Ugly Kids Club: Head Games EP

The songs are slickly produced, so you know that radio is exactly where this group is destined to be played.

Ugly Kids Club

Head Games EP

Label: Self-released
US Release Date: 2014-09-30
UK Release Date: Import

So this is what groups like Sleigh Bells have wrought. Ugly Kids Club is a boy-girl outfit, just like Sleigh Bells, but while Sleigh Bells have that in-the-red sound, Ugly Kids Club is destined for Top 40 radio. These four songs on their new Head Games EP are polished to a point where you might easily mistake them for Katy Perry. So your mileage might vary, but, once you listen to this EP enough times, the songwriting rises to the fore and this is the sort of thing that you might want to bang to, urm, on the dance floor. On the radio front, all of the songs here hover around that magical three-and-a-half minute mark, which is just the perfect length for most formats. And the songs are slickly produced, so you know that radio is exactly where this group is destined to be played.

Ugly Kids Club is a Nashville-based group fronted by vocalist Aliegh Shields and features Grammy-nominated rock producer Steve Wilson. Shields’ voice is finely honed, tuned to a perfect pitch without, seemingly, the use of Auto-Tune. And the synths are somewhat reminiscent of the ‘80s. However, Ugly Kids Club has a distinctly modern sound that is pure perfect pop. The only thing that may cause a frown among listeners on this EP is the fact that the song “Good Love” abruptly fades out just when you think that the group is going to repeat the chorus and ride the vibe just a little bit longer. Overall, though, these tightly-produced songs are fairly strong, and crawl into your ear hole if you listen to them enough. I suppose that this might be the sort of thing you’ll get sick of if you hear it enough times (on the radio). But as far as something divergent from the mainstream, while retaining mainstream tastes, the Head Games EP has enough sonic goodness to keep you enrapt and it’ll be interesting to see if this outfit gains any sort of commercial traction.


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