When I presented The Ugly Club’s Kickstarter campaign to have their debut album produced a few months ago, I knew the album would be good. What I didn’t realize was the album would play non-stop since the day I received it. I’ve spent over a week with You Belong to the Minutes and would not be serving due justice if I didn’t tell The Well Written Woman audience why you need to get your hands on this album when it drops on July 13th.
You Belong to the Minutes starts with the haunting yet jamming “David Foster Wallace” you’d recognize from their EP. The band kept the track as their single, setting a precedent for the album to be fun with the ability to mellow the mood. Yet, You Belong to the Minutes comes into its own as Ryan Egan shows off his vocal prowess in the third track, “Under the Great Wave”. A crescendo of horns, elongated notes on the keyboard, and Egan’s voice blend together to make you feel the song is being carried through a current of water.
The fifth song “Unraveling You” spotlights The Ugly Club’s rock ‘n roll core. Lines like “Your body is the proof that no one should do what you do / No matter how I look, you seem unreal to me, unraveling you” sang over a dueling guitar and drum beat make this song simply pulse. The instrumental break is complimented with piano to underline the feeling of slow loss evident in the lyrics. A sense of tortured helplessness in Egan’s voice through the last minute and a half of the song meet a guitar solo reminiscent of Eric Clapton.
My favorite song on the album is the eighth track, “Last Evenings (Floating)”. This song captures The Ugly Club’s stylistic versatility perfectly. “I made a call, got answers/ Not from you / If we are in end times, I hope it’s televised” is sang through a soft background of guitar and gradual intensifying drums breaking into a feet moving chorus. At a live show, this song will cause dancing and thoughtful head bobbing all at the same time.
The albums namesake, and longest track, “You Belong to the Minutes” is the last song, but did not leave me with any questions as to how hard The Ugly Club can rock. The intro to the song builds with soaring, gritty guitar. Egan sings with a hint of a smirk. “You Belong to the Minutes” only slows down for a second towards the middle, but it’s only so you can gather yourself as the rest of the song drives forward with Wilco-esque guitar distortion.
For a debut album, The Ugly Club’s You Belong to the Minutes shows sophistication in a style most bands are still trying to figure out at this point in their recording career. While the songs mentioned above are standouts, be sure to pick up the album to hear the band round out their ability to rock, sway, and even make you laugh.
You Belong to the Minutes releases on July 13th. You can preorder the album on Bandcamp by naming your own price and receive a link in your email the moment it’s released.
If you’re in the New Jersey area, the band will be playing a CD release show with Socratic, Jeremy Benson, and Charles Sztyk at Maxwell’s in Hoboken on July 13th.
Lauren Mack: Co-founder of The Well Written Woman is an aspiring writer, blogger, and overall enthusiast of brainstorms. She is a graduate of Flagler College with a BA in English Literature and has 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.