flotsamandjetsamFLOTSAM AND JETSAM – ‘Ugly Noise’
Most music fans would only encounter Flotsam and Jetsam when answering “who did Jason Newstead play for before he joined Metallica?”.  With the answer most likely to be: “some thrash band with an odd name”.  But Flotsam & Jetsam are still plying their trade and thanks to fans funding recording through Pledge Music, the band have been able to release their 11th LP via Metal Blade, complete with writing, not playing, by Newstead.
  The first thing to note is that if you were looking forward to a reinterpretation of their classic ’88 release No Place For Disgrace then you’ll be disappointed – Ugly Noise isn’t some updated 80’s relic but a stand-alone album.  There are no ripping solos but rather a collection of thoughtful cuts visiting a variety of genres from Thrash to Hard Rock via Groove Metal.  The common theme for these twelve new tracks is the reliance on Erik AK’s powerful vocal (which still reassuringly sounds like nothing else in Metal) and the reunited pairing of Axe-men Ed Carlson and Mike Gilbert, who, back together after thirteen years, explode into the opening title track, perfectly complimenting a haunting background piano loop. ‘ Gitty Up’ is a traditional headbanger which will prove popular in any mosh pit, before the mood again adjusts, as ‘Run And Hide’ dramaticlly cranks into life with some decidedly unexpected effects.  Acoustic themes and crunching riffs are the order of the day in ‘Carry On’, ‘Rabbits Foot’ and ‘Play Your Part’ with Erik AK driving things forward; keeping the momentum on the simple, yet catchy ‘Rage’ and ‘Cross The Sky’.  ‘Motherfuckers’ sounds like it could be an Annihilator track (nothing wrong with that!!) and closers ‘I Believe’, ‘To Be Free’ and ‘Machine Gun’ are more old-school Flotsam & Jetsam, with low chord crunching and strong vocal melodies.  Ugly Noise is a simple release, but one which keeps you guessing.  They’ll be tracks on here that you love and some you’ll feel indifference towards, but bar some cringeworthy crooning, it’s one for the Fans.  Which makes sense, since they paid for it. (7)


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