EP review: Ultra Q – Get Yourself A Friend

Green Day progeny-fronted Ultra Q bring back ’00s garage rock on promising EP, Get Yourself A Friend.

EP review: Ultra Q – Get Yourself A Friend
Mark Sutherland

Danger, somewhat famously, is Jakob Armstrong’s middle name. And he certainly could have been playing with fire by following his legendary rock star dad, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, into the family business. Walking in your father’s famous footsteps rarely guarantees an easy ride in the rock’n’roll world, but this is no Succession-style attempt at a hostile takeover by trying to outdo Armstrong Senior at what he does best.

Instead, Jakob has taken his time to work out his own path and, after dry runs in the punkier Jakob Danger and Mt Eddy, his band has remerged under the Ultra Q name with a whole new indie rock sound. Well… new to them, anyway. Because, while Ultra Q hail from Oakland, California, Get Yourself A Friend sizzles with the sound of the ’00s garage rock revival, when New York’s Lower East Side was the epicentre of rock’n’roll and wearing a suit jacket with jeans somehow became the epitome of cool.

So Bowman’s metronomic beat and skyscraping guitars evokes The Strokes’ Hard To Explain glory days; Straight Jacket slows things down and jangles expertly; while It’s Permanent threatens to go full goth beast via Kevin Judd’s throbbing, Cure-ish basslines. Most intriguingly, the title-track is a beguiling patchwork of styles that threatens to come up with something entirely new.

More of that innovation will be needed if Jakob and Ultra Q are to build their own empire. But, in the meantime, this Danger zone is well worth a visit.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: The Strokes, The Cure, Interpol

Get Yourself A Friend is released on November 19 via Royal Mountain.

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