The lyrically driven ska/punk/reggae band, originally from Annapolis, including Brandon Hardesty (Guitar, Vocals), Dave Wolf - a.k.a. “Wolfie” (Bass, Vocals), TJ Haslett (Drums) and newest member, Chad Wright (Keys, Vocals), was formed in 2008, and has been touring solidly without fail. Since February this year, the Uglies have been grinding on a 47+ date/17+ state jaunt, for their 2018 Spring Tour - and in fact, you'll want to check back regularly (HERE) because new dates are continually being added to their calendar.
They’ll have a quick layover on 4:20 at Rams Head Live (of course), opening with Edjacated Phools, for Badfish - A Tribute To Sublime. (Doors: 7pm; Grab tickets HERE.) Brother, Joey Harkum (w/ full band), Never Ending Fall (NEF), Joint Operation, Stratus Fear, and Kavoossi will conveniently be playing next door at Tin Roof Baltimore (8pm to close). Afterwards, they’re back on the road, and May 12th, they’ll be home again briefly to play Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge (Annapolis) with homies, The Shawn Owen Band.
Brandon tirelessly encourages his fanbase, taking requests by text, and responding to followers personally, almost 24/7. It’s this dedication that has earned the band such a loyal legion of disciples. There’s been a lot of “Load In, Load Out” since their debut album, “Free Candy” (which seems like it was released a lifetime ago) - but the guys in the band have certainly stayed true to their roots. Brandon's no longer waiting tables, but the parties are just as wild and go just as late.
Within this album, which easily could have been broken to two full releases, you'll find the familiar, melodic angst and alcohol-fueled tunes that we've come to expect and love from the Uglies, but also, the band turns a corner and dives headlong into current events and political topics - and they're handled masterfully. In this vein, Officer O'Herlihy and Apathy are clearly our favorites, providing rich cinematic illustrations and reminders that “Freedom’s like a muscle…when not exercised it’s lost;” and to “Educate yourself, read between the lines.”
"Radio" is another standout. Hardesty states, "I don't write for the radio, I write for the stereo," and talks about having earned his stripes the hard way, bucking trends and ignoring the easy path, instead charging ahead in his own lane with hybridized "White Boy Reggae." It's implied that radio is for transient artists, whereas the stereo is for the time-tested classics. Ironically, this is the tune that we're most looking forward to hearing live. It's excellent and will only get better with age.
We can't overlook mention of "City By The Bay," written as a love story and nostalgic nod to the Chesapeake and our hometown, Annapolis. No matter how far, the band travels away, “home, it’ll always be any bar where we can share a pint… we’ll always share our roots.” Brandon writes, "This is one of my favorite songs from the album we just put out. I love Annapolis. I loved growing up here and I'm excited that I'm able to build my own life here as an adult."
Beast From The East is beautifully produced, with exceptional production quality and fleshed out composition, all while staying true to the melody and spirit. Hardesty's classic and complex lyrics are nicely showcased, supported by Dave Wolfe's nimble bass track, TJ Haslett's fierce and relentless beats, Chad Wright's embellishments, the famous Tropidelic horns, and vocal assists from some of the absolute best in the genre.
Do yourself a favor and listen through headphones to catch every last note. It’s no accident that Beast From The East debuted at #1 on iTunes - we think you’ll agree!