If there is a missing link between Joy Division and Ministry, that must be Uglyhead. But Uglyhead incorporates several other different reminiscences from Syd Barrett smell like Psychedelic Rock to The Sisters Of Mercy trademarked Dark mechanics and from Field Of the Nephilim perfumed mysticism to contorted Garage Rock noisiness. This isn’t a walk through on a Sunday noon through the sunny park, “The Garden” is more like a secret dark place wit 10 alleys (paths) or 10 growing trees, branching around, exploring the mysteries of this world and our hidden inner universe. Merging different sonar elements, genres and styles, Uglyhead revels its own genre and style, delivering an atmospheric, highly textured journey and painting-up a tale of transformation, consumption and devastation.
Uglyhead is an experimental Rock band originally from Seattle, Uglyhead now operates primarily out of San Francisco, and the project is headed by musician/producer Jake Alejo.
The project has taken many forms throughout the years from highly structured collaborations to solo improv noise performances. Every aspect of Uglyhead is approached from an unconventional method in sound design and production. While Uglyhead albums never sound like perfect, sterile studio recordings they always are unmatched and have been built from the ground up using techniques unique to Alejo and crew.
Jake Alejo’s experimental Uglyhead recordings started out circulating light night college radio shows and eventually lead to live performances and a full length album. In 2007 Automation Records released the Live Uglyhead Album “From time to time…” and the subsequent E.P.’s entitled “Inward” and “Outward.”
In 2010 the more conventional sounding Uglyhead track “Sets in the East” was selected to appear on the video game “Greg Hastings Paintball 2” which is released on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
The Garden is intended to be a unique audio experience and took approximately three years to complete. The first year was dedicated to compiling a sound library of field recordings and experimental noises. The Second year was spent transforming those noises into textures and structuring songs to fit the intended concept. The Third year was spent recording musical performances in Washington State, California, Texas and Michigan. The album was mastered using an analog process called “layback mastering” where the songs are transferred to tape and mastered on analog equipment giving the album a warmer tape saturated sound. Elements of experimental production were used to ensure that every element of each song is under a state of dynamic flux. A closer listen to any instrument will reveal new evolving layers that are constantly changing throughout each song.
The years of work created a gritty, organic, performance-based rock album with a gloomy atmosphere that is synonymous with its subject matter. In addition to the standard CD and digital versions of the album the Garden will also be available in a super deluxe edition which contains a 2nd disc of instrumental songs, a patch, 2 pins, and a full color 16 page booklet placed inside a hand stained and embossed wooden box with pressed flowers, animal bones, peat moss, and some other surprises.
The Garden contains performances from Jake Alejo, Nick Katich (Palace of Worms, Ordo Obsidium), Patrick Huerta (He Whose Ox is Gored,this is how it ends, W.A.D.E), Jeremiah Smith (Extraordinary Pigeons) Jenson Charnell (Halcion Halo) and Taylor Izak (Stone Clover).
I love the fluid gloominess of the album, the deep, always moaning basses, the smartly layered noises and the tension which keeps you throughout focused. This is one of the successful experiments which worth to dive into it deeper and deeper with every repeated listening and there always will e new dimensions, sound layers which hides thoughts and feelings to discover. So, when you reach to the end and the CD stopped spinning, just push PLAY again.
Can have for only $8 USD the hard copy and for $6 USD the digital download version.