UGLYBoNES – The ‘Growing Concerns’ Of Chicago Hardcore Punk…
‘Four best friends that wanna take a chainsaw to each other’s gonads’
The Chicago suburb’s UGLYBoNES formed in 2011, and since then have released three EPs, one split EP and a full length album, consisting of a visceral, vulgar and breakneck modern take on old-school Hardcore Punk-Rock easily comparable to the likes of Black Flag, Minor Threat, Poison Idea, Gorilla Biscuits and Bad Brains – to name a few.
Name dropping all those old and legendary names is all well and good, but what’s really important, crucial if you will, is that UGLYBoNES are a modern Hardcore band with a sound evolved from the past, but firmly set in the now.
Although a more “beatdown” and/or NYC styled sound prevails these days and produces as much sub-parr as it does on parr, the more “classic” sound is one that has always been there defiant and always will be, with UGLYBoNES as one of it’s front-runners and certainly one to watch.
The aptly titled ‘Set Off’ plods along with a solid Stoner Rock beat to begin with, before the band’s bassist decides that enough is a enough and employs a fast bass-flutter, the band’s drummer then responds with his own increasingly up-tempo contribution before the last two of this four piece play the “fuck it” card and get down to it.
UGLYBoNES do well to integrate slower tempos and refrains in their music but it never lasts, they can’t help themselves and that’s no criticism. ‘PCAF’, the next in line, is a perfect example of such, with it’s fast yet coherent chaos.
‘Not The Same’ sounds like Black Flag on (even more) adrenaline. While next track, ‘Obscene,’ is Minor Threat in the verses, but gravitates towards Slip It In and Loose Nut-era Black Flag in it’s mid-to-slow tempo chorus, giving it a slight sludge-like appeal.
‘Grown Up’ kicks back into gear with furious adrenalised -Black Flag energy, with riffage that almost sounds more classic Punk than Hardcore in it’s slower moments. It’s common for Hardcore in this vein to loose a considerable amount of it’s energy when employing tempo changes but UB seem to hold fast, which makes perfect sense considering the racket their vocalist makes.
That was a compliment by the way.
What is there to say about the 0:31 ‘Office Destroyer’? Well, it leans towards Powerviolence and doesn’t really contribute towards the release, it’s entertaining but is speed for speeds sake. Normally I’d have a problem with that but with an album like this, it boils down to inevitability.
‘SUX’ is old-school Hardcore Punk and isn’t trying to be anything else, it’s tight as fuck and showcases how the band have come-on in their musicianship, doing them credit. ‘Took Too Much’ sounds like a tighter version of the band’s earlier days, the lyrics are still just tongue-in-cheek (for Hardcore) and the vocals almost sound like Milo Auckerman finally snapping at the use and plagiarism of his cartoon-self.
The opening to ‘Bendz’, and the following riffage was not expected in the slightest. As stated above, UB have a habit for the inclusion of jagged string work but this is something else. Whether this is a new direction or just something playful, whatever train of thought yielded us this song, produced the best UGLYBoNES composition yet.
‘Lazy’ is slower, different and again something newer to the band. The initial drumbeat led me to believe I was listening to ‘Do The Freddy’ by The Adolescents, while the main structure of the song sounds like something from Nirvana‘s Bleach. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a massive nod to Post-Hardcore, particularly Fugazi and Refused, from the 0:58 mark until the end. See what you think.
In many respects, this is just another Hardcore album but at the same time it isn’t. This is the sound of a band maturing and honing their craft. UGLYBoNES have thrown in some surprises with this one and really do themselves and underground Punk for that matter, real credit.
Find everything UGLYBoNES below:
- For updates head to their Facebook.
- For the band’s back catalogue, head to their bandcamp where all their other releases are up for ‘Free/Name Your Price’ download.
- Growing Concerns is also on bandcamp for the STEAL price of $5 for the digital version on their bandcamp.
- For merch made-up specifically for this release, head to UB’s BigCartel profile.