Upfull Rising – Edgewood
4.) Steppin’ Stone
5.) As One
8.) Freedom Fighter
13.) Humble Them
14.) Love & Faith
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: July 31st, 2017
Official Website: Upfull Rising Website
Originally from Oceanside, CA – Upfull Rising has been perhaps a well-kept secret throughout their four year history, however the band has been rightfully picking up speed and making their name heard across the reggae-rock community. Having already shared the stage with Morgan Heritage, The Wailers and Don Carlos, Upfull Rising has officially arrived with their first full-length album, Edgewood. The San Diego-based quartet recently stated Edgewood (Drive) was the street the band started recording and practicing on – and gave the band the inspiration for the title of the album. Upfull Rising is comprised of Corey Brennan (vocals/guitar), Josh Smith (bass), Mike Shaw (drums), and Bob “Narly” Cook (keyboards).
For me, Edgewood can be described as an hour and 10-minute song.
That was the main issue I had however, as the overwhelming majority of the album is simply 16 tracks blended into one, ultimately offering the same sounds for its duration. There wasn’t much here that jumped out of the speakers – there were no “game changing” moments for me. The album sounded bland.
There were a few tracks noticeably better than others, such as “Vibration” – this track reminded me for a moment of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s “Bass Chalice” with its heavy bassline. “Humble Them” features a healthy dose of distorted guitar effects before morphing back into a lower-tempo head-nodder. “Gopherhole” had a moment or two that resonated with me as a feel-good track anchored by vibrant and uplifting keys.
However, in its entirety, Edgewood falls short of any lasting impression. The main hurdle for me was the progression from each track to the next, there wasn’t any “wow” factor or moments of itching to hit the repeat button. Upfull Rising put all their eggs in their fun instrumentals and low-key tempos, but in doing so Edgewood felt like another run-of-the-mill reggae album without being able to offer much depth.
The best feature of the album are the instrumentals, but while anticipating instances of uniqueness or creativity, I found myself stood-up because it never showed. Production could have been crisper as well. Recognizing the band has only been together for four years featuring some of their members stepping out of their comfort zone musically, Edgewood is an entry-level record. And while debuts are tough to crack into the scene in general, this album lacked in substance, left a lot on the table and will likely get left in the wind as a result.
Written & Reviewed By: Brian Glaser
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: Upfull Rising – “Rootsman”