NYC rock band Loudboy are proud to announce the release of their second full length album, Ultra MK. The album title is a word play on Project MK Ultra, the code name for the U.S. government’s human research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans. Ultra MK consists of 13 songs written by international session guitarist and singer songwriter John Andrews (Peter Murphy, Nena, Gavin DeGraw). Andrews, after completing the material for the album, called upon his good friend and esteemed colleague, drummer Brian Viglione (Dresden Dolls, Violent Femmes), to join the recording and live band. The result is not just another rock band, but a real, formidable powerhouse of epic proportions. Brian’s brilliant, aggressive and lyrical drumming add the perfect balance to Andrews’s unique skills as a songwriter and architect of colorfully acrobatic lush layered guitars and vocals. The music on Ultra MK begins with just a whispery creep. Slow, quiet and dreamy. A musical invitation for you to relax and let yourself let go and flow into the world of “The In Between” a musical introduction and staging point for the inevitable thrusting of the listener into the sonic barrage of “All Fall Down”, “King Of The Fleas”, and the many mysterious musical twists and turns that lie ahead. Recorded in Brooklyn, New York, alongside bassist Jason Binnick, keyboardist and film composer Michael Montes and sound engineer and mixer Ken Rich, Ultra MK is the perfect soundscape and release for and from the technological dystopia of our society today.
John Andrews is Loudboy, a nickname given to him by Helmet’s Page Hamilton after a short stint in his band. Andrews, longtime guitarist of New York’s Independent-Rock-Institution Botanica, has quite a few things to say on his self-titled debut. And having guest vocalists like Nena and former Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy on the same album is not the only unusual fact about this recording.
But first there’s a room where all things are happening. Someone’s counting in and a fat distorted guitar is sliding into a bone-dry blues-scheme with a bright pop chorus and shimmering guitar-solo, as if Clapton was still 19 and Harrison still alive. Andrews’ vocals perfectly match that tricky harmonic tapestry like an unraveled, electric Elliot Smith.
Andrews’ stylistic spectrum as a guitarist coming along with increased sensitiveness and great chops is definitely not ordinary. The band is damn tight consisting of musicians being still eager after all those years.
“Welcome to my story / I have some things to tell / about waking up and dreaming still / sometimes I just can’t tell.” (Rabbit & Turtle Take The City)
This being the programmatic opener to a dynamic and determined rock album which is about seeking and self-assessment in times of nuclear meltdown. Hello, this is about present tense.
Experiences, feelings, emotional options… spiritual notions and delusions… irritations, self-alienation, drugs, loss, consolation & hope. 13 songs written with traumatic metaphors for survival – an open visor instead of self-deception. Agreement instead of ego-trip.
“In & out and in & out / my mind is burning up with doubt / (…) / I’m blind to see that I can’t control my reality.” (In & Out)
“Wonderful” draws a scenario of endtimes in physical images like W.S. Burroughs did: “antibodies piss and glowing makes my skin itch and crawl,” while a sparse “Underhill” carefully plays around with oriental ornaments before turning into the big rock-ballad.
“Pretty Bleak” is moving slowly with a dark twinkling enriched by Peter Murphy’s sinister second voice. Nena, whose unmistakable timbre is softly blowing through that gentle closing track „Hiding“ like in a lullaby, hired John Andrews in 2006 while Murphy called him up in 2009. Big names’ offerings for Loudboy like real friends do.
P.S.: “We made some contact the way we’re feeling / and today I feel a little more / ’cause the space inside me is filled with a love / that I can’t contain anymore.” (Rabbit & Turtle Take The City)