Album of the Day: LIFE OF AGONY “Ugly”
“Album of the Day” is a recurring feature that we used to do here on MS that for whatever reason kinda fell by the wayside, but imo should come back. And what better way to bring it back then by giving some props to a tragically underrated album, 1995’s “Ugly” by LIFE OF AGONY.
While I’m stoked to see that the Kids These Days are into LOA, it’s a little bit of a bummer to see that they are almost exclusively into “River Runs Red.” Don’t get me wrong, I like “RRR” as much as the next guy, but I don’t think the band really came into their own until “Ugly.” It was certainly a departure from the more straightforward groove metal of the debut, much more melodic and “alternative rock,” but imo it’s one of the most crushingly heavy albums ever released.
The last verse at like 2:50 still gives me chills every time, absolutely incredible vocal performance
Ultimately what makes music “heavy” isn’t the superficial stuff like how hard they chug or how fast the double bass is, it’s when the music makes you FEEL something. And even though “Ugly” isn’t a chuggy and moshy as “RRR,” there are very very few albums where the genuine sadness, pain, and sense of feeling lost and adrift comes through more than it does on this one– it’s in the same league as ALICE IN CHAINS “Dirt” and NO COMMENT “Downsided” when it comes to albums where you can tell that everything is NOT ok. Not the phony, contrived, “fukk u dad!!!” or “u broke my heart u bitch!!” kind of angst that bands manufacture when they don’t have real problems, this is real shit that will make you feel like you got kicked in the gut.
I think we can all relate to this one pretty hard
Do yourself a favor and check this album out if you haven’t: it’s a combination of heaviness, groove, melody and crushingly dark emotion that you don’t come across very often. I actually like their followup album “Soul Searching Sun” a lot too, which was widely hated at the time for going even more “rock” so check that one out as well if you haven’t. Props to LOA for always doing their own thing for 20+ years.