Ulcer was a techno-industrial band from Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the early nineties. The main fixtures were Mike Barber and a fleet of synthesizers. The rest of the lineup changed over time. It formed as an offshoot of the Ars Nova Guild, the experimental theater troupe at New Mexico State University. They published their work under the conversion record label; for a time, they were affiliated with Bright Green Records.

They released four recordings: the cassette-only release conversion in 1993, and then three CDs: ulcer (also in 1993), crawl (1995), and on your knees (1997). The Ulcer sound is similar to: Nine Inch Nails (mostly of the pretty hate machine era); Front242, and Bigod20. The last recording was heading towards a darker, heavier guitar sound.

Currently (2001), the band is defunct. Their last public appearance was in Portland, Oregon, in April of 1999.

I was an informal roadie and sometime beer-drinking buddies with the band, mostly in the early 1990s. He also designed one of their three t-shirts. They are fairly obscure, being essentially a local band. If you're interested in this sort of music, please contact me and I'll try to get you connected with them (or, at least, with some of their music).

Their eponymous debut cd, ULCER, has most of the songs off conversion, as well as many of their fans' favorites. There was also a cassette version of this 1993 release; this was the only recording that they released in both formats. Songs available only on the CD version have been marked with an asterisk below.

Track listing (* indicates bonus track):

  1. Passion of Hate (5:01)
  2. Daddy (5:29)
  3. I Want to Touch You (4:48)
  4. Not Insane (4:47)
  5. Delta 1 (3:49)
  6. Suicide (5:15)
  7. 2 x a Charm (5:16)
  8. Relaxation (5:49)
  9. A Rhythm and a Hum (Scruff Mix) (10:09)*
  10. The Force (6:11)*
  11. I Lost You (4:41)*
  12. I used to Dream (5:30)*

Total run time: 66:45

My memories around this album are a bit hazy, mostly because I was busy dancing, drinking, and being a roadie for most of their shows. And did they have shows; at their house, in small clubs, always with way too many watts of sound.

I find the second half of the album more interesting than the first, to be honest. "2x A Charm" is, well, charming; it's almost happy sounding, until you pay attention to the lyrics. It's also interesting by virtue of being one of the few pieces not written by Mike.

My favorite songs are right next to each other: "Relaxation" and "A Rhythm and a Hum". The second is a no-brainer; it's one of their standards, and is probably the song that the old-timers know them best for. "Relaxation" manages to live up to its name without being at all slow, which is a neat trick.

"The Force" is a great song to dance to, and he closes the CD with two love songs (which are fairly rare).

Overall, this album gives a good picture of what the Ulcer sound was, for the first half of the band's existence.

I have had an on again off again stress related ulcer since I was 15. (freaking college prep high school!)

So here is a breakdown of what happens when you have an ulcer, or are about to get one (they take time to happen)..

  • Your feel hungry all the time
  • Yet you cannot eat a full meal
  • You feel severe pain after eating chinese, mexican, italian, trucker (i.e. white gravy) or indian food ... but not sushi or salads...
  • Milk products make you nauseated
  • You have to burp about 10 times per meal
  • You feel pain when hugged, when you bend over, or when you wear tight pants
  • You cat walking up and sitting on your chest while you read a book in bed causes horrid pain
  • You go through approximately 5 Quick Dissolve Maalox a day
  • Taking NSAIDS (i.e. aleve, advil) causes you to throw up

If you manage to ignore these long enough, you start bleeding and all sorts of bad things happen...

Ul"cer (?), n. [F. ulcere, L. ulcus, gen. ulceris, akin to Gr. .]

1. Med.

A solution of continuity in any of the soft parts of the body, discharging purulent matter, found on a surface, especially one of the natural surfaces of the body, and originating generally in a constitutional disorder; a sore discharging pus. It is distinguished from an abscess, which has its beginning, at least, in the depth of the tissues.


Fig.: Anything that festers and corrupts like an open sore; a vice in character.

Cold ulcer Med., an ulcer on a finger or toe, due to deficient circulation and nutrition. In such cases the extremities are cold.


© Webster 1913.

Ul"cer, v. t.

To ulcerate.




© Webster 1913.

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