The UGLYS – High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell – Album Review
High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell is a nonstop, fast-paced, wonderfully noisy rager, the likes of which you haven’t seen since your parents went out of town for the weekend and the 10 people you invited over turned into 50 in a hurry. The UGLYS are a stoner punk band from Denver, Colorado, it’s Victor Jadlow on guitar and Zach Kane on drums with both dudes belting their hearts out. After the album released Jared Kane joined on to play bass during live shows, one can only assume the relationship. High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell was released through indie label Red-Eyed Records and recorded at Mammoth Cave Studios by Tim Gerak in Denver.
The four-song album starts with menacing guitar riffs and antsy drumbeats from the track “Sweat’n Like A Pig / Sing’n Like An Angel”. The back and forth vocal parts between Jadlow and Kane sound like a call and response of the damned, reminiscent of early 2000s hardcore bands like Comeback Kid, while the instrumentation on the song stays truer to classic rock and metal bands with guitar shredding and grunge chords. “Bargain Bin” keeps the hard rock momentum going with some dark lyrics, “ Rotting flesh this burning stench you reap what you sow, The bargain bin of plastic skin is stretched to the bone.” The melodic guitar comes crashing with cymbals to a chaotic end. “P.F.C.” sounds like Quentin Tarantino’s take on a Brand New song about war. With the deepest lyrical content, it tells the unfortunate story of Private First Class Christie as he copes with his wartime experiences and trying to fit back into regular life, my personal favourite track on the album. “High Times, Low Lives” finishes off the record well. Screaming contrasts with clean singing to give a well-rounded example of the powerful UGLY sound. The final moments of High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell are killed off by a deathblow of wailing vocals and a raunchy but graceful guitar solo.
High As Heaven, Drunk As Hell is the debut album from The UGLYS but you would never guess it, the sound is practiced, albeit a bit confused. The UGLYS have taken parts from all the best rock bands in music history and interpreted them into their own brand of garage punk. The crossbreeding between genres has resulted in gnarly rock sang with a punk accent. Watch out world, things are about to get UGLY.