Australian band THE UGLY KINGS have been around since 2011, but so far they haven’t released all that much material. One EP and a few singles is the inventory so far, and the 7 inch “Promised Land” is the most recent of these.
The A side of this production is a hard, heavy and pounding affair, opening and concluding with an emotional, haunting sparsely arranged section with deep ties to Americana and old school blues, with a pounding hard rock oriented blues approach twisting and turning it’s way onward in between. Dark and vibrant material, in the context of a strictly blues based hard rock band.
The B side cut Wash Me of My Sins is a creation I experience as more of a really old school blues track, of the kind that that brothers and sisters working the fields back in the real old US might sing with a lead singer for the verse and everyone joining in for the chorus. Just one singer here though, but that association is striking. The careful, ghostly guitar motif in support gives this track an eerie mood, in kind of an otherworldly manner.
A striking and captivating production this one, showcasing the strength of blues and just how different one can approach this type of music with the vastly different A and B side cuts at hand here. As far as comparisons go I’m not all that well versed in this type of music, but some of the atmospheres alongside the lead vocals gave me some associations to Norwegian band Madrugada’s debut album from the end of the 1990’s. Other than that, I’d suggest blues aficionados just as interested in old school blues as the ones fond of the style explored through a classic hard rock approach might want to seek out this single.
My rating: 8/10
Promised Land, Wash Me of My Sins