Published on June 11th, 2020 | by Ron Spizziri


Ron’s Album Picks – The Ugly Beats

We may be able to go outside and hang out again, but Ron is still coming at us with some fresh album picks for summer.

Continuing my recently acquired practice of giving a listen to some of the albums that have appeared on my Top Ten lists from years gone by (as featured on my weekly radio program, Nightwaves, on CFCR-FM), I have today just finished giving a spin to Stars Align by The Ugly Beats.

The band, comprised of one gal and four guys, hails from Austin, Texas and has been on the local music scene since 2003. Stars Align, from 2019, is the group’s fifth release, and like all previous efforts, does not disappoint. Most of the tracks have an underlying, straight-ahead thumping beat–a bit reminiscent of The Ramones. No surprise, as the liner notes contain a list of each member’s background and personal likes, and under “Education”, each member cites one of the first five Ramones’ albums. The Ugly Beats have the same energy as the famous brothers, but rein things in a bit in favor of pleasant (but not wimpy), lush vocal pop harmonies. The band writes most of its own material, but their latest album includes one cover – “She Come Alive”, a John Felice (of Real Kids’ fame) composition.

If you’re a fan of high energy, engaging power-pop, check out Stars Align on YouTube, or better yet, support the band (and the indie recording industry) by purchasing the album at your favorite record shop. Or directly from Get Hip Recordings, the Ugly Beats’ record label.

About the Author

grew up in Toronto in the 50s and 60s, building up a record library (which became an addiction early on and continues to this day). After moving to Saskatoon in 1979, he got into the “music biz” in a big way – running a record store (Records on Wheels), producing and hosting radio and TV shows, promoting concerts, doing some freelance writing, and starting up a record label (Rockin’ Rod records). Luddite that he is, Ron still favours vinyl analogue recordings over all other forms of recorded music.

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