Thursday, 24 March 2016

Nation Of Ulysses

The Nation Of Ulysses were a five-piece punk/post-hardcore band from Washington, DC that began in 1988 and ended in 1992. They were a Dischord band, and easily one of the best things to ever come out of the label, and that's saying a lot. They were radical in every sense of the word. Their music is manic, managing to be both polarizing and playful. They took a lot of influence from jazz, which is clear in their off-kilter rhythms the use of a trumpet and saxophone, and the occasional free-jazz interludes. Not to mention they outright pay homage to Ornette Coleman with the song title "The Sound Of Jazz To Come". Nation Of Ulysses were also a massive influence on a certain band that would later release a certain album titled The Shape Of Punk To Come; not only with their sound, but their politics. The band were very outspoken, through their shows, their zine ("Ulysses Speaks"), and their records, which they considered to be statements instead of albums. In a city dominated by Republicans and Democrats, they were their own political party. Their debut's title is outright 13-Point Program To Destroy America, if it couldn't be any clearer (the proper album is 13 songs, but the CD release had 3 bonus songs from their debut EP, thus the 16 track version below).

Three of them would later play in another great band called The Make-Up, and individual members were involved in a ton of projects post-NoU. The band put out two perfect albums and one compilation years after they ended. It contained some tracks that would have ended up being their third album, and a few live tracks tacked on at the end. This band probably should have been one of the bands I posted on here, yet here they are in 2016. I haven't listened to them in a little while unfortunately, but revisiting them now proves they never get old, and are still as mind-blowing the first and 500th time you hear them. Enjoy.

1. The Sound of Young America
2. Channel One Ulysses
3. Atom Bomb

1. Spectra Sonic Sound
2. Look Out! Soul is Back
3. Today I Met The Girl I'm Going To Marry
4. Ulythium
5. A Kid Who Tells On Another Kid Is A Dead Kid
6. Cool Senior High School (Fight Song)
7. Diptheria
8. Aspirin Kid
9. Hot Chocolate City
10. P. Power
11. You're My Miss Washington, D.C.
12. Target: U.S.A.
13. Love Is A Bull Market
14. The Sound of Young America
15. Channel One Ulysses
16. Atom Bomb

1. N-sub Ulysses
2. A Comment On Ritual
3. The Hickey Underworld
4. Perpetual Motion Machine
5. N.O.U. Future-Vision Hypothesis
6. 50,000 Watts Of Goodwill
7. Maniac Dragstrip
8. Last Train To Cool
9. Shakedown
10. Mockingbird, Yeah!
11. Depression III
12. S.S. Exploder
13. The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm
14. The Sound Of Jazz To Come
15. N.O.U.S.P.T.D.A.
16. Presidents Of Vice

1. Introduction
2. Uptight
3. R.O.T.T.E.N.
4. A.P.E. Embassy
5. Hex-Proof
6. Outline For Hangout
7. Gimme Disaster
8. Shakedown (Party)
9. Last Train To Coll
10. P-Power Pt. II


  1. Ink and dagger please
    Black eyes please

  2. I've probably heard this band referenced a thousand times in my life, but never felt compelled to check them out until now. Why? As a HUGE Refused fan, you had my attention with "Nation Of Ulysses were also a massive influence on a certain band that would later release a certain album titled The Shape Of Punk To Come; not only with their sound, but their politics." Thanks for your always-informative posts!

  3. I found this band because of a live video of Glassjaw. Palumbo mentions them, so I was curious and checked them out.

    Took me awhile to get into them, but so glad I did. Plays Pretty for Baby is essential listening.