Exclusive Artist Review: Todd Underwood – “Upside Down” Album/LP

Very few artists have the veteran musicianship that Todd Underwood possesses. A man of many genres, many bands over the years, sports radio, music on Dog Whisperer and a long successful career for the past 38 years, the Prescott, Arizona-based artist hits the peak of his game with his 13-track juggernaut ‘Upside Down’.

An album about unimaginable hardships and losses, this futuristic and progressive record breathes new life into the early-mid 2000s Emo/Alt-Indie sensibilities and truly encapsulates a signature sound that is versatile and crafty. If you’re a fan of groups like Circa Survive, Story of the Year, The Used, Knuckle Puck and Taking Back Sunday’s earlier records, then this album will be a new refreshing favorite that is bound to be added to your playlists in no time. Opening title track “Upside Down” is hauntingly visceral and introduces a modern twist to the Emo genre that is diligently executed. From atmospheric dueling guitars to high range vocal harmonies, this song sets the tone for what’s to come throughout the record’s duration. Jumping into “It’s My Fault”, this track enters into a heavier territory and makes excellent use of three part vocal harmonies topped off with smooth bass lines and overall a very tight-knit rhythm section.

Anchor single “Tell Me It Will Be Okay” is a brilliantly progressive song with fascinating chord progressions and vocal melodies. This track in particular has a math-rock feel with Jimmy Eat World vibes that really stands on its own as a track that has great balance and composure when it comes to originality and familiarity. “Love Like That” has an insatiable groove with a southern guitar riff that jams and slams away with absolute precision in its calibre. However, it’s the song “Merry-Go-Round of Pain” that reaches the next level of heavy. With down tuned riffs, intricate bass measures and Todd‘s futuristic vocal harmony style, this song is definitely one of the many standouts on this record.

This album is jam packed with atmospheric guitar leads, visceral vocal harmonies, powerfully clever lyrics and a signature style that has originality at its forefront and top notch production value in its entirety. It has many modern textures that are effective and utilized in all the right places to make this the gem it really is. But it also has older Alt/Indie elements that truly compliment the overall sensibilities that Todd Underwood conjures up. If you molded into the early-mid 2000s Warped Tour and Drive-Thru Records scene, then this record will be one of your favorites.

This is definitely one of the best records you’ll run into for 2021 and will definitely entice you to delve into Todd Underwood‘s career and discography. ‘Upside Down’ is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms. This is a must-hear on all counts.


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