Published Dec 02, 2016Minneapolis' Uranium Club is the in-house accompaniment for a mutated present. Unlike their sonic forbears in Devo, the members of the Uranium Club are not post-human or de-evolved beings; they're mad scientists watching the grotesque manifest beneath their wiry guitar experiments. The scenes that unfold across their latest 12-inch, All of them Naturals, highlight the absurdity of presuming natural as a category at all in the 21st century.
On "Who Made the Man?" they interrogate this problem head-on through a chaotic swirl of synthesizer blips and octave-hopping bass notes. Elsewhere, "The Lottery" tells the sardonic no-wave tale of a suddenly enriched protagonist struggling to distinguish between true friends and gold-digging assholes.
The band's music is full of playful disjoints and warped phrases that stray just ever so slightly from expectation. All the while, they manage to hang onto a frantic and irresistible groove that most rock groups only ever aspire to. The dry, staccato guitar leads and rhythmic interplay will draw in fans of Shopping or Parquet Courts and leave them stranded in a retro-futurist dystopia.
"Operation Pt.II," for instance, describes a perversely digitized world where one only gets high on "video weed" over a shifty motorik pulse that gives way to a glorious, driving finale. Uranium Club's best compositions tend to work this way: delivering quick, catchy riffs and melodies before pulling them away and switching gears.
All of them Naturals is another brilliant communiqué from one of contemporary punk's most creative bands, offering up enough bizarre musical and lyrical ideas to keep us pleasantly confused, wondering whether or not we should be dancing. (Static Shock Records)