Over the course of three albums and an EP, Ugly Kid Joe managed to parlay their pronounced Guns N' Roses fixation into something of a career. On their best songs -- "Everything About You," "Neighbour," and "Milkman's Son" -- they blended cartoon rebellion and a sense of humor best described as pre-adolescent into powerhouse singles full of tasteless good fun. Perfect for that time of life when all one wants to do is go around breaking things. Though routinely flagged as a hair band, their twin-guitar attack and fondness for funky, bottom-end heavy riffing also places Ugly Kid Joe among the forefathers of the late-'90s rap-metal explosion. As Ugly as They Wanna Be showcases the band in all their juvenile glory -- from their surprise hit version of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" to their tight cover of Black Sabbath's "NIB" to "Busybee" -- pretty much the best Guns N' Roses song Guns N' Roses never recorded -- all the hits are here, present and accounted for. If only this compilation didn't completely ignore Motel California, the album UKJ made after their split with Mercury, it would be the perfect greatest-hits package.
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AllMusic Review by Leslie Mathew