Pirates ahoy! Bath rockers plunder the lesser sung songbook (and the dressing-up box) to great effect!
Delving into rock's salad days for inspiration is of course nothing new. The Darkness were seemingly on the verge of world domination a few years back with their cheeky blend of Thin Lizzy riffs and Mercury-esque camp. Rather than taking their cues from such big-hitters, Bath-based quartet Ulysses have opted to dig a little deeper into rock's back pages for a sound that never tries to be cool, but is a lot more fun than what most current bands have to offer.
It's not difficult to guess what makes up their record collection, no doubt a healthy mix of low-rent glam, stompy powerpop and the catchier end of classic rock. There are echoes of Slade's Coz I Luv You, (on the opening chords of Oranges & Mary), Steppenwolf's The Pusher (on French/Japanese), and The Move's Flowers In The Rain (on L.O.V.E. Yeah) along with a cod-reggae section on the title track, worthy of Paul McCartney's Wings.
It's the Wings comparison that's most on the mark, the band's songs straddling the line between rock and pop, with a sense of fun that sometimes borders on endearingly daft, just like the ones Sir Macca used to write. Factor in some rather ace harmonies, the odd musical joke and and an off-the-wall dress sense and you've a recipe for something rather ace.
What really makes the record is not their repackaging of rock's past into a fun present day version but the fact that they write really good, hook-laden tunes, along with grade-A killer lyrics. A few spins of this album and you'll be whistling/singing/humming them all week.
The band will be appearing at The International Pop Overthrow festival in Liverpool in May. It's a great indoors festival which takes place at the Cavern Club and Cavern pub, and a chance to catch loads of brilliant bands at a bargain price. Ulysses play on Saturday 18th May. Do yourself a favour and go check them out. If you can't make it buy this album instead, it won't disappoint.