"Still Glistening" (Hovercraft; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I don't remember hearing the term "cowpunk" before but, after listening to Ugly Stick's "Still Glistening" (and finding that term on their website), I can certainly see how it applies to this band. Considering that that very term may well have been invented to describe Ugly Stick on their previous (and only) CD release back in 1994, it's probably appropriate that the term comes back into play with this, their "comeback" CD.

Blending country twang with punk rock rawness and well-placed distortion, Ugly Stick are closer in their sound to Uncle Tupelo than The Ramones. Perhaps instead of "cowpunk" we should call them "cow-alternative." The country-fied elements of the songs here are obvious but not overwhelming and the band throws enough alternative elements in to give each song its necessary edge. A perfect example of this is "Rock N Roll Party Weekend" with its early Devo-like vocals.

Obviously not for everyone, "Still Glistening" is a welcome return by pioneers of the genre.

Ugly Stick: Dave Holm, vocals, guitar; Al Huckabee, guitar, vocals; Jeff Clowdus, drums; Ed Mann, bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:16 -0400 .