OK bands who like to release music listen up: sometimes a cover isn’t everything, but when you have a band called Team Ugly with an EP called Meat Prize and your album artwork is a Saran-wrapped human being with a bow and a price-tag taped to it (him? Her? No idea)… well, I couldn’t not throw the tape in the deck.
Much to my surprise, I experienced a very conflicted enjoyment. With songs like “Why Won’t Anybody Have Sex With Me”, containing lyrics like “Why does natural selection have to take so long/Can somebody tell me what the hell I’m doing wrong,” it’s not hard to see that this is a band fond of satire. That doesn’t even take into account the track “Speech Therapy”, which consists of 30 seconds of screaming. I found myself comparing them to some of our favorite Brooklyn punk contemporaries like Vulture Shit or Big Ups, who have been exploring punk as a medium to address post-internet frustrations. Instead of hiding all of our stupid insecurities behind metaphors, reverb, and screaming, it makes so much more sense to knock all of it and just be direct as possibly; which is why you name your band Team Ugly and write songs about your chronic alcoholism and flagrant behavior. Sure, they may be joking, but humor in music is a vastly under-appreciated thing anyways. But put aside all the vulgarity and you’ve actually got some great jams; dynamically sophisticated and gritty in nature, it’s a mess sometimes, but it’s a fun mess.
Team Ugly hail from Auckland, New Zealand, and released their Meat Prize EP as part of a full-length / dual EP cassette featuring their 2013 release, Screaming In Tongues on the B-side. Check out “Conserve and Destroy” below, and head over to their bandcamp to hear the rest of the EP’s.