Formed in 2005, the San Antonio deathcore rock group Upon a Burning Body is back with their 4th studio album Straight from the Barrio (translated it means El Barrio), a follow up to their controversially-released The World is my Enemy Now. True to their roots, the band kicks in heavy with tracks like “You Don’t Own Me” and “Fake Plastic Smile,” including their signature use of Flamenco Guitar and bi-lingual lyrics.
A group of artists that would make ZZ Top proud, these dapper dressers are also some of modern rock’s hardest hitters, made evident by the varying topics throughout their album. “B.M.F. (Bad Mother Fucker)” politely reminds those who don’t agree with their particular style that they respectfully disagree with those people’s assertions, while simultaneously encouraging their fan base to enthusiastically, but safely, disassemble their current surroundings. Others, such as “Leave the Pain Behind” seem like a passionate allegory to shedding the use of drugs, noting they “[they’re] awake for the first time, you can’t change what’s in my mind.” “D.T.A. (Don’t Trust Anyone),” my personal favorite from the new album, speaks to the repercussion of betrayal when the betrayed lashes back at their once-trusted friend. Tactfully, and with much care, I should add.
The band’s influences lyrically and stylistically emanate from a sense of power. Their fashionable dress, one which they encourage their fans to adopt when attending their shows, stem from the appearance of the toughness-with-grace attitude the Mafia typically exudes. Juxtaposed with that, the guttural, death knell voice of Danny Leal betrays a sense of gentleness and excellent pitch that breaks from the tough vocals heard in “My Distorted Reflection,” a talent few other death-core bands can boast.
Upon a Burning Body (or UaBB if you’re an acronym fetishist) just finished their 10 Years in the Black tour and their Holiday Party in San Antonio, performing with other local artists and garnering support with donations for Toys for Tots. Their tour schedule for next year is prolific, and you should definitely check it out on www.sumerianrecords.com.
In sum, both Upon a Burning Body and their new album Straight from the Barrio kick ass.
I should have started with that.