Urusei Yatsura

Live @ planetpop, The Attic, 18th August

It's good to know that there are some things in life you can rely on, eh? Posh Spice will be on telly, Rangers will be awarded a soft penalty when they're struggling, and Urusei Yatsura will bound onstage to make pop tunes you can just about hear under the swathes of feedback. It's something of a comeback then, the band having been absent from the scene for some time due to record company wrangles. They're back though, a new album written and ready to go. So what does the new record hold for the hardened fans at the front? Some handbag house-style remixing with a bloke stage right cutting and scratching? A fey piece where Graham dons an acoustic guitar and sings of a injured baby leopard?

 

Nope, 'interesting' though that might be, we get exactly what it says on the Urusei tin. Some crowd-pleasers to start with - the moshpit being particularly pleased with Glo Starz and Pow R Ball, as the next few songs rush by in a tide of feedback and sweat. Fergus at some point announces that they have a load of new songs to air, but no-one seems to either notice the difference or care. Song titles are true to form - Silver Dragon, Uji Bomb - and musically they're likewise none too dissimilar to previous efforts. The new single Louche 33 drops the tempo a little, and a little worryingly it's no more catchy than the rest of the new songs in the set. Maybe it's a grower? We get the likes of Strategic Hamlets with its Fall-like bounce and (of course) Slain By Elf whose slow guitar slide gives some respite from the by-now relentless slam-dancing at the front. But in a live setting the kids just wanna dance, and such only Siamese will do as a closer. "I've been trying to destroy this guitar for 8 years" declares Graham before inserting drumsticks under the strings and proceeding to give us his best Keith Moon impression. Once the feedback has died down the Pete Townsend tin him takes over and finishes off the job, the trusty axe decapitated. But what more would you expect - their music will leave you deafened and slightly bruised, chances are it'll even unblock your drains and clear your sinuses. But the all new Urusei Yatsura isn't just there for the nasty things in life, you can be sure of that.

'Stylised' photos of the band due to the venue's insistence of using life-threatening quantities of smoke effects...