It takes roughly 10 seconds to fall in love with U-Bahn. If you miss early Devo, then you'll adore U-Bahn. Australia's U-Bahn come stomping into 2019 with a collage of glam-pop and new wave. Describing their music as 'nostalgia for futures that never came to pass; suburban boredom and sexual dystopias', the Melbourne 5-piece will thrill and baffle audiences alike with their debut LP, teeming with futurist art-punk.
Originating from singer Lachlan Kenny's bedroom recordings, a chance meeting between him and Zoe Monk over the purchase of a vintage drum machine, followed by the recruitment of Leland Buckle, Jordan Oakley and Mitch Campleman, the band quickly honed their live show before taking their ideas to the stages of the Melbourne DIY circuit. Kenny was eager to set down their ideas on vinyl; crafting a suite of self-recorded and mixed songs that's charm lies in their lo-fi production values. Bubblegum centrepiece Right Swipe is draped in reverb, analogue synths and off-beats - while their clear penchant for melody and memorable hooks shines through the bizarro aesthetics. Its addictive chorus shows the band can leave you humming despite their abstract thinking; the synths and bass swirl around Kenny’s ironic/serious lyrics, 'baby you can't resist the manipulation'.
The band approaches song writing like children at play; open to anything, delighted with results that seem weird or amusing. This methodology, along with their clear love for outsider art, Devo and R. Stevie Moore – the aristocratic glamour of Brain Eno combined with the icy robotics of Kraftwerk; the wild ride of genres and ideas that define U-Bahn’s style is steeped in a heritage of music’s strange and unforgettable mavericks.
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- Sophie's Albums of the Year 2019