Jenni - Lead Vocals/Screams
Gdell - Guitar
Chris - Guitar
Bryan - Drums
Jdog - Bass
Jess - Backing Vocals
As we move into a new month I am pleased to share more songs with you from the Featured Artist for April, Madison Wisconsin band Ultrea. Shep FM listeners have heard their single In Your Face since January, but now two more Ultrea songs, Hollow Lies and Calm Before the Storm, are in heavy rotation this month, and can be heard on-demand in the Shep FM soundcloud player launched from the homepage. With the long list of elements that come together to create Ultrea we are confronted with cerebral party rock that has a tone of rebelliousness.
In Your Face, sets that tone from the very beginning as chunky guitar oscillates between the left and right channel and then immediately launches into vocals. The vocals begin clean, but soon the theoretical foundation of rebelliousness gives way as the lead vocals begin their throaty energetic scream. Many bands that try this formula lose the melody after only a few measures, but Ultrea never forsake the music for the vocals. The music is layered so that it compliments both the theory as well as the feeling of force that the song is meant to convey.
In your face is a great example of the energetic up front rock that Ultrea is capable of, but a brief look into two other offerings from them show more signs of building from that theoretical foundation. With Calm Before the Storm you are greeted with a haunting echo of vocals that work with the spaces between the notes to create the building of tension. You can almost find yourself swaying along with the wind-like vocals and being transported within a rock fantasy. The familiar foundation of Ultrea's music does comeback, but only after you are left with a fade that leads you to feel as if the song has subsided into nothingness. It is then that, "you are hit in the skull with a tomahawk of rock honesty in a charting world of trendy lies with the screaming rebel energy that is Ultrea!"
The third tune from Ultrea that you will hear this month on Shep FM (with an acoustic version in the on-demand player) is called Hollow Lies . This song matches the theory previously discussed, and it’s done in a “sit-up-and-take-notice” way that will make you revisit that appreciation for synth with energetic rock that many bands can't pull off in music today. Keys seem to set the tone for this song at the beginning, but just when you are afraid that Dennis DeYoung is going to break into a 70's ballad the guitar riff begins and works in tandem with the electronic sounds as it changes the flavor of the music to suit a more modern palette.
Unlike many bands that fade, Ultrea has that uncanny ability to let you into the thought that goes into their music, and in a matter of a few short minutes experience a spectrum of emotions such as energy, confusion, pain and frustration just to name a few. I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoy bringing Ultrea to you. Watch for Ultrea playing near you soon because you can't keep a band with this much potential caged regionally for long.
Later Flockers \m/,