Courtesy the artist
Can you spot Evan Weiss in this old promo photo of Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start?
In 1998, New Jersey guitarist and vocalist Steve Poponi started a band called Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start—yes, that whole thing is their name (it's a Konami cheat code). Emo's second wave
was in full swing, and its influence makes itself felt on UUDDLRLRBAS's early recordings—they're filled with eruptions of tension-shattering guitars and unrestrained vocals that overwhelm Poponi's otherwise serene singing. As third-wave emo dragged the genre through the mud in the 2000s, Poponi guided his group through an evolution, slowly shedding the convulsive bursts in favor of mellower, more pop-centric songs that fit right into the melancholy indie-rock milieu of the mid-aughts.
UUDDLRLRBAS broke up after 2007's Worst Band Name Ever
, but they've regrouped for a couple shows, including one at Beat Kitchen
on Saturday. The evening's opening acts include Pet Symmetry
, whose front man, Evan Weiss (also of Into It. Over It.
), briefly played in UUDDLRLRBAS before moving to Chicago. Weiss performed on 2004's The Internet EP
, the source of today's 12 O'Clock Track
, "I'm Growing Out." It's a meditation on postadolescent lethargy, and UUDDLRLRBAS capture the gray feeling of inertia without succumbing to it themselves.