Ultimate Fakebook | After Hours at Melin’s

Ultimate Fakebook Are Guests on Low-Budget Talk Show “After Hours At Melin’s” Video from First New Album in 16 Years

It’s been a long 16 years for fans of the pop punk band Ultimate Fakebook to release new music. And boy, it was worth the wait. The band is back with a comical new video for their song “After Hours at Melin’s”.

The video finds the band on a low-budget talk show, with the host, played by Curtis Rainsberry, referring to them as the “Ultimate Facebookers,” ironic for the fact that when these guys last released music, Facebook wasn’t really a thing — it was all about Myspace. As the three members of the Kansas-based band field questions from the host, bassist Nick Colby disguised to look a bit like Hulk Hogan, rips off a killer keyboard solo in a demonstration of the talk show’s musical capabilities. Then, the band rips into the song on the talk show’s tiny makeshift stage.

“We wanted this video to capture the sights, the sounds, the smells of Ultimate Fakebook. We got that. And we got a whole lot more. We imagined a world where our first new music in 16 years would be a major news event…on a public access TV show where the host couldn’t pronounce our name correctly. Curtis Rainsberry is a UCB vet and comedy writer with his own late-night talk show character and he performed heroically. Director Paul Sprangers knows comic timing and exactly where to place the smoke machine. And what can you say about the legend that is Peter “Stiff” Dickens? The lyrics in the song are filled with references to the things we love, so we went the same route in the video x10. There’s an untold number peanut M&Ms in a jar waiting for the UFB superfan who counts and catches every single obscure reference in both. “After Hours at Melin’s” will make you boogie, make you laugh, and it may even touch your heart.”

“After Hours at Melin’s” comes from the band’s fifth full length album, The Preserving Machine, which is out on Sonic Ritual on April 10, 2020. It’s their first release since the band broke up in 2004 after releasing four albums and touring with bands like At The Drive-In, The Get Up Kids and Motion City Soundtrack.

Note to readers: Ultimate Fakebook‘s first album of new material in 16 years, “The Preserving Machine,” contains a number of references. Before continuing, please take time to familiarize yourself with at least some of the below terms and phrases: VHS tapes. iMacs. Neil Hamburger. Manhattan KS! “Mr. Show.” Air guitar. “I Get Wet.” “Across the Universe.” Superdrag. The decline of the American empire. “Dinosaurs and dresses, princesses and weapons.” Children. MTV and “motherfucking MP3s.” Manhattan KS! 1982. “Spring Breakers.” Hope. Paella. Despair. “The Rain Song.” Melvins. KISS “Alive” and “Alive II.” Virtual amps, virtual bands, MIDI and USB drives. Manhattan KS! “Smell the Glove.” “Freaks and Geeks.” Beatles or Stones? Manhattan KS!

Like its gymnastically explosive guitar rock songs and lyrical spins, Ultimate Fakebook in its two-and-a-half decades and five albums have leapt through a series of white-hot moments that, when experienced as whole, come off as undeniably well-plotted. That they’re back now with their fifth full-length, “The Preserving Machine,” feels preordained. The album, which comes out via Sonic Ritual in April, eloquently conveys both the celebratory nature of making loud, smart, hook-heavy songs, as well as the daily challenges of living during a time when so much seems at stake.

Ultimate Fakebook was born as a trio in Manhattan, Kansas through a mutual love for Guided by Voices, Cheap Trick and the Replacements during the fertile post-grunge, pre-emo mid-1990s. Founding members Bill McShane (guitar, vocals) and Nick Colby (bass), along with longtime drummer Eric Melin, created three acclaimed albums over a six-year period starting in 1997 (including 2000’s “This Will Be Laughing Week” for 550/Epic Records). Along the way, the band sharpened its sound and ideals during tours with artists including At the Drive In, Fallout Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, Nada Surf and the Get Up Kids. They broke up in 2004 but never lost touch, reuniting every now and then for a sporadic benefit concert or live show. In 2019, pop-punk legends the Descendents invited UFB on a Midwest run of dates.

To say those gigs went well is an understatement. As exhibited on “The Preserving Machine,” all that mileage, all those semi-regular jerks and jolts, sound precisely planned. Produced by McShane with Melin and The Stereo’s Jamie Woolford, the album was recorded by McShane with help from longtime producer and Kansas legend Ed Rose (Touche Amore, The Appleseed Cast) and Steve Squire. “I’m 45 and still alive — what can I say?,” wonders McShane during “My Music Industry,” a song that’s both an indictment of a dying business and a smart-assed ode to Bandcamp: “My industry’s on fire,” he sings. Another track, “Manhattan KS,” sells the band’s hometown one local reference at a time. On the wildly catchy “After Hours at Melin’s,” UFB documents a night at drummer (and 2013 World Air Guitar Champion) Eric Melin’s place. McShane joyously sings about lessons learned during drunken binge-watches and listening sessions with their bandmate, who in 2007 competed in VH1’s “World Series of Pop Culture.”

Just because a band splits doesn’t mean the muse quits. Across these songs, McShane’s as sharp as he is observant. With him, Colby and Melin unite punk rock, power pop, post-punk, and emo with a seamless ease, each of the 11 tracks lock into a structure through a combination of sweat and divinity. One listen will hook you. By the third listen, you’ll be consumed.

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