Bumpin’ Uglies – “Keep It Together”

Album Reviews | Aug 15th, 2016

Image used with permission for review purposes.

Record Label: Right Coast Records
Genre: Reggae/Ska/Punk
Band Link: BumpinUgliesmusic.com

Following up a couple of solid EPs that were released within the past year, Annapolis reggae punkers Bumpin’ Uglies hit the studio to release their third full-length album titled “Keep It Together”, their first on Right Coast Records, a label owned by fellow Maryland reggae rockers Ballyhoo.

What I like the most about “Keep It Together” is that it is heavily focused on ska-punk and reggae. While the Bumpin’ Uglies are heavily influenced by ska, punk and reggae, they have always mixed things up with some bluesy acoustic rock, some pop songs, some hard rock and any other eclectic mix that they felt like including on an album or EP. “Keep It Together” finds the band diving head first into reggae grooves and skankable ska punk tracks. Going through the first few songs and you have a classic reggae sound (“All In”), a guitar driven reggae/rock fusion (“Snowflake”), a trippy, riff-heavy faster reggae sound that is reminiscent of something from Sublime’s self-titled album (“Sorry, I’m Not Sorry”) and a skank pit inducing track (“Stop The Fall”).

Even though those songs that I mentioned are some amazing tracks and as good as they are, they still aren’t my favorite tracks off of “Keep It Together”. Track 6 is a track titled “Hipster Douchebag” and it starts off like a 60s doo-wop song, jumps into some ska-punk c complete with horns and switches up a few more times before songs end. I’m also a fan of “Urination Citation” which is pretty much a ska-punk song about pissing in public and reminds me of some classic NOFX material. Also included is a reworked studio version of Load In Load Out, which has been released as a live track but, to my knowledge, never had a proper studio release. It’s a great track about constant repetitive life on the road while on tour.

Over the past couple of years, Bumpin’ Uglies have become one of my favorite bands out there today. With their steady stream of live shows, EPs and full-length LPs and DIY ethics they’ve managed to leave other stagnant bands in their dust. “Keep It Together” is the culmination of that hard work and effort that they’ve put forth and it definitely shows. In my opinion it is easily their best album. The band manages to feed off of each other with the strong songwriting complementing the music and vice versa. “Keep It Together” is one of those late summer releases that will keep the summertime vibe going well into the new year.

Bottom Line: “Keep It Together” finds the Bumpin’ Uglies reaching deep into their sandy pockets to keep the summer vibe alive. Focusing heavily on ska, ska-punk and reggae this album will no doubt have you groovin’ and skankin’…sometimes at the same time!
Notable Tracks: All In, Urination Citation, Load In Load Out, Keep It Together, Sorry, I’m Not Sorry, Hipster Douchebag
Overall Rating:


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