Friday, 21 August 2009


Now, first things first. Over the last couple of years the alternative music scene has seen the formation of band names that have included the trendy ‘vv’ (double V) in the title. Following the likes of groups such as Lovvers and Wavves to name only two, another band to jump on the ‘vv’ bandwagon are Nebraska’s very own UUVVWWZ. Pronounced double U, double V double W, Z. Personal opinions on the name aside, I think the ‘vv’ presence has been given too much significance across other UUVVWWZ articles I’ve read, so I’ll just let their music do the talking.
Released on the brilliant Saddle Creek Records, this debut LP sees obvious comparisons to female led bands such as Deerhoof, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and to a lesser extent, the Fiery Furnaces and PJ Harvey. However there is something charming and joyous about front woman Teal Gardner’s voice that sets UUVVWWZ apart from these artists.
Just looking at the track lengths though, you can already tell which songs will be the more slow and epic anthems (see ‘Berry Can’, ‘Neolano’, and ‘Hum Jam’) and which are the chirpier punk-y numbers (‘Jap dad’, ‘Green Starred Sleeve’, and ‘Trapezeus’). Opener ‘Berry Can’ begins with Gardner’s haunting voice alongside a quiet drone before kicking into a heavy guitar noise, showcasing a range of dynamics throughout the track. A key feature on the whole release as well. ‘Jap dad’ is definitely the most poppy and accessible track on the record with guitarist Jim Schroeder’s brilliant sharp riffs and the quirkiness of Gardner’s lyrics gives the track definite single material. The centrepiece of the album though has to be ‘Castle’, where it does indeed land slap bang in the middle of this 9 track recording. Gardner presents their most ambitious track with a dreamy, dynamic, and to me a dignified piece, with a chorus that can possibly go anywhere but instead it basically goes back to the lush guitar strum and soft jazzy beat it begins with.
Penultimate track ‘The Sun’, and finale ‘Hum Jam’ close the album in a similar vein in which it begins, with a couple of epic numbers which excites the listener on what may come next on UUVVWWZ’s next release.
So where can they follow on from this? The potential is definitely there on this recording but I feel they would have to create something a little different if the media was to keep a heavy interest in the band, post this ‘self titled’ release. We can only wait and find out but on this basis they are definitely doing a very good job so far.

Freddy Rothman.

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