If you dig a bit and take the time to find search them out, the UK hardcore scene is riddled with underappreciated gems. One such is Up River. Half a decade into their career and the band are responsible for dealing out some of the deepest and darkest hardcore this isle has produced in years. Saying that, it’s taken some getting to it, but the follow up to the band’s criminally underrated debut full-length ‘Undertow’ is finally here and boy, the wait has been completely worth it.
Listening to ‘If There’s A God…’ is like having your head held underwater. It takes your breath away. It leaves you delirious and drained. It sends shivers down the spine and makes the hair on your arms stand up. One minute it is all you can feel and the next it is gone. Though that’s the way all good heavy music should make you feel, this is on a completely different level of intensity.
Across these five tracks Up River have injected every ounce of feeling they could possibly muster and left nothing to chance. Bringing together the best elements of both melodic and classic hardcore, they’ve created an EP that crushes the spirit as much as it crushes in the mosh pit. From the opening bleak atmosphere of ‘Shallow’, past the breakneck ‘Ghost Particle’ and through to the blackened ‘Escher’, this is a journey in the depths that will cling to you like tar and niggle at your conscience deep into the night.
Despondent and desolating yet crushing and cathartic, ‘If There Is A God That Is Judging Me Constantly’ is an honest and at times harrowing snapshot of one of the UK scene’s best kept secrets. Reinventing the wheel for themselves and adapting to the changes in the scene since their last voyage, Up River have really pulled it out the bag with this one.
‘If There Is A God That Is Judging Me Constantly’ by Up River is released on November 25th on Holy Roar Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)