Ugly Stick Pick Up the Hatchet

It's okay not to know who Ugly Stick are. They didn't sell many records and they got swept into the post-hardcore obscurity of the early '90s, but like most unearthed bands, their notoriety grew years after their demise. With a sound trespassing upon the properties of post-punk and alt-country, Ugly Stick were very much in a league of their own. Their earliest releases have been considered rarities by record collectors for two decades, until Hovercraft Records' recent offering, Pick up the Hatchet, a double-disc reissue of the group's first two albums: Self Titled and Shaved. Crudely produced, with no sign of remastering, boozy cow-punk gems "Stiff Family Robinson" and "Holy Ghost" come off as more relevant than ever in a time when Against Me! and Lucero are selling out venues world wide. Occasionally experimental but always sincere, Ugly Stick were clearly ahead of their time and dusting off the cobwebs and giving new life to these uncharted songs may be their best career move yet. (Hovercraft)