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Upper Lip - Deep Within Award winner

Upper Lip
Deep Within
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 19 May 2021, 1:29 PM

Since the second half of the 90’s, many bands started to focus their energy on the research for past sonorities from the late 60’s and early 70’s. It’s nothing wrong with that, but as usual to say, it’s truly hard to have a personal way into something that was already explored. But some talented guys are up to the task, and create great works, as the quintet UPPER LIP shows on “Deep Within”.

Hailing from Gozo (an island of the Maltese archipelago), the quintet plays a form of Hard Rock near from names as AC/DC, CAPTAIN BEYOND and AEROSMITH with some touches from LED ZEPPELIN (especially on the vocals). It’s greasy and filth on their musical approach, in a way that the organic feeling of the past pulses with a new life an energy on their songs. And what lovely melodies and choruses these guys created. Yes, this album is really amazing! The sound quality of “Deep Within” is really great. The band went to make the recordings on Temple Studios (the same one where RAMMSTEIN, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and others recorded some of their albums), and the sonority they found is perfect: organic as their music needs, but clean and defined in a modern way. Yes, it’s truly perfect.

And the musical content of the album is really amazing, a set of inspired songs that needs to be heard out loud. But for the initial hearings, “Keep Going” (a mastodonic Hard Rock, filled with a set of catchy melodies and grasping energy unleashed by the guitars), “Marble Arch” (a nasty and crude approach in a similar way to AC/DC and MOTÖRHEAD fills the songs, with a strong and heavy work on bass guitar and drums), “Skinny Jeans” (this one shows a bluesy touch, along with ‘zeppelinean’ vocals), “Eyes on Fire” (very good and organic ambience, with nasty melodies and thunderous rhythms), “Mirrors & Masks” (another song with the filthy and crude Hard Rock approach, with strong riffs and melodic solos), “Hide” (a bluesy, introspective and beautiful ballad with very good vocals and clean guitars arrangements), and “Desert Song” (a song with a tribal and abrasive groove, and another fine set of rhythms guided by bass guitar and drums) are the ones that fit in the best way. Maybe on the second time, you’ll be hooked, because the album is really easy to love.

Yes, UPPER LIP is really a great surprise, and “Deep Within” sounds as a refreshing wind on the eroded Hard Rock scene that is full of clones. Listen to, and enjoy what they’re offering, because you won’t regret such an experience!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Keep Going
2. Marble Arch
3. Skinny Jeans
4. Eyes on Fire
5. What Makes You Smile
6. Deep Within
7. Mirrors & Masks
8. Hide
9. Be Free
10. Desert Song
11. Never Lose Hope
Chris Portelli - Vocals
Joseph Azzopardi - Lead Guitars
Paul Cini - Rhythm Guitar
Marcel Paul Grima - Bass
Silvio Cini - Drums
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music


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