Saturday, 5 September 2009

UUVVWWZ - UUVVWWZ, Released - 21st September

It took me three attempts to listen to this album all the way through. Actually, I found it difficult just to get past opener “Berry Can.” With it’s hypnotic repetition and muted instrumentation it left me wanting to get as far away from this band as possible.

In a strange way their name (pronounced double-yoo, double-vee, double double-yoo, zee) is a bit of a warning. If you're not patient enough to say it properly then don't bother even trying to listen to the album. Fans of simple music with sensible lyrics should also stay away. For, as their choice of name would suggest, UUVVWWZ are anything but simple. Infact they're down right weird. I must admit, I am partial to a bit of weirdness but this is just too much. At times it's unnatural, forced even, many of the songs feel as if they're weird just for the sake of it.

Take "Jap Dad" for example. It takes a good 40 seconds of her singing, or should that be shrieking, before any of Teal Gardner's lyrics are recognisable as English and even then her chant of "M.A.K.E.M.E.L.O.V.E.Y.O.U" isn't exactly intelligible. But this isn't just a one off, most of her lyrics are either nonsensical or simply undecipherable. Teal’s vocals are also a bit of an acquired taste. Ranging from smooth and delicate to shrill and tuneless they’re definitely the main talking point of the album.

For a band who claim they’re “a rare bird” UUVVWWZ remind me quite a bit of a poorer version of Deerhoof. And who wants an inferior imitation when you can have the real thing? That said, there's no doubt they will appeal to some people. Fans of "avant-rock" will love this album, as will those who consider anything unconventional to be "art". But unfortunately it's just not for me, I'll take straight forward rock and roll anyday!

Gemma Barnes


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