Release Date: Oct 29, 2013
Record label: Don Giovanni
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop, Punk-Pop
Upset frontwoman Ali Koehler has wandered through a fair share of the nine lives that often accompany the personnel-shuffling, lo-fi garage-pop world in which she's developed her reputation. Most recently she was the drummer for Best Coast, until a messy split (one on which she and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino publicly disagreed); before that, she cut her teeth as Frankie Rose's successor on drums in the ranks of the Vivian Girls. The rest of the band has likewise been places: lead guitarist Jenn Prince is a Vivian Girls contemporary, too, one who plays guitar occasionally in "Kickball" Katy Goodman's side project La Sera; and drummer Patty Schemel—well, the former Hole drummer needs little introduction.
Upset is a supergroup of noise pop supporting players with Jenn Price of La Sera on lead guitar, Hole's Patty Schemel on drums, and writing the songs and singing is Ali Koehler, who served time in both the Vivian Girls and Best Coast. Unlike many times when the background cast takes the lead and you realize there was a reason they weren't out front, Koehler is ready for her close-up and the group's debut album, She's Gone, is a chewy punk-pop treat. Her songs are super catchy, snappy, and sweet, backed by punk-pop that's a bit noisy but never overpoweringly so.
Ali Koehler used to drum for Vivian Girls and Best Coast. Listening to her new project, Upset, that information will come as no surprise. But, oddly, though her new band recalls her former bands—especially the latter—it doesn’t borrow on their aesthetic, or even really their specific sound. Upset isn’t as deliberately gauzy as Vivian Girls.
Has Frankie Rose started a mini-migration? The former Vivian Girls/Crystal Antlers beat-keeper is one of the few drummers to make a successful transition from behind the kit to frontwoman. Now we have Upset, the new project from Ali Koehler. After being unceremoniously dumped from Best Coast — a process that included a very public Twitter spat — she has re-emerged with none other than former Hole drummer Patty Schemel behind the kit.
Upset is a happy accident of sorts. After leaving Vivian Girls for Best Coast, drummer Ali Koehler appeared to be kicking ass and taking names. Gliding from one successful band to another, this seemed every bit the power move…until Koehler was kicked out of Best Coast.But that was actually more of a game changer than a setback. Koehler quickly dusted herself off and combined forces with Jenn Prince (ex-La Sera) and fellow drum maven Patty Schemel from Hole to front Upset.