Ulcer was a techno-industrial band from
Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the early nineties.
The main fixtures were Mike Barber and a fleet of
synthesizers. The rest of the lineup changed
over time. It formed as an offshoot of the
Ars Nova Guild, the experimental theater troupe
at New Mexico State University. They published
their work under the conversion record label; for
a time, they were affiliated with Bright Green Records.
They released four recordings:
the cassette-only release conversion
and then three CDs:
ulcer (also in 1993),
crawl (1995), and
on your knees (1997).
The Ulcer sound is similar to:
Nine Inch Nails (mostly of the
pretty hate machine era);
Front242, and Bigod20.
The last recording was heading towards a darker, heavier
Currently (2001), the band is defunct. Their last public
appearance was in Portland, Oregon, in April of 1999.
I was an informal roadie
and sometime beer-drinking buddies with the band, mostly
in the early 1990s. He also designed one of their
three t-shirts. They are fairly obscure, being
essentially a local band. If you're interested in
this sort of music, please contact me and I'll
try to get you connected with them (or, at least, with
some of their music).
Their eponymous debut cd, ULCER, has most
of the songs off conversion,
as well as many of their fans' favorites.
There was also a cassette
version of this 1993 release;
this was the only recording
that they released in both formats.
Songs available only on the CD version
have been marked with an asterisk below.
Track listing (* indicates bonus track):
- Passion of Hate (5:01)
- Daddy (5:29)
- I Want to Touch You (4:48)
- Not Insane (4:47)
- Delta 1 (3:49)
- Suicide (5:15)
- 2 x a Charm (5:16)
- Relaxation (5:49)
- A Rhythm and a Hum (Scruff Mix) (10:09)*
- The Force (6:11)*
- I Lost You (4:41)*
- I used to Dream (5:30)*
Total run time: 66:45
My memories around this album are a bit hazy, mostly
because I was busy dancing, drinking, and being a
roadie for most of their shows. And did they have
shows; at their house, in small clubs, always with
way too many watts of sound.
I find the second half of the album more interesting
than the first, to be honest. "2x A Charm" is, well,
charming; it's almost happy sounding, until you pay
attention to the lyrics. It's also interesting by
virtue of being one of the few pieces not written by
My favorite songs are right next to each other:
"Relaxation" and "A Rhythm and a Hum". The second is
a no-brainer; it's one of their standards, and is
probably the song that the old-timers know them best
for. "Relaxation" manages to live up to its name
without being at all slow, which is a neat trick.
"The Force" is a great song to dance to, and he closes
the CD with two love songs (which are fairly rare).
Overall, this album gives a good picture of what the
Ulcer sound was, for the first half of the band's