Flotsam And Jetsam - Ugly Noise

Flotsam and Jetsam Ugly Noise cover
Flotsam And Jetsam
Ugly Noise
I believe that it’s crucial for every band to evolve through the course of time instead of being trapped inside its own ego & keep repeating itself on and on. Obviously, the fans are skeptical when they are about to experience something that they are not aware of… but then again here comes the everlasting question… who does a band make music for? Do they do so to satisfy their fans or express their creativity, huh?
Although Flotsam and Jetsam found themselves under a major label with their previous work, they finally went their own way. I do not know why they decided to move away from their prior label but I’m glad they did for it seems that it worked out quite well for them eventually. It’s very important to retain your spirituality and calmness while you’re about to write down some music. The fact of having a dictator over your head pushing you to do things (for their own sake of course) doesn’t help any musician at all.
Therefore, they needed some money for the recordings, the mixing, the production and so forth. The answer came through pledgemusic.com, which encourages fans to contribute funds to the recording of albums and the artists themselves to donate to charity as a part of their fundraising. The plan was made and it was in the fans’ hands whether to make it work or not. Thankfully, the band’s followers helped them satisfactorily and the album was released in digital form at first. A physical release will follow in January or so. Among all these, the original drummer Kelly David Smith returned to the band as well.
This album is kinda different and it may not please the loyal thrash metal fans that much. It has a strong mental continuation with “Drift” which was released in 1995. It preserves that 90s values that metal music used to have taking inspiration from Metallica, Megadeth (of the 90s) & Alice in Chains inter alia. That’s not a secret, as the guitarist Michael Gilbert revealed that he worked on some ideas along with Jason Newsted. It sorta turned out to be a valuable help, judging by the final outcome.
“Ugly Noise” is a rather dark, heavy metal/hard rock album. Sometimes it is more hard rockin’ and gloomy (for instance the hunting piano on the self-titled tune has a gothic feeling), while others it speeds up and connects with the heavy/trash side of the band (“Machine Gun”). The production is even made like in the 90s even though it is a tad contemporary overall. It’s also very dynamic, not compressed and it breathes out metal passion. I would be surprised if I find out that this album was mastered. Do not fear at all though… the mastering in the old days wasn’t as necessary as it is in our time. I like this kind of production, to tell you the truth. The over-polished/compressed ones have tired my ears all these years and the sound is too alike from band to band. We’ve also missed that sound individuality of any band besides several other things like inspiration & creativity!
“Ugly Noise” is a very mature, broad-minded, cohesive and rock-solid album. It will bring various 90s reminiscences to the guys that lived that era like myself. There are some songs here that will plea all those who are seeking for fine melodies, heavy sound & dark atmospheres. My three beloved tunes are: “Ugly Noise”, “Run and Hide” & “Rabbit’s Foot” but I’ll say no more since any of you should find out which of the songs fit your personal music taste better. All I can say is that Flotsam and Jetsam appear to have found their motivation & musical freedom with “Ugly Noise”…