Ultramantis Black – ULTRAMANTIS BLACK (Relapse)

Sunday, 6th July 2014
Rating: 8/10

UltraMantis Black, a professional wrestler from the Chikara pro wrestling promotion, out of Philly, has teamed up with the noise/hardcore punk outfit Pissed Jeans to release the ULTRAMANTIS BLACK EP – nine tracks of grindy hardcore punk, clocking in at just under 14 minutes.

A different kind of wrestler, UMB, a vegan with Communist beliefs and a menacing, almost Satanic look, performs in his wrestling circuit with his own stable, called (the very metal sounding) Order of the Neo-Solar Temple. Therefore it’s not surprising that the man also has a penchant for extreme music and flexes his creative muscle both in and out of the ring.

Pissed Jeans, a Sub Pop signed band from Allentown, PA, are the real muscle behind this release, unleashing brief and explosive tracks of jagged, heavy, urgent and riffing hardcore. Tinged with an anti-corporate message, as with the sample used during the intro of “Earth War”, a message to hold the CEOs accountable for the ills they’ve perceivably caused in society, ULTRAMANTIS BLACK is very much in line with the Leftist ethos of any of the rally-to-the-fight movements within the umbrella of hardcore, be they straightedge, vegan, Eco or what have you.

Our hero UMB is the man with the microphone here, and does a bang up job spittin’ venom and screaming his throat raw. The tracks have a live feel to them, and take a guy back to the days of watching shows in cramped and humid basements packed with kids with X’s on their hands and their favorite grind or powerviolence band t-shirts on. With pro production and tight musicianship to boot, this EP delivers good stuff in an ultra-concentrated time frame. What this doesn’t feel like is gimmicky with regards to the wrestling thing. One wouldn’t be any the wiser to that part by listening to ULRAMANTIS BLACK alone, but that certainly makes for a better story line.

Ultramantis Black at Relapse