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UltraBomb return with album #2 – ‘Dying to Smile’

The transatlantic threesome recorded this during a short few days together in London - and it's incendiary!

Proving that they are no one shot wonders, UltraBomb (Greg Norton of Hüsker Dü,
Finny McConnell of The Mahones and Jamie Oliver ex UK Subs) headed straight to the recording studio last December, hot off the back of a highly successful debut UK tour, to record their second album over just 3 days!

Usually separated by thousands of miles, living in the USA, Canada and the UK, the punk rock power trio have to make the most of their precious time togther to record new music. Choosing the best opportunity to do it, fresh from playing togther across several UK cities, Greg, Finny and Jamie got busy in a London studio to put down ‘Dying to Smile‘, the follow up to their acclaimed 2022 debut ‘Time To Burn‘.

UltraBomb - recording in London Dec 2023
Finny, Jamie & Greg - UltraBomb - recording in London Dec 2023 - photo by Finny McConnell

The urgency of the situation fired them up to make “absolutely best record they could”, and it shows! First track ‘Doggo‘ was inspired by the band members’ love for their canine companions waiting faithfully back home. It’s a Punk banger of course!

The infectious positivity  of ‘Who Knows‘ hits you right away – absolutely cracking bass in this one from the skillful hands of Greg Norton. A cynical yet accurate look at politics comes out in ‘Never Better‘, Finny McConnell ripping out a massive guitar solo in the break.

UltraBomb playing a secret gig in London, Dec 2023 - photo by Ruth Rae

Finny calls upon us to live in the moment in ‘It’s Now‘ – pure Punk spirit with a sing-along chorus. The slower ‘Isolation‘ is a melodic and introspective look back at a life of self-protection. Raw vocal emotion which will resonate with many of us.

Sleep Tight‘ is a fabulous song, going out to the younger generations to encourage them to follow their dreams. Phenomenal bass lines in this one!

UltraBomb - Finny McConnell
UltraBomb - Finny McConnell lays down the album guitar tracks, Dec 2023

Inter-generational strife is tackled in ‘Woke Wars‘ – “Wake up, What did you do in the war?” More good advice in ‘Just Cut‘, about removing the bullshit from your existence to improve life! Love the layered guitars on this track, and the definitive ending.

Greg Norton - UltraBomb
UltraBomb -Greg Norton - photo by Ruth Rae
Jamie Oliver - UltraBomb
UltraBomb - Jamie Oliver - photo by Ruth Rae

More introspection in ‘Haunted‘, the most Irish influenced track on the album. “Haunted by my bones” says so much in so few words.. A mental health crisis is the subject of ‘West In The Summertime‘, yet musically this song is full of riches, making it one of the best on the album.

Only single release so far, ‘Rage Bomb‘, with its frenetic guitars and drums sees the band on top form. As a sampler of the overall album it’s the perfect choice.

Final track ‘In A Rut‘ is of course a cover of The Ruts‘ 1979 hit Punk anthem. As a massive Ruts fan, I can say that UltraBomb have more than done the song justice! Greg nails the chugging bass, Jamie the complex drum patterns, and Finny’s vocals suit it perfectly, while he gets a bit experimental with the guitar. ‘In A Rut‘ getting the UltraBomb treatment WORKS.

An album filled to the brim with punchy Punk songs, underpinned by the inspired bass lines of Norton and the creative drumming of Oliver, overlaid with superb guitar work from McConnell and excellent vocal harmonies by all three musicians. You need to hear this!

Dying to Smile‘ is out today, 7th June 2024, on DC-Jam Records! Listen or order HERE

UltraBomb - Dying to Smile
  1. Doggo
  2. Who Knows
  3. Never Better
  4. It’s Now
  5. Isolation
  6. Sleep Tight
  7. Woke Wars
  8. Just Cut
  9. Haunted
  10. West In The Summertime
  11. Rage Bomb
  12. In A Rut
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