Life Of Agony - _Ugly_
by: Adrian Bromley (
There are those sophomore albums by bands that fall into the "triumphant" category, and there are those that fall into the "disappointment" category. But what about those that walk the fine line between those two options? Are they poor showings of improvement and growth? Average sources of material not meeting the expectations of true fans? Well with _Ugly_, Brooklyn's four-piece known as Life Of Agony have found themselves walking that ever so popular line and are in for quite a trip this year. Losing quite a bit of that hardcore/metallic element that made their 1992 debut _River Runs Red_ so brilliant, this time around, though still with hard grooves in place, LOA run wild with soft choruses, melody, and translucent yet mesmerizing guitar bits and pieces that mold _Ugly_ into a very (gulp...) alternative album. Sure, this album lacks the steam and energy displayed with their debut, but with that notion aside, there are still good cuts, ie: "Lost At 22", "Unstable", and the groove of "Fears". True, this album may make LOA lose fans, but the one winning quality is the extremely addictive tones displayed by the grooves of guitarist Joey Z. Hey, something has got to keep this album afloat, right?
(article published 11/8/1995)
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