Album Review — Bumpin Uglies Underdog: The Acoustic Sessions

Brendan Clemente
3 min readSep 26, 2023

I remember the moment vividly, man. It was like a sonic revelation hearing Nirvana’s ‘MTV Unplugged in New York’. That album hit me like a goddamn freight train of raw, unfiltered heaviness. It was a lesson in the power of the acoustic. I mean, who would’ve thought that stripped-down, naked sound could hit you like that? It was heavy, and somehow far heavier than screaming electric guitars and mercilessly beaten drums could feel.

Acoustic albums are a different beast altogether. They reach out and touch your soul. No bullshit, no frills. So when Brandon from Bumpin Uglies hit me up about reviewing his new acoustic album, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I’d written about their kickass summer release last year, and the chance to hear our favorite tunes stripped down, well, it was too damn tempting to resist.

I love them because they’re one of those bands that just doesn’t give a damn about the rules. They’ve done it all their way, consequences be damned. They’ve embraced the chaos, worn their imperfections as a badge of honor, and created music that’s genuine and straight from the gut. These guys wear their hearts on their sleeves, and say what they damn well please.

To their core, they believe if you make good, honest stuff, it’ll find its audience, no matter the name or marketing. Uglies Nation, the Facebook group for the band, is a living, breathing testament to that, and shows the power music has to unite people.

If you’re at all familiar with my writing, you’ll know I’m not one to dive into a meticulous dissection of each song in my reviews. I’d rather weave a narrative around the emotions it stirred within me and then leave you to experience the music, allowing you to form your own impressions.

This album is as direct as it gets. No fancy production to hide behind. Just Brandon belting his soul out with an acoustic guitar. You can feel the passion in every note as the energy ebbs and flows throughout.

The vocals are what really hits you. No place to hide, no instruments to mask ’em. They carry the weight, the emotion, the intimacy. It’s like they’re speaking right to your heart.

On ‘Underdog’ Brandon’s voice becomes a weapon, and forces a genuine musical explosion when it gets so loud it distorts the mic signal. The passion, my friends, doesn’t just play through those speakers; it surges, unrelenting, until it seizes you by the soul and sends shivers down your spine.

The absolute highlight for me though is ‘Jerry’s Song’, a hauntingly beautiful tribute to Brandon’s father who passed. It was like a shot of emotional whiskey straight to the heart. It reminded me of the power that songs have to stir up feelings you didn’t even know existed in you.

True to his roots, this Bumpin Uglies album that Brandon put together is stripped down, honest, and a reminder that sometimes all you need is a voice, a guitar, and a whole lot of heart to make something truly special.

And you know what? Just like that Nirvana album from back in middle school, stripping away all the noise, it somehow amplifies the emotion in each song, drives it straight into your damn soul. That’s the magic, my friends. The raw, unfiltered magic of music that speaks the truth.

Thank you as always to Brandon for caring enough to hear my thoughts on his awesome music. I hope you all enjoy this album as much as I did.

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