Success has never been something to contemplate within the music scene, no guarantees or promises of recognition for new and experienced artists available but that uncertainty has been taken to new aggressive levels over the past pandemic gripped eighteen months. Even so, it has been a period which has seen frustration and fears breed new determination and creativity in so many as with Philly/South Jersey quartet UgLi.
2019 saw the release of debut EP Scattergood, a potent introduction which more than whetted the appetite for their alternative/indie rock/punk bred sound. Of course then Covid struck and the hunger to play live and ability to be together was derailed. UgLi though used the time to work on their debut album, a sonic exclamation of frustration and irritability with the apt title of FUCK. It is a release which unleashes a rival virulence to that which nature/or man has brought us but with a pleasure and presence that is simply addictive.
Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Dylyn Durante (she/her), bassist Lucas Gisonti (he/him), guitarist Andrew Iannarelli (he/him), and drummer Teddy Paullin (he/him), UgLi linked up with Dave Downham (Pet Symmetry, mewithoutYou) to record FUCK. It is a record which will lure references to the likes of Pixies, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Breeders though for us it equally has hues of bands such as 4 Non Blondes and Stolen Babies in its breath but there is no escaping the individuality and uniqueness in the release and the band’s sound.
House Pet opens up the album, the track swinging in with mischief and defiance as sonic and rhythmic unrest unites. It is a song as feral as it is seductive, a creative squall that is pure punk rock infection with an emotive fire easily relatable in our lives these past months.
Equally as tetchy is the following Bad Egg, anxiety and aggravation the fuel to its emotional and sonic uproar while When I Was In Love is a tempest of reflection and exasperation building pyres of sonic causticity. Both tracks simply enslaved, from the emotional animation of vocals to the invasive and ridiculously virulent exploits of sound attention was inescapable with melodic and more subdued moments irresistible in the second of the two.
Through the gripping contemplation and melancholic invention of the gloriously mesmeric and volatile Mourning Coffee and the predacious pop infused punk rock of Superball, ears and album simply grew more unbreakable in their bond with Why Be Pretty reaffirming that tie with its intense and impassioned cry. As those before it, the track stretches the creative landscape of FUCK with gripping drama and imagination, each driven by thick emotion and enterprise.
Red Orchids is almost lightweight in its whimsical breath in comparison, yet everything about the song is enjoyable and fertile trespass all brewing to a compelling corrosive finale.
There is no escaping the richness and variety in the UgLi invention and sound and it is majorly epitomised by the album’s closing track. Naegleriasis is nine minutes plus of adventure, a song that serenades and seduces as much as it subsequently invades with the darkest shadows. Featuring the bewitching flames cast by the trumpet of Stephen Mclean and Carolyn Haynes’ saxophone, they alone pure manipulation of the imagination, the track is a glorious seduction with orchestral grandeur and invasive intimacy.
It has taken three years for UgLi to reach this point but maybe the hardest work comes now and how to eclipse this impressive and striking first album.
FUCK is self-released on all digital platforms on Friday, June 18th.
Pete RingMaster 17/06/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review