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Flotsam And Jetsam - Ugly Noise

Flotsam And Jetsam
Ugly Noise
by Michael "MettleAngel" Francisco at 28 March 2013, 7:14 PM

Oh My God! I was so excited when I heard that the mighty FLOTSAM AND JETSAM were back with the “Cuatro” line-up. I recently saw them on tour with TESTAMENT, and they were full on a Metal shock for me, when they played some seriously fast 80s and early 90s classics. Though, this momentary high did not last too long once I got a glimpse of their newer material being performed live. They opened with the title track absent the piano intro, which is a decent song if you like some of their casual selections from those later albums on Metal Blade like “Unnatural Selection” or “My God”.

I do not know why their fortune seems so misguided, but they tend to drift away from what fans want to hear. I did not care too much for the highly acclaimed release “Dreams Of Death”, even though I love the song itself off “No Place For Disgrace”. Their last album from 2010 “The Cold” showed signs of promise, but this “Ugly Noise” is a major fatal step back. There is no place for disgrace, so when I hear a song like the keyboard laden and atmospheric “Run And Hide” or the limp and luckless “Rabbits Foot”, I get caught in a rage of utter disappointment.

I know each member must play his part. However, honestly Eric A.K. Knutson is the band's weakest link. This smoked out junkie just cannot hit those highs anymore, and in a live setting he is usually drunk and wasted. Edward Carlson has cleaned himself up and Michael Gilbert is an exceptional guitarist. Unfortunately neither are demonstrating their potential on this release. However, long time member Jason Ward is still standing his ground, and not just wading through the darkness.

I am very grateful that Kelly David Smith is back to carry on the tradition. He is even managing the band, and allowing his son to sell the merch. at the shows. On a burned device similar to “Secret Square” or “Hypodermic Midnight Snack”, but not as memorable, the track  “Gitty Up” showcases his remarkable drumming skills, even if the guitar tone is too modern for my tolerance.

Damn this album is weak! Where is the machine gun heaviness of  “When The Storm Comes Down”? The song “Rage” should be one that pounds my head like a hammer, but its subtle deviations instead will make the Metal masses suffer through the mediocrity. My worst iron fears are realized as songs like “Cross The Sky” and “Play Your Part” completely lack the verve these brain dead powerhouse doomsday deceivers once delivered.

There is just no more fun to be found when I play this album repetitively. “Carry On” has some potential, and “I Believe” is tolerable. I cannot deal with the industrial aspects of “Motherfuckery”. “Machine Gun” has its moments and some momentum, but paybacks are still a bitch, boys!

I will offer accolades for the many of the lyrics which are actually well-penned at times. Examples of this would be “Cross The Sky”, “I Believe”, and “To Be Free”. In fact, the best song, by far, is “To Be Free”. This has a strong “H.O.Y” element to it, and a strong sense of honesty and integrity, but it is just not enough to sate my desire. The music is just always falling short of my anticipation.

Overall, with this spurred offering, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM are never to reveal their true talent, and ain't nothing going to save this world from the scars this album will leave on the mettle milieu. I hope they get the message that this motherfucking album is totally deplorable and will frustrate most. Welcome to the bottom, you hypocrites are better off dead.

2 Star Rating

1. Ugly Noise
2. Giddy Up
3. Run and Hide
4. Carry On
5. Rabbit's Foot
6. Play Your Part
7. Rage
8. Cross the Sky
9. Motherfuckery
10. I Believe
11. To Be Free
12. Machine Gun
Eric A.K. Knutson – Vocals
Edward Carlson – Guitars
Michael Gilbert – Guitars
Jason Ward - Bass
Kelly David Smith – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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