Glaswegian lo-fi indie rock band. Their band name was taken from the very successful Japanese Anime of the same name (うる星やつら) but due to some copyright reasons it was shortened to Yatsura in Japan.
When they achieved critical recognition in early 1996, Glaswegian quartet Urusei Yatsura were lumped together with other so-called ‘lo-fi’ teen bands, such as Bis and Dweeb, but they owe as much to US bands such as Sonic Youth and Weezer. Lyricists Graham Kemp (b. 3 December 1968; vocals/guitar) and Fergus Lawrie (b. 23 January 1968; vocals/guitars), with the sibling rhythm section of Elaine (b. 16 June 1970; bass) and Ian Graham (b. 19 October 1972; drums), fuse ‘geeky’ concerns such as Star Trek and pinball with a feedback-drenched wall of guitar sound that Kemp describes as ‘horrible, fucked-up bubblegum’. An extra sonic ingredient is the band’s deployment of toy ray guns and other childhood ephemera. A rollicking John Peel session and gigs highlighted by some particularly sadistic guitar abuse helped them to a contract with east London’s Ché Records and a reputation as leaders of a Glasgow scene that, as far as outsiders could tell, came from nowhere. The band’s name, incidentally, is borrowed from a Japanese comic book and translates approximately as ‘Those Pesky Female Aliens’. The appropriation resulted in legal threats from the comic’s publishers and outside the UK the band are known simply as Yatsura. The row did not stop the band’s debut album topping the UK indie charts and making the New Musical Express’ Top 50 for 1996; their first offering of 1997, the ‘Strategic Hamlets’ single, seemed to be making a bid for more commercial success. Slain By Urusei Yatsura made a further concession to accessibility, with some winning pop melodies shining through the lo-fi murkiness. They have since established their own Oni label through which they released their third album, Everybody Loves Urusei Yatsura.