When you think of Colorado, you might think of skiing, granola, maybe the exterior of The Shining if you're up on your film history. Colorado is known for being sunny, healthy, progressive and spiritual. What a lot of people don't realize is that Denver is home to a vibrant and weird musical underground, with a lot of great punk and metal bands, even if they don't get the headlines.
This should be rectified immediately, as so much of what passes for punk and metal is just more bland, bloated, bullshit corporate rock without an ounce of subversion or rebellion. Cities with real scenes are essential for finding the true gritty underground, which keeps the blood of extreme music vital and pumping.
The Uglys draw their inspiration from twitchy, angular post-hardcore of the early 2000s, like At The Drive-In and The Blood Brothers. Thankfully, The Uglys turn down the oftentimes-shrill edge of those bands with a dose of sludgy stoner rock.
High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell has a bit of everything in its four short tracks: hooks, breakdowns, screamalongs. The Uglys manage to sound tight and rehearsed while still being raw, chaotic and shambolic at the same time. This is true metal fury, music from the underground, the sound of breaking bottles and sharpening knives.
The EP opens with "Sweat'n Like A Pig / Sing'n Like An Angel" which is utter mayhem from the start. Lyrics are traded per measure as if the two are having a conversation. They sing "Downtown I’ll be pouring the week away/Guzzle through your boredom everyone’s out of place/Hustle off potential splitting elbows spend to make." The song packs so much in the six plus minutes. "P.F.C." is a fantastic song with an exceptional, original narrative. Lyrics like "Private First Class Christie reporting for duty/Four generations deep into the army/I was supposed to go fishing, but now my brothers missing" and "Shrapnel Suture, Napalm FireFallen Brothers, Funeral Pyre" are pure gold.
Extreme music needs true blood like The Uglys to remain relevant, and not just become a lifestyle accessory for weak suburban kids to feel tough. Raw and weird, while still being refined and well-delivered, High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell is a treat for metallic ears and those who are sick of fake revolt.
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