Ugly Pop

THE UGLY - Off The Hook 7"

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This storied first-wave Toronto punk outfit have been sadly under-represented on vinyl. Apart from a couple of live comp tracks, their sole '70s waxing was a misguided attempt at a power pop hit single—not a completely miserable 45, but hardly suggesting the raw power they were capable of. A '90s CD collected their incendiary studio recordings, proving true their live reputation as a rough, hard-edged punk outfit, but that material is tied up by bad contracts and will probably never see legit vinyl release.  Now The Ugly are back; while legendary local hooligan and original frontman MIKE NIGHTMARE passed away in the '90s, new vocalist GREG DICK (of contemporaries THE DREAM DATES) is about as capable and credible as they come, and the veteran UGLY trio of drummer TONY TORCHER, bassist SCREAMIN' SAM FERRARA (both of THE VILETONES) and guitarist STEVE KOCH (also of the DEMICS) are determined to set the record straight. This isn't the usual castrated reunion schtick, either—the new 45 is as tough as they ever been, swaggering through the topside's punkified early Stones in classic fashion but turning up the aggression on the 1978-vintage flipside, a raw, mean and quick-paced hard punk blast with a grinding guitar recalling early Black Flag or Subhumans.  One time pressing of 500 only in swank pocket sleeve with insert, produced by DON PYLE (Crash Kills Five) and cut loud by PETER MOORE for maximum impact.