Frank Mazza’s Ulan Bator US: Praxeology

With influences like Bob Dylan, David Bowie and The Velvet Underground one can see where Frank Mazza extracted some of his eclecticism. The Ulan Bator US had big plans until when right before their latest album, Praxeology, was set to be released, Mazza passed away. Mazza may no longer be with us, but his dream, talent and legacy lives on through Praxeology.

From the start of the instrumental opener, “God Speed You Traveler,” one is marched off into the unknown with steady drum rolls and crying guitars, which makes a safe return journey seem unlikely. The 20-song final release from Frank Mazza’s Ulan Bator US, blends together edgy classic rock, storytelling lyrics and punk rock to create a dark yet compelling album. Mazza’s fruity tone throughout “Richard Speck’s Birthday” makes it not only a memorable track, but a chilling one as well. During the album, one cannot ignore the various effects used on the vocals. For example, during “The Outer Space Girl” Mazza toys around with high-pitched, alien-like vocals in the background. Although a vast majority of the tracks on the release are dreary and full of gloom, during “Ungrateful Wretch,” the guitar work towards the end of the track is majestic and hopeful.

The varied group of songs on Praxeology is hard to get into at first because each cut is so different from the previous one, preventing the album from flowing smoothly. Give it another shot, perhaps on random, and then make your decision.

In A Word: Alright