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Heard in its element, on the small stages and below ground parties where most of the band's playing over the past eight years has occurred, Ugly Head's sound has a physical dimension that's more akin to a motorcycle race or a landing strip than what many people connect with the idea of music. This was never truer than during the two years or so when the lineup of Dave, Dave, Patrick and Jack reigned as sullen kings in a Richmond scene that didn't know how to handle them. They were loud, extremely loud, maybe the loudest phenomena I've ever witnessed - but up at that high pure range where Ugly Head lives, where notes bleed together and songs turn into a falling sheet, there's really no point in attempting absolute distinctions or arguing about decibel rankings. It's a sound you hear in your teeth.... magnetic tape and digital reproduction can't capture the sheer weight of overtones, the cascade of violent sound collisions, the splintering, brilliant bristle of the Ugly Heads at the height of their powers. But that they even made the attempt to render such an avalanche on a puny canvas of aluminum and plastic shows, I think, the center of the band's dilemma and the true heart of its beauty.