The Ultrasounds
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The Ultrasounds

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Band Rock Alternative


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""The Throwback Style of the Ultrasounds""

"An indie rock band with a bluesy flair, Ann Arbor's The Ultrasounds gets much of its musical influence from the 1960s and '70s....
"Although the band members are young, their sound could certainly appeal to an older generation...their retro sound is enough to take you back to the days of The Wonder Years and the more rocking beatniks." - Current (Aug. 2007)

"The Ultrasounds: Good times, great newbies"

As I was skimming through the Ultrasounds' press release, a refreshingly frank quote caught my eye. "People don't want to hear songs about how bad things suck all the time," says lead guitarist Patrick Betzold. "Sometimes people just want to dance." And that's exactly what I wanted to do when I saw them a few weeks back ... Their retro vibe and dead-on pop sensibility had me thinking, "I can mashed potato!" ...
During the ... opening act, a demure-looking girl listened with her hands in the pockets of her hoodie. When the Ultrasounds' turn came, I was surprised to see her sit down to play drums. I was even more surprised to see Sara Griffin go at it with such fervor and even, on occasion, take the lead vocal as well... Her girlish vocals were almost twee in their precious leanings, but their peppiness fit right in with the band's flashback aesthetic. Matched up with Betzold's catchy, slick riffs on songs like "Why Don't We Leave?" Griffin's voice almost makes me wonder why she isn't the lead singer.
But Christopher Smith's versatility shines through on the album, proving that he's right where he belongs. On "You Don't Even Know" he sounds like a less whiny Ben Folds. And if it weren't one of the biggest cliches in music reviews, I'd say he occasionally channels a young Paul McCartney. ..
"The Easy Way Back," my fave track on the album, is downright Beatlesque. It occurs to me, as I listen, that "The Way Things Were" is an apt title, not only because it conjures the sounds of the sixties but also because it acknowledges its own nostalgia.
...Perhaps it would be more accurate to say they're British-Invasion-meets-early-aught-years-indie-pop: think an edgier version of the Strokes, or the Libertines' first album. The aesthetic may be old, but it's still hip, man--and totally cravable.
--Katie Whitney - Ann Arbor Observer, August 2008


Five Plastic Flowers (EP, 2007)
The Way Things Were (LP, 2008)
New EP in progress (2009)



"an edgier version of the Strokes... totally cravable."--Katie Whitney, Ann Arbor Observer

The Ultrasounds are recording a 6-song EP this spring (2009). They were recently named Ann Arbor's Best Band and Ann Arbor's Most Underrated Band by Current magazine.

The Way Things Were is a coming-of-age album for the Ultrasounds. The first full-length CD from the young Ann Arbor, Michigan “futuristic retro rock” trio has an accessible all-ages style that flavors fresh original songs with throwback ingredients.
“It’s making modern music with a knowledge of past music,” says lead guitarist Patrick Betzold. Along with bass player and lead vocalist Chris Smith and drummer-vocalist Sara Griffin, Betzold rejects the idea that in order to be popular as an indie band, The Ultrasounds have to pretend to chop themselves off from rock’s roots.
Their music defies easy characterizations. Influences run the gamut from the Byrds and Motown, to Led Zeppelin and Television, to the White Stripes and Kings of Leon. They’ve been called everything from “throwback” to “an edgier version of the Strokes.” Smith is studying jazz in order to be able to teach it at the college level, and he adds complexities and unique chord changes to the songs, while Griffin contributes clean, shiny pop-sounding energy and Betzold wields an aggressive, evil lead guitar.