In Through the Outro
In Through the Outro, Released 07.17.2015
Recorded by Jack Endino at Soundhouse Studios, Seattle, WA
Additional recording by Upwell
Mixed and Mastered by Martin Feveyear at Jupiter Studios, Seattle, WA
Produced by Upwell
Artwork by Gene Fleury
REVIEWS OF IN THROUGH THE OUTRO:
Review - Doomed and Stoned
Shredding & Swagger: Upwell's 'In Through the Outro'
All of these songs kick ass, seriously. So, instead of doing my usual song by song breakdown, I thought I would change it up a bit and just write a mix of impressions, memories and facts. Each song has its own version of the swagger of both fast and slow tempo dynamics matched perfectly with unique and powerful vocals that are interspersed amongst inspired instrumental rock that is closer to post-rock at times and straight up Joe Satriani blues shred at others. Upwell does a fantastic job of straddling styles within hard rock, progressive, post, stoner, desert, grunge, metal, whatever. It’s fucking good and you should listen to this album and appreciate its awesomeness. The album art is deceptively cool as well, featuring panels that unravel in two different ways for a multi-universe symbolism. Interpretations and variations are very important when discussing art and music as neither can be pinned down with absolute logical precision, doing so leads to lifeless programming with no room for nuance. Therefor it is cool to see that utilized for cover art, absolutely conveying the duality amongst the binary vision of option A or option B.
This music has a bridge straddling advantage amongst the balance of musicianship and melodic accessibility, at one moment getting close to Evanescence style slick catchy pop metal while in the same song creating a maze of guitar riffs and unorthodox arrangements with blazing guitar acrobatics that pay homage to the shred guitar lexicon. It succeeds in what many strive for, achieving prog-rock excellence and artistic integrity while also completely mastering the rock radio format of good riffs and melodies that the average rock fan would enjoy. Jack Endino should get quite a bit of credit for the production on this album as he has seen and heard Upwell evolve for the past few decades and is still a part of the creative process. One could only hope to see a fusion of Skin Yard and Upwell as things stay the course for this poetically angelic band.
Review - Exposé Online
In Through the Outro
Upwell manages the trick of being progressive and heavy without being progressive metal. And given the multitude of by-the-numbers prog metal out there, hearing something outside that stream is welcome. There’s undeniable power in rock music, but simply riding clichés into the ground dilutes that power regardless of the volume. Singer Michelle Pavcovich is strong and expressive without falling into either the screamer or belter category. Her delivery might be called simple, strong rock singing: she’s not a blues singer thrown into a rock context. Instrumentally, the band owes more to grunge than NWOBHM — they’re tight, navigating time signature changes effortlessly, but there’s a lot of grit in the sound rather than polished, calculated metal. Guitarist “Stevenflo” Rosenstengel tosses off some really unexpected riffs and (to a lesser extent) solos, though they never sound calculated. Some of the standard heavy guitar things are here, the dropped tuning, the ringing major thirds, and so on, but they are recontextualized, and the music is refreshingly free of shredding solos. Sometimes the bass and guitar parts seem to be going in different directions, not in the same time signature, until they mesh up again and all is well. Seattle has long been known for heavy rock, and Upwell both honors and extends that tradition.
$ell the Sky
$ell the Sky, Released 05.15.2008
Recorded and mixed by Jack Endino at Soundhouse Studios, Seattle, WA
Additional recording by Kirk Jamieson at Beefy Kitty, Seattle, WA
Produced by Jack Endino and Upwell
Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering, Seattle, WA
REVIEWS OF $ELL THE SKY:
Review - Tape Op Magazine
$ell the Sky
Jack Endino (Tape Op #13/book Vol.2) did an awesome job producing, recording and mixing this at Soundhouse in Seattle. His quote on the band's press release sums it up perfectly, "Upwell is one of the most terrifyingly great bands I have ever known out of Seattle. Their musicianship and songwriting is monstrous... They're heavy like Soundgarden or Zeppelin with killer female vocals, but with their own unique style." Anyone who knows Jack knows he doesn't exactly hand out compliments or praise like it's candy on Halloween. Very solid disc. Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering, Seattle.
Review - Innocent Words Magazine
$ell the Sky
Upwell’s $ell the Sky is an interesting animal. What I mean by that is, you’re never too certain of just what is around the next corner. At times it comes over brooding and electric like something Drain STH left behind, others it wails like Mindless Self Indulgence, and then at other times it sounds like Dog Fashion Disco.
It’s a different sound for sure. It’s not quite rock, not quite metal, but falls somewhere in-between. At ten tracks $ell the Sky plays quick, and definitely doesn’t fade or bore along the way. The female vocals of Michelle Pavcovich are a strong touch throughout, and the guitar work of Steve Schneider will keep you guessing. His guitars are towering and throughout all of the odd-timing changes and chucky bass lines, Upwell doesn’t forget how to write an accessible hook. "44229868" might be the best track on the record through its smoky, almost Southern style vocals, menacing guitar work and unwavering drumming. Upwell understand that a good record is also a complete record, and that’s just what $ell the Sky is, a complete record with well-built tracks from beginning to end.
I wouldn’t say $ell the Sky is for everyone, but those looking for a fresh sound (like me) will want to take a chance on it. It is one of the better records I have heard from a band hailing from Seattle in some time.
~ Brian Campbell
Review - Pop Rocket Press
Sell The Sky
If you’re looking for female-fronted vocals such as Evanescence, forget it. Singer Michelle Pavcovich is way too powerful a presence for that. Upwell updates the Seattle sound with some pop flourishes and impressive guitar lines, while giving the nod to late 80s bands such as the Nymphs, L7, and Soundgarden. They mix the occasional ballad with crushing vocals and some Black Sabbath stylings, satisfying all the headbangers in the audience. Sell The Sky does meander a bit at times, with too many change-ups for its own good. But if you’ve burned out all your favorite Sub-Pop grunge and need something new, Upwell is the band.