The Ugly Club’s EP, Visions of Tall Girl, is full of transcending melodies with enough drum beats to tap your foot throughout the whole album. This indie rock band hailing from New Jersey creates a calm atmosphere laden with guitar grooves to make their live sound rich, full, and ultimately danceable. The 4 song EP was recorded at Soundwaves Studio in Union, NJ and produced by the band’s guitarist Joe Stasio. While I listened to Visions of Tall Girl, I kept trying to put my finger on which other band The Ugly Club sounded like, but the truth is this band has found a sound they can completely call their own. Let’s be honest, it’s not every day we find a band that can calm us down and make us move in our seats at the same time.
Visions of Tall Girl starts with a namesake song, “Visions Part I”, and lets us peek into a world of, well, visions. I’m not talking about the kind of visions where a light bulb pops over our heads and we say, “GREAT IDEA!” This first track feels more like the kind of vision we experience at our most relaxed, right before falling asleep, where our minds do our best dreaming. Singer Ryan Egan’s voice floats over the lyrics, “Do you wonder why you’re here? / Is happiness your pain? / Cause your luck can surely change.” As much as The Ugly Club can mellow out, they can bring the rock as well. A soaring guitar solo propels the rhythm forward to the end of the song, full of crashing symbols with the melody continuing to flutter underneath.
The next song, “Parks”, displays The Ugly Club’s versatility in combining their soothing sound with pumping bass and a guitar track encouraging you to push your fist into the air. Once I heard the lines, “I got a friend in the state I’m in / Nobody else could be as free as this” the alarm clock went off in my head as to exactly how this band’s sound feels. Even though The Ugly Club’s next song, “Visions II”, talks of loss, the blending of guitar rhythms and building drums allows for the sensation of freedom from burden. Towards the end of “Visions II”, Ryan Egan sings “The sun was settled / I forget where we went / but no matter / All concerns be shattered.” This song will at least temporarily make you forget your concerns.
A short ditty, coming in at 1:42, “Hope We Survive” brings up the rear of the album. The song starts with, “Every day I’m working hard / It’s like I’m calm because I asked for it / Every night I’m back to sleep / Lock me up from this bitter week.” With a more acoustic guitar feel and a simple drum track, this song starts to outline a struggle I wanted to know more about after it finished.
Luckily, The Ugly Club has us taken care of with two new songs from their upcoming full length. With a title to be determined, The Ugly Club expects their full length to be released mid 2012. Just like Visions of Tall Girl, they are recording in Soundwaves Studio with production by guitarist Joe Stasio. The band is planning a Kickstarter campaign where fans can preorder release/merch bundles to help fund the project. Following the digital release will be limited edition vinyls.
The first of two new songs, “Loosen Up” features more of the jammin’, dancin’ side of The Ugly Club. The keyboard kicks this song into full throttle as it winds between the bass, both laying down the instinct to nod your head. While the vocals are faster paced than the previous songs, the bouncing guitar follows in line with a steady beat to show The Ugly Club’s ability to truly loosen up. Next, “David Foster Wallace” (Who can not like a song named after the great David Foster Wallace?) starts with a haunting keyboard melody lying below the uptempo drumming and guitar. Much like David Foster Wallace, the song flows with a lighthearted surface, but pulses with deeper emotion underneath. With a song like “David Foster Wallace”, The Ugly Club proves their upcoming full length will reach into the complicated side of emotions.
I’ll let the songs speak for themselves. Check out the live music videos of “Loosen Up” and “David Foster Wallace” below.
“David Foster Wallace”
To keep up with The Ugly Club, watch for their upcoming album, and download Visions of Tall Girl:
Lauren Mack: Co-founder of The Well Written Woman is an aspiring writer, blogger, and overall enthusiast of brainstorms. She is currently attending Flagler College as an English major with no intentions to teach. Lauren spends a lot of time reading novels and hoping she can one day finish her own. She often wonders how they made blue cheese so delicious. Really, she is just imposing her elitist attitude on everyone. You can find her pennings at her blog and follow her on Twitter.