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ULTRANOIR – But They Can’t All Be Loved

Posted: November 15th, 2004, by Stuart Fowkes

Help me, I am in GOFF HELL.

Ultranoir – it means really, really black, y’know. Their demo comes with a Manifesto of Noirism (no, really), which variously describes the band as “the vacant content of everyday” and “whores of the self-repeating cliches of the commodity known as art”. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but their take on things seems to descend directly from the tenets of futurism and surrealism… nope, hang on, snakebite and black and pewter jewellery with dragons on it. Anyway, the music. Kicks off with sample from The Prisoner – yes, the same sample as Iron Maiden used back in the day, but let’s not hold that against them, eh. What we might hold against them is that their first tune is called ‘Angst Macht Frei’, and sounds like a six-year-old Trent Reznor pissing about with his first Goth-O-Matic Doom Anthem machine. You’d warm to it a bit more if it was presented with a twinkle in the eye, but it’s all Neil Gaiman, role playing games and Crow sleepovers round these parts. Even the CD is black, goddammit.

While there’s a certain ice cold bleakness permeating ‘Schoolboy Deathwish’ that makes me think this could quite easily have formed an alternative soundtrack to some Cure completist’s musings while they waited for Robert Smith to pour out his latest, the biggest problem is that the pomposity of the sentiments accompanying the CD is in no sense matched by the music. For the most part, it’s GOFF-by-numbers dark synth pop, which – naturally – has little in the way of soul, but also nothing individual enough about it to separate it from the pack, or to back up their overwrought posturing. Ultranoir’s parting shot is “making sure each drop of their sweat, blood and piss is going to the eyes of the ones who don’t care”. I’m keeping well out of their way until they CHEER UP.


Stuart Fowkes

Stuart is possibly one of the tallest people you have ever seen. He towers above your puny skyscrapers like Rodan on steroids, his blonde spikes puncturing the atmosphe re like crazed, gelled knives. In real life he is part of the Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element pop outfit, and writes for other websites as well as this one - the cheeky blighter. He favours the noisier end of the musical spectrum, with a fervour which would seem to indicate a dodgy heavy metal past.


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