The Ugly Beats “Brand New Day”
Austin, Texas band The Ugly Beats have been making glorious 1960s garage-styled power pop for over ten years now, and their newest release is testament to this approach. However on this album there is less a reliance on the stomping rough style (like The Troggs) and more actual melodies and harmonies that get in your head quickly. “Up On The Sun” starts with a fast tempo guitar attack and “Throw Me A Line” has a driving rhythm that compels you to clap along with the countdown.
The punchy riffs of “I Want That Girl” and “Gone For Good” are more irresistible treats with energy and cool to spare. Every cut here is great, even the bouncy instrumental “Beataroo” works wonders. What you have here is a band at their peak and a smokin’ retro all-American power pop album. Fans of the Animals, Outrageous Cherry or The Above are sure to love this one too. Highly Recommended.
The Roaring Juniors “Almost Grown”
If it seems only a month or two since we reviewed The Roaring Juniors, its because we did. The Ann Arbor based band is back for more punk pop fun with its newest EP. Stylistically the band is more consistent here, channeling The Ramones, Replacements and The Buzzocks. The opener “Movers and Shakers” is the highlight here, with its killer guitar hook. From there the energy level stays high on “Very Clydesdale,” a snearing punk anthem, but lyrically gets lazy on “Angel Friend” which is an excuse to cuss. Still catchy though. Only available on Bandcamp.