Ultra Mega
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Ultra Mega

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Lo-fi

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Music

Press


"Meth!Malkmus!"

http://gunshyzine.wordpress.com/page/3/


2009 September 16

"One more recent release before I go outside to test my barometer: Ultra Mega finally dropped the long-awaited Black Wu Jackets in August. Pairing the lyrics of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G. with original lo-fi indie rock (imagine the offspring of Malkmus and Method Man), Ultra Mega first made a splash in the ‘Peg pool with their video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”
This seven-track gem is only available in local shops and directly from the band. Check them at http://www.myspace.com/ultramegaultra and get a copy before they’re gone like ODB." - gunshyzine.com


"Meth!Malkmus!"

http://gunshyzine.wordpress.com/page/3/


2009 September 16

"One more recent release before I go outside to test my barometer: Ultra Mega finally dropped the long-awaited Black Wu Jackets in August. Pairing the lyrics of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G. with original lo-fi indie rock (imagine the offspring of Malkmus and Method Man), Ultra Mega first made a splash in the ‘Peg pool with their video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”
This seven-track gem is only available in local shops and directly from the band. Check them at http://www.myspace.com/ultramegaultra and get a copy before they’re gone like ODB." - gunshyzine.com


"CD Review : Black Wu Jackets"

Certainly an album of lo-fi indie rock covers of the Wu-Tang Clan could be seen as gimmicky. But local act Ultra Mega manages to walk the tightrope of sincerity on Black Wu Jackets, their seven-song debut EP. Six of those seven songs are cold-crush-classics from the Wu and, for good measure, the band also throws in a cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy/Big Poppa.”

Ultra Mega first popped up on my radar in the summer of 2008 with their video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” and while that song appears here, the recording has been redone and benefits greatly from the crisper sound captured by Sean Geisel at Mid Ocean Sound.

“Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” aka “C.R.E.A.M.” is an undeniable album highlight with its relentlessly propulsive guitar supporting JD Ormond’s breathy delivery. The exuberance of the chorus brings to mind what Pavement could sound like if they were covering hip-hop tunes and begs the question, “Why didn’t they?”

“Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” hints at the answer, as its epic length (over six minutes) can’t quite sustain the energy needed, flagging somewhat in the middle. But then there’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” following on the heels of “Chessboxin’” to revive the listener. Then Ultra Mega flip the script and chill things out by making “Big Poppa” into a heartfelt ballad.

While they risk being pigeon-holed with Black Wu Jackets, I’ve heard demos of the band’s follow-up and they hint at Ultra Mega’s ability to go beyond the gimmick and write material that will surpass this solid debut.
- The Manitoban, By Michael Elves


"CD Review : Black Wu Jackets"

Certainly an album of lo-fi indie rock covers of the Wu-Tang Clan could be seen as gimmicky. But local act Ultra Mega manages to walk the tightrope of sincerity on Black Wu Jackets, their seven-song debut EP. Six of those seven songs are cold-crush-classics from the Wu and, for good measure, the band also throws in a cover of the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy/Big Poppa.”

Ultra Mega first popped up on my radar in the summer of 2008 with their video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” and while that song appears here, the recording has been redone and benefits greatly from the crisper sound captured by Sean Geisel at Mid Ocean Sound.

“Cash Rules Everything Around Me,” aka “C.R.E.A.M.” is an undeniable album highlight with its relentlessly propulsive guitar supporting JD Ormond’s breathy delivery. The exuberance of the chorus brings to mind what Pavement could sound like if they were covering hip-hop tunes and begs the question, “Why didn’t they?”

“Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” hints at the answer, as its epic length (over six minutes) can’t quite sustain the energy needed, flagging somewhat in the middle. But then there’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” following on the heels of “Chessboxin’” to revive the listener. Then Ultra Mega flip the script and chill things out by making “Big Poppa” into a heartfelt ballad.

While they risk being pigeon-holed with Black Wu Jackets, I’ve heard demos of the band’s follow-up and they hint at Ultra Mega’s ability to go beyond the gimmick and write material that will surpass this solid debut.
- The Manitoban, By Michael Elves


"Ultra Mega's Wu-Tang Cover Album No Gimmick"

Winnipeg is a "tough town." No, those aren't ironic quotes and J. D. Ormond isn't joking when he says that.

The lanky white frontman for Ultra Mega happens to live in the Canada's "murder capital," according to the Winnipeg Free Press [Maclean's ranks the 'Peg #3]. Given the prairie town's surprisingly violent underbelly (and some of its residents' tendencies to stab AC/DC haters), maybe it's not so ridiculous for Ultra Mega to release a short album of Wu-Tang Clan covers.

The limited release, Black Wu Jackets, is exactly what you would expect a quartet of white indie rockers covering classic gangsta rap to sound like. Twangy electric guitar takes over for classic soul samples, and Ormond's warbling nice guy vocals stand in for the gruff machismo of Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, et al. Hearing Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 hit "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" reimagined as a waltz is the kind of thing that could bother a dedicated hip-hop fan.

Ultra Mega recorded Black Wu Jackets in one session. It was all done live off the floor with one take per song. Knowing that they're also planning to release a record of original material in 2010 is enough to arouse suspicion. Are Ormond and his crew are just using their Wu covers as a cheap gimmick to drum up publicity for their real album?

"Not a gimmick," says Ormond. "I'll never say a gimmick, because it's not. I like the Wu-Tang too much."

The Black Wu Jackets songs had actually been a part of Ultra Mega sets for years.

"I guess I just kind of started singing their songs along with chords and it just came out naturally. It wasn't a deliberate objective of mine to make a record," Ormond says.

As for street cred, Ultra Mega have played shows with Winnipeg rappers Birdapres and Pip Skid. These appearances received mixed reactions.

Ormond calls it "equal parts people pumping their fists and people standing there in complete disbelief."

Taking the hip-hop out of the Wu-Tang Clan is a pretty interesting experiment. Hearing the lyrics in such an opposite context with completely different delivery isn't only a fun game; it provides a photo negative image of what exactly hip-hop is — by showing clearly what it isn't.

With its hasty production and odd concept, Black Wu Jackets is not going to be anybody's "best of 2009" list. Its real value is in the way it can surprise and confuse.

Black Wu Jackets is a fascinating listen, especially for people who hate the idea of white Canadian indie rockers doing Wu Tang covers.

Here are the tracks on Black Wu Jackets:

"Knuckleheadz"
"C.R.E.A.M."
"Buiscuits"
"Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'"
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya"
"Juicy/Big Poppa"
"Labels"


- Evan Dickson, CHARTattack.com


"Ultra Mega's Wu-Tang Cover Album No Gimmick"

Winnipeg is a "tough town." No, those aren't ironic quotes and J. D. Ormond isn't joking when he says that.

The lanky white frontman for Ultra Mega happens to live in the Canada's "murder capital," according to the Winnipeg Free Press [Maclean's ranks the 'Peg #3]. Given the prairie town's surprisingly violent underbelly (and some of its residents' tendencies to stab AC/DC haters), maybe it's not so ridiculous for Ultra Mega to release a short album of Wu-Tang Clan covers.

The limited release, Black Wu Jackets, is exactly what you would expect a quartet of white indie rockers covering classic gangsta rap to sound like. Twangy electric guitar takes over for classic soul samples, and Ormond's warbling nice guy vocals stand in for the gruff machismo of Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, et al. Hearing Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 hit "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" reimagined as a waltz is the kind of thing that could bother a dedicated hip-hop fan.

Ultra Mega recorded Black Wu Jackets in one session. It was all done live off the floor with one take per song. Knowing that they're also planning to release a record of original material in 2010 is enough to arouse suspicion. Are Ormond and his crew are just using their Wu covers as a cheap gimmick to drum up publicity for their real album?

"Not a gimmick," says Ormond. "I'll never say a gimmick, because it's not. I like the Wu-Tang too much."

The Black Wu Jackets songs had actually been a part of Ultra Mega sets for years.

"I guess I just kind of started singing their songs along with chords and it just came out naturally. It wasn't a deliberate objective of mine to make a record," Ormond says.

As for street cred, Ultra Mega have played shows with Winnipeg rappers Birdapres and Pip Skid. These appearances received mixed reactions.

Ormond calls it "equal parts people pumping their fists and people standing there in complete disbelief."

Taking the hip-hop out of the Wu-Tang Clan is a pretty interesting experiment. Hearing the lyrics in such an opposite context with completely different delivery isn't only a fun game; it provides a photo negative image of what exactly hip-hop is — by showing clearly what it isn't.

With its hasty production and odd concept, Black Wu Jackets is not going to be anybody's "best of 2009" list. Its real value is in the way it can surprise and confuse.

Black Wu Jackets is a fascinating listen, especially for people who hate the idea of white Canadian indie rockers doing Wu Tang covers.

Here are the tracks on Black Wu Jackets:

"Knuckleheadz"
"C.R.E.A.M."
"Buiscuits"
"Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'"
"Shimmy Shimmy Ya"
"Juicy/Big Poppa"
"Labels"


- Evan Dickson, CHARTattack.com


Discography

Black Wu Jackets. 2009. Independent ep.
Streaming on Myspace, MARIA.com.
UMFM, CKUW.
THe Dart EP. 2010. Independent.
Streaming on Myspace

Photos

Bio

Much like their rural metropolis of Winnipeg, Ultra Mega shuffles on the crossroads of country and town, the horseman proud and mounted but disgraced by the fleeting conquests of the city. With delicate psychedelia, dreamy pop, and calm, cool lyricism, let Ultra Mega chaperone you through the glories, romances and defeats of the bittersweet knight. Get swooned!
The band are set to release their first full length album, on Transistor 66, in spring, 2013.