In Rear-View: 91 By The Bad Ups

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Bad Ups have been delivering catchy punk rock tunes since 2018. Made up of Travis McKayle on vocals and guitar, Zach Boyle on guitar, Dave Heck on bass, and Chris

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Bad Ups have been delivering catchy punk rock tunes since 2018. Made up of Travis McKayle on vocals and guitar, Zach Boyle on guitar, Dave Heck on bass, and Chris Slaughter on drums: these four are a power team. We may be a little biased here at Punksylvania since these guys have supported us from the start, but really… they’ve got some serious talent. 

With 2 solid EPs under their belt already, The Bad Ups dropped 91 on July 28, 2020. In true DIY punk rock style, 91 was recorded, mixed, mastered, and released by The Bad Ups themselves and comes in at just under 10 minutes long. 

The EP kicks off by dishing out a very melodic pop punk sound with “South Philly Bop.” Reminiscing about old memories with a friend who is an addict, this song hits close to home for a lot of listeners. As the story unfolds, the song picks up as well. The last half of this tune is loaded with harmonies and gives off a very Ramones/classic punk vibe. 

Beginning with a quick clip of A Bronx Tale, “Quarter In The Mortar” punches you in the face with a very Good Riddance-like intro. That speed doesn’t stop there. The lyrics on this EP continue to dive a bit deeper and it’s nice to watch the band evolve and explore their writing. The chorus is super catchy and will have you singing along. For me, the drums and bass during that breakdown really bring this song together. 

We get a taste as the band explores a bit of a different sound with “Couch Surf.” With heavy reggae and ska influences, this song will have you dancing and singing along without a doubt. Hitting us with another catchy chorus, the boys break it down yet again before this tune comes to an end. 

Closing out the EP, “Tequila Mockingbird” delivers a No Use For A Name/90s skate punk vibe. Would you be surprised if I told you this chorus is hella catchy as well? It sure is! We all know I’m a sucker for a chunky breakdown, and this track surely delivers that too. 

In my opinion, 91 is The Bad Ups’ best EP yet. There is some serious evidence of growth as a band, lyrically and technically. While exploring various sounds and styles, The Bad Ups manage to toss in those sing-song choruses and signature heavy breakdowns that we hear on “Life is Hell” and “Life is Swell,” their previous EPs. You can listen to 91 on all streaming platforms.

If you haven’t checked out The Bad Ups yet, get on it. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for any updates. They will also be contributing to our “Shut the Fall Up” benefit for Lexi available on the Punksylvania YouTube channel on 10/8/20.

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