16 September 2023

THE UPLAND BAND – Living In Paradise (2023, LP/CD Kapitan Platte)




Label: Kapitan Platte

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Pink Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Handnumbered, 100 copies

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Handnumbered, 200 copies

Format: CD, Album, Digi-Sleeve

Release Date: 12 May 2023

The Upland Band is not a band, actually it is the personal vehicle of Michael Beckett, he has been in a number of bands like Dr. Drek, Fuchs & Beckett, Super Reverb, The Beautiful New Born Children, The Eightfold Model, The Schneider TM Experience, Tuesday Weld… “Living In Paradise” is his debut album under The Upland Band moniker and let’s have a look at the press release:

“The Upland Band is the one-man band of Michael Beckett (aka kptmichigan, Super Reverb and ex-Tuesday Weld) who also produced, recorded, and mixed the album, aided considerably by Dirk Kretz (Old Men Group, ex-Tuesday Weld) and Christian Obermaier (Eagle Boston, ex-The Innits). A small village, somewhere in the soft hills of Germany`s East-Westphalia, is where the stories from Living in Paradise take place, with the lyrics being informed by historical facts, objective observations, and good old down-and-dirty village gossip.

A concept album so to speak. The cast of characters ranges from a poorer-than-poor ragpicker to a retired cop, Nazi neighbors, and the ghost of an unknown, downed Canadian bomber pilot to name just a few.

The stories told involve, among others, a historical paper mill that was used for Methamphetamine mass-production, the hardships of life in the 17th century, a steam-powered train on which you can eat Kale and sausages and get wasted to pleas for the villagers to try just a little harder.

Stories and observations propose that life and history in a small village aren`t necessarily as boring and meaningless as one tends to think but are in fact a cog in the general scheme of things but also that time tends to forget. And all of this wrapped up in pastoral, softly psychedelic guitar pop, often eschewing conventional structures, with a penchant for repetition and a liberal sprinkling of dub techniques with a laid-back atmosphere that reminds of bands like Wilco or Yo La Tengo”…

“Living In Paradise” consists of 9 tracks, 9 beautifully penned stories, dressed with some Poppy lo-fi Indie-Rock music. There are mellow-poppy songs like the opener “A Partial Overview Of The Neighbourhood”, faster tunes like “Ohfivetwosixfive”, and slower tunes like the balladesque “Methamphetamine And Clay”. The album sometimes sounds more Poppy like “Swastika Juk”, or more Rock-oriented like “Walk Or Run”. Sometimes the music is more electronically weird like “Ontario” or psychedelically guitar-driven like “The Curly Kale Express”. My personal 2 favorites would be the psychedelically trippy “Down And Out (in The 17th Century)” which is dressed with some late 80s shoegaze vibes, and the perfect poppy dream-a-delic “Rain, Gleet And Mud”… So, “Living In Paradise” is a cool and good pop-rock-indie album that somehow managed during the 29 minutes that lasts, to tele-transport me to that green countryside, to that small village in the soft hills of Germany`s East-Westphalia… TimeLord Michalis  


A1 A Partial Overview Of The Neighbourhood
A2 Ohfivetwosixfive
A3 Methamphetamine And Clay
A4 Walk Or Run
A5 ontario
B1 The Curly Kale Express
B2 Swastika Juk
B3 Down And Out (in The 17th Century)
B4 Rain, Gleet And Mud





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