Saitama duo Kim and Midi pioneered a style that sets mercurial frontman Kim’s guitar loops and rap-rants against icy cool Midi’s drumbeats and choruses. On Uhnellys they push the template to the breaking point. Coming fast on the heels of live album Ladies and Gentlemen, Uhnellys’ fourth studio album takes their style into uncharted territory. On the foreboding “Whywho” Kim sounds at wit’s end, demanding (in Japanese), who are these assholes getting in my face? Make your way past a maelstrom of re-imagined James Brown funk riffs, Miles Davis trumpet squeals and rock-solid backbeats, and you arrive at “Shadow,” a loopy, off-kilter song in which Midi sings paranoically about shadows that can’t find her, but stand by her. A decade into their journey through the unforgiving Tokyo underground, Uhnellys may be at their musical peak. But, their fourth album suggests, they may also be on the verge of losing it.
Uhnellys release party @Shibuya Lush & Womb, Jun 17 (listing).