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Playing rock music without a net, the Detroit quartet Ugly make their fellow statesmen Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and Ted Nugent proud by liberally taking elements of each man's rock legacy to compose their 12-track eponymous affair. Declaring a rock revolution never comes easy, yet this raucous quartet make it sound easier than it seems with huge backbeats, Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Van Halen-esque vocal and guitar showmanship, and oodles of arena-rock fodder from the days of yore from the obvious ("Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll") to the obliquely Southern ("Son"). Sharing as much in common with bands of today like Shinedown and Saliva as they do Grand Funk Railroad and KISS, even when this kickass outfit do grab from the old bag of Nickelback rock cliches at times ("Everything"), it fits like a glove, never sounding forced or contrived. Ugly ultimately delivers a down and dirty, whiskey-fueled, foot-stompin' release bursting with the hard rock flair that the FM dial seemingly forgot about.
- Mike SOS