Album Review

Bumpin’ Uglies, Keep It Together

By James Shartzer

Bumpin’ Uglies is an Annapolis based three piece reggae/ska band consisting of TJ Haslett on drums, Dave Wolf on bass, and  Brandon Hardesty on guitar & vocals. Keep It Together is the group’s third studio album; however, they also have two EPs and a live LP. This album shows the band’s ability to perform a vast variety of musical genres and even blend them in a way that you just can’t help but sing along to.

The album begins with “All In” a funky reggae ballad accompanying rhythmic & catchy vocals which have you joining in by the end of the track. Track four is the single for the album, “Stop The Fall”. This song showcases their ska side with fast paced rhythm while still maintaining that funky bassline. The lyrics are realistic but inspiring, “You’ll never stop the fall, but you can land on your feet.” Something I’m sure everyone can relate to in one way or another.

Most bands have one or two songs that get stuck in your head over & over, but few pull off an entire album of songs with that effect. I would definitely say that this is one of those rare gems. Every song is different, and the album has something for everyone. Even though they are a lyrically driven group, their instrumental work is nonetheless phenomenal.

The seventh song on the album is entitled “Urination Citation” and begins with a fitting audio clip of an enraged Randy Marsh. The song is a story about receiving; you guessed it, an urination citation. The song’s comical lyrics talk about the ridiculousness of such a charge or at least the severity of it and include the super catchy and hilarious chorus, “You gotta go when you gotta go”. “Load In Load Out”, track nine on the album, is a reggae song preaching of the Bumpin’ Uglies way of life. Hardesty gives fans a real, unfiltered look at the day to day of the group and their dreams and aspirations. They still keep it sarcastic and comical with lines such as “Baby you can call us Herpes, we ain’t going anywhere”. The song ends with an acoustic number about humility that tugs on the heart strings.

Keep It Together is available everywhere September 9th. I know that I will be picking up a copy for myself.  Bumpin’ Uglies will also be performing at Beast Coast Reggae Fest in Fairplay MD on October 15th, so be sure to come see them and pick up the album for yourself.