BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — The local music scene can be a strenuous world to conquer.
A revolving door of band members, unstable practice sessions, and a slew of other problems can dwarf any musician’s aspiring dreams to make it big.
With that in mind, some are just better off doing things on their own.
That was the inspiration behind the start of Upon Your Dead Body, a pop-punk band from Brownsville founded by one sole member in 2018.
Efrain Benavides, a.k.a. Rain, handles vocals, guitar, bass, and songwriting for the band’s music. He took these skills into Harlingen’s Dark Arts Recording Studio and recorded the band’s debut album Selfish & Hollow, which was released in December 2018.
Despite not knowing how to play drums, Benavides was able to use programmed drums on the album, making it a fully solo release.
Selfish & Hollow is a flashy fun album with some bombastic catchy riffs layered under some personal lyrics from Benavides. Influences from My Chemical Romance and Coheed and Cambria are very apparent on the release.
Song topics range from relationships to self-indulgence with an overall feel of a late-2000s alt-rock album.
The album has attracted praise across the globe and to date has more than 30,000 plays on Spotify.
Shortly after the release of Selfish & Hollow, Benavides connected with Robert Delarosa, who came on as the band’s official drummer in May 2019.
The duo quickly worked on playing concerts throughout the Rio Grande Valley and other parts of Texas. Delarosa even reflected on the band opening for Craig Owens, formerly of Chiodos, and reminisced on the experience of playing for one of their idols.
The COVID-19 pandemic put an end to any gigs Upon Your Dead Body had planned but it did not stop them from releasing five singles in 2020.
Upon Your Dead Body’s first release of 2021 is “Panic Punch,” their eighth single.
‘Panic Punch’ is an electrifying track that shows a heavier side of Upon Your Dead Body.
The song tells the tale of an introvert and an extrovert being dragged to a social gathering and experiencing different feelings from the event. One might compare the exchange to the novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
A band releasing so many singles in a short span of time without a full album on the horizon can raise some eyebrows in the music community, but Benavides notes releasing singles rather than albums is a strategic move.
“If you put out an album, you can only choose one song for playlist consideration on Spotify,” said Benavides. “But if you release a single, you can put that song on playlist consideration and then go release another one and do the same thing.”
Benavides states that smaller bands getting put on Spotify playlists is a big step toward them getting more recognition in the digital age of music.
“You’re gonna get so hyped to drop an album and then nobody listens to it,” Benavides reluctantly said. “It’s so much easier to release singles and if they don’t like this one, they can hear the next one.”
With several songs released over the last year, Upon Your Dead Body looks to issue these together with unreleased songs in the near future as the band’s second album.
The traction gained from recent singles has garnered Upon Your Dead Body to be recognized by the Alternative Press as one of the “10 unsigned emo bands to keep an eye on in 2021.”
Both band members hold that their band’s message is that no matter who you are, you should strive to be yourself.
“It’s okay to be who you are,” asserts Benavides. “Upon Your Dead Body is all about believing in yourself.”
That attitude is reflected by the band members who enjoy the multicultural aspect of the Rio Grande Valley as it provides various musical aspects for people to be a part of.
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