Feature: Ufesas

I usually stick to writing about shows or bands that are coming Montreal, but given that the holiday season means slow season for shows (until mid-January – see Suggested Upcoming Shows section for more details, I decided to go a bit outside of the original intent behind this website.

About a week ago or so, I was checking various websites to discover new bands, as I usually do once or twice a week. I stumbled across this band called Ufesas. My first thought was ”what kind of a name is Ufesas?”. Then I hit play and realized that this band could be called Dry Turd and it wouldn’t matter. This was one of the most impressive new bands I had heard in a very long time. As for the band name, well, I had to go to Urban Dictionary to figure this out, but the definition of Ufesa (singular) is:  Extraordinary, the height of all that is cool and refreshing. Ufesa basically means anything that quite simply is awesome. So, for this feature on the band Ufesas, I’d like to start by pointing out that the band name is highly accurate. They are awesome.

Making their own sound seemingly based on a very tasteful mix of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Hawkwind, Spacemen 3, Velvet Underground and Brian Jonestown Massacre, the moment I heard their album I immediately wanted to edit my Top 30 albums of 2011 list to include them. I was blown away, and couldn’t believe this band was so underground and obscure. The truth is, there is very little information out there about this band. They don’t seem to have an official website. All links point to their Bandcamp page or youtube postings of their album tracks. What I can tell you is this: the band had so far released 2 EPs (the first of which they have posted as a free download – check it out here), and their self-titled LP released this year was their first full length. They hail from Uruguay (*I love the fact that they’re from Uruguay, because quite honestly I know nothing about Uruguay and this only makes the research part more interesting!!), and were very much concerned with authenticity, as the back cover of their LP pointed out: ”this album contains no instrumental overdubs with the exception of vocals and synth”.

The great thing about Ufesas is indeed how authentic it sounds. Some bands play with immense feel, but fails amidst their own self-indulgence. This is not the case. Yeah, you may hear a few mistakes in the playing here and there, but it ultimately doesn’t matter because it all just works so well. The band has a control on their sound that allows them to basically do what they want, whereas a band like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club who started out this way have arguably lost this part of their sound and have become a bit more clinical – the band became a bit more robotic with time, and I suppose this is unfortunately normal – great as they still are. Ufesas still has that ‘jam band’ feel, but it’s a jam band that doesn’t make 16 minute songs that don’t lead anywhere – they just write really good songs. This is music that you can get totally lost into, and after your first listen of tracks like ”Dead Man Walkin’‘ (which you can listen to below) and ”She’s The Devil In My Head”, you’ll still remember the melodies hours later. The track ”Part Of The Night” is a monster 8-minute jam that recalls also Wooden Shjips.

I spent a great deal of time researching this band, wondering why so little is known about them. Why, for instance, no one even created a Facebook Fan Page for them (it seems everyone has one these days!). Well, here’s the bummer: I was on some blog and read that it seems shortly after the release of the LP, the band broke up. If this is really the case, then I do think this is one of those bands that you’ll just keep hearing ‘what-if’s’ about, and wondering what the follow up album would have sounded like.

Now, this is a call to you, Ufesas: reform. We need more music like yours. Who is ”we”? Hell, I don’t know. Me, I guess. Reform for me. Ok? Good.

And to you, dear reader: their album’s on bandcamp. It’s 50 cents to purchase. Please spend your hard earned money on this band – maybe if enough of us do, we’ll show the band that we need a 2nd album!

If the idea for my website was to help promote upcoming shows in Montreal based on bands that I like, well, in this case, forget the Montreal part for this feature. It seems unlikely we’ll get to see them here, or anywhere for that matter. There comes music sometimes that you just want to put out there and tell people about. Truthfully, it’s a great thing to even have recorded material from this band. How many groups have you seen that were truly great and never made it to a recording studio before breaking up? A lot of things can and will go wrong when you’re in a band. So, if anything, it’s great to have a record of how great Ufesas were if they really have broken up.

Check ’em out!!!!

Album link: http://ufesas.bandcamp.com/

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