The Uglysuit is woefully misnamed. This Oklahoma City band clothes its songs in so much beauty it’s almost embarrassing. “Chicago,” the standout track on the Uglysuit’s self-titled debut album, has got a chorus so uplifting and catchy that the producers of TV dramas are probably scrambling to win the rights to use it in the most romantic scene of their season finale.
You get the idea. Making fun of “Chicago” is too easy. One online review praised the Uglysuit’s album but attacked that song, comparing it to Counting Crows, Travis, the Shins, and other “insipid rock bands.” The writer didn’t think the Shins were insipid until the Garden State soundtrack made them into stars.
But one thing that makes the Uglysuit different from the radio-friendly likes of Counting Crows is that the Oklahomans really take their time getting to the hooks. That’s the flipside of imagining a song like “Chicago” being edited into a TV show: You really can’t imagine the song not being edited before it went on television. That gorgeous chorus accounts for a small fraction of the song’s running length, and the rest is strangely amorphous. The same goes for the rest of the songs on the album. The Uglysuit noodles around — beautifully — with guitars, bass, drums, Hammond organ, piano, electric piano, setting a mood before suddenly sweeping into an unforgettable chorus.
In another age, a hotshot producer would have whipped these guys into shape, cut out the filler, and made hit record after hit record. Today, we get to enjoy the leisurely ride up to the high point. It’s worth the wait.
The Sea and Cake also perform.
UGLYSUIT, Casbah, Saturday, December 6, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $16 advance; $18 door.