The Ugly Kings are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background.
They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. The catchy riffs and foot stomping rhythm lay the foundations for the deep reaching and soulful emotive vocals.
Having a full length album (Darkness Is My Home) under their belt already, as well as a 1 mini-album (Of Sins) and most recently, a two-track EP (Gypsy Queen), they boast an impressive collection of shows and performances for a young band. In the last 3 years they supported Airbourne on their successful sold out east coast tour in January 2017 in Sydney (The Metro), Brisbane (The Triffid) and Melbourne (Trak), as well as Papa Roach on the Melbourne (170 Russell) leg of their of their Crooked Teeth tour and received much acclaim while gathering new fans along the way.
In April 2016 the band also supported Rival Sons at Cherry Bar in Melbourne drawing the sold out crowd in early and earning high praise from Rival Sons management.
At the beginning of 2017 The Ugly Kings also released their first cover song. David Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’ was a daring move but one that felt right for them at the time. The band was part of two David Bowie sold out tribute shows in 2016 at Melbourne’s Northcote Social Club and The Corner Hotel. Their version of Lazarus was part of those sets and it was at that time that the band decided to record the song.
The debut album Darkness Is My Home was released on Friday, April 13, 2018 with a great response from critics and fans alike. Most notably Classic Rock Magazine, June 2018 issue and Loud Mag. To launch this album they completed a national tour playing at venues such as The Lansdowne (Sydney), The Gov (Adelaide), Crow Bar (Brisbane) and The Evelyn (Melbourne) receiving significant praise from new audiences.
In September 2019, they released a new two-track EP called Gypsy Queen through Melbourne record label Tuff Cuff. The EP features two high energy, foot stomping, hard rock songs called Little Suzie and Gypsy Queen, and sold out of its limited run colour vinyls within four hours. The band is excited to tour this release in late 2019 and early 2020.
Darkness Is My Home Reviews:
Classic Rock Magazine
‘Their ability to take hard blues rock and twist and distort it into darker, more unique territories is akin to that of Queens of the Stone Age’. ‘The Ugly Kings’ brand of power blues is captivating’. - June 2018 Issue.
‘This top-drawer record moves majestically while bar hopping between a plethora of artists and genres including Purple, Danzig, Jack White and everything in between.’
‘Darkness Is My Home is pure uncompromising temptation, one as dynamic as it is seductive and as cinematic as it is intimately haunting.’
‘..quite simply glorious, a rousing beacon among already a host of great and powerful heavy rock releases.’
‘This is rock’n’roll that strides purposefully to the stage, stares you down and lets the ringing notes echo about the room before launching into a neck-straining groove fest of defiant sorrow.’
‘Mean, lean and pristine.’
‘..there’s Deep South blues feel permeating every track with a genuine gritty edge to riff lord Christos’ playing and the soulful tone of vocalist Rusty’s voice.’
‘..showing with these nine tracks their talent not only as skilled songwriters but, like Bowie, as excellent interpreters.’
@witches.at.black.masses (Instagram Music Chart Review)
‘Imagine the perfect intersection of Black Sabbath riffs and the most thunderous modern tones of Arctic Monkeys and that’s exactly what you hear when spinning this The Ugly Kings powerful album, an energized blues rock full of fresh attitude perfectly driven by the baritone vocals and the crispy but clear fuzz. Coming from Australia and delivering strong original tracks and a masterful cover of Bowie’s Lazarus, Darkness Is My Home is hot and intense immediately taking you to the most arid landscapes of their own outback for a fast drive in the orange sand tracks with a bitter taste of nicotine and whiskey in the mouth.’
"What they delivered was something that I was not ready for. A sound that is almost indescribable. It’s as if a mash up of all my favourite artists had been put into a blender and formed this delicious power sludge bluesy stoner rock. Elements of the classics such as Led Zep, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sabbath, Danzig and a touch of Bowie were mixed in with the modern sounds of The White Stripes, Queens Of The Stone Age, Kylesa & Wolfmother.
I was in heaven!"
"Loud, heavy, slightly-sludgy classic rock meets blues with a modern bend, played by a band that swaggered about the stage with a distinct, but subtle, air of cool. By the end, Sydney was more than happy to learn words on the fly and sing along when the front man held his mic over the mosh.
The Ugly Kings are well-versed in the art of restraint, they know when to move and make the crowd get on their feet, and when to step back and let the music do the talking."
Ryan O’Keefe (Airbourne Drummer)
"It’s not often you see a band have the crowd so excited and receptive by the second song in the way The Ugly Kings do with such an original sound.
Only to be described as The Ugly Kings!"
Joel O’Keefe (Airbourne Frontman & Lead Guitarist)
"Great show! The Ugly Kings have really got their own thing going on and it rocks! I love all the dynamics, pushing and pulling
and then always smashing it out. Great intensity and power."
‘Of Sins - Mini Album’ Reviews:
"The fusion of blues storytelling with in your face, gritty rock-and-roll musical
elements position Of Sins in its own distinct stream of music."
Their latest EP may sound familiar from the instant the needle is dropped since it’s a healthy dose of all those great Aussie assets:
thick, groove induced chords, deep baritone vocals and a harden-the-fuck-up ethos.
Opener Devil Heart is the type of track that the Bad Seeds would solicit to David Lynch for his latest head-fuck cinematic art piece but with the kind of groove that sold Zeppelin a billion albums. Of Sins oozes the rattlesnake desert shake of Danzig’s creepy crawly metal blues. But not ones to jump someone else’s train, The Ugly Kings tip their hats to Mr. Cave, Duane Eddy, Morphine and others who’ve succeeded at dwelling on the dark side of men’s souls, albeit with their own unique twists.
For fans of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, The Black Keys, Royal Blood and Rival Sons.
The Ugly Kings offer a stripped down but powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene; formulating what can only be described as ‘Power Blues’. Memorable beats, thunderous bass lines and an electrifying barrage of bluesy ‘grit’ riffs tied with raw and emotive vocals. For fans of The Doors, Jack White, Black Sabbath, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, Rival Sons, The Dead Weather.