UPPERTOWN

"Creep's Room" (Self-released; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Okay, so back when we had such things, I was at a beer festival in Ventura when I stumbled across an awesome band. They played blues music with a heavy punch that really reached out and grabbed me by the throat. I was amazed becasue they were a two-piece band, even more amazed when I discovered they were a father and son team. (They are the Hubcap Stealers, in case you were wondering, and they are worth checking out).

Fast forward to a few years later, when beer festivals are not much more than a memory (thanks, COVID-19, you fucking prick) and I discover the band Uppertown. Their brand of stripped-down, rough and raw punk rock hooked me from the first tune I listened to. The band calls their music "blues-inspired riffs with a trailer thrash edge" and I'm good with that, too. So I asked the band to send me some music and it wasn't until I received it that I discovered that Uppertown, like the Hubcap Stealers, are a two-piece band ... but in this case it's a husband/wife team! First of all, you'd never know it from listening to their music and second, it only makes Uppertown even cooler.

The music on "Creep's Room," espeically the guitars and vocals, has a notable down-home feel that sometimes sounds a little like Neil Young when he's performing the legendary tune "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World." It's just that perfectly rough-edged sound that's as stripped down as it can possibly get. It's real rock'n'roll. The guitars are big and wide and thick and teeter on that edge of punk and alternative. The drums are bright and tight and raucous. It just all works.

But there's plenty of variety here as well. A little Bob Dylan leaks into "Call Yourself a Christian" with its scathing lyrics, and "YoYo" is a short but sweet reminder of those vintage novelty songs from the really early days (and I'm talking about way before Chuck Berry's "Ding a Ling"). By the way, Uppertown, is "YoYo" in fact a cover or is that an original tune?

My favorite tracks, as you might expect, are the louder ones.  The first track, "Big Janice" opens with a driving riff that will have you banging your head almost instantly. "Jocko's Rocketship" is just pure, unadulterated punk and "Nadir," my second favorite track on the album ("Big Janice" is first), is just a monster with crushing chords, a punishing Panzer tank pace and razor-sharp lyrics.

Bands like Uppertown are the reason I subscribe to sites like MusicSubmit.com (which is where I discovered them). There's so much great music out there but you've just got to go out and find it. Sometimes, like this time, it's certainly worth the effort.

Uppertown: Rob Hudson - vocals, guitar, harmonica; Becca Hudson - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.uppertown.band.  

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 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.