Nation Of Ulysses - 13-Point Program To Destroy America (Cover Artwork)

Nation Of Ulysses

Nation Of Ulysses: 13-Point Program To Destroy America13-Point Program To Destroy America (1991)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: fistchodefistchode
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Let's get a few things out of the way before this review really goes anywhere. I like this record better than Plays Pretty For Baby. If I were to recommend one record by NOU (this is what us cool kids call Nation Of Ulysses, by the way) it would definitely be this one. Never mind that I've never hea.
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Let's get a few things out of the way before this review really goes anywhere. I like this record better than Plays Pretty For Baby. If I were to recommend one record by NOU (this is what us cool kids call Nation Of Ulysses, by the way) it would definitely be this one. Never mind that I've never heard the Embassy tapes, I'm going to pretend my opinion has merit.

So then how to review this? What kind of audience reads a Nation Of Ulysses review? Since my friends only know Nation Of Ulysses through me, and only really like the song "Diphtheria" off this CD (solely for the reason that the word 'diphtheria' gets screamed repeatedly), I don't know where they stand. So I'll write with no target, and write what I think.

This is NOU's first record. It would fall under the stupid label "punk," and perhaps "indie." People who I would probably find annoying would call it "noise-rock." They can't play their instruments too well. The lead singer (I'm not cool enough to know his name) can't sing too well. They have a fun, snobby attitude, and write nice manifestos in the little CD booklet that accompanies the album (it's like Refused but with humour and without the self-righteousness). To me, there really only is one reason why this CD will rock your socks off: NOU's energy. There are other nice things as well. Sure, in the song "Diphtheria" they scream "diphtheria" over and over again (followed by "ON THE ROAD TO HELL!"), there is that trumpet that pops up every now and then that people call a "jazz influence" (to me it sounds like a trumpet, and nothing more on the majority of the songs; at least no one's calling it a ska influence).

When I listen to this record, I want to have a seizure. To me, this record isn't really a battle cry for revolution, but it is a sonic revolution in its own right. I challenge you to listen to NOU and lead on your life as normal. I bet that your ass will be shaking, and you'll be screaming along that soul is back. You feel fucking stylin' as hell as you do this too. However, you'll probably be the only one who thinks so.

I'm probably missing the point. If so, I don't apologize, and preferably, you would fuck off and die. It's punk music with energy, and it's punk music about change. There's also a trumpet. Bottom line, I quite like it.


People who liked this also liked:
Nation of Ulysses - Play Pretty for BabyTom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & BastardsRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeThe Clash - London CallingNick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!Rites of Spring - End on EndElvis Costello - My Aim is TrueDrive Like Jehu - Yank CrimeThe Replacements - TimMission of Burma - The Obliterati

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
shawnlw (January 11, 2011)

This review amused me. Simultaneously snide, humorous, and right-on. Perfect for a Nation of Ulysses review.

jackfromcleveland (July 3, 2007)

a kid who tells on another kid is a dead kid.

Anonymous (June 10, 2006)

ian svenonious is the lead singers name and nou was pretty much what refused was most inspired by
aka this record is fucking AWESOME
has anyone ever heard "the make-up" that shit is so funky

TheYoungInfluential (June 8, 2006)

I love this album, but I like Embassy Tapes (the most) and Plays Pretty For Baby better.

Anonymous (September 13, 2005)

you dont know about jazz. You ahve probably never listened to coltrane. shut up

Anonymous (September 9, 2005)

I'd say I'd take "Plays Pretty For Baby" over this one, just because it flows better and they seemed to have "worked out the kinks" and such. This one, however, does contain my favourite NOU songs.

darkstarm (September 7, 2005)

i think most people on this site know that refused came around AFTER these guys. reviews don't have to spoon feed information too you, that's called bad writing. cut the writer some fucking slack.

GreenVandal (September 6, 2005)

Okay, i see that you didnt say they sounded like refused. my false conclusion. But still, it shoulod be stated that refused bit off this band big time.

GreenVandal (September 6, 2005)

This review sucked simply because the reviewer doesnt know anything about this band. They dont know how to play? Are you dense? They sound like refused?

I love me some refused, but if you smoosh NOU and Born Against together, refused is what you get. They rip off this band big time in the image category alone.

I like Plays pretty for baby a little bit better, but this is amazing. Reding their manifestos is always a good laugh. One of the most misunderstood bands of all time. I still hear people arguing over if they are serious or not.

Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

Dude, "Jazz" means just about anything. The term only applied for the first few years of its existence and then got so broad it could encompass anything.

alot of genres are like that....punk

Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

Dude, "Jazz" means just about anything. The term only applied for the first few years of its existence and then got so broad it could encompass anything.

Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

As annoyingly overrated as they were, I'd say the Contortions were really influenced by jazz. In fact, a common theme running through interviews with those guys is that they all seem to think what they're doing is more an extension of jazz. I don't know enough about jazz to have an opinion about that.


Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

This is the most pompous review ever. Okay guy, we get it. You are the only person on the planet who likes 'NOU'. Stop being so self important. This internet begging for scene points is ridiculous.

Way to go, tool.

fistchode (September 5, 2005)

I wrote this review months ago, and honestly haven't listened to NOU in a while (the disclaimer). I remember this cd sounding a lot more sloppy than "Plays Pretty For Baby", and a lot more chaotic sounding. Maybe it was perfectly planned chaos? Maybe it wasn't chaos at all? That's what I got out of it.

As for the trumpet comment, it was more of just making fun of stuff. I may just not know enough about music to distinguish the jazz influence. I remember hearing one on "Plays Pretty For Baby", but not on this one. Maybe I was wrong though, I haven't listened to this disc in a little while.

I love the criticism though. So thanks for it all, and if I seem defensive, I don't mean to.

lushj (September 5, 2005)

Trumpets = jazz? Then what about James Chance and the Contortions?

Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

No Means No is the awesome, but it's nearly impossible to find any of thier records.

Anonymous (September 5, 2005)

nomeansno? anyone?

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

The guitar on this is super-tech. It basically is one of the first punk records to be half punk and and half jazz. The jazz isn't in the trumpet; The funniness is in the trumpet. The jazz is in their song structures.


Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

These guys were pretty good, despite all the horns and crap.

lushj (September 4, 2005)

Bonus points for Ian being Sassiest Man of the Year too! Boy that was a surprising magazine.

lushj (September 4, 2005)

This band could definitely play their instruments. Score is for them on stage- a great live band!!!

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

i hate listenign to yngwie malmsteem

i love this

the reviewer is a sweetie

fistchode (September 4, 2005)

Oh no! I casually made fun of Refused in an aside! I also never said Refused and NOU sound alike, despite someone quoting me that I did.

I find it funny mentioning bands can't play instruments well, if you don't, then we all may die a little on the inside. Some punk bands can play 'em quite well (Scream? Fugazi?), so a differentiation I thought was helpful to punk rock listeners worldwide.

rkl (September 4, 2005)

Nation Of Ulysses - 13-Point Program To Destroy America
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-04 13:51:48

this review fails to answer a crucial question:

who's got the real anti-parent ultra-sound?
waylon jennings
scores for "ive always been crazy"

southpawnation (September 4, 2005)

Ian has a new band, too. Intially known as the Scene Creamers, they're now using the Weird War moniker. They had used the Weird War name for an album he did with John Hagerty of Royal Trux (and Pussy Galore). But the first Weird War album is that line-up, the 2nd and 3rd Weird War records are really the Scene Creamers.

I don't know, doesn't make much sense to me either. The guitarist told us that Ian wanted Weird War to be the name of his post-Make Up band, but that's as much of the story as I can remember.

Scene Creamers/Weird War is basically a more "psychedelic," less garage-y version of The Make-Up.

I could never really get all that into any of Ian's bands from Nation of Ulysses through now, but the only one I ever saw live a couple times was the Scene Creamers/Weird War (I have a buddy who saw the Make-Up at some random show and has been in love with all of Ian's projects ever since).

I will say that Ian's schtick seems to play much better live than on record--IF he doesn't thoroughly annoy you. I also absolutely did not have a crush on Michell Mae; she just plays really groovy basslines.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

this review fails to answer a crucial question:

who's got the real anti-parent ultra-sound?

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

i also prefer this album to plays pretty for baby. i remember the first time i listened to it, and it made me insanely hyper and i just wanted to jump up and down and dance around my room. honestly, i've never LOVED nou, but i do like them a whole lot, particularly this record.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

The lead of Refused ripped the lead of NOU's career. And I don;t know how much joking they were doing. I heard the CIA or FBI had a file on the Make UP

yellowtrash (September 4, 2005)

For those curious of the whereabouts of Ian Svenonious, he recently appeared on NPR celebrating Dischord's 25th anniversary. He writes for the widely acclaimed Californian based magazine occasionally, and he plays in Weird War.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

I understand that its just punk rock and you don't really need to play your intrument well or even know how to properly sing. With that said and pretty much known...should you even say that in a positive review?

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

bad review.

Ian Svenonius was the singer, who also went on to form the gospel yeh-yeh sound of The Make-Up with NOU members James Canty and Steve Gamboa. If you liked NOU, check out at least "Live At Cold Rice" by The Make Up (or should that be TMU?)

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

its amazing that no one cares about a band who cant play their instruments well? horrible review.

TheOneTrueBill (September 4, 2005)

I got into them pretty recently (my last winter break) and will say that I like this one better than PPFB, or whatever the correct acronym would be. It really does grown on you the more you listen to it.

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

Hm. Cap N Jazz were boring.

This band wrote about being terrorists, though, kind of starting the whole "let's cynically write about leftist politics" thing. I don't know what it means. I like this band, but I have no idea what they believe in because they're too busy joking about 60's terrorist groups like the SLA.


Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

"itâ??s like Refused but with humour and without the self-righteousness"

Spoken like someone who read the refused liner notes with absolutely no sense of humor himself, or any awareness of the members of refused.

The trumpet isn't what makes it 'jazzy'. Jazz isn't just jazz cause they got a few horns.

Nation of Ulysses was a great band. They did in fact know how to play.

Incidentally, this review is horrible. score is for the record.

RondoMondo (September 4, 2005)

I'm not really into this band...

Cap N' Jazz did a way better job with incorporating trumpet, as comedic as it was. This band is kind of boring...

dougkatz (September 4, 2005)

"it sounds like refused"

get a clue

sweetsugarpezz (September 4, 2005)

one hell of a record. this is a pretty solid bunch of reviews here... husker du, nation of ulysses, and coliseum

Anonymous (September 4, 2005)

This is one of those albums that everybody should have. It amazes me how many people who claim to listen to emo, post-punk, and hardcore haven't heard of this trailblazing outfit.


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