Ula Ruth – Restless Nights EP

written by: December 31, 2013
Cover-art-for-Restless-Nights-EP-by-Ula-Ruth Release Date: January 14, 2013


Riding on the same edgy, Neon-Trees-meets-Moostache grooves that drove its debut EP Extended Play, Ula Ruth is set to release its sophomore effort Restless Nights EP in early 2014.

Clocking in at  just over 23 minutes, the EP is fresh and deserving of attention. The band has undoubtedly matured since its last endeavor, crafting more complex songs that still comply with its classic upbeat, buoyant sound.

The tinge of angst expressed through a lot of Ula Ruth’s lyrics both complements and contradicts its gung-ho instrumentals, creating an interesting coexistence between the two sides. This dichotomy goes unnoticed unless focus is pointed toward what Nic James, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, is actually saying, neglecting both his cheerful melodies and the rest of the band’s equally bright musicianship.

The album kicks into Ula Ruth’s newest single “Let Down” following an eerie, echoed guitar humming to start things off. From that point, the EP takes off and doesn’t look back, continually keeping a foot-tapping vibe until the end.

The song features characteristically catchy guitar riffs with some killer solos, powerful bass lines, and a bold drum beat.

By far the coolest part of the track  comes after the line, “You don’t even care at all,” when Nic bitterly says, “Fuck it,” as the music stops and segues into one of lead guitarist Andrew LeCoche’s intoxicating solos.

This raw energy juxtaposed with the airiness of the song is what makes this band novel.

The rest of the EP goes the same way, with bassist Kevin Clymer and drummer Luc James backing up Nic’s lamenting lyrics with domineering, stark instrumentals and LeCoche leading the way musically.

A majority of the EP sounds a lot like “Let Down,” which makes for a fun, but slightly repetitive tracklist overall.

Ula Ruth does a great job of taking that upbeat, yet melancholy style and running with it, but a little more variation wouldn’t hurt.

With that said, there are still tracks that stray from the norm. “The End,” which is the second-to-last song, opens with a groovy ’80s vibe, but is contradicted by Nic’s unique vocals.

Ula Ruth takes this classic sound and makes it its own, slowing the tempo and making use of twangy guitar effects to fabricate a toned-down version of the rest of the EP. It’s a nice chance to stop and take a breath, though it still has the catchiness and power of the other tracks.

“Too Late Tonight,” which closes Restless Nights, goes much the same way. Sounding almost like a quicker, more upbeat extension of “The End,” it brings the album to a proper conclusion with the elements that have pushed the album from start to finish: the catchiness paired with the subtle, melodramatic lyrics; the power of the instruments; and the end-of-song breakdown. All of it comes together to give the EP a fitting denouement.

Restless Nights is a solid release that expresses Ula Ruth’s skill and maturation. The EP exhibits a sense of optimism where lyrically none can be found, which is an interesting way to write about such deeply emotional subject matter.

If the group keeps up like this, it shouldn’t have a problem making huge strides in the coming years. Hopefully we will see a full-length from Ula Ruth before too long.

Ula Ruth – Restless Nights EP tracklist:

  1. “Restless Nights”
  2. “Let Down”
  3. “Shake It Off”
  4. “Loser”
  5. “Runaway”
  6. “The End”
  7. “Too Late Tonight”