Ugly Mind – Desperate Times
Release Date: November 25, 2022
Label: Independent
Format: EP | Cassette/Digital
Duration: 23:18 | 7 tracks
Genre: Hardcore Punk / Dark Punk
Origin: London, England

Is this the End… again?

The title „Desperate Times“ could very likely be written on our windows, glasses, socks, and whenever someone saw them, they might say something like ‚well… yes‘. So much for the commentary on things. „Desperate Times“ is furthermore the title of Ugly Mind’s debut EP. Ugly Mind – sometimes spelled Ügly Mind – are a three-piece Immigrant Punk Rock band from the British capital. The trio consisting of Jimmy (bass, keys, synths, programming), John (drums) and Blevins (guitar) has recorded a DIY demotape in the first year of the Coronacene, and has now returned with their sophomore release.

Whether „Desperate Times“ shall be considered a second demo or a first official release can be spatted about. Both are legit DIY recordings put on tape and published via bandcamp, neither are they available via blooodsuckers platforms such as Spotify, and both have EP format duration-wise. „Desperate Times“. Since the release on hand has a proper name, it shall be treated as a non-demo EP here.

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Moshpit in the Armageddon Shelter

For those who have not listened to the 2020 demotape yet, here are two important notes. Firstly, if you like Punk Rock with a tendency to Hardcore, you will love it. and secondly, „Desperate Times“ is the logical consequence of this demo since it contains similar sounds on the surface level. Digging only a bit deeper, the sophomore release is a lot darker, more melancholic, and more versatile than the nameless demo.

„Desperate Times“ begins with its title track. It is a very psychedelic and atmospheric introduction to a Punk Rock album. Tension rises as the Post Punk sounds become stronger, and as the voice samples lead into the screams ‚Desperate Times call for desperate Measures‘, the first track finds both, its climax and its end. Since all this energy that was built up in the intro longs for a discharge, the in-medias-res-moshpit ‚Slow Cancellation of the Future‘ comes in just perfect.

We’ve been here before…

The sound on „Desperate Times“ contains plenty of parallels to Colw War-era Punk and Post Punk. In Germany, bands like EA80, Chaos-Z, or Abwärts coined this unique style that can be called Depro Punk, Dark Punk or just as combination of Punk Rock, Post Punk and Wave. While non-German listeners may refer to a Hardcore Punk version of The Cure, the band that Ugly Mind have the most similarites are the brutally underrated Neurotic Arseholes.

Nevertheless, the direction of the sound is clear: towards armageddon, but at least with a smiling face. No Future? Not precisely. Ugly Mind address what is going wrong: ignorance, oppression, greed, and the steady walk towards a global catastrophy. Still, „Desperate Times“ is no collection of anthems for giving up, but a loud call for resistance. Ugly Mind remind us to fight for that one planet that we have.

Ugly Mind with instruments in rehearsal room

From Post to Punk and back

The arc of suspense on „Desperat Times“ is of the kind you would find in every good drama. Introduced by an atmospheric tune, Ugly Mind let their dark mix of Hardcore Punk and Post Punk rage with increasing intensity. The climax between the moshpit destroyer ‚Tolerant and Non-Judgemental‘ and brutally sober ‚It’s happening again‘. Still dark, still angry but with decreasing force, the Depro Punk sounds go on while the songs ‚Mousetrap‘ and ‚Into the Night‘ are still shook by heavy retardations. Finally, the Wave-laden Indie Punk hymn ‚The Sleep of Monsters‘ calms the waves. Still, tension and a lot of open questions are contained in the final sounds of silence. Thus, a sequel seems inevitable – hopefully!

Ugly Mind play the sound to shake off negative feelings to. When pogo or moshpit dancing shall come with a micro-therapy, then this EP is great medication. „Desperate Times“ is a brutally honest and musically thrilling Punk Rock release as dark as the times it was recorded in.
7/10 Mangoes

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