“The raw power and sheer drive of Ut is quite straightforward and unmistakable. This is a true threatening guitar band.” — NY Rocker
“When they’re good, they’re like nothing else, taking risks no one else would take [and] rescripting the possibilities of three piece rock.” —Mark Sinker, New Musical Express
Sprung from the downtown No Wave scene, Ut (Nina Canal, Jacqui Ham and Sally Young) originated in New York City in December 1978.
The band were joined briefly by filmmaker Karen Achenbach in 1979 before resuming as a three-piece and migrating to London in 1981. They toured with the Fall, were admired by John Peel and cited as a formative influence by label mates Sonic Youth.
Originally releasing albums on their own label, Out Records, the band became a favourite of John Peel’s and recorded sessions for his show in 1984 and 1987 before joining forces with Blast First.
The critically acclaimed In Gut’s House was originally released in 1988 and made NME’s Top 50 that year. As The Washington Post exclaimed:
“With In Gut’s House, Ut has scraped and droned one of the finest underground rock albums of the year… The tightly interwoven, firmly focused sound… is rich, spooky, urgent and quite unexpectedly beautiful.”
In 1989 the band recorded and released the album Griller. Engineered by label mate Steve Albini, who shared Ut’s raw aesthetic, Griller captured the gripping intensity and sheer power of the Ut experience.
If we list their precursors – from Pere Ubu through DNA to The Raincoats, and from Television through The Cramps to The Runaways – all we’re left with is lists, and a space too wide to pin them down. — Mark Sinker
In 1999, Ut were name-checked in Le Tigre’s feminist anthem “Hot Topic,” which pays tribute to dozens of inspiring artists, musicians, writers and feminists.