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Album review: U-Men, “U-Men”

Ar 171109919
U-Men, “U-Men”
Ar 171109919
U-Men, “U-Men”

U-Men, “U-Men”

Available: Friday, Nov. 3, via Sub Pop Records in various formats digitally (320k, MP3, ALAC, FLAC), as a double compact disc, and a triple LP on black vinyl.

Pretty certain I’ve made mention of Drastic Plastic before. Drastic was one of three local record stores (the other being Homer’s, Old Market, and the famed, sadly gone, Antiquarium) that fed, nurtured and reared my adolescent music-education-turned-addiction. I have a countless slew of fond memories for all three and likely a few hazy more that have been misappropriated to the wrong store. The first Drastic location had planked floorboards that ran the length of the store, hand-built record and tape bins, and band T-shirts that hung from the cross-beamed, exposed ceiling.

This is how I first heard of the U-Men. I remember that shirt hanging from the rafters. It wasn’t until some time later, the specifics of which I cannot recall now, that I actually first HEARD the U-Men. Their unique squall of brash bombast and chest beating, toe curling, weirdo swamp-sludge rock music is compiled here, anthologized, thanks to the good folks at Sub Pop. The collection spans the band’s entire recorded output (from 1982 to 1989), remastered, along with five previously unreleased tracks, and a 16-page book of interviews, liner notes, and photos.

In a write-up ahead of the album release, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and U-Men lifer-fan succinctly described them as a band that “effortlessly blended The Sonics, Link Wray, Pere Ubu and Captain Beefheart” and “the only band that could unify the disparate sub-subcultures and get all 200 of those people to fill a room. Anglophilic, dress-dark Goths; neo-psych MDA acolytes; skate punks who shit in bathtubs at parties; Mod vigilantes who tormented the homeless with pellet guns; college kids who thought college kids were lame; Industrial Artistes; some random guy with a mustache; and eccentrics who insisted that they couldn’t be pigeonholed: all coalesced around the U-Men.”

Highly, highly recommended period, but especially for fans of Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard, Big Black, Meat Puppets, The Birthday Party, or The Gun Club

Jon E. LynchKDUR_PD@fortlewis.edu

Ar 171109919

U-Men, “U-Men”