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Album Reviews: 6860
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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Ultra - 2000 Ultra
Ultra - 2000 Ultra

ALBUM: Ultra
LABEL: Monster Records
YEAR: 2000


LINEUP: Don Evans - vocals * Galen Niles - guitars * Larry McGuffin - guitars * Scott Stephens - bass * Tom Schleuning - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mutants * 02 Android * 03 Battery * 04 Ten Years Since * 05 Lamp Black, White Flight * 06 Windjammer * 07 Diggin' Damp * 08 Circe * 09 Seasons Pass *10 City On Ice * 11 The Desert * 12 Sould There With Care * 13 Man On The Street * 14 Get Away * 15 Compass * 16 Hot N Cold

Texan band Ultra were formed from the ashes of Homer, a band who at one stage featured well renowned guitar slinger Van Vilks. Ultra's sound would eventually be quite different to Homer's near prog tendencies; focusing instead on wall-to-wall guitar, provided by the six-string antics of Galen Niles and Larry McGuffin. Signed to a management company, Ultra would perform with many of the leading lights of the day, but because they weren't signed to a record label, their costs (particularly playing arena support slots) were extremely high. The band were often always broke, and their roadies were getting paid more than the band members themselves. During the period 1975-1978, the band released one 5 track EP, plus they recorded a handful of demo tracks, which at the time were never made public. By 1978, the band had enough. The hardship of playing without pay was too much, plus disco was on the horizon, so Ultra threw the towel in.

The Songs
This was not to say that the band were forgotten through the intervening years. Well known Texas label Monster Records, who made it an art-form of rediscovering some of these early classic rock bands, found a place for Ultra's back catalogue, and released an extensive 16 track CD during the year 2000. Recorded between 1975 and 1977, Ultra's music is safely held within the confines of other Texan bands operating at the time. Not as boogie oriented as ZZ Top and perhaps closer to contemporaries Point Blank, Ultra also found a niche comparable to other hard rockers of the day, including early Thin Lizzy and the Pat Travers Band. On this CD, most of the tracks hover at the 4 minute work, the overall CD clocks in at 1 hour 5min. There is some exceptional guitar work here, fiery, loud, straight out of the Marshall stacks, plus singer Don Evans comes across as a Phil Lynott soundalike in some places.

In Summary
Ultra are but one of many Texan bands worth re-discovering. Somewhere out there in Blogspot land you'll find a few of these gems, but really, do yourself a favour and hang around at websites like Rockadrome, Monster Records and others associated with long lost Texan bands, and see what else is available for your listening pleasure. Ultra provide a rare insight into the yesteryear window that was 70's Texan rawk and rawl..

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#1 | Eric on September 16 2007 13:41:25
Pre-Ultra group Homer and their 'Grown In USA' album can be found here:
#2 | Jokerdean on January 09 2008 17:57:01
Mutants is the only thing I've heard by these guys..but it Rocks Hard...Great Song...clap
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