Via the Bumpin’ Uglies’ Bandcamp site, we’re treated to three cuts on the May 2015 EP, “Freakout Hell Bus.” “Grass is Greener” is an energy pumping, head bobbing romp. Some horns and background vocals help take the song up a notch. The main chorus line: “You must pardon my demeanor, some say I’m a dreamer, the grass is always greener,” beautifully displays the complex yet straightforward approach the band takes. The group’s songs deal with a lot of issues that so many people can understand: life could always be different in a lot of ways, possibly for the better or for the worse, but often times it’s better to just stay the course you’re on and stay true to yourself. The song “Bad Decisions,” is the result of when one might go a little too far in not changing your ways. Hardesty provides some engaging soul as he sings: “I can’t see why we need to conform to the norm of what we are told to be.” The song isn’t afraid to be blatant (sometimes maybe a little too much) in bearing such truths, as “a bender isn’t a bender until you quit,” and “The hair of the dog is always worth a shot.” A strong, steady PRS guitar solo breakdown with accompanying 1710 Percussion gives the song some nice punch to take things back into one final chorus. “Serving,” continues the no regrets and no apologies approach the band lays out in “Bad Decisions” and “Grass is Greener.” If anything, the song owns up to the decisions and “life is the way it is” philosophy of so many of their songs. The heartfelt lyrics and vocals delicately display the struggles of pushing yourself to work to survive and not necessarily getting to enjoy yourself along the way. It’s an acoustic stripped down piece that shows that the group has plenty to offer.
On their October 2015 EP, “Sublime With No One,” the band continues to lay down a strong and steady Ska/Reggae vibe. The EP also continues the theme of owning up to who you are and life choices, whether good or bad. On “Warning,” Wolfie's nasty bass breakdown feeds the fast paced hype of the song with Hardesty proclaiming: “You have now been warned!” “Social Ladder” gets right to the point with lots of reverb as the group details how the music industry (and life) isn’t designed to be fair. “It ain’t about music, practice your politics.” It’s a very succinct yet all too true message: “We grow up but high school never ends. Climb the social ladders and make the right friends.” “Nostalgia,” pumps up the reverb even more and it makes for one funky, fun and nasty dub reggae jam. The group is especially locked in on this one as Hardesty sings: “World keeps turning, world keeps turning.” The raw and fuzzy distorted guitar-playing features some nasty licks complimented by Wolf’s thick bass and TJ’s deep in-the-pocket drums, building up to one mind-shifting guitar solo. It’s a proper, steady, smooth and delicious, reggae groove. “Maturity” and “Fuck It’ wrap up the EP with both songs equally driving home the Uglies’ ever-present “shit don’t change” theme. On “Maturity” Hardesty sings, “We’re getting older, but sure as hell ain’t growing up,” perfectly displaying the group’s stance on corporate jobs and becoming an adult. “Maturity ain’t my priority,” sings Hardesty defiantly in the chorus. In addition to this double sampling of EPs from 2015, there’s a lot more music on the group’s Bandcamp site including a special treat for any “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fans. Bumpin’ Uglies continues to tour and play hard everywhere they go, and even though you won’t hear their songs on politically correct, top-40 radio stations, they’ve got plenty to say and they aren’t holding anything back!