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Ultra Q – My Guardian Angel Review

Muffled and considered, Ultra Q hits a fine spot on My Guardian Angel. Bursting through, loud and confident as they should be on this debut record, comes twelve tracks which have almost nothing to do with the mid-60s Japanese kaiju programme which shares its name with the United States-based band. Anyway, tying Godzilla-like creatures to the American demographic did not work for John Cusack, best keep well away. Hunker down in the safe cover and warmth of My Guardian Angel, which, as far as debut albums go, is one of the best out there. All good albums feature a day of the week as a track. Ultra Q does not make the rules, they follow it and from there begin to break down and contribute such warmth, an incredible exploration, into their art-pop style.  

Give in to Saturday and just get taken by it. Hard not to when they follow up with the mid-2000s emo rocket VR Sex and blur the brief and ever-growing generational gap. Ultra Q is a breath of fresh air. A well-needed change of pace but still holding a familiarity to their sound which makes it easier to access. Flirting with new flavours on their debut record, never settling for some consistent tone, My Guardian Angel is an all-over-the-place record where the purpose is to show variety. Ultra Q does just that, jack of all trades, master of most. I Watched Them Go doubles the tempo but keeps its lyrical wonders, its hopeful spirit and the consistency which guides them toward those relatable, safe shores. Sensible punk and pitch changes on their fourth track brush off any doubts. 

Blinding honesty and comfortable familiarity are shaken to their core on Web Web Web though, a clear highlight which needs repeating, endlessly. Stick the replay button on until you get sick, then move on. What a wonderful song. Swaying, moving lyrics which are crushed, firmly presented under a slow-dance instrumental, the bass and percussion trading some tremendous back-and-forth rhythm while the guitar cuts in with elevated passion. Borrow the records, lend the clothes, follow the path Slope cuts through with. Embrace the charm and listen to the letter. It is the next fad of personality stylings, and if Ultra Q get bigger and better (My Guardian Angel provides a platform to do that), then their chokehold is guaranteed. Good. Deservedly so after the wobbly riffs of Wrip and the essential quality found in their emo rock leanings. 

Indie rock fans polishing their Doc Martens and ironing off their beige jackets are in for a treat with My Guardian Angel. In a year spoilt with grand and adventurous indie rock offerings, get Ultra Q to the top of the list. Well worth the wild and lovely spirit found within, tracks which stretch through the usual annals of love but rip something pure and whole out of there, intact with courage and finely-tuned instrumental work dripping from it. Teether puts it nicely. Ultra Q is gearing toward some huge bite out of the indie rock scene, a cultural landmark inbound, and My Guardian Angel is a hell of a place to start. Patches of perfection bring Ultra Q to the front of the mind. It is hard to escape their consistencies and touches of brilliance, on their debut no less. Assured and stylish stuff. The only way is up, as Yazz once said.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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