UPTIGHT - The Uptight (Off the Hip)
There's a fine line between inspired borrowing and parody and after repeated listenings it's not clear which side of it these guys (and gal) are on.
The Uptight are a Farfisa-driven, '60s punk outfit from Sydney who are cartoonish clods rather than authentic, Voxx-toting, pudding-bowl haircut-wearing wannabe throwbacks. That isn't neccesarilly a bad thing: Being authentic for authentic's sake sometimes carries with it a lack of heart. The Uptiight's ranks are filled by veterans of a myriad of garage/'60s punk/frat band acts who probably have almost as many Nuggets/Pebbles/Back From The Grave/Boulders/Mindrocker compilations in their collections as Greg Shaw.
Best description of the bloodlines is to say The Uptight are close relatives of Sheek the Shayk but that's where the comparison ends. In The Uptight's world, the fuzz quotient is turned right down on most tracks (with the exception of "But Then One Day", "It's True" and "Return to Pismo", the latter boasting the much-travelled Steven Danno guesting on, uh, Pismo guitar). Gigi Rydell's prominent keyboards gives The Uptight a distinctive feel that few bands on the local scene are using.
Vocals are a shared assignment between guitarist Phillip Wigglesworth (if I told you his real name, I'd have to kill you) and Gigi. Herr Wigglesworth plays it for larfs, pushing the envelope on a song like "The Man in the Green Fez", which sounds like the late, departed Thurston Howlers reprising a bad '60s spy thriller's theme music, and "It's True".
Camped up as it is, it works for me in a weird sort of way (but I've been listening to way too much '60s punk stuff lately). Bottom line is that many of those '60s garage bands were inept 15-year-olds with Beatles/Stones pretensions and just enough or Dad's money in their pockets to buy a reel-of-tape and a bus ride to a pressing plant. The Uptight aren't taking things as seriously as that and assessed on that level, this is an enjoyable enough trip. - The Barman
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