Thirteen years between first and second albums is lax by anyone’s standards, but then Newcastle-born Ultrasound have never been your typical band.
An art-school outfit in the Roxy Music mode and with unashamed neo-prog proclivities, they signed to Suede’s label during the post-Britpop feeding frenzy, released a minor classic and then split under pressure in 1999.
Thankfully, Play For Today picks up where debut Everything Picture left off, with the thunderous baroque’n’roll anthem of opener Welfare State. Epic and heartfelt are Ultrasound’s strengths and few do it better, whether on the snarling, swinging, post-glam of Goodbye Baby, Amen or the emotive use of a colliery brass band on Between Two Rivers.
“I’ve only ever written music for the future,” singer Andrew ‘Tiny’ Wood said recently. Perhaps Ultrasound’s time has finally come.