Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Ugly Kings | Strange, Strange Times

Albums Of The Week: The Ugly Kings | Strange, Strange Times

The Aussies' dark, muscular swagger sounds like Jim Morrison fronting QOTSA.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “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.

Equal parts darkened power blues and raw punk with a metallic rock edge, The Ugly Kings channel the flavour 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, before frontman Russell Clark brings the listener back down to earth with his ominous, Jim Morrisonian croons of blissful ignorance amid relentless chaos.

The band’s revitalizing infusion of dark energy is immediately evident on tracks like radio-ready, gothic punk-laced head-bobber Technodrone and retro-inspired tripper Do You Feel Like You’re Paranoid? — both interwoven with warning lyrics relevant to the times. The post-punk revivalism spirit continues on tracks like the creeping, dynamic In The Shadows and seductive foot-stomper Electric Lady (My Kryptonite), while the band goes on to flex their musical muscles on tracks like whiskey-soaked murder ballad Lawman and smoldering hard rocking standout The Devil Comes With A Smile. Listeners will get lost in tracks like the psychedelic, grooving Last Man Left Alive and equal parts proto-metal/horror punk Mr. Hyde, before commiserating with closing working man’s inspirational anthem Another Fucking Day.

In a scene in which gimmick-free, angsty, inspired rock n’ roll is becoming increasingly difficult to come by, Strange, Strange Times is a breath of welcomed, yet strange, strange air.”