Bumpin Uglies “Beast From The East” Album Review

Bumpin Uglies – “Beast From The East” (Space Duck Records)
By: Tom Hanno

Bumpin’ Uglies is a band that plays a ska/reggae/punk blend that is overwhelming; with it’s huge hooks, horns, and lyric driven song crafting. Influenced by acts, and peers, such as Pasadena, Ballyhoo!, The Skints, Stick Figure, The Interrupters, The Avett Brothers, The Beach Boys; but I also hear some Sublime, Reel Big Fish, Kottonmouth Kings, and The Dirty Heads. This Annapolis, Maryland band has released an album called Beast from the East that has my head bobbing, my foot tapping, and my mind trying to absorb the excellence of these songs.

Little known fact, I used to be a saxophone player (before I discovered heavy metal so many years ago), so horns in music resonates deeply within me. I love the element that a good horn section can provide in this, or any, music. They can turn music happy by supplying even the sparsest of parts, which is a large benefit in this genre. Bumpin’ Uglies uses their horn section to their advantage, keeping it upfront, and at large!!

On the surface these are songs made for partying in the sun-drenched beaches of whatever tropical climate anyone may find themselves in. At their most primal state however, these are well crafted songs, relying on all the elements of the groups they have taken influence from while incorporating their own vision into them. The slick reggae guitars, the deep rumble of the bass guitar, and the many varying percussive sounds all add up to songs that will stick with you long after the album has ended.

The vocal work is exceptionally performed, with nods to singers like original Sublime vocalist Bradley Nowell, Bradley’s eventual replacement Rome, and Reel Big Fish vocalist Aaron Barrett. Much like Bradley, vocalist Brandon Hardesty is also holding down the guitar duties; which is a trick in and of itself, singing and playing is tricky at any rate, but I would imagine playing these types of parts while signing isn’t an easy feat.

Tracks that stood out to me were, “Hard Liquor”, “Bud Tender”, “Officer O’Herlihy”, “All in Stride”, “City by the Bay”, and “Apathy”.

Bumpin’ Uglies is an upbeat whirlwind of killer tunes and tones. I truly believe that anyone who enjoys Sublime, will also enjoy this group and their new album. Beast from the East is available now, and I want you guys to give them a chance, kick back with a beer, and enjoy these very well-done tracks. I’ll leave you a link to their Facebook page, but after that you have to do your research. Enjoy!!!

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