After releasing its retro-sounding debut, Trust Electricity, in 2004, the Portland, Oregon-based Upsidedown was written off by many as having no new ideas. But follow-up Human Destination shows the band moving away from distorted shoegaze, instead emphasizing the musicians understated dexterity.
The Upsidedown haven’t completely released themselves into the wild unknown of experimentation. But a transformation is evident in such songs as “Human Destination,” which has a new-wave feel; a variety of fuzz jams; and the grit-fueled “Black Rainbow.”
The Upsidedown are not unlike their Portland brethren, the Dandy Warhols. The bands have worked and toured together, but the former has, of course, been overshadowed by the commercial success of the Dandys. With Human Destination, they break away from those comparisons by creating something that isn’t necessarily new to rock but is new to them. In so doing, they’ve done something that the Dandys have failed to do in the better part of a decade: make a good album.