"No Pleasantries" (Epic; 2000)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

What does U.P.O. mean? Who knows what this acronym translates into but let me tell you what they stand for: good hard rock with an excellent vocalist. 

Emerging out of L.A. (that stands for Los Angeles, this I do know) this quartet pounds away at your senses and drives each song with sheer power and force. The guitar is heavy and sometimes plays twin to the vocals. Shawn Albro has a vocal style that sometimes mirrors Layne Staley and Chris Cornell. His voice can be deep and rich and he can drag those notes out for a long time and he can also hit the high ones.

“Godless” was their first single and it brought me to the CD. I have never left.

The first track starts with a nasty riff that will loosen your incus, malus, and stapes. You will want to crank it up loud. Shawn's vocals are stunning here; he has pipes like no one I have heard in a long time.

Each song has excellent guitar and vocals, the songwriting is top notch and despite the single bad song, “Shut Up,” this disc is a must have.

The best songs on the album are, "Circle Of Life," "Freaks And Pigs," "Feel Alive," "Godless," and "Catch The Sun."

The worst song on the album is, "Shut Up," which easily could be placed on the list of tunes that should have never been recorded.

U.P.O.: Shawn Albro - vocals; Chris Weber - guitar; Benjamin Shirley - bass; Tommy Holt - drum and percussion.

For more information, check out http://www.upomusic.com

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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Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:16 -0400 .