‘Keep It Together’ With the Bumpin Uglies

The last time that the Bumpin Uglies released an album, I praised them for having one of the best band names ever.  This time around, I was blown away by the artwork of their latest release ‘Keep It Together.’  Released in September, the Bumpin Uglies will sure to keep fans happy with this collection of 12 new songs.  Let’s check it out…

 

  1. “All In”-The Bumpin Uglies start things off in this rather chill tune, in the vein of their stoner reggae-rock style. Slight dub elements make this song a real winner.   Grade: B+

 

  1. “Snowflake”- While I don’t understand the lyrics, this is a great tune. Packing more of a punch than the first tune, “Snowflake” turns the rock element up to 11! Grade: A-

 

  1. “Sorry I’m Not Sorry”- I really dig this tune! Start with a ska guitar line; add the beat and some smooth vocals and you have yourself one groovy song.  “Sorry I’m Not Sorry” is proof that you don’t need a horn section to sound great.  Grade: A

 

  1. “Stop the Fall”- I’ve heard plenty of reggae rock and even more punk ska but reggae punk? This song is like nothing I’ve heard before, mixing the aggressiveness of punk and the laid back nature of reggae.  After laying the groundwork mentioned above, The Bumpin Uglies add finishing touches like, vocal harmonies and vocal echoing.    Grade: A

 

  1. “End”- With great attention to detail, this gritty reggae number features a horn section. It just adds that extra something that sets this song apart from the previous songs on this album.  I also really enjoyed how “End” eventually transitioned to a straight up rock song.  Grade: A

 

  1. “Hipster Douchebag”- This is a truly unique song as the band pulls influences from several decades. “Hipster Douchebag starts with a rockabilly guitar, reminding me 50’s rock and roll.  The horn lines put off a 70’s easy listening vibe, juxtaposed with the 90’s third wave sound as well.  Great song!  Grade: A-

 

  1. “Urination Citation”-Pick it up people; it’s time for more ska! While the chorus fell a little flat with me, this is still a solid, hard-hitting number.  Grade: B

 

  1. “Place Your Bets”- Switching between ska and hard rock, this next song falls in line with the others on this album. In other words, there is nothing unique here, just more of the same good stuff you’ve enjoyed during the first 7 tracks.  Grade: B

 

  1. “Load In Load Out”-They waited until the ninth track, but there is finally a song smoking weed and drinking. Wake up stoners from your haze-filled basement and crank this one up!  Grade: B+

 

  1. “Rules Be Damned”- Due to the stripped-down nature of this tune, it really gives a chance for not only the guitar, but also the smooth vocals to shine. More or less a relaxed song, there is a little rocking out near the end.  Grade: A-

 

  1. “Keep Moving”- Woah! What a change in direction, for what is mostly a punk number.  Throwing their own touches into the mix The Bumpin Uglies pull this style off as well.  What a nice change of pace.  Grade: A-

 

  1. “All That I Need”- The ever cliché “last song acoustic number.” Sorry guys, this one does nothing for me.  Grade: C-

 

 

I must first mention how impressive it is to two full length albums only a year apart.  It is always disappointing to wait several years between albums (yeah, I talking to you Mustard Plug).  While I’m not innately drawn to the stoner rock genre as much as say traditional ska or even ska punk, The Bumpin Uglies are the best in the business.  They have been cranking out albums steadily since 2011, they have their style pretty well dialed in.  Although they stay true to their “original recipe” there is quite a bit of variation amongst these songs.  “All Thant I Need” could have been left off of the album, but other than this, every other song is pure joy.  Switching between ska and reggae rock, The Bumpin Uglies pull off these variations with ease.  They even draw inspiration from others in the gem that is “Hipster Doucebag.”  To pick one standout would be impossible, as there are many on this album.  With 12 songs, this will give long-time fans, and new fans alike, hours of re-playability.  So in short the Bumpin Uglies ‘keep it together’ and knock another one out of the park.

 

Overall Grade: A-

 

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