Riff-focused rock music has always been my favorite strain of the genre, and although I would stop short of calling Ultra Major a stoner metal band, they definitely owe something to the desert-born sounds of old. In their new single and music video “Disaster,” they blend this heady influence with a crushing lyrical sting that I definitely wouldn’t expect out of such a heavy indie rock band, and where their contemporaries have been chasing a stripped-down aesthetic in recent years, this group asserts themselves as loves of lusty overdrive and powerhouse grooves in their most recent studio work.
The music video for “Disaster” is actually pretty barebones in comparison to a lot of the other rock videos I’ve reviewed in the month of November, but I think its power ironically comes from the lack of frills that it contains.
In making the band the greatest element of chaos in the video, there’s never a moment in which their play doesn’t take center stage, and that simply isn’t something I’ve been able to say about a lot of mainstream rock releases in 2020. I don’t want to call them outright puritans, but in this regard, Ultra Major clearly prefer the conservative mantle in producing original content to anything outwardly avant-garde.
A suffocating blend of influences that span from the likes of Faith No More and QOTSA to more contemporary artists like Tonne and Glom, Ultra Major’s sound is still coming into focus here, but I think it’s yielding some of the most exciting eruptions of the season in “Disaster.” This is a single that was made for those of us who want a little extra meat on the bones of a single beat, and while that might sound like too much to ask for among certain acts, this definitely isn’t true of Ultra Major.
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