[sic] Magazine

Ulterior – Wild In Wildlife

Crawling out of the same dark-hearted hole as Factory Floor , S.C.U.M and Romance (or R O M A N C E ), Ulterior set themselves apart by valuing their drum machine so highly that it (MKIII) features as a member of the band in promotional material – and it’s easy to see why.

On explosive album opener “Sex War Sex Cars Sex”, it propels the band forward on an urgent bed of whip-crack percussion while Paul McGregor (who calls himself Honey) squeezes out a very convincing PiL -era John Lydon turn from behind clenched teeth. Then, within the same track, that same machine is instrumental in launching the band’s doom-and-gloom dance-floor hooks into altogether dirtier, louder hunting grounds.

With this marker laid down, Wild In Wildlife quickly contorts into a Goth-flavoured, full-frontal rocker built on dangerous bass lines that are saturated in adrenaline and, at times, brutal industrial synth. And, while the acerbic highs of the erotically-charged opener are never quite again hit, this long-time coming LP nevertheless has plenty of morose moments that run it close.

Though the ballad-esque “Catherine”, which chirps with one of The Bravery ‘s synth lines and a croon borrowed from Billy Idol could be too pastiche for some, and though the peculiarly windblown closer “Shallow Brown” seems out of place albeit competent, on the overwhelming whole Wild In Wildlife successfully invokes the spirit of classic, balls-out 80s Goth-rock and, with thanks to that drum machine and that screwed synth, succeeds in making it Ulterior’s own.

Interestingly too, their choice of artwork – an adaptation of Guy Denning ‘s “Where’s Your Famous Golden Touch” – further darkens the work, both theirs and that of the neo-modern abstract already famed for it. The incendiary blowout on the ten-minute title track also proves that, at least in part, the feel of Ulterior’s legendary, “life-changing” live shows have made it to record.

Very much then a viable bottling and packaging of the band’s nihilistic attitude and headlong commitment to noise-making, Wild In Wildlife is fighting fit and clad in rock-star black. And with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll a maxim rather than cliché, Ulterior come strutting with it into the (s)limelight.

~Wild In Wildlife is out now on Speed Records .~