The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, November 26, 2010, Music

The Ugly Beats

Motor! (Get Hip)

In both aesthetic and sound, the Ugly Beats have always kept it real. The whole 1960s revamp has gone limp in lesser hands, but on its third LP, the local quintet reasserts that, in the right hands, such sounds remain timeless. Motor! is a solid effort, "Harm's Way" and "Through You" balancing the ballad/rocker seesaw, as do the buzzing organ lines of "Bee Line" and follow-up "See." Neil Diamond torcher "You'll Forget" retains some of the original schmaltz but demonstrates what a well-oiled machine the Ugly Beats have become since the teen dance party kicks of 2005 debut Bring on the Beats! In an era when 1990s music is now considered "classic" rock, the fact that these pop/rock scholars can still polish the beat with gusto and poise is a testament to their deep appreciation of the sound, not to mention an era when an album was played in two halves.


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