Da Willys remind us of a more dangerous time in music with Get Ugly's dirty DIY blues-punk.
Get Ugly is a long posthumous release from the pre-grunge gory days of the mid-'80s. Da Willys were part of an under-the-underground New York City punk scene known as "Scum-Rock". However, guitarist Leon Ross, drummer Peter Landau, bassist Willie Kerr and singer Lynne Von (since performing with the Vondells) created a kind of churning, bluesy, punk rock that has more in common with the best of mid-'60s garage rock than that label might imply. A later version of the band recorded a German album called Saturday Nite Palsey, but Get Ugly features the original line-up recording in 1988 at Fun City Studio. Da Willys live shows relied heavily on covers, and this release reflects that. In fact, Get Ugly's highlights are its renditions of Captain Beefheart's "Frying Pan", the Fugs' "Frenzy", and a raw and riveting version of "Little Red Rooster". The CD also features a bonus live track ("Snakeman") recorded at CBGB, as well as three live video clips for the songs "Mean Mean Man", "Out of Our Tree", and "Oh Willy".