Reviews

UUVVWWZ

Author: Erin Wolf
07/15/2009 | Venus | www.venuszine.com | Album Review
Lincoln, Nebraska may be an unlikely place for art rock to be conceived those hallowed halls were constructed in Europe and larger metropolitan environments like New York City. So how are four kids in Lincoln stridently clomping through those halls, clattering their drums, and squealing their guitars?

Teal Gardner (vocals), Jim Schroeder (guitar), Dustin Wilbourn (bass), and Tom Ambroz (drums) started their No Wave tendencies in 2007, right before the helm of oddity in pop and rock music (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Deerhoof). Minus the metropolitan, UUVVWWZ (pronounced, "double-U, double-V, double-W, Z") somehow makes "art rock" work by emulating the sweeping, windy qualities of their home state where tornadoes are a common summer affair.

Sweeping stealthily into a buildup at the beginning of their self-titled album with "Berry Can," Gardner's vocals almost seem sweet, mouthing, "I like the blackberries, 'cause they cannot entangle me," not belying the piss and vinegar about to be unleashed toward the end of the song emulating a fiery Karen O or Scout Niblett at her wildest. Satomi Matsuzaki (of Deerhoof) comparisons are a no-brainer. Nonsensical lyrics and the spastic nature of music back-dropping will forever be something for edgier bands to try their hand at recreating.

"Spastic" and "Saddle Creek," too, have often gone hand-in-hand, with youthful, energetic bands who test out the tepid waters of rock by prodding it with a little musical electricity. UUVVWWZ like to wring the necks of their guitars, and Gardner's vocals compliment this manhandling of sound. While it would be nice to say that the spazzticity floats this album along the electro-charged waters of the songs, small dips and hold-backs, such as on "Neolano" and "Castle," make this collection of oddity seem imbalanced.

The bluesier, jazzier tones of these tracks (including "The Sun") make the other delightfully disregardful tunes flatline. Once these murky, un-oxygenated ventures are weeded, the songs of UUVVWWZ might not be such a hot-cold affair. These innovators will eventually get comfortable with the weird, shrieking beast that is art rock, and they'll come into their own, claiming a rightful place in those hallowed halls.
UUVVWWZ

UUVVWWZ

LP / CD / MP3




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UUVVWWZ

UUVVWWZ

LP / CD / MP3