Will the real Ugly Kid Joe please stand up? It’s a question that’s been asked ever since the California brat pack formed in 1989. Are they metallers (note the puntastic Judas Priest album title), hard rockers, country balladeers or a covers band?
Answer: all of the above. And the frustrating thing is, everything they do, they do exceedingly well. This, Ugly Kid Joe’s first full-length since 2015, and only their fifth overall, rocks up a treat on That Ain’t Livin’ and Dead Friends Play: AC/DC to the core and friskier than any recent output from Angus’s mob.
Not Like The Other is top-notch bovver-rock, while Kill The Pain exudes Bon Jovi-esque pomp. For the country stuff, check out mournful ballad Everything’s Changing and the meditative Long Road.
Then there’s a suitably sleazy cover of The Kinks’ Lola and, mixing things up further, the sparse, shuddering funk of Up In The City. A call to Confused.com may well be in order.