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A trio comprised of Nina Canal, Sally Young and Jacqui Ham, Ut was born near the end of the no-wave New York scene of the late '70s. In fact, Canal had worked with no waver Robin Crutchfield in his band Dark Days before jumping ship to create Ut. Ut's music, influenced by the abrasive anti-rock of the no wave scene, was dissonant in a clangy, guitar-driven way similar to bands such as Liliput, the Slits, and the Au Pairs. But where those three bands accented the groove, Ut's backbeat was less pronounced, and was considerably more jagged and yielding. Occasionally this meant that unfocused, uninteresting tunes went on far too long, but more often it meant that the rhythms lent shape to the semi-melodic wailing, but not in a manner that limited the potential to be realized in improvised, free playing. After being ignored by New York's post-no-wavers, Ut packed it in and headed for England, where they landed on the adventurous indie label Blast First. While the English press was kinder, Ut's difficult rock noise was not for everyone. After a Steve Albini-produced 1989 release, Griller, Ut called it a day. For a band that remains almost completely unknown in their native country, Ut should be remembered for their decidedly skewed approach to rock & roll, one that can still be heard in the recordings of bands such as Sonic Youth, Bikini Kill, and Sleater-Kinney. ~ John Dougan

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