The Ugly Beats
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Feb. 11, 2005
The Ugly Beats
Bring On the Beats! (Get Hip)
Slowly but surely, the Ugly Beats have utilized both pluck and scholarship to posit themselves as Austin's most logical 21st-century heir to the Sixties garage rock explosion in Texas. Seeing the Beats shake it down at the Carousel Lounge is as close as you're likely to get to the days of teen canteens without a time machine. Likewise, their Get Hip debut is an energetic, bomp-ready simulacrum of the quintet's well-honed live show. With encyclopedic pop smarts cribbed from impeccable sources like the Nuggets box set, the Beats' hooks are time-tested, and their lyrical bent never strays from the gotta-get-some/can't-get-none cycle that often defines the young man's condition. "I'm the One" leads off the 12-song rotation with a punchy riff similar to the one that once drove the bridge of "You're Gonna Miss Me" and a sneering, call-and-response vocal that evokes Joe "King" Carrasco in a more punk rock context. Whether he's channeling the Kinks' London beat on "Lonely Side of Town," or the Standells' flake-off attitude on "I'll Walk Away," guitarist/singer Joe Emery is in his element. The Ugly Beats' secret weapon is dynamic drummer Stephen Austin, whose solid skills shine on this no-frills house recording. And let's not forget Jeanine Attaway, whose vintage Ace-Tone organ lines provide an air of Great Society authenticity. In nailing what's right and fun about garage rock revivalism without getting suffocated under the weight of nostalgia, Bring On the Beats! is a genre-specific standout that deserves to be heard beyond the city limits.