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Ultraman - Old Rock House - St Louis, MO


Ultraman first released their own 7" EP's (alternately called "the Mr. Yuk 7" and "self-titled") in 1988 after selling demo tapes for over a year. Their second 7" EP "Destroys All Monsters...Kills All Families" was recorded in May 1988, but not released until September of that year. The EP features the same lineup, except Mark Deniszuk replaced Mike Doskocil on drums. During this time, Ultraman played countless shows in St. Louis at notable venues such as Mississippi Nights (the first show played here was with Suicidal Tendencies. They would follow up this show by playing with bands as diverse as the Exploited and Dead Milkmen.[1] Ultraman also frequently played the surrounding Midwestern region, with many shows in Lawrence, Kansas at the famed Outhouse.[2]

Ultraman expanded their Midwestern focus and decided to promote the singles with an east coast tour in July 1988. On this tour, Ultraman played dates in Leonardtown, Maryland with McRad (Chuck Treece’s band while he was also in Underdog), Boston, and NYC at the Pyramid Club. After this tour, singer Tim Jamison sent a copy of the band's single and band t-shirts to Jack at Caroline Records, in the hope of getting the band signed. Jack didn't think they were a fit with the label, but passed along their singles to Nicky Garrett who, at the time, ran the Caroline warehouse and was just starting New Red Archives. New Red Archives had already signed the UK Subs, east coast bands Crucial Youth and Kraut, and was looking for a Midwestern band who had both name recognition and had toured.

Freezing Inside[edit]

In late 1988, Garrett offered to sign Ultraman to his NRA label and asked the band to record their first album. At this time, Bob Zeulig was replaced by Mike Story.[3] After signing to New Red Archives the band traveled to New York to record their first album. "Freezing Inside" was recorded at famed ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi in their 15th floor studio, using the same microphone that was used to record Trix cereal commercials. The album[4] was produced by Tom Lyle of Government Issue in 1989. To promote the album, Ultraman toured the west coast with another St. Louis band, Whoppers Taste Good then the east coast and Canada with UK Subs.

Non Existence and Breakup[edit]

In 1990, the band learned they would be touring Europe with Samiam[5] and went into the studio to record a new album in preparation for the tour. During this time, Mike Story was briefly replaced by Pat Hercules for some live shows, but he was eventually replaced by Matt Smith to record the next album and subsequent European tour. The second album, "Non Existence"[6] was produced by Nicky Garrett and recorded in San Francisco. During the recording, Ultraman played 924 Gilman Street. After several more U.S. shows, the band headed off to Europe to play GermanyAustriaYugoslaviaItalySwitzerland, the Netherlands, France, and England with punk band Samiam. Ultraman decided to call this tour "European In Your Pants."

After the tour Ultraman returned to the U.S. to play live shows throughout the country. In February 1991, Rick Ulrich from Whoppers Taste Good replaced Matt Smith.[7] Ultraman was set to go back to Europe for another tour, and John John replaced John Corcoran on bass for this leg.[8] Ultraman toured solo on this 1991 tour, playing shows in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria. They returned to America once again, but this time broke up.[9] They played a final, sold-out show at legendary Mississippi Nights on December 30, 1991.[10]

The Constant Weight of Zero and Reformation[edit]

While formally broken up, Ultraman still played dozens of reunion shows throughout the Midwest. In 1999, the band officially re-formed, with the lineup of Tim Jamison on vocals, John John on bass, Tim O'Saben on guitar, Bob Fancher on guitar and Jason Simpson on drums.[11] This incarnation of Ultraman continued to play shows in St. Louis while writing new songs. The band has always been one of St. Louis's most requested opening acts for touring punk and hardcore punk bands that came to play in the region.

By 2001, Rob Wagoner returned to the band, replacing Tim O'Saben.[12] This lineup would record the album "The Constant Weight of Zero," which was released in 2004.[13]