Ultra Q, the Oakland-based quartet fronted by Jakob Armstrong, made a grand re-entrance into the alt-rock scene with the release of their song “Bowman” earlier this month. The band recalls the finest points of the 2000s post-punk and NYC indie scene, bringing to mind The Strokes, Interpol, and other favorites you might have had on our iPod. “Bowman” quickly fell into regular rotation around here as we eagerly anticipate their Get Yourself a Friend EP that’s releasing later in November on Royal Mountain Records.
Today, they’ve unveiled the second single from the EP, and it’s just as nostalgia-driven while broadening the edges of their sound enough to push them into incredibly unique territory. “Handheld” is very angular and sharp, with intense competing guitar parts that sound just like early Bloc Party before it widens into a full-screen chorus marked by Armstrong’s raspy howl that’s drenched in echoing reverb. It’s a frantic, frenetic mess of a song, and it’s very very good. There’s a lot to like about this band, including the Inception-style music video directed by Hassan that you can watch below.
They’ve also announced two shows to commemorate the EP’s release in Los Angeles and San Francisco on November 10th and 12th respectively, and you can check those dates and buy tickets to the show here.