Uranium Club


Uranium Club Infants Under the Bulb LP

This is going to sound like a contrarian take, but I really wasn’t looking forward to more URANIUM CLUB. Don’t get me wrong—I love this band. 2015’s Human Exploration is easily one of the best records of the past decade. It still blows me away every time I put it on. But with each subsequent release, the band seemed to be leaning away from the wiry but dense, concrete-slicing panic punk that drew me to them in the first place, in favor of the more DISMEMBERMENT PLAN-y, smart-guy rock aspects of their sound. That’s not to say I disliked those later records, but by the time their 2019 LP rolled around, it really started to feel like I was listening to the album out of an obligation to some former enthusiasm. That was five very long years ago at this point. How many subpar soundalikes have we been bombarded with in the interim? So, yeah, that’s why I wasn’t super keen to dive into this one. I obviously wasn’t going to not listen to the album, though, so I was pleasantly surprised when “Small Grey Man” kicked things off and didn’t quite sound like more of the same. It was a little gentler and more thoughtful than their previous stuff—they’ve even woven some subtle horns into the mix—yet there was enough angularity and anxiety to clearly signal this was a URANIUM CLUB track. I really liked it! But as the record wore on, that novelty wore off, and I started to realize that the band has continued to evolve away from what I’m looking for. They’ve clearly grown as songwriters—the compositions are among their densest, and they’ve even pushed things in an AOR direction with the aforementioned horns and a handful of conceptual interludes that are a mix of Just So Stories and Discreet Music. I’d even go so far as to say it sounds like a great record, one they should be proud of and that I’m sure lots of folks will love. Maybe I just don’t know what I want from the band at this point, but I’m pretty sure it’s not this.

Uranium Club The Cosmo Cleaners LP

Longform dispatch #3 from Sunbelt’s favorite sons (suns?). As if their set-to-stun prior outings didn’t paint a bright enough picture, The Cosmo Cleaners immerses the listener in THE MINNEAPOLIS URANIUM CLUB BAND’s parallel universe: one bent on absurdist parables that serve to skewer concepts of society and self, achieved largely through mischievous plays on mega-corporation aesthetics and language, ultimately positioning creation and destruction as one in the same. Too heady? Well, the band’s conceptual dedication and admirable attention to detail is outdone only by their completely fucking ridiculous rocking / rolling—a forever-building, breathless, whip-crack punky attack that really does inspire legit awe (especially live). Every song is an epic, burners and excursions alike. Fans will find a considerably more patient and less scrappy collection of songs and performances here, but as a total work, The Cosmo Cleaners may be the most fully-realized outing from the band to date. “How does one remain breathing without going mad?“