Upchuck: Bite The Hand That Feeds [Album Review]

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Bite The Hand That Feeds
Famous Class Records [2023]

For their sophomore record, Atlanta’s Upchuck headed to California to record Bite The Hand That Feeds, enlisting the production talents of Ty Segall. Right from the first guitar strums in the opening track, “Freaky,” you can hear Segall’s influence as its screeching rhythm mirrors his catalog’s template. The entire record was captured live to tape over the course of five days, resulting in a blast of raw, unfiltered energy that mirrors the experience of an Upchuck live show. The album captures the essence of classic punk rock, infused with elements of garage rock and a DIY attitude. The band’s no-nonsense approach is evident in the simplicity of their music and lyrics, which is both a strength and a defining characteristic.

KT’s snarling vocals and confrontational lyrics infuse the album with an unapologetic and rebellious edge. Tracks like “Freedom” and “Crossfire,” both under 2 minutes, epitomize this attitude with their punchy punk speed and memorable, harder-edged guitar work. Elsewhere, Upchuck evokes a sense of nostalgia for the punk scene of the ’70s and ’80s. If you’re a fan of bands like The Stooges, Black Flag, or Dead Boys, you’ll likely find elements to appreciate in their music. Additionally, there is another facet to Upchuck within these tracks, following more of an indie rock rule, with some memorable hooks as heard in “NYAG,” “Toothless,” and the Pixies-esque opening of “Crashing.”

The album is concise and to the point, with a total runtime of just 33 minutes. This brevity adds to the intensity and urgency of the music. Ty Segall, also known as a member of the harder edged FUZZ, has a penchant for vintage sounds. This quality is reflected in the album’s production, which has a somewhat lo-fi edge reminiscent of classic punk and garage rock recordings. It’s an album you can listen to from start to finish in no time, leaving you craving more. Upchuck offers a high-octane dive into punk rock with Bite The Hand That Feeds, making it a solid addition to the contemporary punk scene. If you appreciate no-frills, in-your-face punk rock, this album is definitely worth a listen.

“Freaky” / “Crashing” / “NYAG”

Black Flag / Amyl And The Sniffers / FUZZ

Instagram | Bandcamp | Famous Class Records

Christopher Anthony
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