Back when they started out as a side project of Melbourne's goth punk band - MASSES, UBIK described themselves as "Catchy brat-beat with a little sprinkling of anarcho goodness". That still rings true but with a slight lineup change and a couple years of practicing/gigging, they've gotten 100x tighter and traded most of the goodness for a bit more snarl. The catchiness remains strong a deliberate. This band rules, we can't wait for you to hear their best work.
Our take: I was a big fan of Ubik’s previous releases (all of which were on demos and 7”s), so I got excited when Iron Lung announced this debut full-length. Their earlier releases reminded me of Crisis’s catchy anarcho punk, and while there’s still a lot of that in their sound, Next Phase finds Ubik getting harder, faster, and punker. That’s the case for tracks like “New Disease” and “You Make Me Sick,” the latter of which is a pure hardcore rage-out with a ripping, noisy guitar solo. “Peter Dutton Is a Terrorist” starts out with the drummer on the toms and an eerie, goth-punk vibe, then segues into a Rubella Ballet-style catchy punk part, while the dark, catchy, and sophisticated “Shocking New Vision” sounds like something off one of those underrated later Subhumans albums. While there’s a good amount of stylistic breadth on Next Phase, the through-lines that connect every track are the catchy and aggressive shouted vocals and the always-interesting interplay between the guitarist and bassist, whose dynamic is riveting. I’ll be getting a lot of play out of this one over the next few months.