The Bleach Room
Ulterior is a London-based quartet which is not easy to catalogue. They make sense to the literal meaning of their name and go far beyond from what is known in music. The striking mélange of past, present and future elements in their sound has been captivating the underground scene since the band's inception in 2006. Ulterior's hallmark is a visceral mixture of dark-tinged electronica, intense industrial rock and cyber post-punk that approaches from time to time to their own kind of coldwave. They have returned on February with their second full-length release, "The Bleach Room", which is more synth-oriented than their astonishing debut "Wild in Wild Life". The new album will drive you gradually into a futuristic retro nightmare.
The first seconds of "Fun Gun make" make clear this release conceptual theme. Threatening synth lines, space odyssey tones and metallic vocals start to draw a horror sci-film soundscape in the listener's mind. The psychonautic overture flows into "Zero Over Two" where Paul McGregor shows his unique upper range vocals through the grandiose choruses in a experimental techno environment. Once that the narcotics have done their effect, the panic spiral begins with a frantic electro-punk tune: "Psychic Chic". The following track is worthy to stand out; "Skydancing" is a lysergic masterpiece which industrial core is made up of screaming guitars, relentless machine beats, frenetic bass lines and menacing programming. "Cool TV" gives continuity to the previous one in a psychotic manner, mixing in scary samples and distortion effects. Then the delirium ceases for a while when "Hello Andromeda" appears with its New Romantic dreamscapes. Following that ethereal interlude the Ulterior's roller-coaster ignites again. This second block rides along on assertive bass lines, forceful and repetitive machine rythms, incendiary riffs and intriguing melodic vocals waving in and out of the backing synthetizers. "Body Hammer", "Motorin'" and "In Vitro" shows clearly the Ulterior's distinctive and apocalyptic rock and roll formula. The album ends with a brilliant schizophrenic sequel; "The locus of Control" brings together all the previous keys making easier to understand how claustrophobic this bleach room is.
"The Bleach Room" is a collection of predicted sounds that never happened. Ulterior's terminal electro-rock will trap you in dystopian atmospheres. Beware of this hybrid creature...
Review by Billyphobia