Stairway to Hell, is due on April 16th through MRI, and it contains songs that span the full repertoire of influences that made Ugly Kid Joe the soundtrack for young snowboarders, surfers, and keggers worldwide.
The epicenter of Ugly Kid Joe is lead singer Whitfield Crane-a wonderfully cathartic wrecking ball of rock ‘n’ roll energy as it used to be served, on the rocks with no need for tonic. He’s joined by long-time co-conspirators, Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman (guitars) as well as Cordell Crockett (bass) and Shannon Larkin (drums.) Several members have built pretty substantial resumes during Ugly Kid Joe’s break. Fortman produced albums by Evanescence, Slipknot and Mudvayne, while Larkin hit the skins for multi-Platinum sellers Godsmack.
Ugly Kid Joe’s stratospheric rise came about soon after their formation in 1990. After signing to Mercury Records, the band released the EP As Ugly As They Wanna Be. On the strength of the hit single “Everything About You,” it went on to sell over a million copies in the U.S., becoming the highest selling debut EP of all time and the first EP in history to be certified Platinum. In 1992, UKJ released America’s Least Wanted which became a double-platinum phenomenon, and saw the band tour worldwide supporting legends such as Ozzy Osbourne and Van Halen. Two more albums were to come out, 1995’s Menace To Sobriety and 1996’s Motel California, before UKJ decided to take a hiatus.
Whether it’s the hypnotic riffery of “Devil’s Paradise”, the melodic power-fueled darkness of “No One Survives” or the irrepressibly chuggin’ chorus of “I’m Alright,” Stairway to Hell makes it clear that Ugly Kid Joe has everything they started with, and have added fatter chops and a superior grip on songwriting to their arsenal.
Stairway to Hell track listing:
You Make Me Sick
No One Survives
Love Ain’t True
Cat In the Cradle (acoustic)
Would You Like To Be There (acoustic)
No One Survives (acoustic)
It’s Alright (video)*
*bonus content on the physical CD only.
Preorder Stairway to Hell: Amazon