A best-of collected by the band, Udders offers a 37-minute excursion through instrumental rock that’s a sort of modern fusion, bringing together elements of No Wave, noise, free jazz, math rock, and even an angular sort of funk on occasion. The U.K.-based trio can give an initial, incorrect impression of chaos, and sometimes it does indeed let things go wherever they may, but more often, they’re in fact following a complex course, evidenced by perfectly-timed changes and abrupt stop-start transitions.
Serving as a good example, the brief opening track "Derek & Dot" starts the album with thick, ringing bass strikes and hyperkinetic drums as pitch-shifted and distorted guitar shreds across the front. Suddenly, the rhythm kicks into a straightforward rock beat and a Sonic Youth-esque guitar churns away until the song decomposes into anarchy again at the end.
Honey Ride Me a Goat straddles styles enough that it might or might not appeal to a wide variety of listeners. At various times, it brings to mind everyone from DNA to Don Caballero, Molecules to Beefheart, Melt-Banana to Elliott Sharp. Combining complex rhythmic interplay with noisy textural scrapes, the trio rocks in the most abstract way, and has a brilliant way of transitioning from high-speed squawk to melodic passages that can be pretty in an off-kilter way. "Ace Hazelnut" offers a particularly nice example of this; it drops from a heavy rhythmic barrage into a thick, nicely-orchestrated minor-key break.
Certainly not easy listening, Udders doesn’t fade into the background willingly. The sudden changes, often harsh textures and complicated rhythms demand a certain amount of attention, but the songs offer ample rewards in exchange. It’s not often that you can admire the tight playing of a band while at the same time revel in its chaotic abandon and even enjoy moments of ambient noises.