Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Artist's Cookbook: Beau 15 Cricket Burgers Compliments of the Ugly Club

I spent my college nights (and days) roaming the streets of Chicago so there was never any shortage of late night places to eat. Clarke's Diner, Pick Me Up Cafe and any corner burrito shop were some of my favorite haunts. Not everyone can be so lucky. Joe Stasio guitarist for the Ugly Club had an interesting solution to his late night hunger pangs during his college days.

While attending Rowan University (in Glassboro, New Jersey) Joe decided that instead of finding a spot to eat, he would become the spot to eat. Joe ran an eatery from his campus apartment. Not only did this provide a place for college kids to hang out late at night (it supposedly became pretty popular) it also helped him pay rent. One of his favorite creations was a burger dubbed the Beau 15 Cricket Burger.

The Ugly Club's music follows in the footsteps of Joe and his Cricket Burger. Instead of seeking out a band to mimic, one that incorporates indie blues, neo soul and pyschedelic punk they have become that band. That doesn't mean they don't have their influences but they do keep them in check. This is apparent throughout their new EP, Visions of Tall Girl.

The EP is only four tracks long which means that it is short enough for you to get a taste but not long enough to fulfill. It leaves the listener wanting more. That's probably not a good thing for eateries but it is perfectly fine in music. The stand out track "Parks" is a three minute reflection of a day lost in a Park and the beauty of spending it with friends. The lyrics evoke a strong camaraderie, one of those songs that could force even the most anti-social person to putting their arm around someone and extolling their virtues. In this sense it reminds me a lot of another New Jersey band, the Bouncing Souls, and their ode to friendship, "Manthem." Musically the song seems like two different ones. There is the first half (almost literally half) that is heavily indebted to joyous indie rock while the second is a much faster, slightly heavier melodic punk (think Hot Water Music).

Spend a day with some friends, turn on the Ugly Club, fry up some Cricket Burgers (or a veggie counterpart) and get lost in a park. Sounds glorious no?

The Rest of the Album (which you can download for free at their Bandcamp page):

Check out the Ugly Club on: Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes