Not only are the Ugly Beats known for bringing the house down in live settings, but their discs have been highly touted as well. And there’s no argument the Austin, Texas, group’s latest album, Brand New Day (Get Hip Recordings) will further their fine reputation.
Specializing in a crackerjack collaboration of melody-mobbed folk pop and pounding garage rock, the Ugly Beats are honorable descendants of the Nuggets family. Strains of acts such as the Leaves, the Blue Things, the Vejtables, Sons of Adam, the Beau Brummels, and Love trickle through their tunes, but because the band is clever and imaginative enough to add fresh flavors and colors to the grooves they strike a cool pose all their own.
Rigged with racks of ringing guitars, heaps of harmonious hooks, and layers of shimmering textures, “Long Row” and “Braced For The Fall” flourish with folk rock flashes, where “Beataroo” is a springy instrumental, and the terminally catchy “I Want That Girl” clocks in as a solid gold pop pleaser. Guided by wicked licks swaggering with energy and attitude, swinging organ thrills, and powerful drumming, tracks like “Throw Me A Line,” “Brand New Day,” and “Up On The Sun” are red-blooded garage ravers, and for a change of scenery, there’s a country and western cover of Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” and a frisky take of “Los Gusanos,” a folk classic initially done by the Spanish group Los Flecos.
Spartan but sturdy arrangements, capped with hummable choruses and spiky breaks make the songs on “Brand New Day” easy to remember. The Ugly Beats have fire in their bellies, passion in their hearts, and the skills to create old school garage rock with utmost conviction. Every cut on Brand New Day is a shining star, leading it to be the kind of album you’ll listen to from start to finish. As long as the Ugly Beats keep doing what they’re doing, the beat will go on!