In the immortal words of Chet Harper, “sweet sassy molassy.” Up until yesterday, if you had asked me about UBT I would have assumed you needed some sort of vaccine to clear that shit up. Now, after having my ear drums shattered with delightful noise, I know UBT is the band Priestess’ Mikey Heppner started with his better half, Kathryn McCaughey.
So what do you need to know about UBT? Well, Ego Orientation is filled to the rim with hand claps, big riffs and sing-along choruses. The last time we all came together over a loud, Summer record it was about french kissing some french girls. UBT might not document the scorching heat of Summer love, but these twelve songs sound fantastic with the volume maxed and will happily soundtrack any late night, back deck drinks or morning treks to sleep off hangovers while waves crash on the beach.
The duo fuses hints of paisley with the snot and attitude of garage rock and new wave punk, but nothing to come up with ever seems like a tired rehash of the eras that influence their sound. UBT can plug in an blow your speakers with a riff - the underlying crunch of “John the Painter” and the hook on “I Don’t Care” are infectious head nodders - but are just as successful when they change gears and opt to paint swirly hazes and unlike so many bands exploring these sounds, they can also traverse uncharted waters. Very few bands can add new and surprising textures, but when flute work worthy of Ron Burgandy grabs the spotlight without compromising the integrity and muscularity of the song, UBT proves their worth.
Summer is a bit different for me now; reality is that half drunk empties that need to be cleaned, bong water is impossible to clean out of the couch and work and kids don’t care if I’m hungover, but Ego Orientation reminds me that sometimes, the night before makes the morning after worth it. Summer is just around the corner, and honestly, this gem from Psychic Handshake Recordings is going to be as vial as boardshorts, coolers and sunscreen.