What’s always interesting to me is that bands from the UK have seemingly pulled influence from a lot of 90’s Alternative music in a way that is different from US bands. It’s like the UK is just entering the post grunge era where loud guitars are still ok and power pop of the early 2000’s is at it’s height. Where as in the US the Brooklyn scene has spent years with bands trying to shed guitars and a band feel from their sound for 2 decades. To me the newest track “Ugly Hunger” from Uzumaki feels a little bit like Sugarcult, Lit, Matthew Sweet but they also have a little bit of Weezer and Nirvana that kind of helps make this song not vapid or just a rehash. I feel like this is towards the heavier end of the Bubble Grunge movement that is mostly fronted by female acts like Beach Bunny or The Beths.
The guitar tones actually are pretty gritty and remind me of production of something like Jawbreaker's ’Dear You’ with very present bass lines and a wall of power chords at each chorus. I feel like the vocal is what sets it apart from other things in this genre that come off as cheesey. It’s got a solid melodic vocal that has a warmness to it. It’s not dull or shrill at any point, in fact it’s very relaxed even at the most climatic points of the song. There is a charm to the vocal that really sets this band apart from others in the genre. It's not trying to be Kurt Cobain or Layne Staley or just a pale imitation of someone, it’s got it’s own personality.
Vocalist and guitarist Alex Cheung says “Ugly Hunger explores themes of self-deprecation, addiction and love. It's possibly the lightest track on the record sonically, whilst the lyrics can be perceived as perhaps the heaviest across the body of work. Although they’re to be taken with a pinch of salt - a metaphor for various different scenarios where we may sometimes punish ourselves in order to 'feel alive'.”
On the recording process the band offered this, “It was a totally new experience to record at Sick Room Studios with Owen Turner,” says Cheung. “The studio is remotely positioned in Norfolk where all of us grew up and met for the first time. So, the return to this environment felt fundamentally crucial as the first step, or 'Square One', for the band to create the first body of work. Owen shared influences with Uzumaki from Brit Pop bands such as Teenage Fanclub, Pulp and Blur, through to the analogue pioneers of Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. This can be heard clearly in the production of the EP - it was recorded live and away from microscopes.” It’s clear to hear that the band has culled from all of the 90’s, what was best about it and infused it within their music.
London based Uzumaki gives us this taste of their newest EP ‘Square One’, which will be out on July 28th.
UZUMAKI LIVE DATES:
06/07 - Bristol - Crofters Rights (w/ Decent Criminal)
07/07 - Brighton - The Hope & Ruin (w/ Decent Criminal)
08/07 - London - New Cross Inn (w/ Decent Criminal)
10/07 - Manchester - Retro Bar (w/ Decent Criminal)
12/07 - Stafford - Redrum (w/ Decent Criminal)
13/07 - Lancaster - John O'Gaunt (w/ Decent Criminal)
14/07 - Redditch - The Railway Inn (w/ Decent Criminal)
26/08 - Bristol - Exchange (Gruesifest)
02/10 - London - News Cross Inn (w/ Superbloom)
06/10 - London - Till The Fest
14/12 - London - Signature Brew (w/ Out of Love)