To be honest I put off reviewing Overloaded for as long as I could because the sample clips I had previously heard did not impress me at all. When it came down to crunch time and I forced myself to sit down and give Overloaded a listen I realized what an idiot I was. I’m not sure what I was listening to before but “Regeneration” is loaded with in your face rock from start to finish.
When the first track “What’s In There” kicked off it took me a while to put my finger on who vocalist Chris Gillen reminded me of, so I sit back listened and enjoyed. The song has a great riff from guitarist Erik Kluiber and a ranting chorus from Gillen.
The second track “Obviously Envious” starts off and it hits me Gillen is the lovechild of Kory Clarke and Ron Keel. Which could also explain the heavy Warrior Soul influence or it could be something as simple as both bands are from Detroit. While Overloaded’s songs are not as politically charged Warrior Soul influence is dripping all over this album. If you don’t believe me just give “President’s Day” or “Ride That Feeling” a spin and it will hit you square in the face like a 2×4.
But just when you think you have Gillen figured out he throws everyone for a loop on “Don’t Leave Me This Way” channeling a little Jesse James Dupree. Other songs that impressed me were “Feeling Overloaded”, “Flashy Girl”, and “Try This One On For Size”.
Buyer beware that the band that recorded this album is not the same band you will see live now as Gillen and Kluiber replaced the rhythm section and added a second guitarist in Jan. 08. But “Regeneration” is a strong album with great playing from Kluiber and was an especially pleasant surprise to me when I was expecting the worst. Who said second impressions aren’t important?
Rating: Out of 10
1. What’s In There
2. Obviously Envious
3. Feeling Overloaded
4. Presidents Day
5. Ride That Feeling
6. Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore
7. Don’t Leave This Way
8. Flashy Girl
9. Try This On For Size
Chris Gillen – Vocals
Eric Kluiber – Guitars
John Sullens – Rhythm Guitar
Michael Massie – Bass
Lorenzo Gonzalez – Drums
Thursday Night, December 20th, I received passes for the WEBN Frog & Pony show (Thanks Geo!). This was an invite only, X-Mas bash by Cincinnati’s biggest rock stations. The event had it all….cheap beer, free food, horse racing, and rock and roll, courtesy of a local band, Livid, and Detroit’s UGLY.
I saw UGLY for the first time labor day weekend, when they opened up for that botched Operator show. They saved the day then, and I wasn’t about to miss these guys when they were playing so close to home.
The band took the stage around 9:30 P.M. and played several of the songs off of their new CD, including 24 Hours, Pusher, Friday Night, Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, and a killer cover of Van Halen’s Unchained.
It was a short, but very tight set by UGLY. The small crowd that stayed to see the show, got to see one hellaciously good, free concert.
UGLY is a killer rock and roll band, that is all about the music, and not about the image. This is a band that I am quite happy to have discovered in 2007! I look forward to catching them live again in 2008!
It was a great night of rock at Turfway Park, in Florence, KY, and a hell of a way to start the holidays!
If you haven’t picked up a copy of the disc, by UGLY yet, I highly recommend that you grab a copy. You can get it at the Rock Ridge Music Store, at this link!
You can view the videos I took at the concert below!
For more information on UGLY, check out their myspace page here.