When I first heard of Uke-Hunt, I had to say the band’s name five times fast. When I first heard the album I had to listen to it five times over. Uke-Hunt is the latest creation by Spike Slawson who is known best for his lead vocals for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and playing bass for the Swingin’ Utters. Slawson recruited comrades and punk-rock veterans Randy Burk (percussion), Jamin Barton (saxophone, melodica, harmonica, etc.) and Joe Reposo (upright bass) to join him in creating a uniquely shaped sound that is 100% unplugged; with the exception of the microphones of course.
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Now I’m a punk rocker “yes I am” but I am a musician first and foremost and I find the quality of the musicianship in this band and on this album to be the perfect representation of just how talented “punk” rock musicians actually are. Uke-Hunt covered ten songs that many of you would otherwise never listen to and pumped new life into them, i.e., The Carpenters “End of the World”. I’ve always like the song itself but Karen Carpenter’s soft delivery was a little too pussy for me so Uke-Hunt’s version now lets me appreciate this song as I feel it should be. When I spoke with Spike in person at Amnesia Rockfest I mentioned Karen Carpenter to him and I could see she holds a soft spot in his heart.
Now don’t expect a to hear faster tempo traditional punk rock covers just because of the band mates having that particular background but do expect to hear really cool versions of some rather easy-listening tunes. These songs kind of remind me of my Mom and I know these songs have a special meaning to Spike so perhaps they remind him of songs that he grew up hearing his parents listening to. The only thing missing from this album is the crackling from the needle on the record so if this is available on vinyl that may be the suggested way to purchase it.
UKE-HUNT track listing:
2. Animal Farm
3. End of the World
4. Green, Green Grass of Home
5. Enjoy the Silence
6. Needles and Pins
7. The Prettiest Star
9. Rainy Days and Mondays
10. Ready to Take a Chance Again
I recommend this album to true open-minded music lovers who can appreciate Uke-Hunt’s transformation of these classics.