“Are you the guys on the beach that hate everything?”
Right around 30 years ago, as hair metal was in its final death throes along with most other remnants of the Reagan 80s, and the grunge movement was just starting to come into full swing in terms of global mainstream recognition, Californian hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe dropped their debut full-length, kind of bridging the gap between the dominant sounds of the previous decade and the one that had just begun.
This writer was in eighth grade at the time, and America’s Least Wanted may have been the very first cassette I ever bought for myself, or if not, at least one of the first two or three.
So when I heard that the band was releasing a brand-new album this fall — even working with the same producer they did three decades ago (Mark Dodson) — based on the nostalgia factor of course I had to check it out. But I ended up discovering that these guys (two who’ve been around since the founding days of the band and two others who’ve been on every major release in their history; only the drummer role has changed hands a few times over the years) have crafted a very good, very solid, rock record.
Ugly Kid Joe – Rad Wings of Destiny (Metalville Records, 21 October 2022)