Ut Griller LP+7″ reissue
The final LP from London-via-New York no wave trio UT, originally released in the cultural dead space of 1989—more than ten years after the big bang of No New York, and just barely on the wrong side of the decade divide for the band to be properly acknowledged as three women making confrontational, visceral, and liberatory music pre-riot grrrl. Griller finds UT at their most linear and accessible, as their initial mangled, shapeshifting (and instrument-swapping) avant-garde attack was refined into dark, angular pop that effectively bridged the gap between the spindly sprawl of the RAINCOATS and the scrappy, knotted-up punk of female-forward early ’90s groups like AUTOCLAVE and HEAVENS TO BETSY (to my ears, the sideways-melodic opener “Safe Burning” will never not represent the unfulfilled promise of SLEATER-KINNEY). Compared to the thin, brittle production of their previous album In Gut’s House, Griller’s punched-up, Albini-helmed recording really centers the tension and unnerving drama inherent in UT’s songwriting, peaking with the desperate gloom-strum (almost veering into early THROWING MUSES territory!) of “Canker,” and the primal, howl-and-thunder art-punk intensity of “Rummy”—if the more experimental, disjointed approach that UT wielded on In Gut’s House speaks to the brain, Griller hits straight at the heart.