B-Mack’s Latest Single “Ugly Head” Nods to the Grotesque

Black Rock Music Series: Native New Yorker and indie scene mainstay B-Mack brings electro-pop, funk and rock to magnify the ugliness of the 2020s.


"Ugly Head" by B-Mack
Source: B-Mack
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Ugly Head” is a song that was penned during the political witching hour that was 2020 by multi-instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, and singer Bruce Mack aka B-Mack. The song features on guitar Michael Cox who co-produced it, additional guitar by Ken Edmonds and was mastered by Diriki Mack (SNL, Broadway Vide, NBATV).

The song’s energy is somewhere between Public Enemy, David Byrne/The Talking Heads, and Jimi Hendrix. The lyrics meet where Malcolm X and Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” would collide, and the wreck ends up being a symphony of foreshadowed abstract political warnings:

“ You brought it on yourself/I didn’t sick the beast on you/The chain is only so strong/Plus you knew the beast grew”

With “Ugly Head”, we see (in the video below) and hear that B-Mack plays part “talking head”, narrator, and preacher reciting lyrics that could have come straight out of Macbeth. The Wayward witches in Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy who sang “For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble” could have easily spit the “Ugly Head” lyrics:

“There’s a beast in the trenches/Chained up by his own henchmen/Breastfed by beastly wenches/The protein of bloodstained riches”

The rhythms are visceral, yet the lyrics are intellectually confrontational with no punches pulled.

The music video filled with moving and still pictures arranged abstractly over the song – a steady rhythmic, yet explosive play of guitar and vocals – is fitting for a song filled with social fervor. In the fully realized video, the kinetic arrangement of images correlate to the intensity of the song’s lyrics – scenes of war crimes, political uprisings and a cacophony of ugly faces.

The video is the best of DIY culture as B-Mack, the OG music man and experimental creator, conceived the visuals. When it came to producing a video for the song, Mack told AURN that animation and representation of various types of “heads” were part of his vision. The goal was to “animate” the upper guideposts of the human body in a way that reflected the grotesque expressions of people who do foul works – and the people who return the favor.

“Ugly Head” features on the Black Rock Coalition’s latest compilation album, Rock n’ Roll Reparations.

Native New Yorker, Bruce Mack aka B-Mack (singer-songwriter with band) is a vocalist that incorporates vocal improvisation into funk, rock, electronica and other forms of music. B-Mack plays keyboards, electric bass, percussion and drum set.

Known on the New York music scene as an indie artist and band leader, Mack also performs and contributes original music to multiple ensembles including Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Melvin Van Peebles w/Laxative, Nubian Messengers, Tricky Dilemma, Eighty-Pound Pug and Rules Of Aquah.

Source: Kwesi Abbensetts/AURN

Bruce Mack’s name might ring a bell as he is former president of the Black Rock Coalition and founder of the original PBR Streetgang band of the 80’ & 90’s and is composer of the seminal hit “Chemical Pollution” (1986).

Since 1999, Mack has been a recording, touring and conducting member of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. As a result of that work, Mack became band leader and vocal arranger for the legendary actor/filmmaker/composer-Melvin Van Peebles’ wid/ Laxative band.


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46ZpM4jDeYY

Bandcamp: https://tinyurl.com/v5jvr5jr

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/62Uz7xodjMOTgjKmXOHv65

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmackmusic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brucemacksmusic

Hyperfollow: https://tinyurl.com/jbks7uwy

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