"Uphill Both Ways" (Self-produced; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The first thing I noticed about this disc by Kansas' Gulch was, of course, the cover. Interesting concept as the corn represents where they are from and the rest of the picture seems to indicate the coming of a powerful force.

Largely the sound is a mix of heavy power and perhaps some musical roots. My first impression of their sound was that they sound a lot like a mix of Pantera, Anthrax and maybe even Prong. That makes up the aggressive, heavy hitting aspect of this band's sound. The other influences are some flashes of southern rock ala Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet.

These guys are loud and heavy, but perhaps not as tight as they could be. At times they just charge forward being completely sure of what they are doing. However, on other occasions -- particularly in the middle of some songs -- they seem unsure of what to do and just stumble through. They have a good handle to get their songs going, but they don't always have the ideas to sustain a whole song.

If it wasn't for the bits of Southern rock then I might just write this disc off as being merely decent. I think the southern rock parts are help the material to be a little different and it also hints the potential this band has. However, to really unlock that potential I think they would need to bring more of those parts into the fold. If they do that even a little more and work on tightening up their playing some then I think they pull ahead and be a band to look out for.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400.