Ugly Beats, the – Stars Align – New LP
The latest offering from this Texas outfit, beautiful set of jangly garage rock power pop, the guitars always cool but never distracting, all the songs driven by the rhythm, the harmonizing and the buzz of Jeanine‘s organ helping fill in the sound, the album mixed and mastered by Jim Diamond. These Austin cats obviously don't fall into the trap of taking themselves too seriously, as the chart on the back of the sleeve clearly shows, but they do know to take their time to get it down, releasing one album about every three years, the wrong practice if you want to make it big, maybe the wise one to get it right. That's what they do here, held together with commonality, totality and consistency, but also offering variety, different cuts featuring different lead vocals, tempos and feelings, the guitars, rhythm and organ changing to fit the weather of the composition, reeling and rocking, covering The Real Kids, and calling out Ramones as their alma mater, The Byrds, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, the Nerves, Stiff Records, and the Cynics sound like influences on this one. -- winch
Stellar new release by Austin’s favorite jangly Garage crew! Stars Align features your favorite ageless teen punks further refining their pounding folk-jangle sound on their fifth LP: 11 originals + a terrific take on the Real Kids’ classic She Come Alive
"Under "education," in the hilarious vital statistics grid from the booklet to the fifth full-length from local garage janglists the Ugly Beats, each member lists one of the first five Ramones LPs. Which may seem peculiar unless you recall the Buddy Holly-oid covers of JohnnyJoeyDeeDeeTommy hits like "Suzy Is a Headbanger" that chief Ugly Beat Joe Emery scattered through the sets of his Nineties band Death Valley. And sure enough, "Boy You're in Love," "Take Your Time," "Janie," and John Felice's "She Come Alive" demonstrate enough of the Forest Hills chainsaw pop ethic that you'd swear the group grew bowl cuts and bought leather jackets. You also get eight varieties of jangle. Beginning with psychedelic opener "All In," the Ugly Beats veer from the Lyres ("Heidi," "In Her Orbit") to near Merseybeat ("Wake Up Tomorrow," "What Was One") with a Ramones-like verve."