Channelling dada and Devo at the core of their eccentric, androgynous style and endlessly fun, boundless art-punk, Melbourne five-piece U-Bahn will be bringing all this and more to a stage near you, specifically The Shacklewell Arms, very soon. Ahead of this, they talk us through five influential tracks.
Last year’s single, ‘Beta Boyz’, both challenged and entertained with its off-kilter fusion of angular guitars, cosmic 80s synths, and histrionic vocals. Equal parts glamorous, ridiculous, and potent, U-Bahn’s songwriting demonstrates their prowess for delivering a high-octane, captivating immediacy whilst offering ingenious, tongue-in-cheek social commentary. “The intention has always been to make music with no categories or creative barriers, drawing from the concept of ‘Organised Sound’ rather than any Rock & Roll ethos” singer Lachlan Kenny expresses, which is something the five-piece execute perfectly, creating works of art with each song as evidenced by the truly infectious ‘Beta Boyz’. Once it clicks in your brain, expect to bop to it for the rest of the day. Check it out, along with its perfect arthouse video below.
U-Bahn play The Shacklewell Arms for free (!!) on February 17th. In the meantime, get to know them In Five as Lachlan Kenney shares some of the sounds that have influenced them…
James Chance and The Contortions – Designed To Kill
The jagged, thrashing Guitar, wonky basslines, sporadic drums and yelping vocals of The Contortions’ Buy LP served as a heavy influence for me at the time of writing/recording the First LP in the summer of 2017/2018 – proving that there could be more nuance and sustenance to ‘punk’ when laced with influences of funk, free jazz and reggae.
P-MODEL – The Great Brain
The prolific creative outpourings of Japanese synth pop group, P-MODEL, and their influence on our first LP can not be understated. The melodic and rhythmic complexities of Susumu Hirasawa and the unpredictable nature of their track, ‘The Great Brain’, from the 1979 debut, In A Model Room, was an immediately captivating listening experience.
Talking Heads – Memories Can’t Wait
The jittering, nervous vocals of David Bryne swirling around the listeners mind, paired with the pocketed grooves of Tina Weymouth and the stuttering staccato key’s of this track served as a huge inspiration to the nervous energy carried throughout many of our first LP’s tracks.
Betty Davis – Nasty Gal
Betty Davis’ 1974 record ‘Nasty Gal’ was spun many times during the period of which these songs were conceived. Her crass, attitude driven, balls to the wall brand of funk has always been an idiosyncratic distinction that keeps me coming back for more. See ‘Damp Sheets’ to hear her obvious influence.
Devo – Penetration In The Centerfold
We would be remiss in not including an early Devo track in here as their influence on my songwriting, during the period in which the first LP was recorded, is a glaringly obvious one. From their fuzzy guitars, evangelical vocal delivery & bizarre Synthesizer patches, to their definitive visual aesthetic – Devo’s creative endeavours more than left their mark on our debuting sound and aesthetic.
Catch U-Bahn live at The Shacklewell Arms on Februrary 17th, get your free entry tickets here.