Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Start – Worst Band Name Ever
Release Date: June 18, 2007
There are only two bands that I would ever get a tattoo as a show of my devotion for. One of them (and I’m guessing I’m not alone on this) is The Get Up Kids. The band from Eudora wrote the soundtrack to many awkward high school, college, and post-grad-transition-into-adulthood nights for a generation of self-diagnosed Holden Caulfields. The other band that I would deface my body for is less world-renowned, but strikes the same type of chord with me emotionally. Ever since “I Know You’ll Find Out I’m a Geek” touched my very geek-like ears several years ago, I’ve been a fan of the layered math-rock extravagance that is UUDD. Therefore, I couldn't have been more stoked when this gem arrived in the mail.
Though technically Up Up Down Down has released two EPs (Internet only) in the space between Perris, CA and now, Worst Band Name Ever is the band’s first physical release in nearly four years. If you’re familiar with the band’s style, not much has changed over that time period. Having always been about composition and experimentation, where UUDD gets stronger with each successive release is in their ability to tell a story within those compositions. Guitars, drums, and orchestral arrangements bend and shift in ways that are conducive to that storytelling.
“Gas Station Hair” with its painfully emotive lyrics over smooth instrumentation could’ve easily fit onto the phenomenal Girls Names EP released in 2005. More blatantly obvious in that regard is “Maureen Kehoe”, about a girl getting married for the wrong reasons. When Maureen’s steady snare and sleepy rhythm is overtaken by the burst of key-driven energy at the song’s midpoint, you’re standing in the foreground wistfully watching it all go down. “Boise” ends the disc and has the distinction of having the only true chorus on WBNE. The effective and dramatic tempo shift from verse to chorus is all the proof you need that the band knows how to compose without seeming forced and unnecessary.
Few bands are able tell a story and transport the listener into shared nostalgia. Pedro The Lion could. Brandtson used to be able to, before they discovered a computer and lost their soul. Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Start can and do on Worst Band Name Ever. In a word: phenomenal.
Girls, girls, girls: “Gas Station Hair”, “I am the Island”, “Boise”
Scott Irvine is blushing: American Football, Matt Pond PA, Mineral