Smoke or Fire, This Week’s #APCNewToMe Band


This week’s #APCNewToMe band was recommended by Jeremy L. Morrison, one of my co-hosts on the Acid Pop Cult podcast. We often pick on Jeremy because of his NOFX love, and frequent mentions of them on the show, which really doesn’t even happen all that often, but don’t tell him that. I’m just as guilty of being a fanboy when it comes to pimping Todd Snider’s work on the show. We’ve both jokingly declared bans on mentioning either of them when the mics are live. Anyway, he recommended that I check out Fat Wreck Chords recording artist Smoke or Fire.

True to the spirit of this page, I had never heard of Smoke or Fire before his recommendation. Also true to the spirit of this page, I’m only writing about them because I have found at least a few songs I’ll stick into my personal rotation.

At first, admittedly, I gave them a 30-second listen on Spotify and stopped it. All I heard in that 30 seconds were guitar chords whose sound leaned way too far toward the treble knob than I typically prefer, and a vocalist whose voice was a little whiny even though it seemed like he was trying to convey some kind of anger. That 30 seconds just didn’t work for me.

I pushed it aside for a time when I was more inclined to take the time to really listen to something that didn’t immediately reach out and grab me by the balls. I like to give things a fair shot before I dismiss them entirely. Most people don’t seem to have this kind of patience, which is why most people, miss out on a lot of good music.

When I finally sat down, and just let Smoke or Fire play for a while, I found I was able to appreciate more of it than I originally thought after that initial 30 seconds.

Photo from the Fat Wreck Chords website, where it is attributed to The Fest, 2006 (Photo: Brian Kelleher,

Photo from the Fat Wreck Chords website, where it is attributed to The Fest, 2006 (Photo: Brian Kelleher,

I explored Smoke or Fire on Spotify.

Spotify has two albums by Smoke or Fire available for listening at the moment, 2010’s “The Speakeasy”, and 2007’s “The Sinking Ship.” I pushed play at the top of one, and let it rip through both just so i can say I gave them a fair shake, and I’m kind of glad I did.

As I listened through “The Speakeasy”, I thought to myself, “Hey, at least the vocalist isn’t going out of his way to sing with that weird accent a lot of others of the genre do. That’s something.”

Then the song 1968 played, and managed to actually get my attention. This song has a little bit of drive behind it, and if I had taken the time to listen to the lyrics, I’ll bet it even had a message of some kind in there. The music was entertaining enough on this track, that I didn’t feel compelled to analyze the lyrics.


Then I zoned back out for a while, and tuned the music out while I worked on a project, which is often how I approach listening to new music because I respect things that cut through my concentration and make me wonder what it is, or what the song is called. When the tracks from “The Sinking Ship” began playing, it did just that.

“The Sinking Ship” sounded like the harder album to me, and the songs on there drew me in unlike “The Speakeasy” did.

Of course, as I always say, just because I like something doesn’t mean it’s great, and just because I might not like something, doesn’t mean it sucks.

What Separates Us All is the first track on “The Sinking Ship”, and the opening riff is an attention getter, and was strong enough to make me listen to the entire song.

I’ll Be Gone is another one that grabbed me right off the bat, and drew me in for a closer listen. Any song where the line, “It doesn’t mean shit to me,” is A-OK in my book. Hell most of the redneck, hillbilly, headbanging bands I listen to probably would have just said, “It don’t mean shit to me,” and left it at that. I appreciate the effort to be somewhat correct.

It was kind of nice to listen to a band with a vocalist who actually tries to sing for a change. I’m so accustomed to growlers, screamers, or folksy crooners, that vocals like those of Smoke or Fire are a nice change of pace once I adapted to it.

My only knock against Smoke or Fire is the same knock I have against a lot of other bands of the genre, and that’s songs start out great, they’ve got a killer riff, a nice heavy groove, and then it pauses for a melodic vocal hook that just fucks up the flow of the song for me. Their song Life Imitating Art is a good example of what I’m talking about. I find it kind of jarring, I’m not smart enough to handle such dynamic changes in a song.


Smoke or Fire overcomes that issue more than others I’ve heard.

The big problem now is Smoke or Fire might or might not even be a band any more.

Reading their story on Fat Wreck Chords, it sounds like they were about to call it quits after “The Sinking Ship”, but were lured back to record the follow-up “The Speakeasy.” It doesn’t appear as though they have put anything out since 2010. They apparently did some touring in March 2013, and posts announcing those tour dates are the last posts to go up on their Facebook page.

So again, I’m too late to the party it seems.

Whatever the case, they are new to me, and that’s all that is required for the #APCNewToMe feature here at Acid Pop Cult.

You can follow along with #APCNewToMe with the ongoing Spotify Playlist featuring songs from the artists we cover this year.

Smoke or Fire at Fat Wreck Chords

Smoke or Fire on Facebook

Smoke or Fire Wiki

This Week’s #APCNewToMe: Mountain Sprout


We used to do a segment on the podcast called the Redneck Report. I’m not sure how exactly it got started, or how I was nominated to be the redneck, but it was and so was I. I’ve always contended that I am not a redneck, and in fact, despite my Appalachian heritage, I am probably the furthest thing from it. This week, however, I’m not going to make a very strong case for my claims of being free from redneck tendencies.

Last week I was in the local record store digging through a recent score of mint-condition blues and jazz records the owner made, when I stumbled onto a Hot Rize album. Hot Rize, if you didn’t already know, though I’m sure you did, is a bluegrass band. They  are one of those bands that plays a lot of the hard and fast variety of bluegrass tunes.

The record, having just come in, didn’t have a price on it yet. So I asked how much, and the answer to my inquiry surprised me. The record, which was 30 years old, was going for about $20 in most circles.

I never thought bluegrass was very popular, but this says otherwise. There are people out there who really like this stuff. I can’t say I’m a bluegrass expert, or even an enthusiast, but I’ve been a casual listener all my life. It’s just part of the culture where I’m from. Like it or not, in this part of appalachia, it’s tough to make it through a lifetime without being in a room somewhere, with someone picking out a bluegrass number at some point.

Hot Rize is not the focus of this week’s #APCNewToMe post. This week we’re looking at a bluegrass band I found by listening to Hot Rize online, Mountain Sprout.

Mountain Sprout is a bluegrass band from Springdale, Arkansas, who have been recording since 2005, and is still touring the midwest and beyond today.

Mountain Sprout isn’t your typical bluegrass band though.

Bluegrass is notorious for having way too many gospel numbers in it, and a few too many slow numbers in it as well. It’s known for being stuffy shirted, stiff, and something that could be performed in a church. That’s not this bunch.


These guys pop out some classic bluegrass rhythms, but then lay lyrics over them about drinking, drugging, and the man being responsible for keeping every one of us down.

In their song Screw the Government, for example:

“I’m just an ol’ redneck hippie, I love my beer, and guns, and pot; I could’ve filled up my pickup truck with all the cocaine that I bought; … I’ve got bills to pay, kids to raise, with money already spent, I’ll plant some weed in my corn row man, screw the government.”

Screw the Government from Mountain Sprout on Myspace.
(This is, of course, to the best of my interpreting abilities.)

I liked the sentiment of saying screw the government immediately.

They go on to sing about hangovers, drinking, more drugs, some more drinking, and then touch on a few other aspects of living in the economically depressed regions of rural America.

They aren’t just a good time band either.

In songs like Into the Sun, they sing about putting oil company CEOs, politicians, bankers, and a few others, onto a spaceship and shooting them into the sun.

Into the Sun from Mountain Sprout on Myspace.

At times, the lyrics remind me of something Shel Silverstein might have written for  Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show in the late 1960s.

The song Smell the Daisies is one that reminds me of those classics..

“You gotta work at being lazy, let yourself get crazy, take the time to drink the wine, then stop and smell the daisies.” (Again, this is to the best of my interpretive abilities)

The song Shitting in the Woods is another one that reminds me of Dr. Hook, and yes, the song is about just what it sounds like it’s about. I get it. I understand where this song came from. If you’ve never shit in the woods, I recommend giving it a shot some time soon. It’s an experience, you’ll never forget.

Big Blue Marble is about the mysteries of life and the fact we’re all just spinning through space on a big blue marble. Hell, they even do a version of Are You Drinking With Me Jesus?.

These guys should not be confused with the pseudo-bluegrass that’s gaining popularity these days thanks to the likes of bands like The Avett Brothers. There are no whiny, overly-sensitive men,  pining for some broad who kicked them to the curb here.

Mountain Sprout is whinyman free.

This is bluegrass with balls.

Now, back to me for a minute.

Yeah, bluegrass is kind of rednecky, but I would argue that it could also be viewed as being hippie-ish. Over the past decade, I’ve noticed myself becoming more hippie-like in my philosophies as I age. So I don’t care what anyone says, I’m gonna see myself as more hippie than redneck, but not really either when it comes down to it.


PornoBilly (2005)


One More for the Ditch (2007)


FamBilly Hour (2008)


Into the Sun (2009)


Habits to Feed (2010)


Refried: ;The Best O’ The Beans (2011)


As always, you can follow along with my effort to find a band I like each week, that I have never heard before being introduced to them by referral, radio, tv, streaming service, etc., by following the Spotify playlist we’re putting together to accompany the discoveries. These bands don’t have to be new, per se, they just have to be new to me. How much more can you ask? There’s a lot of music out there, and I can’t listen to all of it at once. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to it.

#APCNewToMe: Joe Buck Yourself


I’ve been casually familiar with the Legendary Shack Shakers, and have been for quite some time now. The band occasionally came through my little nowhere town and played a few shows here and there. I’m very familiar with Hank III. I wouldn’t call myself a superfan, but I like a lot of his work, especially the album Straight to Hell. Yet somehow, despite these familiarities, I had never come across the name Joe Buck in a musical context until Spotify recommended Joe Buck Yourself to me yesterday.

Joe Buck is a musician who spent time in both the Shack Shakers and with Hank III. Buck is even credited as being a producer and engineer on Hank III’s Straight to Hell album, which is an album I’ve listened to more than 100 times.

I saw Hank III and Assjack, his hardcore, punk, metally kind of band, on the tour supporting Straight to Hell, so I’ve probably even seen Joe Buck play live.

Still, nada. No recollection.

I’d never heard of him until yesterday, but better late than never, right?

Joe Buck Yourself is a country-punk-whatever project of Buck’s that falls somewhere between Hank III’s country songs and his harder-edged songs with Assjack. That’s not implying he is a copy of Hank III, or vice versa, it’s just the best I could come up with for a description of the music.

The first Joe Buck Yourself song I heard was Dig a Hole.

The song is from the band’s self-titled release from 2007.

Dig a Hole sounds like a speed-injected, meth-infected Muddy Waters song from his days hanging with Johnny Winter recording albums like Hard Again. It’s got juice.

The Devil is on His Way isn’t as ballsy and bold as Dig a Hole, but it’s got a nice gospel style rhythm to it, but it’s laced with repeated uses of motherfucker in the lyrics.

When that was followed up with Hillbilly Pride, that was it. I was hooked.

So this week’s #APCNewToMe is Joe Buck Yourself.

They’ve been out there as a unit for nearly a decade, but had slipped under my radar until now.

It just goes to show there is more music out there than one person can hear in one lifetime, much less just a few short years.

The music world is a big one, and I can’t listen to it all at once. I gotta go through things one at a time.

I might be slow to catch on, but I’ll get there eventually if it’s something worth the wait.

You can find Joe Buck Yourself on Facebook.


Keep track of my attempt to find new music I like every week this year by following the #APCNewToMe Spotify Playlist.

If you have a suggestion for me to check out, just find us @AcidPopCult on Twitter.

#APCNewToMe Cheater’s Edition: Hard Working Americans and Scott H. Biram

There has been a lull in our effort to find a new band every week, and there’s good reason for that. The past few weeks, I’ve been consumed with new music from musicians I’ve known about for quite some time. It hasn’t left much time for finding new material, especially when all I want to listen to are two specific new releases. So they aren’t technically new bands to me, but the music is new to me. That’s gotta count for something.


There was a little bit of discussion about Hard Working Americans on Episode 96: One of the Good Ones, but with a little more time to listen to the album, the more I like it.

Yeah, I know, what you’re thinking. The moment someone starts enjoying something resembling a jam band, it’s time to start checking the mailbox for that free subscription to AARP Magazine. So be it.

I bought the digital download of this album on iTunes, but I think I made a mistake. Not having the package in my hands, has denied my opportunity to experience it with all five of my senses. This bothers me because I’m almost certain when I open the packaging, I’m going to be blasted in the face with a record-jacket fart flavored by indica and Nag Champa incense blended with a mild patchouli, the moment the seal is broken.

The members of Hard Working Americans are no strangers to any of that mess.

Dave Schools is the bassist for Widespread Panic.

Neal Casal also plays guitar for Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Keyboardist Chad Staehly also plays for Great American Taxi.

Duane Trucks of King Lincoln is the drummer.

Then there’s Todd Snider, the band’s vocalist and dance machine, who put this project together with the help of Schools and a bunch of songwriters he admires.

The Hard Working Americans songs aren’t technically their own, but they do their best to make it theirs. In some cases they make a very good case, much the way Jimi Hendrix did with All Along the Watchtower. Nobody thinks about Bob Dylan first when someone mentions that song.

The songs are were chosen for their content first and foremost. Snider claims to have been collecting songs for years, and the ones used on this album are from that collection of songs. The music woven around those words was just icing on the cake.

Musically it might be lumped into that jam band slot where the band members are already well known, but defining it does it a disservice no matter how its done. A good song is a good song, and there are a lot of them on this record. There are even a few earworm-worthy tracks on it.

There’s nothing especially special about Hard Working Americans other than the great lyrics and basic, straight-forward, rock sound, but isn’t that enough?

Stomp and Holler has been one of those for me. I just can’t shake it from my mind. Here they are doing it live on Conan. Watch for the great James Brown line near the end.

This is one of a series of promo videos that go behind the scenes on the making of the album and the formation of the band in general.


Scott H. Biram does whatever the hell he wants to do, and we’re all better off for it because we get to experience what creative freedom can bring us when in the hands of a master of his craft.

Nothin’ But Blood is another in a string of masterpieces from Biram. That’s this reporters opinion anyway.

Sometimes billed as The Dirty Ol’ One Man Band, Biram uses little more than an antique guitar, a stomp board, a tambourine, and a few other basic noise-makers, he blows audiences away.

The best part about Biram is unlike many other artists who perform in ways some might call gimmicky, like a one man band, his music isn’t limited to just being enjoyed live. It transcends any kind of gimmick label someone might try to slap onto it.

Listening to a Scott H. Biram album is kind of like being the star of a horror film. You get a few minutes of peace to reflect on what’s happened, think about what might happen, and experience a little anxiety to boot; then it’s back to being chased down by the hounds of hell obsessed with tearing out your soul.

Songs range from something you might hear on Sunday morning in a small country church somewhere in the south, to demon-possessed metal and punk.

Like I said in the beginning, Scott H. Biram does whatever the hell Scott H. Biram wants to do.

He’s not only good for his own original work on each album, but he has a habit of recording a few blues standards as well. This time he does a classic from Mance Lipscomb, called Alcohol Blues, and the much better known blues standard Backdoor Man.

He invites Lipscomb’s song with some updated lyrics and a fit of rage that makes you afraid to adjust the volume one way or the other until the shouting is done. That moment comes 5 minutes and seven seconds after the song begins.

My first time really listening to Nothin’ But Blood was the day I bought the limited-edition, red vinyl, LP. I had a bit of a sonic experience while listening. It’s noisy at times, but still manages to be a clean recording that sounds great on decent equipment.

There are some piercing feedback moments in songs like Around the Bend, which were artfully crafted, well executed, and powerful enough to make my sour puss smile.

Good stuff.

Alcohol Blues (Until it gets shutdown)

Mance’s original Alcohol Blues

As always, you can follow along on our #APCNewToMe Spotify Playlist.

#APCNewToMe: Blood for Blood

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of most bands I’ve heard who call Victory Records home. As I’ve said before, this isn’t a slight on them, it’s just most of the “hardcore” bands I’ve been familiar with over the years just haven’t hit my sweet spot. Many of those bands were a bit too loose with the construction of their songs and there wasn’t enough of a groove present for my personal tastes.

That’s why I was surprised when I heard a song I liked on Sirius XM’s Metal 40, and then found out the band that recorded the song was a Victory Records artist… or at least used to be a Victory Records artist.

I hate when I hear something 10 years too late. That’s the situation for this edition of #APCNewToMe though. Not only am I 10 years too late to the part, but it doesn’t appear there is a party left to attend when it comes to the band Blood for Blood.


I heard the track “Paper Gangster” from their 2004 album Spit My Last Breath this morning while running an errand and dug the hell out of it. Then I came home and dialed up Blood for Blood on Spotify and listened to some more of their work. (The tune is also on the album Revenge on Society (1998) as Ya Still a Paper Gangster featuring a spoken word intro)

When I saw they were on Victory Records, I was surpised to say the least, and that led me to research the history of Blood for Blood, where I’ve found they are seemingly inactive at the moment. I also saw one account, albeit a Wiki, the band was active with Friends Stand United aka the 387 (or whatever, this is more wiki info, and I really don’t give enough of a shit about it to really research it) which is some kind of anti-racist gang thing that isn’t a gang who might or might not be comprised of those in the Straight Edge cult.

Sounds like a lot of dumbass baggage to me. I like the music well enough that I’m going to pretend I never read any of that shit. I’ll try my hardest to forget about the Straight Edge thing the most though.


Yeah, you can live your life however you want, but when you’re too passionate about a particular lifestyle and you try to convince others your way of living is the best way of living, you’re no better than the religions who have caused nothing but grief on this planet since humans crawled out of the muck.

Maybe it’s just the Straight Edge people I met way back in the day who were a bad representation of the whole thing, but damn they were annoying. I was 100-percent sober, and didn’t use tobacco, or any of that shit at the time, and they still got my damn nerves.

Anyway, this is a music thing, and not cultural criticism I suppose.

I’ve spent the morning listening to their albums Serenity… and Spit My Last Breath, and I’ve enjoyed almost every track. Still, however, the Paper Gangster tune stands out.

Paper Gangster is aimed at the many wannabe gangsters you see every time you go downtown in Anycity, USA. These guys even exist here in Podunk, WV, and Blood for Blood’s song nails their persona as well.

“Blood For Blood is the enemy of all that you hold dear.”, says guitar player Rob Lind, “I been held down my whole life. This band is my opportunity to spit in society?s face and tell mankind and the whole world “fuck you”. Anyone who has ever felt full of anger and hatred towards the world around them should be able to relate to Blood For Blood.” From Victory Records

Like most Victory artists, the vocals are a little bit growly and the guitar riffs are like beefed up versions of the chords old-school punk bands would use. For some reason Blood for Blood are able to pull this off without sounding ridiculous or untalented.

I really do hate that I’m late to this party, but when it comes to #APCNewToMe it’s not about new bands, it’s just bands that are new to me. You can follow along on the #APCNewToMe Spotify Playlist if you wish. Here’s what it looks like so far…

It’s a big world out there with thousands of bands actively playing at any given time and I can’t listen to them all at once, so forgive me for my tardiness on this one.

Rock on.

#APCNewToMe: WookieFoot

As I often do, I was browsing through the suggestions curated for me by Spotify’s algorithm, when I stumbled onto a square that said, “You listened to Sublime this week, want to try WookieFoot?”

WookieFoot has been around for quite a while, but they are new to me.

I hit play on the WookieFoot tile and listened to the entirety of their 2009 album Be Fearless and Play Prior to this album, they put out four other albums, and one other one in 2012.

WookieFoot’s music is heavily influenced by raggae, jam bands, love, and the occasional political movement. They even occasionally break things down in a funkadelic style, like the song ‘All Good’ from the album Activate (2006).

I do take issue with Spotify recommending WookieFoot based on the fact I listened to a little Sublime a few days earlier. Sublime has a decisively harder edge to their sound, than does WookieFoot. That doesn’t make WookieFoot inferior by any means though.

Songs like Earthling from their 2012 release Ready or Not… do have a groove that is reminiscent of a few Sublime tunes, but the comparison is irrelevant when it comes down to it.

WookieFoot is Wookiefoot. They sound just like WookieFoot.

I wish I had been content with just listening to them. I just watched a video of them playing live, and realized they are dread-locked white guys who dress like they all climbed out of a car with 20 other people.

Ugh. I hate white guys with dreadss, but I do like WookieFoot’s sound.

If you have any suggestions for me to check out for #APCNewToMe just hashtag it up with #APCNewToMe on Twitter, or send it to @AcidPopCult. You can also contact Acid Pop Cult.

#APCNewToMe is my effort to find music I’ve never heard before every week. It don’t have to be new, it just has to be new to me. The Internet is a big place, I can’t listen to everything at once. Knowdamine?

The #APCNewToMe Spotify Playlist:

#APCNewToMe I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House

What the hell is #APCNewToMe?

I recently decided I needed to expand my musical horizons because I’d let my musical tastes go stale. That’s not to say what I have been listening to sucks, I’m just saying I’ve been listening to the same stuff for way too long. It’s time to find something new.

To accomplish this, Every week this year I’m going to search out a band I’ve never heard before through Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, or by whatever means necessary, to give them a shot at being in my personal rotation on a permanent basis.

Every time I do, I’m going to write about it here.

I’m not here claiming any of the musicians I find for this category are new to music, I’m just finding musicians who are new to me. It’s a big world out there, and I can’t listen to everything at the same time. It takes me a while to get to the good stuff sometimes.

I’m also not here to bring anybody down. I believe in what Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies said decades ago, “Just because you don’t understand what’s going on, don’t mean it don’t make no sense; and just because you don’t like it, don’t mean it ain’t no good.”

My appreciation of music knows not the boundaries of a genre defined by the man, for my appreciation is free to run wild among the sounds of the world. I have free-range musical tastes, so don’t expect to see too much of any one thing.

I don’t claim to have any expertise in music, mainly because I don’t have any expertise in it. I can claim, however, that I listen to a whole bunch of it. That’s gotta count for something, right?

It is what it is. This is my journey. You’re just allowed to come along for the ride. If you want to. It’s up to you. I mean, there’s room if you want to go, but I understand if you would rather stay here. I’m not always the best company, and there’s this odor thing, which I’m trying to get corrected. I can’t help it, it’s physiological. But if you do decide you want to come along though, that’s cool. I’ll try not to be too annoying about it. I won’t even talk to you if you don’t want me to.

Whatever the case, here’s the first one:

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House

SOB Press Pic CT

This first time meeting was set up by the algorithm at Spotify, which analyzed my history and believed the sounds I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House make would match with the sounds I listen to.

They were right on this one.

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House sounds like the band I’m always praying I’ll find when I’m digging through stacks of obscure records by “southern rock bands” from the 1970s, but have yet to ever find.

It’s blues-driven rock of a classic style, complete with harmonica accompaniment from time to time, and a catalog of songs that go from tear-jerking ballads to house-rocking numbers that’ll punch you right in the balls.

These guys aren’t from the south though. They’re from the pacific northwest.

Their latest album is called Mayberry.

The title song is an ode to Andy Taylor, the sheriff character Andy Griffith parlayed into being an iconic television father, and how men like these don’t exist any more. The song is more about a son having a tough time getting along with his father, at least that’s what I think. Again, no expert here.

Here’s what someone more smarter than me said about I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House:

 Every great once in a while, something comes along to remind you of what rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to sound like, to push rock’s essence and spirit into your veins and manipulate your heart and mind. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House — their full moniker is borrowed from bare-knuckle legend John L. Sullivan’s vivid biography — is a raucous quintet out of Portland, Oregon, and one of those rare throwback-catalysts. For the past couple of months, they have been on an erratic, scorched-earth campaign of the Western states, making instant believers out of audience after audience. I Can Lick’s heady mix of Americana and punk reminiscent of Robbie Robertson and the Band, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Black Flag — has also converted dozens of marquee-mates, who have learned the hard way that following I Can Lick on the bill is often an embarrassing situation.

(Excerpted from an interview conducted by Steve Stav for Ink19)  — which I excerpted from the I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House Website.

I dig ‘em. I’m including them in my #APCNewToMe playlist on Spotify. Now we just have to see how much staying power they have.

You can find them at


Buy Their Shit on CDBaby

If you have any suggestions for me to check out for #APCNewToMe just hashtag it up on Twitter. You can also contact Acid Pop Cult.