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Ultra Panic

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Album Review

Ska-punk bands usually begin their careers mining the two tone tradition, playing lots of Specials covers and sporting three-button suits and porkpie hats. Then they gradually get punkier and punkier until their former identities as ska bands are lost forever. MU330 seems to be following the opposite trajectory, and Ultra Panic, the band's seventh album, is its most explicitly ska-oriented yet. Joined by Blue Meanies organist Chaz Linde (to add an extra dose of that old-school first-wave ska revival flava), MU330 delivers a solid, highly satisfying program of horn-heavy melodic modern ska. The last ska wave may be several years dead now, but word does not seem to have reached St. Louis, and that's good news for everybody. Highlights include the ecstatic kiss-off "Tell Another One," the 40-second-long "KKK Hiway," and the only slightly longer "Hi My Name Is John." And don't miss the horn line on "These Rocks Have Energy." A must for everyone who's eagerly awaiting the fourth wave.


Formed: 1988 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Named after the section number of the high school jazz class where many of the group's members first met, the self-described "psycho-ska" band MU330 was formed in St. Louis, MO, in 1988. Originally comprising vocalist/guitarist Dan Potthast, vocalist/trumpeter John Skavanaugh, bassist Chris Diebold, saxophonist Matt Knobbe, keyboardist Matt Struckel, and drummer Ted Moll, MU330's lineup changed regularly, and by the release of the 1994 debut Press (issued via Asian Man Records), Struckel had already...
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Ultra Panic, MU330
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