The Ugly Kings Strange, Strange Times
Hailing from the great down under but headed straight to the top, Melbourne, Australia based gritty alternative rockers THE UGLY KINGS are poised to turn heads with their bombastic sophomore full-length, Strange, Strange Times, out August 13, 2021 via Napalm Records. Equal parts darkened power blues and raw punk with a metallic rock edge, THE UGLY KINGS channel the flavor of groups like Queens Of The Stone Age and The White Stripes while preserving razor sharp, daringly introspective control with clever lyricism and addictive riffage. Strange, Strange Times punches from 0 to 60 at the start of its five-and-a-half minute introductory title track, â€œStrange, Strange Timesâ€, before frontman Russell Clark brings the listener back down to earth with his ominous, Jim Morrison-esque croons of blissful ignorance amid relentless chaos. The bandâ€™s revitalizing infusion of dark energy is immediately evident on tracks like radio-ready, gothic punk-laced head- bobber â€œTechnodroneâ€ and retro-inspired tripper â€œDo You Feel Like Youâ€™re Paranoid?â€ â€“ both interwoven with warning lyrics relevant to the times. The post-punk revivalism spirit continues on tracks like the creeping, dynamic â€œIn The Shadowsâ€ and seductive foot-stomper â€œElectric Lady (My Kryptonite)â€, while the band goes on to flex their musical muscles on tracks like whiskey-soaked murder ballad â€œLawmanâ€ and smoldering hard rocking standout â€œThe Devil Comes With A Smileâ€. Listeners will get lost in tracks like the psychedelic, grooving â€œLast Man Left Aliveâ€ and equal parts proto-metal/horror punk â€œMr. Hydeâ€, before commiserating with closing working manâ€™s inspirational anthem â€œAnother Fucking Dayâ€. In a scene in which gimmick-free, angsty, inspired rock nâ€™ roll is becoming increasingly difficult to come by, Strange, Strange Times is a breath of welcomed, yet strange, strange air.