Upbeats and Beatdowns

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Upbeats and Beatdowns
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 29, 1996
RecordedSeptember 2–10, 1996
StudioOne Way (Concord, California)
GenreChristian ska
LabelFive Minute Walk/Warner Bros. Records
ProducerMasaki Liu
Five Iron Frenzy chronology
It's Funny but Not Very Creative
Upbeats and Beatdowns
Our Newest Album Ever!
Professional ratings
Review scores
Cross Rhythms[3]
Jesus Freak Hideout[4]
Real Magazine[5]

Upbeats and Beatdowns is the first full-length album of the band Five Iron Frenzy. It was originally released independently on November 29, 1996[citation needed] before receiving a national release on April 8, 1997, on Five Minute Walk, under the SaraBellum imprint, with distribution from Warner Bros. Records.


The lyrics were generally received as being "relevant and forceful;"[6] one reviewer commented that the band offered praise and worship "by the pound."[2] The first track, "Old West", begins one of many themes that would recur on the band's subsequent releases. The track is critical of the ill treatment of Native Americans in the name of Christ,[7] and the liner notes implore us to learn from the Sand Creek and Meeker massacres.

According to the Five Iron Frenzy MySpace blog, "Milestone" is often given the title "Nintendo" due to an incorrectly named mp3 distributed on file-sharing networks.

"A Flowery Song," was nominated for a Dove Music Award in the "Short Form Music Video of the Year" category.[8] The video was filmed in Albuquerque, south of the band's hometown of Denver. Its content included an unusually energetic, raucous scene, in which volunteers wearing colorful costumes danced down a suburban street. These costumes were not obviously connected to the lyrical content of the video, and ranged from Disney princesses skipping to an Ace of Hearts aggressively dance-punching the air.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All music written by Scott Kerr and Dennis Culp and all lyrics written by Reese Roper, except where noted otherwise.

1."The Old West" 2:20
2."Where Zero Meets 15"Kerr3:04
3."Cool Enough for You" 3:45
5."Faking Life"lyrics: L. Ortega2:49
6."Shut Up" 0:06
7."Arnold & Willis & Mr. Drummond"Kerr2:36
8."I Feel Lucky"Kerr3:18
9."Milestone" 3:12
10."Beautiful America"Culp, Bernstein, Sondheim3:43
11."Combat Chuck" 2:09
12."Amalgamate" 2:58
13."Everywhere I Go"Kortes2:16
14."A Flowery Song" 3:40
15."Third World Think Tank"Kerr, Hoerig8:42
16."Combat Chuck's Call" 1:42
Total length:47:25


Five Iron Frenzy

  • Leanor Ortega - saxophone, background vocals
  • Nathanael Dunham - trumpet, background vocals
  • Dennis Culp - trombone, background vocals, lead vocals on "Beautiful America"
  • Scott Kerr - guitar, background vocals
  • Keith Hoerig - bass
  • (Andrew Verdecchio) - drums
  • Micah Ortega - guitar
  • Reese Roper - lead vocals

Additional personnel

  • Jamie Awbrey – rooster crow on "A Flowery Song"
  • Masaki Liu – producer, mixing, background vocals on "Beautiful America"
  • Edith Bunker – background vocals on "I Feel Lucky"
  • Frank Tate – executive producer


  1. ^ Upbeats and Beatdowns at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b Canfield, Dave (1997). "Reviews: Five Iron Frenzy Upbeats & Beatdowns". Cornerstone. 26 (112): 52. ISSN 0275-2743.
  3. ^ Lobaugh, Rod (June 1997). "Five Iron Frenzy – Upbeats And Beatdowns". Cross Rhythms (39).
  4. ^ "Five Iron Frenzy, "Upbeats and Beatdowns" Review". Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "Upbeats and Beatdowns by Five Iron Frenzy < Music ReViews < ReALMagazine.com". Archived from the original on October 5, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Houge, Ty Chap (March–April 1997). "Tools / Music / Upbeats and Beatdowns". YouthWorker Journal. XIII (4): 66. ISSN 0747-3486.
  7. ^ Friar, William (November 15, 1997). "Christian rock music spires in popularity". The Austin American-Statesman. pp. E5.
  8. ^ "allmusic ((( Five Iron Frenzy > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))" (Web). allmusic.com. 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006.
  9. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: A Flowery Song - Five Iron Frenzy. YouTube.