Drain the Maker, the debut full-length from avant-garde electro-pop act uuskhy (stylized in lower case letters) is at once very modern and surprisingly old-school. The album haphazardly mixes a blend of eclectic influences with electronic drums keeping the train chugging along to create an alt-rock album from Hell.
Aside from the production quality, one of the biggest changes from uuskhy’s previous output Perfect and T+D (ego-d suuite) is the heavy use of vocals as well as Moby-esque samples; a departure from the largely instrumental EPs that preceded Drain the Maker. This gives many of the songs an almost rock and roll structure, despite most of them not being composed and recorded the way rock typically is. The best example of this is the opening title track and the second track “The Way She Was Watching Me.” In fact, the former would not sound out of place on Chicago’s WKQX or any radio station that plays modern electronica-tinged alternative rock. The same can be said for “A Light Was On,” which throws soupy 80s ballad synths into the mix.
The influence of trap music is also apparent throughout Drain the Maker, with songs like “Rituual” being almost straight up trap. Trap beats appear at other points on the record, like “Nycaltopic” and “I Don’t Want to Think About It.” Meanwhile, funky bass music wobbles can be heard on “Via Saliva”
The vocals are excellent and varied and really add to the atmosphere of the album. Choir-like vocal harmonies appear on tracks like the synthwave-inflected “Still Waiting,” this record’s idea of a ballad. The appropriately heavy sounding “Self Necrophile,” on the other hand, features distorted 90’s metal/industrial vocals.
It’s hard to compare uuskhy’s work to anything else out there at the moment, which was probably the intent. This is the sound of an artist coming into their own sound. Drain the Maker is a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, with the transitions between songs and the mix of musical styles often being very jarring, but all the same, it has come to life and won’t rest until it has left a trail of destruction in the listener’s mind.