Settle for the Blues
Okay, I hate to do this, since I don’t know these guys, but this self-released collection of 10 blues cuts begs for a lesson. Hopefully, all artists thinking about releasing their own CD will take a moment and read this. First off, Big Ugly is an all right blues band — nothing to make you forget early ZZ Top or anything, but okay. Now for the bad news:
• The name! Not only is it awful, and doesn’t say much about the band, it’s also the name of a “hardcore metal group.” Let them have it — “Big Ugly” fits a group of bareheaded tattooed rivetheads more than a blues band, anyway.
• The cut “The Look That Betrays” starts off way too much like “Stairway to Heaven.” Then it moves (at a crawl) into Toto territory. Bury this song in the backyard.
• The most important element of any piece of recorded music is the drums. A record with strong, well-recorded drums sounds better than one that has flat, low-in-the-mix drums. The drums on this record sound tentative — partly the way they are played (come on, smack those things!) and weakly recorded. Pump ’em up!
• Nowhere on the CD is contact information given. No phone number, address, website, nada. So if I wanted to tell people how to order this, or book you opening up for the Stones, I couldn’t, because you thanked your lighting guy instead of putting an address! Hello?
Take my advice or not. There is the basis for a good little band here — if they’d stop aiming at their feet.