Uber Cool Kung Fu | 3

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United States - Minnesota

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Rock: Punk Rock: Glitter
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3

by Uber Cool Kung Fu

Two parts pop punk, three parts electro-industrial dance, with a splash of New Wave glitter.
Genre: Rock: Punk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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time
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1. Feel Nothing
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2:49 $0.99
2. Hollywood Kills
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3:07 $0.99
3. Letting Go
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3:56 $0.99
4. Drag Queen
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4:34 $0.99
5. Tonite
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3:27 $0.99
6. Killing Game
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4:18 $0.99
7. Stained
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4:26 $0.99
8. Last Rites
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3:26 $0.99
9. The Slow Grind
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3:57 $0.99
10. Down
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3:58 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jesse Shaw - Vocals, Guitar, Programming
Shawn L. Phillips - Bass, Vocals
Adam Powell - Keyboards, Vocals

Imagine taking all of the "in your face" pop hooks from Nine Inch Nails, the mystery and sublime traits of New Order's international hits, and the pure angst of Henry Rollins from the Black Flag days and tossed them in a blender -upgraded teen angst.

Each song sounds intentionally crafted to pay homage to the bands that most influenced their sound. With influences ranging from Trent Reznor, New Order, Pop Will Eat Itself, and Goldfinger, it is no wonder each song comes out sounding familiar, yet fresh and raw.

The wash of distortion that comes from the guitar can't quite overpower the driving beats and synth lines while the bass provides a smooth and soothing oasis for listeners to retreat to when they need, topped with vocal hooks so contagious, you don't even notice you've started singing along. "The Slow Grind Between Love and Hate" takes listeners into an observation of the true pains of intimacy...

"Our real life tears my heart in two/The irony to love and hate you
To give you satisfaction means my tears/You are my salvation and my biggest fear."

...wrapping it in fresh and clean electro buzzes, blips, and clicks with a familiar chorused bass guitar riff that Peter Hook would be proud of. "Drag Queen" sounds like a b-side from Pretty Hate Machine providing a foundational 4/4 kick coupled with a solid dance bass, a rusted machine for a guitar and a hook full of discontent.

"I don't feel hate/I don't feel shame/I don't think I'll ever feel again..."

...leaves listeners hopeful that either recovery or more hate anthem rock is not too far off.

Unashamed visual sampling fills the UCKF world, website, and merchandise where every CEASE AND DESIST letter is discarded. UCKF acknowledges and celebrates (through appropriation and reconstruction) the visual symbols that shaped their youth. Whether you are Elvis, AC/DC, Wonderbread, or the Sex Pistols, it appears you are not safe.


Reviews


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Synthpop.net

Elektropunk Pop Pleasure!
This is the debut album for Uber Cool Kung Fu, released through Omega Point Records in early 2005. Minneapolis is the home city for this band, consisting of Jesse Shaw, Shawn Phillips, Geoff Makousky (who joined the band after this cd was recorded), and Adam Powell. The first time I encountered this band was through the "Fall First" track on the first volume of the "Twin Cities Electropunk" compilation, and while that track isn't included here, the 10 original songs here do great justice to the UCKF sound.

The album kicks off in high gear with the high-energy Industrial punk of "Feel Nothing", which combines frantic drumming with even more frantic vocals (and the singing of the song's title in the background during the third verse is extremely effective). "Hollywood Kills", the following track, is a cynical view of how the entertainment industry tends to chew people up and spit them back out. It's also a track that simply demands radio play. A somewhat simple chorus, but remarkably catchy. "Letting Go" lowers the tempo a little, but keeps the intensity level very high (the words 'power ballad' crossed my mind, I will admit..).

Actually, the tempo remains somewhat lower for the next few tracks. That's not to take anything away from them, as "Tonite", "Stained" and "Killing Game" are all very high quality songs, but I was a little surprised at the shift in the album. In fact, it's not until "Last Rites" that the pace picks back up, and that's just for the one song. It's a little surprising for a Electropunk album to feature so many upper-mid to mid-tempo songs, but they're still very enjoyable, so I can't complain. In fact, UCKF manages to keep even their most intense songs both very melodic and accessible, so the slower side of the band only emphasizes their excellent melodic skills. This album does occasionally show the flaws inherent in a first album that was recorded rather quickly (from what I can gather), but still is quite solid. Also, the album clocks in at around 38 minutes, so it's not packed to the gills, but at least avoids the truly irritating phenomenon of sub-30 minute albums. All that aside, Elektropunks rejoice.. another excellent band from the Twin Cities has unleashed a album you will love!