UGLYBoNES/Step Right Up – Split EP Release
Two of Chicago’s freshest heavyweights, combing their fast, furious and relentless Hardcore into a six track release that will probably blow your ears off. It’s lucky I had some spare ears, they called me insane and ridiculed me, but who’s laughing now? Me. And I can hear it. I can hear my laughter.
If you read our review of Step Right Up’s debut EP (which can be found here), then you will already be acquainted with the three-piece from Chicago and their loud onslaught. If you didn’t, then check out what we thought, all relevant links are included – aren’t we nice?
You may also remember that we mentioned their split release with fellow Chicago natives, UGLYBoNES. Well, we were asked to have a listen and scribble some words on the subject so here we are, but first some words on UGLYBoNES.
Formed back in 2011, UGLYBoNES have three EPs and a full length album of fast, adrenaline-filled Hardctore Punk under their belts, and show no sign of letting up the pace just yet. Much like their mates in SRU, they are often found touring, writing and playing new material and generally drinking a lot of beer whenever it’s high time for a heavy one.
‘We are 4 best friends that have ruined each other’s lives‘
With those three EP’s, full length and now a split EP release, UGLYBoNES have been working hard the last few years on a loud, old-school Hardcore Punk noise combination, which not only sounds like the greats, but manages to blast that old-school beat into the now, with their own signature UGLYBoNES stamp.
Fans of 80’s Hardcore, in particular, Gorilla Biscuits, Bad Brains and, of course, Minor Fucking Threat, will raise their eyebrows and proceed to jump about like maniacs. Punk has diversified into all sorts, and that’s great, but it’s always refreshing to hear a new take on the old. After all, it’s all family.
Prior to/during this review, Step Right Up and UGLYBoNES have been on regular rotation in both my former and current set of ears (continuity is continuity, even if it isn’t funny), so we are well acquainted with both bands fast and heavy approach to ye olde Rock ‘n’ Roll, but what we didn’t expect was how much it has been amplified for this release.
UGLYBoNES kicks shit off with the first three tracks, an understatement really.
Track one, ‘Get Out’, begins with a slow, looming and sludge-like riff, before a deep snarl from UB’s frontman, which adds more incentive to headbang slow and majestically. Punk can be majestic in its own way. The faster sections give you a furious blast of almost NYC-style Hardcore, and get us ready for what’s coming next…
‘Cruise Decontrol’. 2:03 of pure speed, riffage and noise! My personal favourite of UB’s contribution to the split. Towards the end of the track we are treated to some proper bouncy riffage that’s bound to get anyone moving. Classic, simple and heavy; track 2 – done.
UB’s final blast then, ‘No One Talks To Me’, another absolute banger. UGLYBoNES have always had the knack for some straight up angry Hardcore Punk, but their material on this release amplifies it tenfold. Showing off classic influences fuelled with modern aggression, it’s a song for a bad mood and Punk-Rock clubs… maybe some beer included.
Showing off the band as musicians, from blistering drumming, proper Punk bass lines and messy, yet precise, guitar work in both the rhythms and solos, track 3 is a great way to finish up.
Step Right Up. Opening with one of their signature build ups reminiscent of Poison Idea, SRU take their Punk Rock to the next level. Much like UB, they have intensified the power, speed and aggression for this release. ‘Nine To Five’ is pretty self explanatory in regard to its subject matter; work, frustration, anger – we all know it. Well integrated faster and slower sections keep you on your toes and your head moving.
‘New Recipe’ is a thrill ride of general fastness. Clocking in at 0:49, it maybe over quickly but there’s no sense of loss, as track four is full of energy and a “no fucks given” attitude.
I was speaking to the band’s vocalist, Jeff Hanula, recently, and he was telling me the band had had stupid amounts of fun recording the split and other new material. The temperament and nature of a band is important in recording; if the fun and the hard work is felt by the listener then you can’t go wrong.
To tie things off, it’s never a negative move to go out the way you came in. SRU’s last song and the final of the split is sent out with the same brutal assault that we were serenaded with by UGLYBoNES at the beginning. If you’ve ever seen either of the band’s Facebook updates or posts in groups, then the title of this song won’t surprise you. ‘I’m Gonna Stab You In The Face’, to put it bluntly, literally does stab you in the face with a bloody-gert noise knife. It works. Incredibly well.
If you like your Punk-Rock, hard, fast (giggerty) and LOUD, then get this split. It is available from both the bands via their bandcamp profiles along with all their other releases. Oh and it’s probably important that I mention that it is all FREE.
#StayFresh – Now if you excuse me, I have a hangover to kill.