Though Utah Jazz are based in Buffalo, I keep thinking of something Brett Kucharski (of Bad Taste, Live Bait, Reel Time Records) wrote about Rochester—home of Eastman Kodak, maker of the raw material for our projected desires—and its status as an almost exact midpoint between rust belt industry and cinema dream space. As he puts it: “...the absolute physical connection between industrialism and art... the link between urban squalor and imagination.” It’s not quite either and also an extreme combination of both. We have our feet very much on the ground and our heads very much in the clouds, and we do the leg work so that out West (or anywhere, really) people can, I don’t know, be shaggy and laid back or make party records ad infinitum. Utah Jazz fit into the current upstate/Midwest/rust belt golden age of psych punk that’s both caustic and fun, far enough away from their influences to resemble only themselves, even on “Growin’ Stuff,” the best X song to come out in a long time. I’m not trying to pick a fight with the West Coast, either (look who I’m writing for), and even if I am, I’m not saying anything nearly as strong as the lyrics to “Moontan.” I’m not even saying you have to suffer for your art; I’m saying Utah Jazz actually made some art.
–Matt Werts (Black Dots, blackdotsbuffalo.bandcamp.com)