There is a great sound blooming in the West, an irrefutably warm noise coming from garages, basements and backyards of places like San Jose, California. Guitarist/vocalist, Takashi Makino, Bassist, Todd Flanagan, Drummer Nick Lopez and newly added Guitarist, Maxwell Brokenhagen play emotive melodies that seem soaked in the influences of their Western indie-rock predecessors of Sub Pop and Kill Rock Stars. Listening to their crooned vocals and fuzzy, agitated guitars is almost as good as being transplanted back to a time when indie bands still used letters to book tours and you'd be more apt to find a fanzine band review than on a blog.
Ugly Winner formed as a three piece in 2008, playing shows around the Bay Area, touring the U.S. West Coast and working on songs for their first full-length entitled "Minutes, Years & Never". The album was released in 2010, along with a split 7" with San Francisco based band, Slow Trucks. Suffice to say, the band is rooted in San Jose DIY, local indie music, and art. They are synonymous, almost, with their bassist's place called the "Ginger Bread House", a destination for many touring bands choosing to grace the heart of Silicon Valley.
In 2011,a second guitarist, Max, was added for an even larger sound. The four wrote and recorded yet another full-length that is to be released on 20 Sided Records entitled "Inside Your Wave". The record is due out the Summer of 2012 and will be followed by extensive touring. It is more than apparent that Ugly Winner has worked hard and succeeded at staying motivated; sustaining their place as an integral part of punk and indie culture in the Bay Area.
"Ugly Winner took it up a few notches with upbeat, off kilter, noisy, raucous and highly enjoyable indie rock, with the type of yelping vocalist found in Frog Eyes and Wolf Parade. I hadn't heard a lick of this San Jose band before this show, and really, they blew my head right off." - Spartan Daily
'"Summer Sun" and "River Wild" are built on sprawling soundscapes and unexpected waves of instrumentation that can only be described as dream-like. In the same way that David Lynch's best films turn everyday settings into surreal stages, so do Makino's songs create the feeling that he has one foot in the waking world, one in the twilight zone." - Metroactive
"Ugly Winner started out with a steady-tempoed clean guitar arpeggio, veryTripping Daisy-ish. It reminded this reviewer of that narrow window of time when alt-rock wasn't the moping textural drudgery of grunge and hadn't yet given birth to indie. " - Boise Weekly