Whatzup

Up
Kuft

by Jason Hoffman Up

In a musical world awash with stylistic hybrids of every imaginable type, it’s only natural that music would eventually return to a pure rock origin. Kuft is an answer to this need with Up being their battle cry. This solid four-piece band from Hartford City, Indiana blazes through six original songs that pick up where bands like Metallica, Alice in Chains and later Ozzy left off, bridging the gap between hard rock and heavy metal.

One thing your ears will notice is the Danzig-like timbre of the vocalist that fits in perfectly with the grinding guitars obviously influenced by the heavier post-glam bands of the 80s. The influence of Soil and Led Zeppelin is also apparent, as are traces of Soundgarden and Type O Negative. This menacing band is made up of Schick on vocals and his partner Wino on dirty, gritty guitar. Relative newcomers Jason M. and B3 handle the drums and bass, respectively, and easily hold their own against the formidable vocal/guitar duo.

Each of the six songs on this EP incorporates a classic hard rock sound with some fresh ideas and dead-on guitar tones. “Void” opens with melodic guitar as a background for thick, powerful vocals that cut through the din. Gutsy, aggressive riffing pervades “Lonely,” and the influence of Metallica can be heard on the near speed-metal, double-kick drum mania of “Ripping Away.” Too aggressive to be a ballad is “One Inside,” yet the slower tempo and melodic guitar solo make this track stand out from the pack. “Feel Me” is exemplified by a ratty, buzzing, metal guitar and sturdy rhythm section, while a chunky riff and a near-mosh sound rounds out the album in “Let It Go.”

All told, this is a very solid first release. Self-produced, engineered and recorded, this definitely has a low-fi feel to it, but overall Kuft has done a very effective job of getting their brand of straight-ahead hard rock to the masses without scads of distractions. Check ‘em out at www.kuftup.com for download samples and information on how to buy this sizzling EP.

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