Apr 042023

(Arizona doom/sludge quartet UGLY will release their new album Autograph via Satanik Royalty Records on May 5th, and below you’ll find Wil Cifer‘s review.)

Since the ’90s sludge has branched out from crust punk to meld the apocalyptic rumblings passed down from bands like Swans and Killing Joke. This band from Arizona carries all the foreboding of the genre’s forefathers in their sound. They know the value of atmosphere as a tool to empower the aggression of their riffs. The guitars chug with crushing vitriol. One of this album’s strengths is the use of samples to set the mood, in a manner we have not heard since the glory days of Neurosis.

The vocals of the first song are an exercise in raw larynx-scraping  They are recorded in a very dry fashion with scant use of effects. Just a crazed man screaming into a mic.

This crazed man is not alone. He is joined by Krysta Curry from Landmine Marathon, who not only shares vocal duties but also helps out with synths, samples, and additional percussion, though her vocal presence is not really felt ’til the second song, which finds an odd syncopation embracing a weird, more grandiose arrangement. Continue reading »