[27 June 2007]
The Ugly Beats can attest that Austin, Texas isn’t just for forward-thinking indie rockers anymore. With their second release, the band proves the town, becoming increasingly known for its cutting edge music scene, has room enough to accommodate the carefree, buoyant feeling of British Invasion-era garage rock. From stylized guitar tones to vintage organ sounds, mop top shaking melodies to the brisk and basic nature of each song (only two of the 12 uncomplicated pop ditties featured here top three minutes in length), the quintet does a note perfect job of echoing the technique and manner of their influences. Standout moments include the up-tempo, accented rock of “I Don’t Wanna Be the One to Bring Her Down”, the Beatle-esque acoustic intro and male/female harmonies which distinguish “Get in Line” and the self-assured call-and-response of “I’m Gonna Break Her Heart”. The album certainly benefits more from the care given to style than the presence of substance; but oh what style and what joy the band projects in their playing. Listeners looking for either a fresh take on the spirit of the ‘60s or a gateway into the world of garage rock would do well to, as the album’s cover suggests, Take a Stand with The Ugly Beats.