Reviews

UUVVWWZ

Author: Michelle O'Brien
08/19/2009 | inkkc.com | www.inkkc.com | Album Review
Simply by hearing or seeing the name, the band UUVVWWZ might seem a bit strange. After listening to a 45-minute album, your opinion probably won't change much.

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This Nebraska quartet seems eager to grasp the art-school indie genre, while at times purporting to be more pop in its debut album. The nine tracks represent a wide musical range, exemplifying a band that has clear potential but an unclear identity.

UUVVWWZ saunters in with the subtle "Berry Can." The band shows some of that aforementioned potential with shifting dynamics from a crescendoing guitar, a building tribal drumbeat and strong vocals from Teal Gardner.

Next comes the syncopated bluesy riff in "Shark Suit," during which the group shows off a more absurd, mischievous side.

Because of its different styles, the album seems clunky. At times, Gardner possesses the boldness of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O, but with more tongue-in-cheek personality. Other times she softly croons like a Vegas lounge singer. The vocal comparison to Satomi Matsuzaki of Deerhoof is inevitable, with harsh, high-pitched tones that can be off-putting and uncomfortable. The shift from sanguine to saccharine or endearing to irritating shows a lead vocalist and band still working out a style.

Although Gardner is a formidable front woman, her scattered vocals tend to overshadow the talented musicians. In songs such as "Castle" and "Neolaņo," the band shows a varied, well-structured arrangement. Schroeder's guitar stealthily travels from minimalist to jazzy, ambient and bluesy. Tom Ambroz's drums often take on a compelling, forceful vibe, while Dustin Wilbourn's bass drives each song, carefully unifying rhythm with melody.

The band's unsettled style is excusable, given this is its debut. And Gardner's brazen presence and voice may overshadow the sometimes impudent vocals. So if you can get past the quirky name, UUVVWWZ is worth a listen.
UUVVWWZ

UUVVWWZ

LP / CD / MP3




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UUVVWWZ

UUVVWWZ

LP / CD / MP3