Meet Ugly Blondes, a refreshing, grungier rock band in town consisting of Nate Cross (vocals/guitar), Justin Cross (guitar), Nick Chesko (bass) and Gareth Blyth (Drums). They are a part of Steel City Death Club, a recording studio-meets-label-meets-booking company based in Pittsburgh. Since forming in 2014, Ugly Blondes have released two EP's and four albums - the most recent release, Fluff Capacitor, is home to the single, "Destroyer," which you can hear in rotation this month part of Hometown for the Holidays. If you're a local show-goer, or a frequent flyer at The Smiling Moose, you've most likely seen them perform.
We likened their sound to an earlier Queens of the Stone Age, and The Pitt News seemed to agree. In an interview with the band in 2016, frontman Nate Cross talked about the emphasis they place on sounding different from other rock bands in town. '"Usually, if something we’re working with kind of sounds strange or off-time or something along those lines, we’ll end up making it a song,” Cross said. “Our inspiration really doesn’t come from anywhere else other than asking ourselves how weird [we can] be compared to other rock bands.”'
We also love foreshadowing at WXDX. After their 2017 release, Drag, Meg Fair of Pittsburgh City Paper wrote a great, detailed review of the album. They also wrote, '"Rock ’n’ roll riffs fuse with grungy effects and an alternative spark on Drag by Ugly Blondes. Drag’s eight songs move intently ahead with driving guitar work and high-energy choruses, the kind of music that wouldn’t sound out of place on 105.9 The X.'"
A Fair point.
More recently, Jordan Snowden's Pittsburgh City Paper Quarantunes series highlighted various Pittsburgh figures and included a brief Q + A about their time in quarantine and how they were coping at the time. Jordan talked to Ugly Blondes in April, and they discussed everything from their new routine, to what they're working on, quarantine dreams, and a tune by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, one of their influences, that felt eerily relatable during a global pandemic. Check out the full interview here, and be sure to get into Ugly Blondes (if you haven't already).
"Destroyer" is in regular rotation through the end of December on WXDX.