From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the kings of the Seattle underground. Their sludgy, twisted, hypnotic sound was akin to Melbourne’s Birthday Party and fellow American absurdists Butthole Surfers, but these north-western slime lizards had a malevolence and dark humour all their own.
As Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm writes in the sleeve-notes, “The U-Men are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen. They were hypnotic, frenetic, powerful and compelling… They ruled a bleak backwater landscape populated by maybe 200 people.”
Fanzine writer Bruce Pavitt released the U-Men’s first 12-inch EP on Bombshelter, and would have released their second on his fledgling Sub
Pop label but was too broke. By the time their one album was released – 1988’s Step On A Bug – starvation and touring had done for bassist Jim Tillman, and the band, although still great, were never the same again.
U-Men split soon after, but not before releasing the tremendous, tremulous single Dig It A Hole/ Solid Action – the finest garage churner ever to rip off the
Batman theme – which made Single Of The Week in Melody Maker, alongside Love Buzz, the debut single by new Sub Pop band Nirvana.
This collection is the entire studio-recorded output of the U-Men, remastered by legendary producer Jack
Endino, plus five unreleased songs – and damn, it’s fine.
Two-CD anthology of one of the great lost Seattle bands.