It's been a long time since rock legends Ugly Kid Joe have released an album, but the wait has ended. The California band's critically acclaimed, Stairway to Hell, is being released today 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.
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.
Of Stairway to Hell, Allmusic.com says"That decade-plus the Ugly Kid Joe members spent playing professionally is immediately evident here," while Pittsburgh Music Magazine reports "The fact that they still sound so strong and intense even after 15 years is remarkable. Expectations be damned: Ugly Kid Joe are back."
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.
Ugly Kid Joe is:
Whitfield Crane (vocals)
Cordell Crockett (bass)
Klaus Eichstadt (guitars)
Dave Forman (guitars)
Shannon Larkin (drums)
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.