Album review: ULYSSES – On Safari

ULYSSES – On Safari

[Release date 21.06.19]

Ulysses released their first album in 2002 and since then they have been building up a loyal and growing following, along with some positive reviews in the music press. Ulysses consist of Luke Smyth (vocals, guitars), Jimmy Peppers (bass, vocals), Denny Peppers (guitars, vocals) and Shane Maxymus (drums/vocals) and on this album they again use producer Steve Evans (Robert Plant, Siouxsie, Goldfrapp). Thanks to a fellow music fan I discovered Ulysses via Bandcamp (you could spend most of your days trawling through and listening to new bands on there!).

They have a great love of humour, as can be heard on ‘Doctors and Nurses’, which features many a ‘Carry On’ approved double entendre. The intro does remind you of 70′s hit ‘Kung Foo Fighting’, before it unfolds to a dirty ‘n’ flirty funky beat.

‘This Useless Love’ delves back in late 60’s psychedelia complete with Beach Boys approved harmonies (these also pop-up again on ‘Fuzzy Lion’, a power pop romp), wonderful stuff. If you hanker after a big glam stomper, ‘Bad Tattoo’ hits the spot. Plenty of guitar, a catchy chorus and just the right amount of cowbell.

‘Caldendar Street’ has the offbeat lyric beloved of 10CC in their prime and again all of the band join in to add gloriously uplifting backing vocals.

Ulysses one undoing maybe the fact they cover such a wide spectrum of music, but then in this modern age of streaming any one of their songs could make multiple mood playlists and give them a boost to a wider audience.

Strap yourself in for a smorgasbord of musical delights, whether it is a bit of psychedelic meanderings, a huge power pop chorus or a glam rock stomp-a-long, Ulysses have it all and more. If you dig Smash Fashion, Cats In Space, Sparks, the Dowling Poole, the Darkness, Jellyfish et al this is a ‘must have’.

****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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