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The Ergs! - Upstairs/Downstairs (Cover Artwork)

The Ergs!

The Ergs!: Upstairs/DownstairsUpstairs/Downstairs (2007)
Dirtnap Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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The Ergs! are widely celebrated in the Ramonescore scene for their array of classic pop-punk influences and their own unique spin they put on it. Perhaps that praise will come to a moderate hold with Upstairs/Downstairs, their Dirtnap debut boasting another proud example of snotty vocals and bouncy .
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The Ergs! are widely celebrated in the Ramonescore scene for their array of classic pop-punk influences and their own unique spin they put on it. Perhaps that praise will come to a moderate hold with Upstairs/Downstairs, their Dirtnap debut boasting another proud example of snotty vocals and bouncy goodness but yet feeling less captivating and accomplished as the band's earlier material.

What else is disappointing is that the band never quite parlay that jazz influence they're known for having into the tunes much at all. The complexity of a genre like that would make for an incredible juxtaposition in this context but the Ergs! never seem to quite make that ambitious attempt -- even though we know full well they're likely capable culprits.

That being said, Upstairs/Downstairs is no less a fun, four-across-the-floor(s) trip (ba-dum-tsh!). From urgent opener "Your Cheated Heart" to, well, the beginning of the closing title track (more on that later), creative moments are aplenty. "Fluorescent Stars" stands out merely for its little bit of tambourine usage, as does the power-pop flourish of "See Him Again." "Hysterical Fiction" even throws in a bit of a semi-jokey mosh/two-step/whatever part. "Stinking of Whiskey Blues" lays on the barroom-sobbing country twang. "Girls of the Market Square" has a slightly more toned down delivery and that mere aspect makes it one of the better Ergs! tracks to date -- and "Trouble in River City" makes for a solid followup to it.

Oh yeah, the title track itself is 18 minutes long, ending mostly instrumental with guitar effects and some random riffing over its generally stable pacing (with a couple random stoppages), not quite doing anything interesting enough to warrant repeat listening; in fact, it's a bit of a chore to get through.

Not quite what fans may have ached for, the Ergs! still turn in a fairly admirable performance on Upstairs/Downstairs. With so many releases in the stable and more on the way anyway, it should likely be made up for in EPs and splits alone.

2nd Foundation

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Trouble in River City

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
themagnetc (February 18, 2010)

the more i listen to this and zen arcade, the more similarities i come across

cassidyaudacity (February 19, 2008)

This was the first Ergs! album I bought, and the first one I listened to, so I'm pretty partial to it.
It's not as cohesive as dorkrockcorkrod, but it's still really catchy and fun, definetely worth listening to over and over again.

mustard (June 3, 2007)

what the hell is juxtaposition?

Anonymous (June 1, 2007)

i waited for what seemed like years on this album and though it is still fucking awesome, it's no dork rock. I probably shouldnt compare any album to that but i still expected better. Ergs fuckin rule tho

Anonymous (May 31, 2007)

they did it on purpose to sound like husker du

Anonymous (May 31, 2007)

Guy below me is spot-on; the guitar sounds like it's coming from a practice amp.

drunkenriot (May 30, 2007)

the only potential problem with this cd is the mix, the guitar, which tone somehow got shittier from previous albums, sounds pretty bad, other than that, great album

miniblindbandit (May 30, 2007)

I'm definitely going to their free show on June 15th.

graphix (May 30, 2007)

In regards to overall albums in the scene right now, U/D is def' up there, 7.5 - 8 - maybe even an 8.5!

However as far as stacking up against OTHER Ergs! releases, this falls around a piss poor 5-6. It's good, but it just feels like this album didn't have the overall love and sweet sweet juice that their other releases have.

If you're looking for a rockin' good time - check out their 7 inches first, then their older CDs, then come back to this. Oi!

Anonymous (May 30, 2007)

I thought the album was fantastic. it flowed very nicely and i am eager to listen to the ablum again and again. With the exception of HEAD (the only ramonescore band that matters, fuck teenage bottleinthebum), the pop punk genre is boring right now. i can't get into the copyrights or the leftovers. pound for pound this album has lasting power. oh ya, i think they are more descendentscore than ramonescore.

Anonymous (May 30, 2007)

ricky gervais is stoked

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

Review is crap. You didn't get the album at all and made no mention of lyrics. There is plenty of jazz riffing from bass and guitars. Get your ears checked. This is the successor to "Kerplunk."

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

Whatever else one might say about Up/Down, this much is true: Hysterical Fiction is the saddest song I have ever heard.

Personally, I like this one better than DRCR, and although it's not as perfect as Jersey's Best Prancers, it has an equal number (six) of great songs. Actually, it has more.
-Nato

SloaneDaley (May 29, 2007)

I'm still up in the air about the album but I enjoyed the way the record paces itself more than DorkRockCorkRod. I think it is better than a 6, J Church still have the best pop-punk album thsi year, then The Copyrights but this is a great record.

holla (May 29, 2007)

The best song is "things I could never find a way to say." This album is better than Dorkcork but not as good as Jerseys Best. The best Dirtnap release this year is going to be The Revisions album, it already sounds amazing. http://www.myspace.com/therevisions

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

This is really boring compared to their other stuff. Sucks, I was really looking forward to this.

cooltobeyou (May 29, 2007)

It took me a couple listens to really get into this album, but now I think its much better than there other releases.

The only thing really holding this back from being the best pop-punk release this year is the fact that The Copyrights newest album kicks too much @ss.

Now lets bring on The Methadones, The Leftovers, and Teenage Bottlerocket's new albums.

Adam_K (May 29, 2007)

My favorite record of the year, next to the new R. Kelly.

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

this is awful. very disappointed. Trouble in river city is good but that's it. Too slow and monotonous

shame as i really liked their other stuff

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

I can see people feeling this way about the album, but I still think that on this record the Ergs shot for, and achieved more than your average generic pop-punk band, because they are (and they know it) way MORE than that.

These songs are chock full of little details and the melodies and changes are all really unique and almost completely avoid the normal "3 notes up and down the major scale to variations of the Blitzkrieg Bop progression" sort of thing.

That type of sorta-technical thing isn't what makes great albums, granted, but I do think these are great songs that just take a little longer to sink in and hit you than almost anything else you'd call a pop punk record. The lyrics are fantastic too.

Dorkrockcorkrod was a great record but it could have stood to drop about 5 songs. I think Upstairs/Downstairs beats it. Their best songs are on the Jersey's Best Prancers EP.

and c'mon you fucks, you know the jazz influence almost never touched their best songs anyway.

Anonymous (May 29, 2007)

About the long-ass finale, i thought it was really cool!
-Jives

IDontHaveAnAccountYet (May 29, 2007)

I'm a huge Ergs! fan and would have agreed with this review at first. Now that I've listened to it multiple times, I really have grown to like it. I think they were trying to just write simple pop-punk songs that are fun to play. 'Books About Miles Davis' is a great song.

jacktheskipper (May 29, 2007)

I really miss something on this album, it`s alright but really not as good as I expected it to be ... review kinda nails it ...

Enemy_Will (May 29, 2007)

I agree with this review for the most part, especially that they should have incorporated more jazz. I actually kind of like most of the last track, and I think the rest is supposed to be a joke. What else would you do with all that extra CD space? Seems like something I would do so I like it. One thing I disagree with is that this is not Ramonescore but Descendentscore.

theonetruebill (May 29, 2007)

I actually like this one more than DorkRockCorkRod and I think I might be the only one. I love their EPs but by the time all of DRCR was over I'd be pretty sick of it; I don't get that feeling with this album.

Anonymous (May 28, 2007)

This record's definetly no Dorkrockcorkrod.

AphasiacIIC (May 28, 2007)

fairly weak compared to their earlier material

at least new strung out RULES

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