UK post-hardcore band Up River are back with a five track EP and are ready to head into a refreshingly heavy direction. After forming in 2011, Up River have seen success from a number of digital releases on labels such as Anchors Aweigh. Their most notable release to date is their album UNDERTOW. Nine tracks of heart achingly impassioned lyrics with emotional vocals driven by intense riffs.
Now releasing through the highly established Holy Roar Records, the label that has worked with the likes of Desolated, Pulled Apart By Horses and Gallows. Up River are ready to take the next step in becoming one of the biggest names in the hardcore scene With their EP If There Is A God That Is Judging Me Constantly.
Track one of the EP is one not to be fooled by, the song that goes by the name of Shallow opens the EP perfectly with a slow build up of ringing guitars and ambient drums. This is a relatively familiar sound to Up River. However After listening to the rest of the tracks you soon realise that this is a well fitted calm before the storm. Roughly one minute into Shallow the slowly progressing build up opens into an explosion of thrashing guitars with sharp vocals and a violent drum beat. This definitely sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Just as you grow accustomed to the new bombardment of sound being delivered by this violent ensemble, you are already on track two.
Deaf Waltz delivers a 99 second ear pounding of straight up hardcore riffs and breakdowns.This song doesn’t appear to develop much, but does it need to? before you know it, the song is over and next is my personal favourite of the EP, Ghost particle.
This banger opens with a delicious beatdown riff that is soon followed by a a variation in tempo that is followed by that some what signature drum beat that is so commonly featured in Up river tracks. After this comes a second tempo change that provides a breakdown that can only be described as filth, utter filth. A harmonic drone of guitars leaks over over a build up of drums until piercing vocals cry the words that gave this EP its Chilling title. this track is definitely the strongest point of the album.
the next instalment is yet another short track that is over before you know it. Charnel house
is an excellent display of creativity by Up River as it features an expressively syncopated chugging riff that takes up the majority of the song. It is a shame that this song is only a little over a minute as it the most catchy and technically sound song on the EP. Due to its short length it leaves me wanting so much more, but is that truly a bad thing?
The EP comes to a close with Escher, an angst filled track piled with rasping vocals and one last incredible breakdown to see the EP off. the song ends similar to the start of Shallow much softer than the rest of the EP with a somewhat soothing guitar to help you come down from the experience you receive from listening to If There Is A God That Is Judging Me Constantly from start to finish.
In total, this the length of this EP is a neat nine minutes and forty five seconds. Due to it being less than ten minutes long its incredibly easy to listen to in one sitting. By the end of Escher, I found myself sat thinking ‘What the fuck just happened?’ Its incredible that in such a short amount of time a number of songs can be so satisfying to listen to. This EP makes me want to hear so much more from this band, that appears to be the only downfall; I WANT MORE.
Up Rivers best work to date is set to be released November 25th 2016.