Review: Uphill Battle

Uphill Battle
(Relapse Records)

I was reading through the notes in the jacket liner on this album and I noticed that these guys are from Goleta.  Maybe not a big deal to you, safe and secure in your little Orange/LA/San Diego suburb, but for myself and my currently-residing-in-Goleta-ass, I’m a bit scared.  What if UCSB chooses me as a keynote speaker (due to my glamorous position at MF) at a faculty luncheon and Uphill Battle gets the message and shows up to kick my ass because I said that their music is a viscous, unrelenting onslaught of punctured notes and dissonant wails?  What if they’re mad because I wrote that Uphill Battle squirms through eight tracks that are the sonic equivalent of a trip to the dentists’ office?  If they wanted to beat me up because I thought that Adi’s vocals were unintelligible, I’d tell them that while Adi truly does sound like a snoring Grizzly bear, his lyrics are actually fantastic.  ‘Forked Tongue’ contains the tortured story of so many of us in our isolated, consumer driven lives.  I’d try to explain that to them while they pummeled me senseless in front of professors and teacher’s assistants.  I’d tell them that my new favorite expression, “The shoe still fits but the laces are broken” is found on their track entitled ‘Old’.  Maybe that would save me from serious bodily injury.  Maybe not, though.  Don’t tell them I live off of Fairview.