Uphill Battle

Blurred 1999-2004

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Uphill Battle made it look easy after emerging in 2002 from the ashes of Crawlspace. The California-based grind/post-hardcore outfit released two full albums in two quick years, each one packed to its bleeding gills with hysterics and brutality. Blurred 1999-2004 includes the band's original 1999 demo as well as tracks from split releases and material that's otherwise rare or unreleased; it's a catchall, as Uphill Battle announced its breakup soon after the collection was released. The material here is pretty similar to Wreck of Nerves and Uphill Battle. "Common Thread," "Writing in the Dark," and "Faded Red" tempt with drums that are only basically fast before bursting ahead with percussion that's just utterly maniacal. There are also two marginally different versions of "Crawl Space" and what sounds like a demo version of Wreck of Nerves' title track. Other highlights include a berserk, double-time tumble through the Uphill classic "Ripped off Face" and the closing title cut, which roars with a nod toward black metal.

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