Monday, October 28, 2013

REVIEW: Upset - She's Gone

Ali Koehler's resume includes stints as the drummer for Best Coast and Vivian Girls.  But for her latest project she is Upset, a three-piece she formed with former Hole drummer Patty Schemel and Le Sera guitarist Jenn Prince.  Their sweet spot is expertly executed melodic punk, with equal doses of attitude and hooks.  As a songwriter, Koehler displays a deft touch with clear structures and a blast of emotion.  And with the 12-track album over in a half an hour, no song overstays its welcome.

The songwriting focuses on the punk standards of angst, boredom and alienation.  But there is a good dose of humor which, when coupled with spot-on pop instincts, results in songs that make an impact but don't leave a scar.  And in my view, that willingness to meet listeners in the space between punk anger and the listener's desire for a good time, makes She's Gone and album that is worth multiple listens.  It just makes me feel good.

She's Gone was recorded in Ali's home by Kyle Gilbride.  It is out this week on Don Giovanni Records.  Upset is touring in November on the west coast.  The dates and locations are below.

Fall 2013 tour (all dates with Screaming Females):
Nov. 15—Black Lodge—Seattle, Washington
Nov. 16—The Know Bar—Portland, Oregon
Nov. 18—The Blank Club—San Jose, California
Nov. 19—1-2-3-4 Go! Records—Oakland, California
Nov. 20—Bottom Of The Hill—San Francisco, California
Nov. 21—Echoplex—Los Angeles, California
Nov. 22—Harold’s Place—San Pedro, California
Nov. 23—Soda Bar—San Diego, California 
Don Giovanni Records

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