‘Stray Current’, the first single off Baptism of Uzi’s upcoming 10″ EP, is quite a departure from the band’s previous output. These guys have krautrock and hair metal running in their veins – they’ve supported Can’s Damo Suzuki and Neu!’s Michael Rother, and their compositional style is reportedly modelled on early Black Sabbath. The band’s previous tracks have names like ‘Crushed’, ‘The Drought’ and ‘Dead by Dawn’; essentially proggy jams bound together by the towering riffs of guitarists Bojan Stojanov and Tom Battersby.
An earlier incarnation of ‘Stray Current’ saw a release on a 2011 EP; I’ve got the cassette on my shelf with its $9 price-tag. This is a different animal altogether. There’s a ‘Brit-Invasion’ feel and long, noodle-y bits that draw the whole thing out by an extra minute or so. The new version retains the track’s (excellent) central hook, but it’s been stripped back, slowed down and distilled into a far purer pop single. The rough-edged guitars and warped keys have been cleaned up and supplemented with handclaps, a concise riff, and spare, reverb-heavy chords.
‘Stray Current’ was mastered ‘by some dude who did Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears’, according to the band’s Facebook, which perhaps explains a thing or two. They recently described themselves to Triple J Unearthed as ‘a Daft Punk/Thin Lizzy hybrid of sorts’, which pretty much sums it up. The band haven’t strayed too far, though – there’s still a spaced-out jam in there for the psych fans, but for everyone else this is just a flippin’ great pop song.
Baptism of Uzi are launching their Stray Currents EP on these dates:
Friday 28 June, at Brighton Up Bar, Sydney with guests TBA
Saturday 6 July, at Northcote Social Club, Melbourne + Turtlenecjk and Atolls