Bumpin’ Uglies new EP has best title ever: Sublime With No One

BU-SublimewNoOneYeah, they went there with that title. Aren’t you glad they did? I am, because they just set the reggae/punk/rock scene back closer to a state of normalcy than it’s been in a loooong time.

If you listen to Bumpin’ Uglies enough, several things will hit you, perhaps unexpectedly to the uninitiated. First will likely be but that name! You may ask yourself, do they take themselves seriously? Is it a gimmick? What type of characters make up this band? Second will be the direct and from-the-gut lyrics lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Brandon Hardesty throws down. Third will be the characteristic humor and charm you find in him and his band, realizing that they make grooves that are immediately recognizable, memorable and loveable. Which I suspect is exactly how Brandon wants it.

Stream Sublime With No One  on Spotify:

That’s not saying that Brandon doesn’t take his music seriously; he certainly does, however he holds nothing back in poking fun at himself and life in general, but it comes out right when it’s the true words boiling out. It’s just Brandon and Bumpin’ Uglies. See the final track title and lyrics for what I mean.

So it came as no surprise when Brandon contacted me to ask my thoughts about naming the next Bumpin’ Uglies release Sublime with No One. In my opinion there is no other band out there that could do something like this and have it make complete sense other than Bumpin’ Uglies. There will never be another Brad Nowell, we will never have Sublime again, especially the brutally honest and at times gut wrenching lyrics. It is something Brandon shares with the late legend, and it’s something that I applaud. Be who you are, be true, and own it. Brandon has never tried to be anything he’s not, nor has his music ever veered into places that were of questionable intent. In an age where everyone is becoming hypersensitive to words and speech they deem un-PC, Brandon flips them all the proverbial bird. And for that I am grateful.

Irreverence? Check. Humor? Check. Honesty? Check. Integrity? Check. Five new tracks of punky-reggae-dirty-rock-ska goodness from Bumpin’ Uglies? Yes please. These guys are slowly yet steadily developing legend status, mark these words: They are never going away. Sublime With No One just proves that they’ll never change, and obviously they’ll never sell out and try to be something other than Bumpin’ Uglies. Not many bands can say that…hell, not a lot of people can even say that.

Brandon and Bumpin’ Uglies approach is decidedly old school in a new school world. No pretense, no made up facade, no over-inflated sense of self-importance from them, ever. There was only one Sublime, and it should be said that there is only one Bumpin’ Uglies.

Sublime With No One track list:

  1. Warning
  2. Social Ladders
  3. Nostalgia
  4. Maturity
  5. Fuck It




Charlotte, NC reggae-funk rockers Of Good Nature release new single “Life Worth Livin”

Of-Good-Nature---Album-ArtEmaildisclaimer: Of Good Nature is a Montauk Music client. This is the press release for their new single. 

Hit Play:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Of Good Nature unveils the premier single, “Life Worth Livin” off of their forthcoming album of the same name, which is set for a October 23 release.

Four years have passed since their well-received debut album Just Add Water, with the band expanding from three to four members, introducing trombone into their new material. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Cameron Brown is confident this lineup has the right dynamic and talent to exceed the success of their debut album, which garnered Nashville’s Indie Ville TV Reggae Album of the Year.

The lyric video for “Life Worth Livin” is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoLE7cSkeyU, and the track is available for purchase at http://ofgoodnature.bandcamp.com

Brown grew up learning piano from his grandmother, then picked up a guitar at 14 when he saw his brother learning to play and decided that he had to learn as well, lest he be outshined by his younger sibling. Brown and his guitar have been more or less inseparable since then, initially playing the music that strongly influenced him growing up–mostly Hendrix and the blues, but as he got a bit older reggae music made a big impression on him, to the point where Brown says, “Reggae always felt right.”

“Life Worth Livin” has the feel of a tried and true reggae jam, though Brown’s skillful blending of influential styles is evident.  The song was an easy choice for the band to choose as their first single because they feel that we as a nation have changed, and that the message will resonate with Americans who feel and see this every day and wonder what has happened. The lyrics allude to this collect shift, and that what we stand for is slowly being lost.

The song came to Brown during a writing session at his favorite spot on Lake Wylie in Charlotte, NC last summer. Ruminating on the state of our nation, the lyrics “We used to be, we the people, unity,” were written to reflect that the changes so many of us feel contradict the Constitution of the United States.

Howi Spangler, lead singer of Ballyhoo, gave the song strong praise: “The intro guitar/bass riff has that 311-shuffle vibe that I like. I dig that lazy trombone there too. I also like how the song goes more uptempo in the bridge, almost like a jam band. Then they bring it back down to finish it out. Nice to hear a solid American reggae rock song from an East Coast band. It’s very easy to get cheesy with it and these guys don’t go there with “Life Worth Livin”.”

 “Live Worth Livin” was recorded at Ocean Industries Studio in Charleston, SC, which is owned by Shinedown bassist Eric Bass. It was produced and engineered by Eric Rickert and Jeff Leonard Jr. (A song they engineered,”Cut The Cord”-Shinedown, just spent 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard rock chart–It’s now #2.) It was mixed by Eric Rickert and mastered by Michael White.

The title track single “Life Worth Livin” is available for download 9/25 and on 10/23 the full length album will be available on iTunes and other platforms.

Link to live performance video:

Other links:





About Of Good Nature: While touring the East Coast, Of Good Nature has rocked festivals such as Shamrock Fest (Washington, DC)…sharing the stage with Rock/Reggae powerhouse Sublime with Rome. During this time, the band also focused on creating and getting back in the studio to capture the new sounds and additions to the group. Their lineup is: Cameron Brown – Guitar/Vocals; Joey Vachon – Drums/Vocals; Brandon Hucks – Trombone; Jon Reed – Bass.

All Bad Things Must End: The Final Revïew of the Sümmer


Get the party started. The crowd loved it.

Well folks, this is it.

This is the end.

This is the farewell tour for my summer at SurfRhythm.

And what better way to finish up the summer reviewing what I believe to be the single greatest show of all time. 

Mötley Crüe’s Final Tour: All Bad Things Must Come To An End.

If you haven’t realized by now that hair metal is my not so secret guilty pleasure, I would be amazed. While my experiences opening my mind to the ways of the surf, something I genuinely enjoyed and hope to continue doing, there is something that really resonates with me and hair metal. It just strikes the right chord, if you will.

Puns aside, let’s get to the good stuff.

But first, an anecdote.

The first time I saw Crüe was during the first leg of this same tour, almost exactly one year ago in Camden, New Jersey, on my 21st birthday. I truly believe that I can say this, and with the utmost confidence: I had the greatest 21st birthday of all time. From breaking the legal, alcoholic seal on the night of, Friday at midnight, to waking up at 8 AM to get my new license from the DMV, which could not have been any more moronic, to spending the day feeling like death, and road tripping up and experiencing the show with one of my closest friends. Oh, and I got with a cougar from Camden. Or Philly. I don’t really know. I think her name was Candy, or something like that. She looked so good, and get this – it was even her birthday too! She was forty. I didn’t go all the way by any means. I think her boyfriend or something was there with her, which was bizarre as hell, but whatever! I WILL BE YOUNG FOREVER!!!

Man, that whole day was so great. I was definitely afraid that I was going to catch some kind of disease and get all my money stolen, but she was so nice and cool. Gotta love that. Rock and roll, baby.

You know, I tend to amp things up pretty hard. That is who I am. I can understand when readers look at my work, and think, “Ah, this guy, he is too excitable.” That’s pretty true. But when I saw Crüe on my 21st, I don’t think I can emphasize this enough.

My mind was BLOWN.

That was the best stage show I have ever seen, by a mile.

Even better than Paul McCartney. Paul FREAKING McCartney. A Beatle. A BEATLE.

From the lights, to the sound, to the set, the performance, and the excessive pyrotechnics (that is an understatement, it really was an… explosive show), I think it is safe to say that no one will be able to come close to the party that is Mötley Crüe’s final tour for a very, very long time.

Fast forward one year and through another lifetime of new experiences, and I was catching them again with another one of my closest friends. Almost one year to the day, Crüe had a show set up for a thirty minute drive from my house. I would have been an idiot to not go.

Because it was absolutely amazing, again.

Playing at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, headbangers of all ages and walks of life came to see this final tour, and it was a solid turnout. The overall attitude seemed good. No fighting or excessive drunken idiots wandering around, with a mix of ass kicking rockers and their hot rocker wives. I did see a noticeable amount of Steelers gear for the heart of Baltimore, and it definitely made me think, “man, these guys have balls.” I would have been a little too nervous to rock my own Steelers cap, but my hair (and Jack Daniels tank top) looked too good. No harm, no foul.

Opening the show was none other than Alice Cooper himself, who put on a 45 or so minute set of his biggest hits. Accompanied by a stellar band, including Nita Strauss of the Iron Maidens, as his dynamite, bombshell lead guitarist, Cooper served as the perfect first act. Performing hits such as “Feed My Frankenstein,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and his most popular song as his own finale, “School’s Out For Summer,” Cooper, as an opening act, could not have set the stage any better. Not only was his music great, but the use of props such as a ten foot tall Frankenstein monster coming out and joining on a chorus or two, guillotines for Alice’s daily beheading, swords, balloons, and snakes, presented the quintessential Cooper that we have come to know and love. Alice, age 67, still had all of his charisma and a nice rock voice to match, again serving as the perfect opener for this tour. Truly, a great decision to invite him to play throughout every leg of the tour.

Using some of the most famous songs that reference the word “Goodbye”, such as “Hello, Goodbye,” by the Beatles, and “So Long, Farewell,” from the musical, the Sound of Music, a special kind of tongue and cheek really sat well with the crowd. Only can a band that ignites a flaming pentagram and sings “Shout at the Devil” could open a show with classic Rodgers and Hammerstein show tunes.

Alice Cooper had a nice set up.

Alice Cooper had a nice set up.


Erupting immediately, it was clear that the party business was to be taken care of. The set list was so packed with Crüe’s biggest hits from the past forty years, I almost don’t want to even try and name everything. If you are familiar with any of their work, you could think of the first few Crüe songs to come into your head. “Girls, Girls, Girls.” “Dr. Feelgood.” “Kickstart My Heart”. “Wild Side.” “Live Wire.” “Home Sweet Home.” And they were all there, every single one. And then some more.

As if the spectacle itself didn’t cover the price of the ticket and then some, the actual sound of the band, instruments and mixing, could not have been any better. The members of Mötley Crüe might not have the same kind of musicianship and technical expertise as a group like Rush, or a classical orchestra for that matter of comparison, might have, but the band still kicked serious ass. From Vince Neil’s vocals, Nikki Sixx holding everything together with the bass, Tommy Lee truly outdoing his wildman reputation on the drums, and Mick Mars, who may be the secret weapon in the group, shredding it on the guitar, these men performed beautifully. Again, for 50+ year old guys who literally overdosed, died, and was given two shots of adrenaline to come back to life in the ambulance, Nikki Sixx’s true life inspiration for arguably Crüe’s biggest hit, “Kickstart My Heart,” I don’t think they could have played any better. Great hard rock tone, bumping rhythm, good vocals, everything was pretty much at the height of their talent.

Oh – and one more thing. It would seem pretty hard to steal a show like this, but Tommy Lee may have done so. Doing something he proclaimed he wanted all his life, the drum solo took a different turn, literally. Built 40 feet in the air and maybe more, going across the length of the arena was the Crüecify rocking roller coaster: a mechanical set up that featured a fully spinning Tommy Lee harnessed into his drum set moving across the length of the arena. Forget that this abilities aren’t quite at the level of guys like Bonham, or Keith Moon, or Neil Peart, the greatest of all time. Tommy Lee obliterated his drums to fifteen or so minutes worth of rap, pop songs, electronic music, and rock on a roller coaster over the crowd. The sea of cell phones taking pictures and video light up the faces of the crowd, and words can’t really describe in full what it looks like. An amazing feat of engineering even for a band synonymous with grand spectacle, and the most creative drum solo I have ever seen.

A shot of the Crüecify itself. This thing was mind blowing.

A shot of the Crüecify itself. This thing was mind blowing.


Going into concerts now, I seem to have put myself in an odd position. While still being the life of the party, I am seeing so much more through the eyes of an objective critic than just a normal observer. I thought that it may have been put to rest after dropping out of Musical Theater School (and thank whatever made up deity you believe in that I did that, because I sure as hell am), but it is truly clear how much I am able to observe, almost to a fault.

From the critical standpoint of a decently trained reviewer and someone who had seen this exact show before, there were only few small things that I caught that were not as strong as the rest of the overall picture, the first of which was the state of Vince Neil’s voice. Neil was not quite able to reach his highest screaming notes in some of the songs, but thinking about his age, past lifestyle habits, and the fact that it was a show on a Wednesday night, I would be surprised to find a singer around that could do that. Aside from that, he still sounded fantastic, no complaint there, even though he may not be as an explosive a showman as my main man David Lee Roth The second thing was the state of the pyrotechnics and the explosions. While there was still a heavy usage of pyrotechnics along with the light show, a honestly beautiful feat of rock engineering, I definitely noticed that there were one or two spots that did not make use of the full firework effect, seeing it a second time. I think I can correctly attribute that to the fact that they were playing in an arena designed for 20,000 people. Not the usual, massive outdoor show. You can’t totally burn down a venue. I’m pretty sure it says that somewhere in their contract.

But aside from those two little things?

Sheer rock perfection. Everything about the 1980’s excess, focused into a two hour performance. You could feel the heat coming from the fires on stage. Explosions were so loud, they shook your whole body. Lights were so meticulously arranged and programmed, that they have easily outdone any performer I have ever seen, and by a long shot at that.

Now, just for the record, I don’t really feel like making any comments on some of the darker parts of Crüe’s timeline, as some pretty bad things have happened over the years, and they can’t really be defended. But as a fan here for the music and the show? They couldn’t have done any better. 

While driving home after the gig, I thought a lot about this style of music, and what makes bands like these succeed to such an extent still. Forget about the nostalgia and living in the past for a moment, and think about the music itself – what really matters. One could almost make an argument that this specific style of music, hair metal, is as close to pop music as it is rock and blues, from which anything with an American, electric guitar is based. With the flashy riffs, catchy lyrics, and great image, bands like these put on anthemic shows that keep crowds energized and singing along for the whole night. While listening to two hours worth of anthemic rock on a car radio or an iPod might be a little draining, going ballistic in an arena to two hours worth of the best live music you could think about has no equal.

After signing a “cessation of touring agreement”, according to Rolling Stone’s initial reports, I think it is all but certain that this truly is the end. Listening to this music even now and watching concert videos days later, I couldn’t be any more content knowing that I was able to see this group and tour before it is finished forever. I am so glad I could witness this before it is gone forever.

And thus, like my summer at SurfRhythm, I could not be any more happy to have stumbled in and been able to do what I did. I’m not really a sappy person, and I won’t begin to do so now, but I will say that it has been a pleasure doing this all summer. While my content will not be as regular as it was over the last few months, I will be back irregularly for a few more reviews and interviews. I am going to see The Who in November, and expect to see that shortly after, as well as a few more deep conversations with local artists that I did not get a chance to meet with this summer. Still, I hope you as readers enjoyed catching up with us and taking a look at some of my Hunter Thompson – esque adventures over the last few months. I can tell you from my end, they sure were fun.

Thanks one more time for keeping up with everything. It has been a pleasure. 

I bought the ticket, and I am definitely still taking the ride.

Henry SurfRhythm

Local Waves, Episode Seven: Rachel Anne Warren

Rachel Anne Warren Local WavesFinishing up with what should be the last Local Waves installment of the summer, I made a bigger decision this week regarding my subject matter. While I have learned a lot about the city of Annapolis, even if it was only from a select few that I am incredibly grateful towards letting me pester them, there are so many more voices to be heard that talk about the big picture. While the idea for the series did start as a kind of “beat reporting” in one small, highly concentrated area of musicians that I sort of knew to begin with, I enjoyed stepping out of the Annapolis sphere and finding out more from others who did not take the path that we heard so much from over the last few months. While I am very grateful for everything I learned from a place I so intimately know, I found myself questioning the popular attitude of this specific music city. A great music town, without a doubt. One of the best small music towns that I have ever been to? Probably, yes. But, a small town nonetheless.

With that in mind, I took a trip up north to the city of Baltimore – a place that I am more familiar with since my work this summer. I was able to meet a subject who could not have been any easier to talk to (even with my own football bias) and learn about her experiences in the city itself. A true native, not just another person looking in.

This week’s Local Waves features Ms. Rachel Anne Warren – a freelance writer and musician. Her story may be one of the more interesting ones we have heard all summer. From her work around the city to her travels across the country, Rachel provides another new look on artistic experiences that do not fit in the usual performer’s mold. Without any further introduction, here is this week’s local wave.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves

Rachel Anne Warren - this week's Local Wave.

Henry Pazaryna: So this is the latest Local Waves. I have read that you have performance and writing experience. Would you mind talking about them? Whichever one you want to do first, but definitely the other as well?

Rachel Warren: Yeah, no problem. So right now, for the last ten months, I have been a full time writer and musician. I guess we can start with the writing.

HP: Sure. So start from the beginning. LIke where you got your start and everything that happened with that.

RW: So, it was kind of unexpected. I worked for a brewery for nine years when my biological father passed away, and in the week that followed, I decided that I wanted to change my life. I had been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with myself for a couple years before, and suddenly it became really clear to me that I have always been a writer. I just never really shared it with anyone before, other than my mentor and a couple of friends. And it just sort of surfaced clearly to me, like “this is what you should be doing.” So, that day, I got on Craigslist, looked for the first job that I saw in writing, applied for it, got it. I stayed there for about a year, learned copywriting, and for the last ten months I have been mostly writing for alt weeklies and other online publications as a contributing writer.

HP: Are you living in the city right now?

RW: Yep. I live in Charles Village, in a mint green carriage house that was built in 1902, and I love it. But I am subletting in Richmond for about six weeks, at least. I’m sort of self-imposing an artist residency (laughs) there. I will be splitting time. I sing with a wedding band. That’s how I make half of my living these days. So, I will be coming back on weekends for that.

HP: So moving towards your music. What started all of your performances? I have definitely seen some pictures of crazy hair colors and a bunch of different styles. What is going on with that?

RW: I have always enjoyed making costumes, and I made extra money in college making costumes for different opera companies, theatre companies, and it has kind of always been in my life. My mom and grandma are great seamstresses. Also, I get really nervous performing, and I don’t know why that won’t ever go away, but what helps me feel a little bit more comfortable is becoming someone else outwardly. I wear wigs, I wear costumes, I wear makeup.

HP: How old were you when you started doing pure performance? Is this a recent endeavor or was this back when you were learning how to sew with your mom?

RW: I first started learning how to sew when I was pretty young, maybe nine or ten years old, so it was probably around the same time. My sisters and brother and I were doing musicals at camp a little before that, but despite discovering that I have a very loud singing voice, I couldn’t sing on pitch. I got better in high school, where I did lots of shows, and I went to college for a couple of years for music and eventually writing. Since then, I have been in bands and writing songs.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves

Rachel Anne, in one of her natural habitats - expanding the mind through writing.

HP: If we wanted to look you up now, what group, or is there even a group, or is it just you as a solo artist?

RW: You have come to me at a strange time. In an effort to really focus on my own original material, I made a difficult decision to leave the post-punk band that I have enjoyed playing with for the last three years, PLRLS, and simultaneously, the other band I have been playing with for ten years, Gunwife Gone, has decided to say goodnight. It’s kind of freed up my time, all in line with going to Richmond for a while, just so I can re-think how I want to approach my music. It seems like my gut is telling me that I want to work with just one person. The idea is that it will inevitably be easier to record, if not free, and you can be more agile when it’s just two people. When you have a whole band, you have to deal with conflicting schedules, and people taking off work, and you can’t really get out on the road quite as much. So my hope is that it will be a nice, malleable thing that can get around.

HP: What kind of stuff will this be? Is it going to be more like an acoustic open mic – nighter type style, or is it going to be eclectic…?

RW: I want it to be something like “Soul Noir.” That’s a term I keep using, but the idea is that I love singing soul and I love singing the blues, and I love just letting it all out there emotionally. But I also love the noir style, which is super refined and dark, and kind of spooky, and a kind of trepidation that can be very gentle. At times, mysterious. Joining the two feelings is how I envision it. Some people that I admire a lot are Tom Waits, Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Radiohead, Bessie Smith, Amy Winehouse. I feel like each one of them has this incredible way of telling a story that is both approachable and has that soul, and the noir, too. It’s something I aspire to. But I would like to find the right partner. I imagine that would be someone who can change my songs and take them to another level, complicate them. I don’t feel a lot of ownership over the songs as written, so I would like for someone to be able to bring their own arrangement, voice, and their own style. I write pretty simple songs. They are like pop, but with a darkness in the lyrics. I wouldn’t necessarily want it to be a traditional singer – songwriter type thing. At the same time, I have been practicing guitar. I cut all my nails (laughs) on my left hand so I can start playing again. It’s been a minute. I would like to be able to perform in the streets and perform at open mics just while I am writing and figuring out who my next partner will be.

HP: This next question might be a bit much. I asked the last girl that I interviewed about this. As a woman, have you faced any hardships in that respect, in both writing and music? Or has it been relatively easy?

RW: I have only been in bands that have other women in them, and that is a choice that I have always made. It’s a preference. I love supporting my fellow creative women and working with them. So that hasn’t really been an issue with bands so much for me personally. But, I will say that making the choice to be a full time writer and musician – a lot of that came from working in the beer industry, which is pretty much entirely male dominated. And I had plenty of problems and issues, and still, having been out of it for a couple years, I still feel like I have to remind people that I wasn’t just a promo girl. That I held five sales and marketing positions across eight states. That I managed territory, that I did things, that I grew brands. But it’s hard to get people to see beyond “Oh, she did events.” I’m too familiar with that. But I don’t really face it these days, thankfully. Writing is pretty liberal, and pretty open minded. I would say that there should be more diversity in the music scene, and the writing scene locally here. We should be making a more concerted effort to integrate ourselves. So it’s not just all white dudes in bands at certain clubs or on bills. There should be a proper mix of what the city is made of, and that is a very diverse group of people.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves

Practicing her musical talents as well.
















HP: Going off of that: were you around when the riots happened? Or, the uprisings, back in, what was that… April or May? Would you mind talking about what you saw, as a writer, and what you commented on, or what you chose not to? Was there anything going on about that?

RW: I didn’t write anything about Freddie Gray, and what he means, for anyone but myself. You know, as a writer, you write anywhere from five to one hundred things for every one thing that’s published sometimes. I will say, it was really incredible to see people come together in a way that I don’t remember ever having seen before. And I hope very much that we will continue to progress and that it’s not just something that happened, that we move on from, and don’t make the necessary changes. I know I’m trying to personally change and be more aware of what I say, what I do, and how I am in the world. I want to keep asking questions and keep figuring out how I can be a good part of society. A more fair person in society.

HP: Closing up. While you are going to be away for a while, what can we expect to hear or see from you in the immediate and not so immediate future. Do you have any long term plans, or are you taking it day by day at this point.

RW: Sure. I have a plan. Or, I am figuring it out – there are definitely some projects that have been in the front of my mind and the back of my plate for the last nine months, but I have a good feeling about where it’s headed. I am actively making that come together. One of my big goals is that I wrote a memoir, a full length memoir, about this time I ran away to join the circus, and I have been struggling to get through the second draft with notes from my mentor. So, my goal for my time away is to get the second draft done. Otherwise, musically, I don’t know what shape it will take. It will be something cool though. I hope.

Rachel Anne Warren Local Waves


Serious thanks again to Rachel for being willing to sit down with me and chat. Check out Rachel’s website below to keep up with her writing, as well as her social media to check out her endeavors down South and the next show she plays. And once again, for what appears to be the final time this summer, thank you very much to the readers of this series. These interviews are not finished altogether, but will be on somewhat of a temporary hiatus while I get in gear for my fall semester. While it may be a hot second, it’s still only catch you later. Have fun riding local waves of your own.

Website: https://rachelannewarren.contently.com/