Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Sons of Hercules - A Different Kind of Ugly

The Sons of Hercules
A Different Kind of Ugly

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when nobody’s looking. Texas’ Sons of Hercules have been plugging away for almost two decades with little notoriety beyond its Austin/San Antonio homebase, but the band is as lean and mean as ever, hammering out an ass-kicking punk rock record (that’s punk in both the 60s and 70s senses) every few years that reminds you why you dug ‘em in the first place. A Different Kind of Ugly is, well, not that different – it’s the band’s usual mix of firebreathing Britpunk energy with Flower Power-era garage riffs, topped by frontdude Frank Pugliese’s sneering twang. (Pugliese comes by his punk roots through experience: his old band the Vamps opened for the Sex Pistols in 1978 at the infamous Randy’s Rodeo “All you cowboys are faggots!” gig.) You want to frug and pogo at the same time? You could do worse that drop the needle on Too Much Fun, Startin’ to Slip or the title track. The 12-string laced Your Salvation gives you a brilliant power pop breather, and tunes borrowed from the Saints, the Lazy Cowgirls and the Mystery Dates (another of Pugliese’s long-gone historical combos) fit in like the band wrote ‘em themselves. Sure, the Sons have refused to evolve, but so what? No attention, no pressure, no muss, no fuss – just titanium-solid rawk & roll.

- Michael Toland
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