Ugly Kid Joe – Stairway to Hell


Ugly Kid Joe
Stairway to Hell
Release date: 2012May24
Label: Self
Rating: 3.5/5

I can think of 2 other people that I know who have heard of Ugly Kid Joe: My brother and Stan Payne. The name Ugly Kid Joe is an alternate take on Pretty Boy Floyd (which was an actual, bad hair metal band). I hate to say it, but they’re probably most famous for their cover of “N.I.B” and their awesome cover artwork. Stairway to Hell, though released last year, is getting much more promotion due to an upcoming album. I’ve heard UKJ described simply in the music press  as “hard rock”, a bullshit, one-dimensional label. Case in point? “Devil’s Paradise”, which is full of desert grooves ala Kyuss/Fu Manchu.“No One Survives” sounds like an outtake from America’s Least Wanted, making the best use of Whitfield Crane’s vocals with a solid 90s rock signature. “I’m Alright” takes the best of earlier UKJ and mates it a sound reminiscent of early-80s Ozzy material. “Love Ain’t True!” features Angelo Moore and Dirty Walt from Fishbone. “Another Beer” closes things off on a tender note. Also included is their cover of “Cats in the Cradle” (why fuck with perfection?), “Would You Like to Be There” (neither here nor there) and an acoustic take on “No One Survives”. The best part of Stairway to Hell? It’s the original lineup! (Whitfield Crane, Shannon Larkin, Klaus Eichstadt, Cordell Crockett and Dave Fortman) If you missed out on UKJ in the 1990s, this will bring you up to speed and then some.

FCC: 1,2,5
Try: ALL

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